The third-generation Toyota Land Cruiser Prado has become noticeably more comfortable than its predecessors, more elegant in equipment and slightly increased in size. The design of the future car was developed in the European studio Toyota, starting in 1998, and only in 2002 the model went into production. The Prado 120 Series features a modern, vibrant style that successfully combines elegance and at the same time openly declared ability to challenge the road element. Thanks to a conceptually new approach to building body lines, and in particular its front part (hood, bumper, grille, headlights), the model began to visually appear taller and, one might say, acquired a more athletic “physique”.
Like the previous series, this model is created on the same platform with the Toyota 4Runner / HiLux Surf. Depending on the number of doors, the wheelbase of the 2002 model year is 2455 or 2790 mm. Five-door versions were produced with two or three rows of seats. We can talk about some conservatism in the approach to the equipment: compared to the previous generation, their number decreased, although this generation lasted almost the same time on the assembly line as the previous one. In the same 2002, the first generation of the Lexus GX 470 premium SUV made its debut, which in fact is the most richly equipped version of the Prado 120 series: with a V8 engine, chic interior and some differences in the exterior design. Initially, three engines were offered for the Land Cruiser Prado that worked well on the previous generation: gasoline 3RZ-FE (2.7 L, 150 hp) and 5VZ -FE (V 6, 3.4 L, 185 hp ), as well as a 1KD-FTV turbodiesel (3 L, 170 HP). In August 2004, the new 2TR-FE engine with a capacity of 163 hp began to be installed instead of the first one, and in July 2005 the V-shaped “six” was replaced by a much more powerful 1GR-FE 4-liter engine (249 liters. s.), which significantly changed the dynamics of the SUV, however, it was put only on the version with a long base. All machines manufactured for the domestic market used only automatic transmissions, 4- and 5-speed: respectively, the indestructible "automatic" A340, which survived several generations of Toyota, and a new model of the A750. The latter was only in the configuration with 1GR-FE. Instead of a symmetrical center differential, the third-generation Prado is equipped with a Torsen asymmetric differential with the possibility of hard locking, which distributes torque between the rear and front wheels in a ratio of 40:60. The front cross-axle differential is free, the rear (depending on the model) is friction LSD or DiffLock. The suspension has undergone changes, especially the rear one: some versions were equipped with shock absorbers with adjustable stiffness and airbags, this solution increased handling and ride, however, in Russian conditions, this undoubted advantage can turn into disadvantages if you do not pay enough attention to the condition of the compressor and body position sensors. When creating the Prado 2000 model year, special attention was paid to safety. However, serious tests, for example, according to the requirements of Euro NCAP were not conducted. An indirect confirmation of the high performance can be considered a crash test of the “twin” Lexus GX470, which was carried out in the USA according to the NHTSA method, where an excellent result and awards were obtained for the best performance of safety systems on SUV vehicles in Australia and the USA. The 120 Series Land Cruiser Prado is one of the hits on the used car market. At the same time, this is one of the most stolen models, so owners should take care of the safety of their cars. The main advantages of this model can be called a strong body frame construction, roomy and comfortable interior, not inferior in terms of convenience, equipment and sound insulation to the level of first-class sedans, reliable gearboxes and engines, good off-road qualities.