1993 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Prado EX

Sold: $23,995

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Stock Number: 4618

These days you'll be hard-pressed to find a proper 5-speed manual SUV, let alone pair up with a tried and true diesel. It's a shame that true off-roaders have become all but a thing of the past. Luckily Toyota knew what was going on which is why they never pulled the bulletproof 70 series from their lineup. The 70 series was styled after the iconic 40 series but came with all of the modern features you'd want in a vehicle today. It's brooding boxy styling will never go out of style, especially in its one-off Navy blue. The paint job looks fantastic since so many of these come in the mare basic black or white. Especially with the giant chrome brush guard with the classic yellow Bosch fog lights. The chrome makes for a great pop that compliments the side view mirrors and bumpers nicely. The color swap looks to have been done relatively recently so there are few blemishes to note. The same can be said about its big slab-sided bodywork, its been maintained surprisingly well. Of course, there are always a few little door dings and small scratches/swirls in the clear but nothing of real concern. The multi-spoke 15's are wrapped in a fresh set of 33" Falken Off-Road rubber which really is a spot-on look for something as tough as this.

The most surprising attribute of this generation Prado was the astounding level of equipment. You might expect a spartan interior since the exterior looks a bit like an FJ40, but power equipment and creature comforts surround all three rows. Hopping into the driver's seat you're greeted by a smaller diameter sport wheel. While not a cutting edge luxury sedan you do still have all the creature comforts you would look for in a vehicle today. Power windows, mirrors, locks, and a full climate control system. The A/C is blowing cold since we're still right in the thick of summer. Of course, these are far more enjoyable with the sunroof open and the windows down, plus the OEM rain guards help to cut down on wind buffeting and give some extra ventilation on rainy days. The Momo shift knob is slightly out of place for an SUV but is surprisingly comfy in the hand. While normally you expect the throw on an SUV to feel like rowing a boat, however, this one is shockingly crisp; much more akin to a short-throw shifter in a Skyline than a 3500. All three rows are trimmed in a two-tone Alcantara which has held up impressively well. The driver's seat has a little bit of wear to the seat base, which is to be expected, but it has been spared from the more typical bolster breakdown or obnoxious stains. The passenger seat rearward look fantastic and are actually large enough to comfortable fit adults and not just small children. While the radio has been removed most everyone winds up looking to replace them with something more current and US compatible anyways.

What better combination could there be than a 5-speed Toyota diesel and 4WD? With a quick twist of the key, the all familiar diesel clatters to life. The 1KZ-TE 4 cylinder turbo diesel is one of the most robust options of the Toyota lineup, especially with only 132K verified miles. While all of that sounds great if you can't actually put the power down to the ground when the going gets tough then what's the point? With a simple turn of the dial, triple locking mechanically differentials can be engaged. Normally we see these equipped with the electronic LSD front and rear so this a rare upgrade for a truck with a 3rd pedal. While most of us will never do any serious wheeling, this thing is built to tackle whatever you can throw at it; even if it is just a trip to the market in the season's first snowstorm. For being a nearly 5K lb behemoth the Prado gets up to speed with surprising ease. The 5 speed is easy to run through and the diesel has more than its fair share of grunt to get you up to highway speeds. While Japanese speed limits aren't near what they are stateside the gearing is plenty well suited for interstates stateside. While the steering isn't Miata tight or light its plenty easy to whip around parking lots at low speeds and the brakes do a fine job of reeling you in. While we never saw anything quite like this stateside now is your chance to jump on one of the most capable rigs ever built. With all the right options boxes checked there's really not much more you could ask for out of proper SUV.

*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.

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