In February 2002 I took delivery of my new Toyota Land Cruiser 90 3.0 D-4D at the dealership nearby. After more than 14 years of ownership, having never had a car that long before, I thought it was about time to write it up and show it here as my only Car Of A Lifetime.
The Land Cruiser 90-series was introduced in 1996. It replaced the (light-duty) Land Cruiser 70-series. After the 90-series came the 120-series and the current generation is called the 150-series. This whole series of Toyota Land Cruisers is known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado in other parts of the world, and is the basis for the North American 4Runner and Lexus GX.
Body on frame, independent front suspension, solid rear axle, coil springs all around. Full time 4WD. Towing capacity 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs). Tire size 265/70R16 (Dunlop on my car).
Yes, it’s tall. But it’s not big. Length 433 cm (170.5 in), width 182 cm (71.7 in); that’s actually a bit smaller than a Ford Focus hatchback. I’ve got the short-wheelbase 3-door version, there was also a long-wheelbase 5-door version.
This is Toyota language for a diesel engine with common rail injection.
Toyota’s KD engine series was introduced in 2000. Above the 1KD-FTV engine, a common rail injected 4-cylinder diesel engine with a turbocharger and intercooler.
A 178 hp 3.4 liter V6 24v gasoline engine was also available. But seriously, in my part of the world this kind of vehicles has a diesel engine under its hood, and nothing else.
The left side of the DOHC 16v engine; displacement 2,982 cc. Routine maintenance every 15,000 km. New T-belt every 150,000 km.
The right side of the engine compartment. Power output: 163 hp at 3,400 rpm. Maximum torque output: 343 Nm (253 ft-lb) from 1,600 to 3,200 rpm. For the record: the turbocharger, glow plugs and injectors didn’t collapse right after warranty ended. All still are factory original and untouched, after more than 14 years and 300,000+ km.
The intercooler on top of the engine.
Behind the grille, on the left and on the right, are the air intakes for the intercooler.
This is how the air flows after inhalation. Some other Toyota models, like the RAV4 and HiLux, have a hood scoop.
Let there be no mistake at the filling station. The fuel tank capacity is 90 liters (23.8 US gallons); the average fuel consumption I get from my car is around 9L/100 km (26 US MPG).
There are a few house rules to obey when you enter this cab: no littering, no smoking, no eating and no drinking. I hate it when my car interior looks and smells like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, regardless the car’s age.
I ordered my Land Cruiser with the Executive package. A part of it is a splendid imitation of fake wood on various places. The transmission is a 5 speed manual, type R150F.
Transfer gear shifting instructions and some other info on the left sun visor.
I just can’t live without the very latest gadgets in my set of wheels.
Retractable cup holder. Never used, see no drinking house rule above.
The engine is running at idle speed.
Big cargo door, with its own washer fluid reservoir.
I’ve got the van version, which is very common in the Netherlands (because of lower taxes, presumably. ED). No rear seats, a flat floor and blinded rear side windows. The van conversion is an aftermarket Dutch job.
This vehicle will soldier on for many more years to come. As long as it doesn’t get involved in a major accident, that is.
Most likely it will end up in the Middle East or Africa; someday, somehow…
When my family was in Zambia in ’08 we had a Prado, though it was the 4 door version. Always wished I could get my hands on a 90-series; never sold in Canada, unfortunately.
Sweet looking Toyota Land Cruiser. For some reason our North American sold Land Cruiser never sold with a diesel engine, not even a turbo diesel engine.
In Canada we did have the B & H series diesels in the ’80’s, starting with the BJ42, HJ60 and BJ70, although I don’t remember exactly when sales were stopped, although it may have been at the same time as the diesel in the Hilux, around 1987.
Very nice rig Johannes. Why is it that diesels are the engines of choice across the pond? Easier access to diesel or? Do you pay a premium for the diesel motor like we do over here?
As long as I can remember diesel has been cheaper than gasoline. Every filling station sells diesel, often both “regular” diesel (which goes into my car) and “premium” diesel (like Shell V-Power diesel).
