Usually when a car has been around for as long as the now 32-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser 70, there comes a point when its safety performance falls out of sync with newer vehicles, and manufacturers make little to no changes to try and bring it back up to par. But incredibly, Toyota has significantly updated its old workhorse, so much so that it scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating, on par with the brand-new Prius.
Changes made for the 2017 model year include structural changes to the chassis and cabin, plus the introduction of standard-fit side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags (bringing up the count to seven), seat belt pretensioners and revised bonnet and seat designs. It has to be noted, however, that these are only available on the bestselling single cab model, which is the only one to receive this rating.
That’s not to say that the other 70-series models have been untouched – Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC), hill-start assist and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) have been added to these models. The previous range had an ANCAP rating of three stars.
ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said:
“It is encouraging Toyota has responded to consumer demand, particularly from commercial and fleet buyers, and implemented design changes and safety upgrades to improve the Land Cruiser safety rating.”
Meanwhile, the Prius has also received the top billing – the hybrid was tested concurrently with the Land Cruiser, having been on sale in Australia and New Zealand in March. It scored 15.22 points out of 16 in the frontal crash test, a full 16 points in side impact and a maximum two points in the pole test, contributing to an overall score of 36.22 out of 37.
“The Prius has held a five-star ANCAP safety rating for a number of generations and the current model continues to impress with a notable lineup of advanced safety assist technologies as standard including autonomous emergency braking, lane support systems and adaptive cruise control,” Goodwin added.