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Frankfurt show: Toyota updates LandCruiser Prado

Sibling rivalry: The Toyota LandCruiser Prado update has resulted in revised styling that brings it more in line with its LandCruiser 200 Series big brother.

New styling, increased safety and no petrol V6 for updated Toyota LC Prado range


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13 Sep 2017

TOYOTA has revealed its updated LandCruiser Prado large SUV at the Frankfurt motor show this week, with refreshed styling, higher levels of safety features and the removal of the slow-selling 4.0-litre petrol V6 from the range.

Due in Australia by November, the new Prado’s front fascia has undergone the most significant change with a styling update that brings it more in line with its LandCruiser 200 Series big brother.

Speaking to GoAuto in Frankfurt, Toyota Motor Corporation chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari – who is responsible for the LandCruiser 70 Series, 200 Series and 150 Series Prado range including the 200-based Lexus LX and Prado-based Lexus GX that is not sold in Australia – said the new Prado finally lives up to his ambition of creating a family resemblance between it and the larger 200 Series.

Describing the new visual effect as “parent and child”, Koyari-san said he was also pleased with the level of functionality achieved by the Prado – easily the biggest-selling large SUV in Australia – after eight years on the market.

“I think we came to the point now after eight years that we succeeded function-wise and the way the exterior is now you can see it is a family,” he said.

Mr Koyari said it was “difficult to answer” how much longer the current 150 Series had left before entering a new generation, but reaffirmed that Australia remained a significant market and a crucial development base for the vehicle.

“Australia is, honestly speaking, the most important test ground for us when it comes to durability for the LandCruiser,” he said.

The Prado’s headlight design has been completely revised with a squarer, horizontally oriented look, while the LED daytime running lights have moved to a strip underneath the main headlight cluster.

The grille has been changed to broad vertical bars with chrome-finished cooling slits, while the front grille has been taken up at the corners for better off-road manoeuvrability.

Another design element borrowed from the 200 Series is the restyled bonnet, which now features a sculpted centre groove, while the fenders have been reprofiled to help judge the extremities of the vehicle.

Rear changes are less extensive, with a revised tail-light cluster and smaller rear garnish plate incorporated with the numberplate surround.

Inside, Toyota has updated the Prado’s dashboard, instrument cluster bezel and switchgear, while the centre console’s air-conditioning panel has been restyled for a sleeker appearance and improved visibility.

All Prado variants are now equipped with lane-departure warning and automatic high beam, while GX and GXL variants with an automatic transmission pick up the pre-collision safety system and active cruise control previously reserved for the VX and Kakadu variants.

VX models now also gain blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert from the range-topping Kakadu.

Gone from the range is the 4.0-litre petrol V6 engine, which only made up 1.2 per cent of Australian sales. The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine is left to power the entire range, which is now capable of enhanced towing capacity on automatic variants.

Mr Koyari explained that the Prado’s restyled front end required adaptations to the combined engine and automatic transmission cooling system, enabling Australian-delivered automatic Prados to match the 3000kg towing capacity of European market models.

Manual variants are still limited to 2500kg braked towing capacity.

Output remains at 130kW at 3400rpm and 450Nm from 1600-2400rpm for automatic variants, with torque dropping to 420Nm between 1400 and 2600rpm for the six-speed manual.

Toyota has sold 11,000 examples of the Prado to the end of August this year, which represents an 8.3 per cent increase on the same period in 2016 and hands it a significant 13.9 per cent share of the large SUV segment.

It leads its Toyota Kluger stablemate (8023), the Subaru Outback (7964), Holden Captiva (6697) and Mazda CX-9 (6222).

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