Anyone know what improvements were made to the 98 LC in 99,00,01,02,03? Just wondering if they did anything that would make one year standout over another? Any place you can find this type of information?
One of the dealership employees can probably get a lot more technical, but here's the year-to-year updates reported by ConsumerGuide, starting with the 1998 intro of the100 series:
""Toyota's full-size sport-utility vehicle earned new styling for 1998, as did its Lexus cousin. That upscale Lexus wagon got a name change from LX 450 to LX 470, to mark the switch from V6 power to the SUV's first-ever V8 engine (with 4.7-liter displacement). Toyota stuck with the Land Cruiser designation for its new V8 sport utility. The V8 evolved from the engine installed in Toyota's Lexus-division luxury cars. The 4-door wagon came with permanent 4-wheel drive and a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 2-speed transfer case provided low-range gearing for off-road use, and a locking rear differential was optional. A Land Cruiser could tow up to 6500 pounds. Antilock brakes were standard. Land Cruisers were fitted for 5-passenger seating as standard, but a 3-place third-row bench seat was optional, boosting capacity to eight occupants. Rivals included the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon/Denali.
1999 Toyota Land Cruiser: Rear air conditioning became optional this year, as the only notable change. Featuring automatic temperature control, that system was independent of the front-seat air conditioner. Rear air was available only when ordering the third-seat option.
2000 Toyota Land Cruiser: Land Cruisers gained standard equipment, including a new Active TRAC traction control system with integrated vehicle skid control. Using data from the 4-wheel antilock brake sensors and other sources, this system directed power to the wheels with best traction. Formerly optional, a power moonroof and leather upholstery became standard. Automatic rear air conditioning, independent of the regular system, now came with the optional third-row bench seat.
2001 Toyota Land Cruiser: An optional navigation system featuring an in-dash screen with map display via DVD was new for 2001.
2002 Toyota Land Cruiser: Toyota's luxury SUV got standard instead of optional 3rd-row seating, plus rear-seat automatic climate control for 2002.
[quote author=Pitbull link=board=2;threadid=7269;start=msg60663#msg60663 date=1068322126]
Thanks ELLTEE, looks like 2000 on is the way to go.
I would not discourage anybody from buying any year Land Cruiser they wanted, but I wouldn't necessarily agree with your premise.
The Vehicle Skid Control (Active-Trac System, whatever the call it) is a mixed blessing. There are lots of discussion threads on the Audi bulletin boards if you want to review them. My experience has been that the eletronic traction control software programs CAN get you out of trouble, but can also get you into worse trouble. The programs eat brake pads. And the Audi cars have an "off" switch for the program, which Toyota does not.
I would not turn down a 2000 or newer Cruiser, but I wouldn't pass up a 1999 or 1998 100 series, especially with the locked rear axle option.
Oh, and there also are some minor changes from year to year not covered in that writeup, minor tweaks to the wiring harness, steering wheel adjustments, changes in standard and upgraded stereos, etc etc -- only the FSM knows for sure!
2000 and later models also come w/ a 4-pinion front diff vs. the 2-pinion. This reduces carrier flex that would blow the front R&P when reversing going uphill. The only remedy for this weakness in the '98-99 models is to get a ARB air locker up front. Or you can get a 2000+ model and add a rear e-locker (they are made, as Japan market 100's still have the rear locker option over the LSD for 150,000 yen). 2004 model reportely comes w/ a rear camera connected to the DVD unit, so when you put it in reverse, the rear view is displayed on the DVD (of course, this assumes you pay the extra $3K for the DVD option).