After production of the iconic FJ40 concluded, Toyota branched the Land Cruiser lineage into two directions. The U.S. market stuck with the four-door FJ60 wagon, which evolved into the J200 luxury yacht on sale today, but the 70 Series — the more-direct replacement for the FJ40 — never made it to the States. As such, it is perhaps the juiciest forbidden fruit for American Land Cruiser enthusiasts.
The 70 Series has all the off-road capability of the Land Cruiser, and none of the excess and luxury features found in the American model. The truck is legendarily durable. Indeed, the design is so good, the 70 Series has been in continuous production since 1984 without being overhauled.
It doesn’t appear in places like the U.S. and Europe due to emissions standards, but you can still buy a 70 Series in much of the rest of the world. Toyota sells both SUV and pickup versions of the 70 Series in the United Arab Emirates, starting at the equivalent of $38,600. (Dubai residents can also still buy another enthusiast favorite, the FJ Cruiser, which Toyota discontinued in the U.S. in 2014.)
Australia is the Land Cruiser’s biggest market. In addition to the more modern variants, you can still buy four different model variations of the 70 Series there: single cab flatbed, double cab flatbed, wagon and troop carrier.
Africa remains a popular destination for the Land Cruiser 70 Series, too. The nation of Gambia, for instance, offers a similar array to Australia. South Africa still sells pickup versions of the 79 series based on the 70 Series, including last year’s Namib edition. And you can still buy a Land Cruiser 70 Series in South American countries, like Venezuela.
While it’s a shame the J70 Cruiser never came to America, Toyota had its reasons for that. The most obvious is that Toyota already sold a spartan, incredibly durable, smaller SUV in the U.S. It’s called the 4Runner.