Most people who drive more than say 30,000 to 35,000 km a year drive a diesel car. A diesel car is more expensive than the gasoline version. Also, the road tax is higher. So at some point, at a given yearly mileage, people go for the diesel car instead of the gasoline version because the fuel itself is cheaper plus, generally, the fuel consumption is lower. Note that I’m strictly talking about my own country here.
That’s why typical executive-sedans (high yearly mileage !) like the Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6 very often have a 4- or (very powerful) 6-cylinder diesel engine.
Anything bigger and heavier (SUVs, all vans, all trucks) has a diesel engine “by default”.
For a vehicle like this, I imagine torque output also has something to do with it. Until fairly recently, a gasoline engine with 253 lb-ft of torque was going to be a good deal thirstier than this, especially in something as upright and boxy as the Land Cruiser. (A big-engine passenger car with good aerodynamics and tall gearing might hit 30 mpg in gentle highway cruising, but I assume Johannes means 26 mpg overall.)
Yep, 26 mpg overall.
About that torque, developments went fast in the recent past.
The current 2.8 liter D-4D engine, which replaced the 3.0 liter, has a max. torque output of 310 ft-lb
(420 Nm) from 1,400 to 2,600 rpm. And I’m sure it offers a better fuel efficiency too.
That kind of big 4-cylinder diesels is only used in SUVs, panel vans and light trucks. They’re too truckish for a sedan / wagon, hence 6 cylinders -and much more horsepower- in the more luxurious segments, although the displacement is about the same.
Also Toyota is pretty conservative with the engine tuning and power rating for their commercial vehicles, they aren’t usually the most powerful in the class.
Diesels are more popular in Europe because the fuel taxes are lower on diesel fuel.
Before low-sulfur diesel fuel was mandated in the U.S. diesel fuel was nearly the same price per gallon as gasoline. For that matter, there was a time when diesel in the U.S. was a few cents cheaper per gallon than gasoline.
Diesel powered vehicles in the U.S. now also require urea be added to the fuel tank on a fairly regular basis. I have no idea how much a container of urea costs, but I have seen it at AutoZone and at truck stops.
People repeatedly make statements on this site which refer to “Europe” as if it were one country, with the same culture, laws, tax regimes etc. It isn’t, as I’m sure you’re aware.
That’s an excellent point.
Yes, and as I pointed out once before, people also talk about the country they are posting from as if everyone else also lived there.
Gas AND diesel are both cheaper and more expensive in states besides the 1 I live in….heck, cross into another county or even postal code and the price changes. So I should therefore refrain from making statements about this state (Florida?), or even county (?), much less this or any other country?
No, but it’s helpful if it’s made clear exactly what you are talking about. If there’s a significant difference in some issue from state to state or county to county and it’s relevant to what someone is posting, I’d be interested to learn about it.
I was making a general point and didn’t mean to be particularly critical of you.
Where I live, the price spread between gas & diesel varies a lot even from station to station, so I’ve given up trying to make sense of the situation. All I know generally is, the market for diesel cars is weak in the States, while anecdotally, I see a lot of diesel Dodge/Ford/GM trucks & SUVs.
I thought on modern turbodiesels the urea injection tank was something you had to fill separately rather than just pouring it into the fuel tank (which would have the virtue of being easier)?
It’s in a separate reservoir alright. Big diesel trucks have been using it (“AdBlue”) for many years by now, farm tractors ditto.
I know it seems silly, and maybe it is a case of always wanting what you can’t have, but…as an American this checks all my boxes and it just doesn’t exist over here. You can get a Land Cruiser, but it’s a behemoth that won’t fit in many garages It only comes with a gasoline engine (15 MPG), an automatic transmission, and a price tag of $85,000. Or you can buy a much older (but still perfectly capable) Land Cruiser, but it will not have modern safety features or fuel injection.
What about the consumer who doesn’t care in the slightest about speed and horsepower? I just want things that don’t break down! Ever!
Thinking about it, the current Land Cruiser 150-series doesn’t have a real direct competitor here anymore. Certainly not the SWB version (see below).
