Two types of body styles: 2-door 71 Prado and 4-door 78 Prado
The Land Cruiser 70 Prado is the first model to use the Prado name and is a wagon that bears the passenger car registration in Japan. It is derived from the Land Cruiser 70 series van and is available as a 2-door (71) and a 4-door (78). The 78 Prado has been called “Nanahachi”, which means 78, by auto industry professionals and Land Cruiser enthusiasts. It is an 8-seater semi-long body 4-door car.
The LJ71G was the 2-door short model, but since 70%-plus of the registered vehicles were 4-door at that time, there were very few 2-door vehicles. The 78 Prado was the most common when it comes to the Prado 70 series.
For the first generation Prado and 70 series vans, the doors were usually written out 2-doors/4-doors instead of 3-doors/5-doors. This is because the rear gate has two doors that open to the left and right, creating a double door.
There are four models of 78 Prado released in 1990 and produced until 1996: LJ78G, LJ78W, KZJ78G, and KZJ78W.
Although some overseas models were equipped with gasoline engines, all domestic models had diesel engines. At that time, cross-country 4WD vehicles were overwhelmingly diesel-powered, and this line-up followed the trend. The four models can be divided into the early model (LJ78) and the late model (KZJ78) depending on the installed engine.
Here we will discuss the history.
Early model LJ78G, LJ78W (wide)
Toyota introduced the Land Cruiser Prado 70 in April 1990. It succeeded the Land Cruiser 70 wagon, which was a derivative of the Land Cruiser 70 van. The Prado 70 was a 4-door semi-long model. It is the LJ78G type, “Nanahachi” (translated to “78”.)
In addition, since the 2-door short car was only an improvement of the existing Land Cruiser 70 wagon, the model LJ71G from the previous generation was inherited “as is”. It was powered by a 2L-TE type 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder OHC diesel turbo driven by conventional electronic control. The L in “LJ” stands for an L-series engine.
This engine, which generates a maximum output of 97PS/95HP (NET) and a maximum torque of 24.5kgm/177 lb.-ft., was also paired with a newly developed 4-speed automatic transmission, and was registered as a wagon model.
To ensure the off-road performance expected from a Land Cruiser, there were also features such as a manual rear differential lock. The models consist of the basic model LX5, the fully equipped SX5 is set for short / semi-long, and the EX5 is the highest trim level for the semi-long.
The LX5 was equipped with a 5-speed MT as standard equipment, but a 4-speed AT was available.
In August 1991, a wide fender model (LJ78W) was added to the highest model EX, which offered more options. The wide car was equipped with 265/70R15 size tires and has a total width of 1790mm/70 inches, and while the standard body passenger car has a 5 number registration, the wide car has a 3 number registration. In August 1992, a wide fender model was added to the mid-grade SX, bringing the total number of models to 5: LX, SX, SX wide, EX, and EX wide.
Late model KZJ78G, KZJ78W (wide)
During a minor update in May 1993, the 78 Prado engine was replaced by a 3-liter in-line 4-cylinder OHC diesel turbo 1KZ-TE type, and the model was also changed to KZJ78G and KZJ78W (wide). After this update, it will become the late model 78 Prado.
The new 1KZ-TE type diesel turbo, which was also installed in the Hilux Surf and other models of the same period, had a powerful core that generated a maximum output of 130PS/128 HP (NET) and a maximum torque of 29.5kgm/213 lb.-ft., deleting the Prado’s previous reputation for being powerless.
In addition, the engine was highly rated as an environmentally friendly unit that suppressed NOx and PM in the exhaust gas to a low level. There was no change in the Japanese grading system due to this minor change, but wide cars continued to be popular from the previous period, and many wide cars were in circulation within the used car market.
After that, the SX wide “Limited” version and the special edition car “SX Wide Limited Memorial Package” commemorating the production of 2.5 million Land Cruiser were added, and the late models have more optional equipment.
The 70 Prado was designed to appeal to those who liked passenger cars while it moved away from the 70 series van appearance. Among other changes, the Prado 70 had square headlights and the suspension was coil spring for a more passenger car ride.
Even in its late model stage, the most popular was the 78 Prado, an 8-seater/4-door car that was in greater demand than the 2-door short. The 78 Prado is still popular today because it is a diesel 4-door 8-seater, and it has remained the same as when it was first introduced.