In 1991 the Prado semi-long had a wide body version added to the lineup. In 1993 the short also had a wide body version added, and a newly developed engine was added, the 1KZ-TE (2,982cc, NET130PS, 29.5kgm). All of this meant major improvements in performance. In 1994 the 1PZ-type engine was dropped from the van series, leaving only the 1HZ type of engine.

With the full model change in 1996 it embarked on a new and independent path as the Prado. The van type underwent a series of minor changes, taking on front rigid coil springs in 1999, leading up to the present day.

The instrument panel on the 70-series had a thick resinous crash pad to help protect passengers in the event of a collision. The design had very little in common with the predecessor 40-series, but it did retain the heavy-duty image using lots of straight lines. The floor tunnel was large, as before.

The suspension on the 70-series was based on the rigid leaf springs of the 40-series. While the leaf width and thickness was virtually unchanged, the interval between the right and left leaves was widened (+14mm in the front, +30mm in the rear), and an anti-roll stabilizer was added.

From the beginning the 70-series carried the 3B-type engine, which in 1985 was replaced by the high-powered spec direct-injection turbo diesel 13B-T-type engine. This engine was added to the upper grades of the series, doubling the 70 lineup from 2 variations to 4.

In 1990 the 70-series underwent a significant minor change, with a brand new engine lineup. The 6-cylinder 4.2-liter 1HZ-type engine was replaced with a naturally aspirated 13B-T-type diesel engine, which with its fuller torque made offroad driving more fun.

The 1PZ-type engine was developed at the same time as the 1HZ-type engine, and as a 5-cylinder 3.4-liter engine it was basically the same structure as the 1HZ. Because the gear ratio in the M/T set for high-speed driving prevented the engine from delivering adequate torque in the low rpm range, and because of gas emissions regulations as well it was phased out.

The 70-series underwent a minor change in the suspension in 1999, when the front springs were changed from leaf to coils. The 4-door semi-long model was developed at the same time as the 70-series Prado 4-door, but was only sold in Japan.