Toyota will address longstanding safety concerns when it vies for a five-star ANCAP safety rating for its single-cab Land Cruiser 70 Series late next year.
Thought to be facing an uncertain future, the 70 Series should soldier on beyond 2016, with uprated safety and the inclusion of stability control across the range.
The upgrades are expected to mainly benefit fleet buyers from mining and other commercial sectors, with much-needed airbags added only to the single-cab variant while the dual-cab version, more popular with families, misses out.
The sales-leading single-cab variant will now have five airbags – two front-seat side airbags, two curtain-shield airbags, and a driver's knee airbag.
The driver and front-seat passenger airbags are pre-existing; the two curtain-shield airbags and a driver's knee airbag are new additions.
This will help address the single-cab’s current score of just 6.8 out of 16 in ANCAP’s frontal offset collisions test and will also help drive up the variant’s overall three-star ANCAP rating to a five-star rating.
Toyota Product Public Relations Manager Stephen Coughlan says Toyota has to prioritise engineering resources and the single-cab is the only variant they can confirm the airbag upgrade for at this time.
“The upgrade is certainly something that our larger fleet customers and business buyers will welcome, but I think there is also strong merit there for private consumers as well,” Coughlan says.
“Toyota has invested significantly and it is appropriately timed at the 30th anniversary to confirm the longevity of the model and to put to bed the rumours that have drifted around over the last couple of years regarding the future of the 70 Series.”
Despite Toyota indicating that airbags could not be incorporated into the 70 Series when it was upgraded in 2007, two driver and front-passenger airbags were made standard across the range in 2009 after pressure from the mining sector to improve safety.
In 2012 anti-skid brakes were also added across the range.
All variants, including single-cab, double-cab and Troop Carrier models, will now have vehicle stability control, brake assist and cruise control.
Toyota could not confirm if the 70 Series engine would be upgraded to meet tougher emission standards due in late 2016.
See 30 years of the Land Cruiser 70 Series.
ANCAP image: Toyota Land Cruiser Cab Chassis (2007-onward) frontal offset test at 64km/h.
Click here to read the full range review of the Landcruiser 70