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IM­PROVE­MENTS: BOTH COS­METIC AND ME­CHAN­I­CAL UP­GRADES

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE -

The sig­nif­i­cant changes are both cos­metic and mechancial.

Toy­ota has given its Land Cruiser model a num­ber of up­grades and in­cluded a new pre­mium grade to the large SUV. The Prado range has tra­di­tion­ally con­sisted of two grades, the TX and higher-grade VX. For the first time, a new third grade, called VX-L has been added to top the model line-up.

The VX-L model com­bines all the fea­tures of the VX whilst adding a power-op­er­ated tiltand-slide moon­roof and com­pre­hen­sive ac­tive safety as­sis­tance pack­age to the mix.

De­spite the over­all length be­ing in­creased by 60mm to 4 840mm, it boasts a turn­ing cir­cle of 5.8 me­tres.

The bon­net has been shaped to im­prove down­ward vis­i­bil­ity at the cen­tre and it is sand­wiched by the sides of the bumper to help pro­tect the en­gine bay. The cor­ners of the lower part of the bumper have in­te­gral fog lamps and kick up­wards, while the cen­tre sec­tion is shaped like a skid plate for eas­ier ma­noeu­vring of­froad. The top sec­tion of the wings has been raised so that it’s eas­ier for the driver to pin­point the ve­hi­cle’s ex­trem­i­ties.

The front grille’s aper­tures have been made as large as pos­si­ble for op­ti­mum en­gine cool­ing, while the head­lamp main beams are po­si­tioned in­board to avoid dam­age when driv­ing off-road.

TX mod­els utilise halo­gen bulbs, whilst VX and VX-L mod­els fea­ture high bright­ness LED units. All mod­els fea­ture LED Day­time Run­ning Lights (DRL) and foglamps, in ad­di­tion to an au­to­matic light con­trol sys­tem, as stan­dard.

The sharply trimmed lower sec­tion of the body re­in­forces the Prado’s broad stance and min­imises the im­pact of the front over­hang on the ve­hi­cle’s off-road ap­proach an­gle. Ground clear­ance is 215mm, with 31-de­gree ap­proach, 25-de­gree de­par­ture and 22-de­gree ramp break-over an­gles.

In pro­file, the peak of the front bumper has been raised and the bon­net, wing line as well as front and rear bumpers, have been aligned on the same hor­i­zon­tal axis, gen­er­at­ing a more ath­letic and dy­namic ve­hi­cle pos­ture.

The ve­hi­cle’s pro­file is fur­ther en­hanced by stylish new al­loy wheels; 17-inch al­loys on TX and high-gloss painted 18-inch rims on VX and VX-L de­riv­a­tives.

New el­e­ments at the rear in­clude a re­designed lamp clus­ter fea­tur­ing two stacked C-shapes with a LED stop light, a smaller rear gar­nish plate and a restyled bumper.

The top of the new cen­tre con­sole tower has been set lower by 25mm for a sleeker ap­pear­ance and bet­ter front-on vis­i­bil­ity when driv­ing off-road. It is fit­ted with a new eight-inch, full-colour mul­ti­me­dia screen, a flush-fit­ting air con­di­tion­ing con­trol panel and the driv­e­train-re­lated in­stru­ment clus­ter.

The re­designed in­stru­ment bin­na­cle has a four-gauge lay-out with pre­ci­sion Op­titron (high­def­i­ni­tion back-lit) me­ters with a metal­lic base panel and pol­ished dials with raised scale mark­ings.

The me­ters flank a 4.2-inch TFT colour multi-in­for­ma­tion dis­play (VX and VX-L) which presents com­pre­hen­sive ve­hi­cle and in­fo­tain­ment data, con­trolled us­ing switches on the steer­ing wheel. The com­bi­na­tion leather- and wood-trimmed steer­ing wheel it­self is new, shared with the larger Land Cruiser 200.

TX mod­els in­herit the highly ef­fec­tive “cool­box” lo­cated in the cen­tre con­sole bin­na­cle. All mod­els are now equipped with seat ven­ti­la­tion for driver and pas­sen­ger, in ad­di­tion to the seat-heat­ing func­tion for first and sec­ond row oc­cu­pants.

The top-tier VX and VX-L mod­els have satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and an en­hanced sur­round-view multi ter­rain mon­i­tor cam­era sys­tem which also in­cludes Panoramic and over­head view modes. The 14-speaker touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­cor­po­rates a tablet-like de­sign and easy to op­er­ate switchgear.

As stan­dard there is au­to­matic dual-zone climate con­trol, 6-speaker touch au­dio sys­tem, elec­tri­cally ad­justable driver’s seat, il­lu­mi­nated en­try, cruise con­trol, park dis­tance con­trol, key­less en­try, three power out­lets, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, USB, 3rd row seat­ing and re­verse cam­era.

High grade mod­els add mem­ory func­tion for the driver’s seat, a 14-speaker Pre­mium au­dio sys­tem with woofer, multi-in­for­ma­tion dis­play, power tilt-and-tele­scopic steer­ing ad­just­ment, rain-sens­ing wipers and power-fold-down 3rd row seats.

The Land Cruiser Prado re­tains the proven 3.0 D-4D en­gine, of­fer­ing 120 kW and 400 Nm. This is mated to a 5-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with gear ra­tios op­ti­mized for low-speed tractabil­ity and off-road use.

The 4.0-litre petrol en­gine uses a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Max­i­mum power is 202 kW and peak torque 381Nm.

All Prado mod­els fea­ture Toy­ota’s Ac­tive Trac­tion Con­trol sys­tem (A-TRAC), which ac­tively reg­u­lates wheel-slip, by di­rect­ing torque to the wheel with the most trac­tion. The sys­tem is ca­pa­ble of ap­ply­ing brak­ing pres­sure to wheels in­di­vid­u­ally to max­imise trac­tion. A low-range trans­mis­sion with user-se­lectable rear and cen­tre diff-locks and Hill As­sist Con­trol (HAC), nat­u­rally forms part of the stan­dard en­sem­ble.

The Multi-Ter­rain Se­lect (MTS) sys­tem (VX and VX-L only), op­er­ated by a ro­tary knob, al­lows the driver to se­lect the cor­rect mode de­pend­ing on the sur­face. The sys­tem has five pre-con­fig­ured modes (mud & sand, loose rock, mogul, rock & dirt and rock), to tai­lor the ve­hi­cle’s trac­tion con­trol, trans­mis­sion char­ac­ter­is­tics, power de­liv­ery and sus­pen­sion set­tings to the ter­rain. Down­hill As­sist Con­trol (DAC) is in­cluded on VX and VX-L mod­els.

The 4.0 V6 de­riv­a­tives ad­di­tion­ally fea­ture “Drive Mode Se­lect” which of­fers five modes – Com­fort, Sport, Sport +, Nor­mal and Eco – to adapt ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics ac­cord­ing to driver pref­er­ence.

VX-L grade ver­sions of the new Prado are equipped with Toy­ota Safety Sense ac­tive tech­nolo­gies to help pre­vent ac­ci­dents, or mit­i­gat­ing the con­se­quences if an im­pact does oc­cur.

The pack­age in­cludes a Pre-Col­li­sion Sys­tem (PCS) with pedes­trian de­tec­tion func­tion, Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol (ACC), Lane De­par­ture Alert (LDA) and Au­to­matic High Beam (AHB).

Fur­ther driver sup­port is pro­vided in the form of a Blind Spot Mon­i­tor with Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert (both VX and VX-L).

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