The Land Cruiser Prado started as a more street-oriented, comfortable adaptation of the standard 70 series Land Cruiser. If you are looking at this Prado and think it looks familiar, that might be because this is the beginning of the Lexus GX, itself a minor divergence from what the rest of the world gets as the Prado.
Bluish silver paint with darker lower panels set up a very 90s look right off the bat. This truck has a tall, athletic stance with excellent ground clearance. Very JDM rain guards over every window, front-mounted fog lights attached to an inboard bullbar with the corner-mounted mirror bleed even more distinctive vibes. Radical Toyota-original 3 spoke wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich KO2s white letters out complete the look. Top it off with a massive OEM Toyota aluminum rack and you have yourself a fantastically capable, excellent daily driver. As an added bonus (especially for 1996) you get a proximity sensor on your rear left bumper that beeps to let you know when you are about to hit something.
Blue, green and purple splashes of color dot the door panels and seats. As such, the seats themselves are comfortable fabric affairs, with great bolstering. Standard instrument cluster up front, amazing visibility all around and a functioning sunroof above your head. Above the center stack is the ‘Field Monitor’, a sort of digital information pod that includes an inclinometer, pitch/roll indicator and a digital compass. In addition it can display temperature, elevation, barometric pressure, digital speedometer (in kilometers of course) and a timer. Below this is arguably the star of the show, a 5 speed manual transmission along with a low-range selector. The stereo is missing, thankfully the wiring harness is uncut so is ready to have any USDM double-din unit you’d like installed. Automatic climate control and a little drawer, along with an analog clock are here as well. You also get dual front airbags and ABS which is a far cry from the “not at all” available in the last generation. Center console can swallow all sorts of things under its lid, including four drinks in its various cupholders. Backseats are clean and comfortable, with a smaller set of third row seats in the very back. The cargo area is large on its own but can be made significantly larger if you fold the rear seats forward.
The KZJ90 series of Land Cruiser Prados are excellent, incredibly engineered vehicles. Fast enough to comfortably sit on the highway at 70 miles per hour all day, absolutely capable to trudge through whatever offroad hell you send its way, and overbuilt to last decades into hard use. This one is a clean, more-uncommon variant as it is equipped with a manual transmission. Everything works, it needs nothing and is ready to go.
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