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Car reviews - Toyota - LandCruiser Prado - RV6 5-dr wagon


11 Aug 1996

TOYOTA was caught unawares by the big success of medium-sized 4WDs like the Mitsubishi Pajero and Jeep Cherokee. So in came the full-ladder frame chassis Prado, featuring a full-time 4WD differential with a two-speed transfer case. Replacing the crude Hi-Lux ute-derived 4Runner, it impressed buyers with its good looks, comfort, space and relative civilised on-road manners – courtesy of its car-like coil spring suspension and reinforced body shell. Two engines were offered at launch – an underrated 112kW 2.7-litre four-cylinder and a 132kW 3.4-litre V6 – with the choice of a four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox. The four models were: 2.7 RV and V6 RV6, GXL and VX Grande. All V6s featured a 159-litre fuel tank and eight seats (to the 2.7’s 90 litres and five seats). Power steering was standard, while dual airbags and anti-lock brakes were optional. From mid-'99 a small facelift saw strides in safety, refinement and features listing, as well as improved seating and rear access, new instrumentation, upgraded audio and redesigned fabrics and trim. There was also a revised grille, bumpers, taillights and colour palette. A new VX model was introduced below the Grande. In March ’00 Toyota introduced a 96kW 3.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engine option. The Prado continued until the significantly larger and more refined 120 Series model replaced it in early ’03.
Model release date: 1 July 1996 to 1 February 2003

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