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The new 2014 edition Toyota Land Cruiser Prado has arrived, and the combination of practicality and prestige won't disappoint.
The rejuvenated new Prado line-up features a new exterior design, significant spec upgrades and an entirely new model - the Prado VX 4.0-litre V6 petrol. Prado hallmarks that have ensured it a loyal following from families, adventurers and business owners through four generations are retained: a luxurious seven-seat interior, ample power and the reassurance of proven off-road performance.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Product Planning, Neeraj Lala says, "Prado enjoys a proven heritage within the SUV segment that we're immensely proud of. It's a nameplate supported by a loyal audience, because it enjoys such broad appeal.
"With features like seven seats, a highly effective four-wheel drive system and technology such as Trailer Sway Control software added to all models, as well as a fantastic JBL Premium Audio and Navigation package as standard in the range-topping VX Limited, the new Prado offers a rock-solid blend of practicality and prestige."
Up front, Prado's newly refreshed nose draws on several structural elements from its unique design heritage. A further evolution of the classic Prado grille that accentuates the SUV's rugged appearance is framed by new, modern headlight clusters featuring Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) on all models.
Similarly at the rear, new tail light clusters debut on the 2014 model. And for the entry-level Prado GX, the spare wheel has been moved from the rear door to under the boot floor, in line with other iterations in the range.
Active family and business users who have long enjoyed the lifestyle solution Prado offers will find a comprehensive model range available for 2014, powered by both 3.0-litre turbo diesel and 4.0-litre petrol V6 engines.
Enhancements to the new Prado begin with entry-level GX, which boasts privacy glass and roof rails as standard for the first time, taking it far beyond expectations of an entry-level model. All models receive new alloy wheel designs and four new exterior colours are available to choose from.
Adding to Prado's standard safety features, the 2014 model introduces Trailer Sway Control software which assists the driver in retaining control if the system senses a dangerous situation is occurring when towing. An Emergency Stop Signal system, also included as standard, flashes the brake lights under hard braking to alert following traffic of a potential incident.
All models feature a reversing camera, while VX and VX Limited arrive with a four-camera Multi-terrain Monitor system. VX Limited also receives a Blind Spot Monitor system as standard.
Inside, Prado retains a premium feel, with superior levels of comfort, space and technology present throughout the four model range. Interior specification has been enhanced in all grades, with new switchgear and instrumentation, along with new fabrics and interior colour schemes that add luxury to this spacious, rugged SUV.
Rear seat passengers in Prado VX and VX Limited will find touches of luxury in the form of heated seats, separate air conditioning controls and - for VX Limited passengers - a rear seat entertainment system to make the miles melt away on any long trip.
Across the entire range access to third row seats has also improved, with a walk-in mechanism allowing access without tumbling the second row. A slide mechanism also enables the second row to move back for more legroom when the third row isn't in use, and the third row can be stowed both from inside the vehicle and from the back door - convenient when stowing luggage.
VX 4WD 3.0-litre turbo diesel and VX 4WD 4.0-litre petrol V6 owners will have the option of upgrading to a JBL Premium Audio and Navigation package. This high-end system is also capable of receiving SUNA Live Traffic Management GPS updates, meaning the driver has the potential to receive live updates on traffic congestion and, thanks to SUNA data, time-saving alternative route information. The JBL Premium Audio and Navigation package is standard on the top grade Prado VX Limited.
As always, the Land Cruiser Prado's four-wheel drive capabilities are second to none with a TORSEN® type LSD centre differential with centre differential lock, Hill-start Assist Control, Downhill Assist Control and Active Traction Control as standard.
Prado VX adds the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which aids performance both on and off road, while VX Limited adds further four wheel drive technology, including rear air suspension, Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and Multi-Terrain ABS.
VX Limited also now boasts an electric rear differential lock, Multi-terrain Select and CRAWL Control: standard features previously only available as options that underline Prado's comprehensive ability to get off the beaten track when required.
Offering the best of on- and off-road ability, the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado range is in showrooms now, with recommended selling prices starting at $84,195.