The theme for this full model change was "NEW TRADITIONAL 4WD". The outstanding driving ability succeeded through the generations was further enhanced together with also pursuing excellent on-road running ability.
Continuing the tradition of the preceding 90 Series, the Land Cruiser underwent a full model change in 2002 with further enhanced outstanding drivability under grueling conditions. The quality of the interior and exterior has also been thoroughly refined for a pleasant on-road driving experience that looks set to create a new legacy in the Land Cruiser Prado tradition.
In terms of performance, the front suspension features an independent double wishbone structure while the rear adopts a 4-link axle suspension. A newly designed and exclusive high rigidity frame provides superior maneuverability and running stability while also offering a comfortable ride. The new Land Cruiser not only evolves off-road driving characteristics, but also fully enhances its on-road driving performance.
In addition to the adoption of a new frame, the effective placement of sound reducing and absorbing material and the new flush body surface result in quiet road, wind, and engine noise on par with a medium-high class passenger sedan.
Newly developed Torsen LSD (Limited Slip Differential) is used for the center differential and distributes 40:60 front/rear basic driving force with automatic and instant adjusting to ideal distribution of front and rear torque according to road conditions for enhanced tractability during turning. This has resulted in superior on-road driving as well as superior traction in slippery conditions such as on icy roads. In addition, an active TRC (TRaction Control system) independently controls braking at all four wheels with an active wheel speed sensor semiconductor for superior control when climbing and descending. Furthermore, DAC (Downhill Assist Control) enhances vehicle stability when descending steep slopes, while Hill start assist control depresses vehicle rearward motion when climbing steep slopes.
H∞-TEMS, which uses the latest control logic and non-linear H∞ control, is available as a high-grade option for the combination of a comfortable ride and stable road stance. The newly available rear electronic control air suspension with vehicle height adjustment enhances both on-road and off-road driving performance, and also controls vehicle posture when the vehicle is loaded.
The Land Cruiser is available with the following three engines: a V6 3.4-liter gasoline, a V6 2.7-liter gasoline, and a 3.0-liter diesel turbo engine with intercooler. The automatic transmission has a flexible lock up system with a lock up clutch and greater operating range expanding to low speeds, while the diesel engine vehicles are the first to feature a 1KD-FTV engine. Also featured is hill climb and descent gearshift control that prevents unnecessary up/down shifting when climbing and descending hills.