Toyota South Africa Motors has expanded its Land Cruiser 70 Series range by reviving the Land Cruiser 78 Wagon.

Affectionately known as “Troopy” (short for “Troop Carrier”), the Land Cruiser 78 4,2 D Wagon was last on the local market in mid-2015, according to data supplied by duoporta.com, having launched in South Africa back in early 2011.

Sporting two doors and five seats, it slots in below the four-door Land Cruiser 76 Wagon, priced at R716 000. It’s effectively a 79 single-cab bakkie with a permanently attached, high-roof hard-top, a second row of three seats and a vertically spilt tailgate (featuring a mounted spare wheel). Interestingly, the 78 employs the Japanese firm’s primitive 4,2-litre straight-six diesel engine rather than the 4,5-litre V8 oil-burner used in the 76.

In the Land Cruiser 78 Wagon, the 4,2-litre unit generates 96 kW at 3 800 r/min and 285 N.m at 2 200 r/min (just as it does in the aforementioned 79 4,2D bakkie), delivered to all four wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. It sips from a 90-litre tank (but also boasts a secondary tank of the same capacity) at a claimed rate of 11,9 L/100 km and tops out at 145 km/h.

Measuring 4 990 mm long, 1 770 mm wide and 2 115 mm tall, the 78 Wagon has a wheelbase of 2 980 mm, a ground clearance of 235 mm and a braked towing capacity of 1 500 kg. It is offered in a choice of just two colours, both familiar from the broader 70 Series family: Ivory White and Sand Beige.

The utilitarian 78-badged model ships standard with black bumpers, black side-mirrors housings and a black grille. It rides on 16-inch steel wheels and features vinyl seat trim, PVC floor mats and a urethane finish for cabin items such as the four-spoke steering wheel and the gear knob.

Dual airbags are included, while the centrally sited rear passenger has to make do with a lap belt. There are ventilated brake discs up front and drums at the rear, along with ABS, while locking differentials are included, fore and aft.

Toyota’s three-year/100 000 km warranty ships standard, while a service plan (with intervals of 5 000 km) is optional.