The updated Prado, which was glimpsed at the recent Johannesburg International Motor Show, has officially been launched in South Africa.
The most obvious change to the vehicle is a large new grille that gives the Prado a very dramatic presence. Apart from the new grille, the interior has also been upgraded, the suspension setup has been refined, and extra safety kit has been added.
On the outside, the Prado has undergone an extensive redesign with a deeper front bumper, heritage-inspired grille and newly styled alloy wheels that reinforce the Prado’s toughness, reliability and legendary off-road prowess. The new grille and restyled headlamp clusters form a single, powerful-looking unit, which has been positioned higher to make it less vulnerable to damage when driving off-road. A neat touch is the inclusion of discreet Land Cruiser branding above the turn signal lamp within the headlamp casing. Headlights and daylight running lamps are LED on the VX. The oversize bumper’s two-step design protects the headlights while its sharply trimmed lower section minimises the effect of the front overhang on the vehicle’s off-road abilities.
Interiors too have benefited from comprehensive upgrades that raise quality, convenience and ease of use with new multi-media audio systems as well as a redesigned dashboard featuring improved materials, detailing and features. Leather seat upholstery is standard on both TX and VX models but in the case of the latter, the side door panels are also swathed in leather, plus you get the option of an ivory colour palette in addition to the standard black treatment. The front arm rests on both models now come with slide functionality. A welcome new feature on both trim levels is the adoption of power-adjustable front seats with memory (eight-way adjustment for the driver and four-way for the passenger seat).
A new audio control panel has been located above the seven-inch full colour screen (new for TX), which shows reverse camera images on all grades and satellite navigation VX models as well as displaying multimedia and audio content. The revised driver’s instrument binnacle incorporates new tachometer and speedometer dials – Optitron for VX. (Optitron is a bluish-white light that illuminates that gauges in such a way that they seem to “float” in the middle of a dark background at night. It also is easier to see them in daylight.) The VX model also features a new 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information display (MID) located between the Optitron dials. Operating in conjunction with a switch on the steering wheel, it provides significantly enhanced off-road driving assistance. Information regarding individual wheel traction control, steering angle and differential lock operation can be displayed simultaneously for maximum driver assistance in challenging terrain.
Top-level VX models get a Multi-Terrain Monitor which gives drivers additional guidance when negotiating off-road obstacles by relaying video imagery via four cameras located at the front, rear and sides of the vehicle. Multi-Terrain Select is another VX standard. This feature automatically controls power outputs and braking inputs to provide the swiftest progress over a variety of surfaces. The main change is that this feature is now operated by a dial. The driver can select the appropriate mode according to terrain. Multi-Terrain Select regulates wheel-spin, while Multi-Terrain ABS regulates lock-up to maximise traction in any off-road scenario. Multi-Terrain Select is an evolution of Toyota’s A-TRAC (active traction control system) and incorporates All-Terrain ABS, thereby offering a wider range of slip control.
The new Land Cruiser also comes with an improved version of Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) technology originally developed in Australia. The refined KDSS optimises handling stability and ride comfort, including smoother front-rear weight transfer during cornering. KDSS controls Prado’s front and rear stabiliser bars, providing optimum stability and ride comfort on road, and longer wheel stroke for optimum traction off road. KDSS debuted on Land Cruiser 200 Series in 2007 and was upgraded with electronic control when the current-generation Land Cruiser Prado was launched in 2009. Prado VX versions have the added features of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) front and rear, and height-adjustable rear air suspension.
KDSS gives Prado two previously contradictory benefits: long wheel articulation for challenging off-road driving and greater on-road roll-control and handling. The system improves active safety, off-road capability and on-road driving comfort and confidence.
Finally, Toyota has amplified functionality by providing additional driver guidance aids such as Blind Spot Monitoring and a Tyre Inflation Warning system on the VX and Trailer Sway Control (standard across the range) that assists when towing by negating the possible unpleasant consequences of crosswinds or bumpy roads.
Engine options remain the same. Buyers can choose between a four-litre V6 petrol engine with dual VVT-i and a three-litre turbo-diesel. The quad-cam V6 petrol delivers 202kW of power at 5600rpm and 381Nm of torque at 4400rpm. It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting. Prado’s 16-valve, DOHC 3.0-litre turbo-diesel pumping out 120kW at 3400rpm and 400Nm between 1,600 and 2,800rpm is likewise matched to a five-speed sequential automatic transmission offering a combined-cycle fuel economy of 8.5 litres/100km. CO2 readings are pegged at 224g/km.
Pricing, Warranty and Service Plan
Land Cruiser Prado TX 4.0 V6 Auto R632 200 (incl. VAT)
Land Cruiser Prado TX 3.0 DT Auto R642 000
Land Cruiser Prado VX 4.0 V6 Auto R728 200
Land Cruiser Prado VX 3.0 DT Auto R732 400
Land Cruiser Prado VX 4.0 V6 Auto Sunroof R738 200
Land Cruiser Prado VX 3.0 DT Auto Sunroof R742 400
The Prado benefits from a three-year/100,000km warranty and comes with a standard five-year/ 90 000 km service plan. The new models are also supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme which entitles customers to 24-hour roadside assistance, ensuring ultimate peace-of-mind motoring.