The Nissan Patrol is not available anymore. Mitsubishi has the Pajero, but Mitsubishi dealerships have become very thin on the ground, unlike Toyota dealerships. And Isuzu only offers pickups and light trucks.
Why wasn’t this 2 door model sold in the USA?
Thanks to Congressmen, mostly in car producing states, 2 door SUVs built outside the U.S. were slapped with a tariff/import tax. This was supposed to stop the Japanese from taking a huge bite out of the market share enjoyed by the Bronco and Blazer, but as often happens this backfired. The Japanese switched to importing 4 door SUVs, which sold for more than 2 door SUVs and still managed to come close to overtaking Ford and GM.
Like 2 door sedans, 2 door SUVs “faded away” because the market for them shrank into nothingness.
What?? Never heard of such a thing. Please provide some link or reference to this. There were a number of 2 door SUVs/CUVs sold here, including the Mitsubishi Montero, the Suzuki Samurai/Tracker/Sidekick, Daihatsu Rocky, etc…
Calm down Paul, it’s just Howard…And we won’t mention the Mazda Navajo…
The Navajo wasn’t imported, it was built in the U.S.
Yes, WERE sold here. At one point imported SUVs were classed as passenger cars, avoiding the “chicken tax”. When they were re-classified as trucks, their tax exemption went away. According to Wikipedia the change making these 2 door SUVs into light trucks and changing the import tariff from 4% to 25% came in 1989. But hey, Wikipedia is often wrong, isn’t it? 4 door SUVs still used the excuse that they were cars. Remember? About 1990, or soon after the 4Runner and Pathfinder switched from being 2 door vehicles to 4 door vehicles.
But even if that is baloney that I made up, the market for new 2 door SUVs is zilch for the same reason 2 door sedans are disappearing…..they aren’t all that popular.
You’re right. And I’m always happy to admit when I learn something new. I asked for some info/links on it, and…I found it myself. Thanks for the continuing education.
Well that explains a lot. Good point on the switchover for the 4Runner and Pathfinder (mid-generation on the Pathfinder no less, they just shortened the front doors and wedged in rears). Ditto for why the 2-door Suzuki Sidekick was replaced by the 4-door version?
What of Isuzu though? I don’t know if the 2-door Trooper was available for the entire 1st generation, but there was (at least briefly) a 2-door variant of the 2nd-gen Trooper, plus the unforgettable Vehicross. And unless I’m mistaken they were never built stateside. Also there was a 2-door RAV4 in that vehicle’s first generation.
Very nice. I like cars that might outlive me.
How is it that Jeep can sell Wranglers for $40k in the US, but Toyota can’t find a way to make money on a 2-door 4Runner? Well, I suppose there was the FJ cruiser, but that was more style than substance (though it still had plenty of substance).
Looks like it was styled by Mitsubishi, not Toyota.
I see that the information on the visor is in English. If i were in Europe, could I get some kind of hard copy of that information in Czech/Portuguese/Estonian/you-name-it?
I was also wondering why Toyota couldn’t be bothered to translate that into Dutch.
The Dutch have themselves to blame, perhaps☺; they are among the most fluent non-native English speakers I’ve encountered. Among other experiences, many yrs. ago I asked some Signaal engineers if they use the localized version of Windows. No, the English one worked fine for them.
This might be explained by centuries of diplomatic & economic contact with England.
I’ve got an owner’s manual in Dutch though…
The small card on the sun visor is probably in English all over the world.
Nice rig and great post, JD. Thanks for sharing!
That’s a nice, nice car JD. Seems like we’re in the same club. Bought my manual, base lwb new in 2000. Diesels came a bit later in my part of the world. Your particular diesel didn’t arrive until mid way thru the next model. Quality of fuel I assume. Eights seat in mine, 150000kms, still use it for camping on beaches and islands (get there’s by ferry!). Family grown up so son’s car. My favourite car to drive in my humble collection.
Nice to read a full description of your car Johannes, thanks. Interesting to see the van rear too, do some people retrofit seats to them?
Toyota only sold the swb Prado here for a few years when the 150 model was released, I don’t think it was too popular because I have only seen a handful. Mitsubishi no longer sells their swb and the Patrol last had a swb here in the 1990s.
