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First look: Toyota reveals Prado three-door

Tow truck: Three-door Prado to offer 3000kg braked towing capacity - more than the all-new five-door.

Australia's first-ever three-door Prado emerges ahead of its November local launch

Toyota logo6 Oct 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

TOYOTA Australia has released images and details of its first-ever three-door LandCruiser Prado 4WD ahead of its Australian launch alongside the new-generation five-door wagon in November.

Part of the new 150 Series Prado range presented in five-door form ahead of the Frankfurt motor show last month, the three-door model – which broke cover for the first time this morning in an Australian world-first – will be offered only with diesel power.

It will also come with a comparably high level of standard equipment including seven airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control and ABS brakes.

Toyota Australia has also confirmed that alloy wheels and keyless entry/start will be standard on the three-door Prado, which has the same front-end as the five-door but unique sheetmetal for the roof and rear three-quarter panels.

8 center imagePricing and final specifications are still to be announced, but the 150 Series three-door should be priced below the current 120 Series five-door, which starts at $48,600 for the stripped-out Standard model variant.

Although a Toyota Australia spokesman had advised that both diesel and petrol engines would be offered on the three-door, the company now says only the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine will be offered.

Built from same basic underpinnings as the larger model, the smaller, lighter and shorter-wheelbase three-door Prado will offer a braked towing capacity of three tonnes – 500kg more than the five-door – while the SWB model will also offer a higher break-over angle, handing it an advantage over the longer-wheelbase five-door in off-road situations.

The lower weight is also expected to translate into small improvements in official fuel consumption and emissions figures, although these are still to be divulged.

Toyota Australia’s senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner told GoAuto at the recent Prius III hybrid launch in July that the discontinuation of Mitsubishi’s three-door Pajero – currently Australia’s only mainstream mid-sized three-door 4WD – played a part in Toyota Australia’s decision to import the three-door Prado for the first time.

However, Mitsubishi Australia is still to confirm whether the three-door will in fact be removed from sale here.

Toyota has offered a three-door Prado in overseas markets in previous generations, but this will be the first time it has made it to Australia.

In a statement released today, Mr Buttner said the three-door would be aimed at a younger buyer seeking “recreational off-road fun”.

“Prado three-door will be the ideal vehicle for couples who want a vehicle for its sporty styling, as well as Prado’s legendary towing and off-road abilities,” said Mr Buttner. “Even more than new five-door Prado, the three-door will definitely attract buyers who previously have not considered a sports utility vehicle.

“Specification levels will be high across three- and five-door ranges, with several flow-down technologies from Lexus and from LandCruiser 200 Series.

“New electronic features will take Prado’s off-road ability to new levels for Toyota, catering even for those new to off-road motoring. Handling, stability and ride comfort have been raised to new heights.” Prado remains the biggest-selling medium-sized SUV in Australia, holding on to its 2008 crown this year with 9422 sales YTD, with its nearest competitor Toyota’s own Kluger crossover (9162 YTD).

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