The release of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 90 Series began in May 1996. Unlike the previous generation, which was a “lite” version of the 70th Land Cruiser series, the next 90th series received a completely new body. The platform was shared with Hilux Surf / 4Runner. The innovations were significant: the car acquired more streamlined forms, a spacious and comfortable passenger compartment, large doorways; the front suspension became independent (for the first time for a Land Cruiser model). By that time, the popularity gained by the previous series had greatly expanded the possibilities for the production and marketing of the new model. An advertising company also played a big role in popularization, in which the image of not just an all-wheel drive car, but of a light and comfortable all-terrain vehicle, intended for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities, was primarily emphasized. Like the previous generation, the Land Cruiser Prado of the 90th series was produced in two versions, differing in the size of the wheelbase: a three-door (letter R in the index) with an emphasized sports style and a more prestigious five-door version. Despite the differences in the configurations (the simplest - TJ / RJ, the top ones - TZ / RZ), for all cars as standard were offered: ABS, power accessories, two airbags. In June 1999, changes occurred, mainly affecting the design: the grille, door trim, dashboard. In the bumper, in accordance with the new requirements, fog lights appeared. As an anti-theft tool, an immobilizer with a remote control key was added. Automatic transmission has been offered for almost all trim levels. The base for the Prado 90 series was a very reliable, modernized 3.0-liter 1KZ-TE 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 140 hp intercooler, inherited from the previous generation. However, taking into account various changes, more powerful engines were also required. Therefore, gasoline engines were installed on some modifications: a 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE (V6 DOHC) with a capacity of 185 hp, and (since 1997) a 2.7-liter 3RZ-FE (R4 DOHC) with a capacity of 150 liters. with. The latest modernization concerned engines in 2000, when a new-generation 3.0-liter 1KD-FTV turbodiesel with direct injection C ommon R ail, developing 170 hp, appeared in the lineup.
Machines manufactured for the domestic Japanese market have permanent all-wheel drive with a symmetrical center differential, rigid forced locking and lowering gear. The rear axle uses either a limited slip differential or a hard-locked differential with an electric drive. The front suspension is independent, torsion-link. The rear, continuing the tradition of Land Cruiser, is a continuous axle axle with reactive rods and anti-roll bar. This design provides the optimal combination of good stability and comfortable movement. In expensive trim levels shock absorbers with adjustable stiffness were used. The new Prado has advanced significantly in terms of safety. Airbags for the driver and front passenger were installed as standard. A variety of systems have appeared to improve the performance of an all-terrain vehicle when driving in difficult conditions: an electronic stability control system (ESP), traction control (TCS), and an auxiliary braking system (BAS). As a weighty argument, even when buying a used Land Cruiser Prado of the 90th series, it can be noted that this is a relatively simple from a structural point of view, a very balanced and reliable car. The bodies are quite well protected from corrosion, problems with engines and suspension are solved mainly by replacing consumables. In addition, the simplicity and maintainability of these machines, which are able to please their owners for many years to come, can be noted.