TOYOTA LAND CRUISER PRADO 3.0DT VX-L
THE POPULAR TOYOTA PRADO RECENTLY RECEIVED A BIT OF A NIP AND TUCK FOR ITS MID-LIFE REFRESH. BERNIE HELLBERG SPENT A COUPLE OF WEEKS LIVING WITH THE GOOD-AS-NEW MEGA SUV.
When Toyota introduced the ‘new’ Prado back in 2014, it reaffirmed the brand’s dominance in the big and capable SUV market. Leading the field is a position that Toyota is generally comfortable with, the Prado is special, even by the Japanese brand’s high standards.
Hence, the prospect of spending my summer break behind the wheel of the icon itself got me quite excited.
As large sport utility vehicles go, the Prado is one of the better-looking ones. Not that the words “better looking” do this beast justice, it is handsome, yes, rugged even, but in an urbane way that echoes the five generations of Prado that have gone before. It is big, bold, intimidating, and refined, all in equal measure.
The most notable changes to the cars exterior features are the vastly reworked grille, headlight set-up, and macho-fied bonnet lid with . If you thought that the Prado was imposing before, the significant changes to the nose have ratcheted that up by two notches, at least. The rear has also been enhanced with new taillights.
A new selection of wheels have also made their way onto the enhanced Prado range, with variations between the TX models 17” wheels, and the high-gloss painted 18-inchers of the VX and VX-L derivatives.
Inside there have been some enhancements too. The interior is still dominated by a massive central stack of air-conditioning vents, a huge touch screen, off-road buttons, and the climate control system. Leather trimmings dominate the interior – even the doors are leather lined on the VX and VX-L, with prominent ambient lighting strips in the dash and doors that an elegant touch to the overall interior ambience, especially at night.
Electric seats, heated and cooled, electrically-adjusted steering wheel, satellite navigation, and a remarkable 14-speaker sound system are also on-board.
VERSATILITY IS KEY
Despite all of its fancy interior features, the Prado would be nothing if not practical. Toyota has built this success story on the back of Prado’s luxury and versatility, and with all seats folding completely flat in the new car as well, opening up its massive load space, this tradition is maintained.