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Land Cruiser Prado has been given new exterior and interior styling, a safety equipment boost and a higher tow rating for 2018.
Serious off-road capability in a large SUV, while its occupants can travel in comfort with plenty of interior space, is a hallmark of the seven-seater Prado.
As it's now rated to tow a maximum braked capacity of 3,000kg, an increase of 500kg over the previous model, you can expect to see the new Prado making light work of getting boats and caravans to popular holiday destinations over summer.
Neeraj Lala, General Manager New Vehicles and Product for Toyota New Zealand, says “It's hard to beat Prado’s usability for those with an outdoor lifestyle.
“With its ability to tow heavier loads Prado will now make more people’s shopping lists.”
Another significant change is the introduction of a suite of safety technology bundled within Toyota Safety Sense, which includes: the Pre-Crash Safety System with Autonomous Emergency Braking for vehicles and pedestrians; Lane Departure Alert with Vehicle Sway Warning; Automatic High Beam; and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The front of Prado has had a complete makeover to create a more consistent look between Prado and Land Cruiser 200. The bonnet takes on a more chiselled look with a refreshed bumper and front guards, while the grille, headlights and fog lights have an integrated feel.
At the rear the door garnish is new, as are the tail light clusters and bumper.
The daytime running lights on Prado GX now have LED operation like the other variants, while on the VX and VX Limited the front fog lights and high beam now feature LEDs.
For 2018, the GX has newly designed, 17-inch alloy wheels with angular cut-out spokes, while the paint finish on the 18 inch alloy wheels fitted to the VX and VX Limited has been revised with a brighter finish.
There are two new exterior colours – Peacock Black and Avant Garde Bronze - in the eight-colour range.
Inside the more upscale interior, the dashboard, instrument binnacle and switchgear are newly designed. The revised centre console, which incorporates a flush surface air conditioning control panel, has a lower profile at the top for a sleeker appearance and improved forward visibility.
The audio display screen for all models increases from seven to eight inches and the GX gains a 4.2-inch colour multi-information display (MID).
Four new viewing modes; underfloor, wide rear display, front rotating display and panoramic view – have been added to the multi terrain monitor fitted to the VX and VX Limited models.
A Torsen® limited-slip rear differential is now fitted to the top of the range VX Limited, replacing the electronically lockable rear differential.
All three Prado models come with the same 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine with 450Nm of torque. The V6 petrol engine has been discontinued. “Demand for Prado V6 has tailed off,” says Neeraj.
“The diesel engine option is the main choice of customers in this segment, so much so that petrol Prado sales have reduced to a level that is no longer viable, plus at Toyota we are realigning our petrol models to lower our overall carbon footprint.
“Prado is the biggest-selling large SUV in our range, so we don’t think the lack of the petrol model is going to affect sale numbers.”
The engine is mated to a selectable high and low ratio four wheel drive transmission, giving Prado a combined fuel consumption of 8L/100km. The drive mode selector for the VX Limited now has five settings: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.
Prado GX comes with a host of standard features: trailer sway control; audio, hands-free phone and MID steering wheel controls; three zone climate control air conditioning; rear parking sensors; seven airbags; reversing camera; satellite navigation; and smart key entry and start.
The mid-range VX adds leather accented seat upholstery, power adjustable front seats, front and outer second row seat heaters, rain-sensing wipers, 14 speaker JBL premium audio system, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, front parking sensors and multi-terrain monitor.
Adaptive variable suspension and kinetic dynamic suspension systems are added to Prado VX Limited. It also gets a driver’s seat and steering column memory function, a power sunroof, CRAWL control and a rear-seat entertainment system.