One interesting difference is the lwb model here had a second fuel tank fitted for 180L total capacity, just the thing for outback travel. Helped sales, particularly as the normal Land Cruiser was getting more expensive.
The cheap version sold here, with grey plastic bumpers and I think vinyl seats had the 2.7 litre petrol 4-cyl. The V6 is sold here too, and sells because it is quieter and more powerful, the difference in fuel cost is less important for some when spending $60-70k or more on a vehicle.
When I lived in Australia, an acquaintance had an old Land Cruiser with LPG conversion, and we had Hiluxes at work (petrol). To me, they felt and sounded wrong – their heart was missing. My brain wouldn’t stop saying “Should be diesel, should be diesel”.
The rear bench seat is in my attic…So far I never saw a retrofit, maybe it’s done if the vehicle is going to be exported.
Nobody sneaks around the tax laws? I seem to recall that in the days when the UK had “car tax”‘ people bought Mini vans and retro fitted seats and windows.
Nope. You see, the fines are rather draconic if you get caught.
Thanks Johannes, I wondered if that was the case
Nice but not a version we get, the D4D engines are quite popular though some have proved troublesome if not serviced by genuine Toyota service centres there was some sort of upgrade to the injectors Toyota didnt publicize and if done they didnt tell you but the engine ran forever if not done they failed to proceed around 100,000kms, Its nice that without having to drive an injector pump the cambelt now lasts twice as long my Citroen is long overdue so I must do it soon, I’ll wait untill the trucking season ends when I have some spare time.
Sure do like what I see here. Mine is a 95 four door with the gas 3.0. My biggest envy would be the diesel. About 20 mpg with the gas v6 but I also have a five speed manual. Sometimes I see new shiny stuff and want it but doubt this will park in anyone else’s driveway until I’m planted. If we must have new, I guess the wife will have to take it.
The van is nice and I understand doing it if there is a tax benefit. However, the seats do a good job of folding flat in mine and can always be opened up again for passengers. I wanted one of these or a pathfinder just about forever. Got this about 2-1/2 years ago and have never been sorry. Same 3500 lb tow rating means I can tow just about anything I’m likely to need to although it has the typical 4runner saggy butt. Getting that fixed next month, I think. At 206k miles it’s likely to outlast me.
I just checked our Toyota website. The current 150-series / Prado is also available with a 4.0 liter V6 gasoline engine, yet only in the LWB-version and combined with an automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder diesel (manual or automatic transmission) is now a 177 hp 2.8 liter.
By the way, the tow rating of the 90-series is 3,500 kg, not lbs.
The tow rating does not surprise me. I believe we discussed that at CC back in another era. The US rates with pessimistic values and the EU seem to be very optimistic. In fact, I think I recall you submitting a couple very interesting pictures. Anyway, 3500 lbs would not have served when I was contracting. Does nicely now. A round bale of hay is about 1500 lbs (for a large one) and I am in the process of designing an RV/Gypsy Wagon that I will be sure to keep under that (3500) ceiling. Happy trails Johannes
I believe we figured out that the tow ratings take into account A) The different trailer designs there vs here in regard to tongue weight, axle placement etc and B) the speed limits for towing a trailer over there are generally much lower than over here, partly due to A.
Tongue weight and axle placement are non-issues if you use a drawbar trailer, see picture a bit further down. Of course there are also smaller ones.
And to put it mildly: anyone who drives faster than 60 mph with a fully loaded trailer behind his sedan / SUV / pickup is a moron, regardless the trailer construction.
Both of your points make perfect sense to me but over here I’ve NEVER seen anyone use a drawbar-type trailer with separated axles except for as a rig to flat-tow another car (the car being towed acts as the trailer itself which I realize is totally different) and there is ZERO education required on how to tow and what is correct, safe, and/or reasonable as well as it being a rare state that has any kind of safety and roadworthinesss inspection on trailers.
I guess we’re both thinking along similar lines…
Only very light and small trailers can be towed here without a separate trailer driver’s license. Below a typical “education rig”, see capital letter L on both the Mercedes Vito and the tandem axle trailer.
