Toyota LandCruiser Prado
120R Series Prado
1 Mar 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
The second generation Prado, designed in Europe and built in Japan, was better than its popular mid-sized SUV predecessor in every way, boasting a bigger body, roomier and much more refined cabin, more car-like controls and significantly improved dynamics (steering, ride, handling, roadholding comfort and safety).
To counteract its decision to retain the off-road benefiting separate ladder-frame chassis, Toyota implemented advanced electronic driver-aid technology like traction control, stability controls, anti-lock brakes and Hill-start assist in a package called DAT Driver-Assist Technology, for greater on-road dynamics as well as better off-road abilities.
A longer wheelbase and stronger body also helped, as did new coil suspension (air-suspended in high-end versions), rack and pinion steering and a new torque-sensing centre differential.
All models – GX, GXL, VX and Grande – include dual front airbags, full-time 4WD and eight seats.
Engines are: 112kW/240Nm 2.7-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder engine (GX-only, and discontinued in August ’04), mainstay 179kW/343Nm 4.0-litre DOHC 24V VVT-i (variable valve timing) V6 and 96kW/343Nm 3.0-litre SOHC 8V four-cylinder turbo-diesel.
All were tied to five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearboxes until September ’04, when a mild makeover saw the introduction of a new five-speed automatic and six-speed manual gearbox, for better fuel economy and improved driveability.
Improved brakes, cruise control and audio were also incorporated.
TOYOTA introduced an upgrade Prado in late 2006, headlined by a new turbo-diesel engine lifted directly from the HiLux utility, plus new six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions.
More powerful, more fuel efficient and with less emissions than the diesel it replaces, the Euro IV rated 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection 1KD-FTV diesel offers 127kW at 3400rpm and a beefy 410Nm of peak torque between 1600rpm and 2800rpm.
Minor trim and equipment upgrades rounded off the MY07 changes.
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