Master of Africa? Such a slogan would be easy to dismiss as a clever marketing line in most cases, but not so in the case of the Land Cruiser bakkie which celebrates its 70th anniversary, with a special edition model dubbed the Land Cruiser 70th Anniversary that we sampled recently.
Interior and exterior
Inside, this model comes with unique grey seat covers with 70th Anniversary embroidery, Land Cruiser branded floor mats, and a touchscreen audio system with navigation, bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The exterior sets itself apart with a heritage-inspired mesh radiator grille with Toyota lettering, heritage logo on side door, 70th Anniversary emblem, tubular rear step bumper with detachable towbar, inner load-bed protector, rubberised load bed, tubular front steel bumper and integrated winch. The 70th Anniversary model is offered exclusively in Ivory White and Sand Beige (pictured).
Living with the LC79
The plan was to take the Land Cruiser 79 D/C 4.5 Diesel V8 70th Edition on an epic off-road trip to Zululand. Alas, life happened so we had to focus on a mission of a different kind – living with the beast in the city (where it has many fans with the usual thumbs up /sho mf’wethu at the robots). The interior is old school but charming. The only thing that reminds you that it’s a 2022 model is the new infotainment screen with standard navigation and Apple CarPlay. The sound system is woeful but does the job, although we could settle for just listening to the V8 engine do its work.
The seats offer adequate comfort and the cabin is fairly roomy. You get one cupholder which eventually doubles up as a holder for your phone, keys, etc. The ride quality is surprisingly decent and the beast is easy to tame with light steering and the constant power on tap. The turning circle is poor, so that requires your attention. Best to avoid narrow roads with tight bays, the beast will be tight to fit in there. Visibility will also be hampered by the spare wheel behind the back window. Finally, watch the height. Some parking lots are not that high. Other than these, our time with the Land Cruiser 79 70th Edition was enjoyable. Ps: highway cruising is best enjoyed at 110km/h or less.
Pricing and warranty
The 70th Anniversary model is offered exclusively in Ivory White and Sand Beige. It’s priced from R889,700 for the Land Cruiser 79 S/C 4.5 Diesel V8 70th Edition and R943,100 for the Land Cruiser 79 D/C 4.5 Diesel V8 70th Edition. A 3 year / 100,000 km warranty is included and customers can purchase various service plan packages from their nearest Toyota dealer (220 outlets nationwide).
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