Toyota LandCruiser Prado upgraded for 2014
FROM the brand's spiritual birthplace in the Snowy Mountains, Toyota has launched its updated LandCruiser Prado four-wheel drive.
Fittingly, the conditions were cold wet and challenging - exactly the reason why Toyota and the LandCruiser has thrived in Australia.
Toyota has refined its range to 11 variants, with the slow-selling three-door model deleted.
Tweaks have been made to the exterior and interior styling.
The entry-level GX remains $55,990, but all other models have increased retail prices. Range-topping Kakadu models have risen the most, $1455, which lifts the bottom line to $91,590 for the petrol and $92,590 for the oil-burner.
There are no changes to the drivetrains, with Toyota sticking with the 4.0-litre V6 and most popular 3.0-litre turbo diesel.
Trim levels include base mode GX (manual or automatic with an option of $2500 for the installation of the third row of seats), GXL (manual or auto), VX and Kakadu (both auto only).
Most notable among the changes are up front where you find a deeper front bumper, new light clusters that are positioned higher and a more prominent grille with five striking vertical bars. You have no doubt it's a Cruiser when you see the big SUV approach.
VX and Kakadu models also gain LED headlights and daytime running lamps. They also have some flash LandCruiser branding in the turn signal lamps.
Rear lights have also been redesigned with special small aerodynamic wings.
Size is identical to the outgoing model, with the same departure and approach angles front and back.
Two new external colours have been added to the eight-hue palette, including "Dynamic Blue" and "Liquid Bronze".
Inside, and getting into the third row is now easier courtesy of a wider seat fold angle (from 33.8 to 46 degrees).
For the driver there is a new-look speedometer and tachometer on GX and GXL. These grades have an LCD multi-information display.
Up-spec VX and Kakadu variants have a groovier three-dimensional design with thinner white needles and blue illumination around the edges.
Toyota has also upgraded the dash finishes. GX and GXL models have silver-painted highlights and piano black while VX and Kakadu also feature woodgrain-look touches and chrome-plated knobs.
Base model GX now has audio and phone controls on the steering wheel.
The kids will love an upgrade to the Kakadu's rear entertainment system, the 22.8cm roof-mounted screen now has a Blu-ray player with inputs for gaming consoles and other devices.
Another vital safety change is the addition of trailer sway control which is now standard across the range.
The changes further strength Prado's appeal as the best seven-seat off-roader on the market.
With the combination of off-road prowess and comfort it's easy to see why it's at the forefront for families who want to step off the black stuff.
LandCruiser chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari was on hand for this week's launch, and said Australia was pivotal to the nameplates advancement.
"Australia's rugged environment is also appreciated by Toyota - a harsh and diverse landscape that is particularly important when assessing durability, dust sealing, off-road capability and operation in high temperatures," he said.
"This country has every conceivable off-road condition. Our motto in Japan is: 'If it can survive in Australia, it can survive anywhere'."
Model: Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
Details: Five-door seven-seat large four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle.
Engines: 4.0-litre V6 petrol generating maximum power of 202kW @ 5600rpm and peak torque of 381Nm @ 4400rpm; 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel 127kW @ 3400rpm and 410Nm @ 1600-2800rpm.
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic or five-speed automatic.
Consumption: Petrol - 11.5 litres/100km; Diesel - 8.5L/100km (a), 8.8L/100km (m).
CO2: Petrol - 271g/km; Diesel - 225g/km (a), 232g/km (m).
GX 5 (m) $55,990
GX 5 (a) $58,690
GX 7 (m) $58,490
GX 7 (a) $61,190
GXL (m) $61,490
GXL (a) $64,190
VX (a) $78,990
GXL (a) $63,190
VX (a) $77,990
Kakadu (a) $91,590