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New Prado Conquers On and Off Road Terrain

State of the art driver assist technologies in the 4th generation Toyota Land Cruiser Prado extend it's off road usability and make it the smart choice for utility and comfort on road.

Tougher, yet more refined - that's the apparent contradiction embraced by Toyota's next generation Land Cruiser Prado.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, "We're increasingly bridging the gap between a hardcore off roader and a passenger car".

"The combination of performance, specification and technology makes Prado a vehicle perfectly suited to both on road driving and off roading to enjoy the best that New Zealand has to offer."


The full time 4WD Land Cruiser Prado is powered exclusively by a 3.0L 127kW, 410Nm turbo diesel with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

It has an extremely flat torque curve, holding the maximum of more than 400Nm over a 1200rpm range.

The highly durable 3.0 litre D-4D engine is compliant with Euro IV emission standards. CO2 emissions have been reduced from 245 grams per kilometre in the outgoing model to 225 grams per kilometre in the new automatic model. Fuel consumption is only 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres for the automatic model and 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres for the manual.

Available exclusively on the GX model, the six speed manual transmission has a broad range of gear ratios for optimal performance and fuel consumption.

Available for all grades, the five speed automatic transmission features artificial intelligence shift control logic and sequential shift that allows the driver to select gears manually.

The Toyota Artificial Intelligence (AI) shift control algorithm adjusts the gear shift pattern to suit different drivers while taking into account road conditions.

The AI shift system has a downshift and hold function to provide improved drivability on hill descents.

At the heart of Prado's full time 4WD system is a Torsen mechanical limited-slip centre differential.

The Torsen LSD system helps optimise traction.

The torque sensing system can automatically and instantly change the torque split ratio front and rear depending on driving conditions.

Under normal conditions the drive torque is split 40% front, 60% rear and is variable up to 30% front, 70% rear dependant on driving conditions.

For example, the system provides a 30:70 torque split when the vehicle is accelerating around a curve to suppress the chance of under steer and enhance cornering performance.

In more aggressive off road situations, the centre differential can be locked using an electronic system. Locking the centre differential splits drive torque 50:50 between the front and rear axles, making it easier to navigate rough terrain.

Prado has an electric motor activated transfer mechanism.

Activated via a rotary switch, it is easy to change from High range for faster speeds and normal driving, and Low range which is best suited for slower and heavy off road driving.


For VX and VX Limited models, a new electronically modulated Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) adjusts the front and rear anti-roll bars for optimised roll rigidity.

KDSS provides excellent vehicle stability during on-road driving and allows a large suspension stroke for outstanding off road performance on rough surfaces.

The front independent double wishbones and five-link lateral rear suspension gives extra comfort and steering feel.

VX Limited's Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system with Roll Posture Control lets the driver tune the ride characteristics with a choice of three damper settings: comfort, normal or sport.

An electronically controlled rear air suspension system provides an auto-leveling function and switchable height control.


All new Prado models have an ABS system with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) function to optimise brake-force distribution regardless of vehicle load condition.

Standard in all automatic transmission models, Downhill Assist Control (DAC) maintains vehicle speed to ensure vehicle stability when descending slopes, while Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) minimises vehicle roll-back when the vehicle starts to ascent a steep incline or slippery surface.


Designed to maximise Prado's off road potential, an 'Off Road Package' is optionally available for VX and VX Limited models. This package includes multi-terrain ABS, CRAWL control, multi-terrain select, multi-terrain monitor and an electrically controlled rear differential lock.

These Prado models have a new ABS system that 'reads' the road to determine the best slip ratio for optimum deceleration both on and off the road.

It is designed to improve braking feel and optimise control and stopping distances during off road driving and works only when L4 range is selected.

The new multi-terrain ABS can detect the type of road conditions based on the grip level - including sandy, muddy, gravel and dirt roads.

Multi-terrain ABS uses information from engine computer, wheel speed sensors and the VSC system's G-sensor to differentiate road surfaces.

It then selects the appropriate slip ratio control logic, according to the road surface.

CRAWL control acts as an 'off road cruise control' and allows Prado to automatically apply braking to maintain a very low speed (five driver selectable speeds are available), allowing the driver to concentrate fully on steering through tricky terrain.

The system minimises wheel spin and wheel lock when traversing rocks and sand, and when ascending or descending steep inclines, providing outstanding drivability and vehicle stability.

It is also effective at extricating the vehicle from mud and sand.

Multi-terrain select is a new feature launched by Toyota in the new generation Prado, which can be set when approaching various types of terrain.

Incorporating multi-terrain ABS, the system offer a wide range of slip control, providing maximum traction for situations involving mud and sand, loose rocks, moguls and rocks.

While using multi-terrain select, drivers can also gain a firm idea of the terrain surrounding the vehicle via the multi-terrain monitor.

The multi-terrain monitor displays images from onboard cameras located on four sides of the vehicle, so the driver can see ground conditions in six areas around the vehicle: to the front, rear, and the front and rear left and right sides.

This is crucial for checking blind spots and for revealing terrain hazards and apexes normally hidden from the driver's view.

In addition, the monitoring of the area in front is linked to the steering operation to display the projected tyre path, providing additional support to the driver.


For VX and VX Limited Prado models, a Steering Angle Display in the instrument panel indicates the angle of the front wheels and their predicted path, further helping the driver plot a safe route.

New Prado benefits from its predecessor's highly durable hydraulic power steering system, but incorporates various revisions and the addition of Variable Flow Control (VFC). This combines direct response and feel when cruising with effortless operation when parking, and a unique, dedicated off road setting.

VFC is an evolution of traditional speed-sensitive power steering that takes into account factors including vehicle speed, steering angle and steering rate to offer an ideal power steering fluid rate under all driving conditions. Controlling the fluid flow in this manner automatically adjusts how heavy or light the steering feels.

VFC incorporates a dedicated off road setting that is automatically activated when the transfer case is shifted into L4 mode. This gives a constant fluid flow rate regardless of vehicle speed, steering angle and steering rate to give the driver a better understanding of how much grip the tyres have through the steering wheel.


True to its Land Cruiser roots, the new Prado has a generous 220mm ground clearance and clearance angles.

The key ground clearance angles are:

  • approach angle: 32 degrees;
  • ramp-over angle: 22 degrees;
  • departure angle: 25 degrees (24 degrees for VX and VX Limited).

Unlike monocoque SUV's, Prado's off road toughness may be attributed to its robust, highly durable, body-on-frame construction. Another significant advantage of the ladder frame construction applies to on road conditions, as it allows vibrations and noise from the engine, drive-train and road to be absorbed directly by the frame.

This significantly limits the amount of Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) entering the cabin.

New Prado will tow up to 2,500 kilograms with a braked trailer, and 750 kilograms with an unbraked unit.