If I could go out and buy a used one, like yours, I would posthaste.
I own a ’96 4×4 Hi-Lux X-cab with the only available (at the time) 2.4 2L diesel engine.
In Italy we never had any gasoline engine in that pickup truck, but I think you can have one in the new SR5s. These trucks really last forever, the problem being rules becoming stricter by the day. My “Euro 1” diesel was recently banned from circulations in many town of my region (Lombardy) from 07:30 to 19:30 until April 15th, except you can drive freely on motorways and state roads all year round. This makes no sense at all, these rules were introduced merely to force people to scrap their cars thus boosting Euro economy out of bankrupcy, on the base of worse environmental performances of older engines, despite the fact that by now we all know the bigger particles emitted by old diesels can be eliminated with cough while the thinner PC10 just nestle in your lungs forever. My truck has nearly 450.000 Km on the clock and would be good for many more, it’s cheap, robust and fun, unlike most of its modern substitutes. Recently they also denied the chance to get a historical vehicle status to these oldies, raising the minimum age from 20 to 30 years, cancelling all tax benefits and tightening the related rules even further. So sad.
Great car in good condition. For some reason , while the 4 door Prado is very popular here in South Africa, we never ever see the 2 door version.
Thavash, the Land Cruiser 150 / Prado is typically used here like a pickup truck (bakkie !) in most other parts of the world.
Both the 3- and the 5-door often get an aftermarket van conversion and thus get a registration as a commercial vehicle. These Toyotas are very durable, fuel efficient, powerful (the 177 hp of the current diesel is more than enough to tow anything), have great traction in all circumstances and offer enough comfort and handling for full time on-road driving.
Here you go, a 150-series / Prado-van with a legal 5,250 kg towing capacity:
The instrument cluster picture shows the temperature gauge at the exact same “warmed up” position I’ve seen on the Japanese cars we’ve owned, and with ours, it’s •never• varied, whether it’s freezing or 110℉/43℃ outside. Only exception was when my Accord’s thermostat wore out, & that got my attention big time!
Either their cooling systems are extremely well-regulated, or the gauge is deliberately misleading & has a flat spot in its response. Can anyone explain this?
Always -as long as I have it- in EXACTLY the same position, regardless outside temperature and circumstances (traffic jam, for example).
Neil modern cars usually have the gauge signals sent from the engine control unit, rather than direct from sensors/senders as in the old days, so they are essentially warning lights with needles. It also means that service departments get fewer silly questions about why the temperature gauge goes up and down.
great car. i haven’t seen anything like it in the states in many years. a friend had a mitsubishi montero (pajero) two door that was similar but that was at least twenty years ago. we just don’t get rugged simple vehicles here anymore. even the jeep wrangler has gotten overwrought. and kudos for keeping it so damn clean.
Thank you. Obviously I care a bit less about how clean the outside looks…basically because it’s useless to wash it often. Within a few days it gets the same “two-tone paint job” again, like in the pictures.
And please note that the current generation of this Land Cruiser / Prado series isn’t a very simple and down-to-earth 4×4 anymore, see picture below.
Toyota still offers the square and heavy-duty 70-series in some other parts of the world, like Australia.
My sister and bil had a Land Crusher of this model year bought brand new in Pikesville, MD w/ the straight six. I loved that truck and so did she. My bil not so much. There is no accounting for taste.
Tough and purposeful-looking truck. 2-door SUVs are something that just aren’t available here any more, for the most part. Though the wood-look dash trim seems a bit out of place!
Real wood in the background !
You wrote T-belt every 150,000 km. Can you tell worst case if belt brake on this engine? I have heard that some models leave no serious damage..
I have no idea, Lars. At exactly 150,000 and 300,000 km a yellow dashboard light said it was time to replace the T-belt. The service-interval is 15,000 km, so the dealership/shop can change the T-belt along with the rest of the scheduled maintenance, and reset the warning light.
Not much (extra) work for the mechanic, as it is a longitudinal engine with plenty of room in the engine compartment at the front side.