The predecessor of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 70 series was first introduced to the public in November 1984. It was a three-door five-seat Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Light, i.e. lightweight Land Cruiser with a spring suspension, which was offered three options of "small" in terms of engine volume: gasoline 22R, 2L diesel and 2L-T turbodiesel. Some modifications had a hinged windshield and a plastic top, removing which, it was possible to turn the car into a convertible. The new Land Cruiser line was designed more for normal use, despite having a frame and serious off-road training.
With minor changes, the model was actually released until 1990, when it was subjected to serious processing and, in addition to the three-door, a more comfortable five-door modification appeared. There were several trim levels that differed in the level of equipment. In the list of options added air conditioning. The suspension was reconstructed - the changes affected the axle mounts, steering, the front shock absorbers moved inside the springs. There were changes in the design of the front grill, front fenders and hood, round headlights changed to square, so the car got its finished, unique appearance, and it was assigned the name Prado (“field”, “plain” in Portuguese). Improved use of the recreational vehicle was to ensure Toyota's commercial success in the competition with light SUVs from other companies, which, in fact, happened in the future. Modified versions of this series continue to be issued in separate runs until now.
In Japan, in the 70th series since 1990, an electronically controlled turbodiesel has been installed, which received the 2L-TE index, with a capacity of 71 kW (97 l. sec.) and a torque of 240 Nm, either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed “automatic” (previously only “mechanics”) relied on it in pairs. Additional changes were made to the model in 1993, when the 2L-TE was replaced by a more reliable three-liter (2982 cc) 1KZ-TE turbodiesel with an aluminum cylinder head of 130 hp. The new engine also relied on a new exhaust system, thanks to which it was possible to reduce the content of harmful substances in the exhaust. Some changes affected the suspension, brakes, trim. A new design dashboard was installed.
This SUV has a spring dependent front and rear suspension with powerful beam continuous bridges. Transmission - part-time type, with a rigidly connected front axle, freewheels in the front hubs and a reduction gear. Rear differential (optional): loose, friction LSD or DiffLock. On some versions, wheel hub couplings, connected with an electric drive, shock absorbers with adjustable stiffness to improve controllability were also installed - switching can be done at the touch of a button.
In the years when the Prado 70 series was developed, security was not given as much attention as in later times. In 2010, the Australian company "ANCAP" conducted a crash test of an upgraded pickup truck of this series - the car eventually scored 3 stars out of 5, while the driver received a serious leg injury, and the chest of the driver and passenger suffered. It should be borne in mind that this classic SUV has a high center of gravity, and its suspension has very impressive moves, which is why the handling is poor, especially for short-wheelbase variants that have a high tendency to drift.
The angular Land Cruiser Prado of the 70th series, although standing in the shadow of its "heavy" fellow Land Cruiser, is nevertheless one of the legendary SUVs whose reputation as an SUV is not in doubt. High resource chassis, overall reliability and maintainability are the hallmarks of this generation.