Toyota unveils all new Prado

Retro styled Toyota Prado on its way to SA

Reuben Van Niekerk
New model
Toyota Prado
Land Cruiser
Land Cruiser Prado

The all-new Toyota Prado has made its global premiere and promises significant mechanical upgrades, enhanced performance and rugged styling updates ahead of its South African arrival next year.

Since the 1990s, the Toyota Prado has been one of South Africa’s most popular large SUVs. This is due to its combination of capability, amenities and passenger-oriented comfort. The new model continues that brief along with go anywhere capability and a design that encompasses the essence of the Land Cruiser marque.

The next generation Toyota Prado adopts a new design direction that fuses traditional and contemporary styling cues and employs horizontal lines inspired by Land Cruisers of yesteryear to deliver on the theme of functional beauty.

Upfront is a rectangular grille and tri-beam headlights along with a low-set front cowl to improve forward visibility. Muscular wheel arches and strong horizontal lines add a sense of strength, while a low beltline further improves visibility for occupants.

At the rear, the Prado is fitted with a vertically oriented tailgate and simple taillight signature. Silver lower bumpers are fitted to both the front and rear of the vehicle.

The chunky tough look expresses a back to its origins quality but is also highly practical with a form-follows-function approach. Off-road performance is aided by shorter overhangs, sculpted corners and a narrowed lower body.

The Prado has grown too, it is now 95mm longer and wider and 10mm taller than before while the wheelbase has been lengthened by 60mm and now matches that of the Land Cruiser 300.

The Prado shares its underpinnings with the Land Cruiser 300 as it is based on the same TNGA-F ladder-frame chassis which is said to be 50% more rigid than that of the current Prado.

This modern and stiff platform allows for improved suspension performance, greater wheel articulation for off-road riding as well as improved handling and comfort on the road.

Wheel articulation has been further improved by way of a new stabiliser bar control system that allows for the front stabiliser bar to be disconnected. Improved functionality for the multi-terrain select and multi-terrain monitor endows the Prado with even better off-road ability.

The fitment of electric power steering ensures enhanced low speed maneuverability on road and better control off-road while also facilitating compatibility with the latest active safety systems, such as lane trace assist.

The interior features a clean, stylish and functional design with dual digital screens for the instrument cluster and multimedia system. Switches have been intuitively laid out and basic functions grouped together. The interior offers a choice between five or seven-seat configurations.

The new Land Cruiser Prado will benefit from the latest Toyota Safety Sense systems within a comprehensive Toyota T-Mate package of advanced safety features and technologies that the reduce the burden on the driver.

Local engine options are yet to be confirmed but the new Prado will employ a variety of turbocharged petrol and diesel powertrains in order to cater for the needs of global markets and their operating conditions.