The new Toyota Prado comes to South Africa just weeks after its international debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Essentially a clean sheet design, this latest mid-sized Land Cruiser SUV follows the tried and tested formula of a strong, all steel body mounted on a ladder type frame for the highest level of durability in tough operating conditions – the type of conditions that have led to the Land Cruiser brand laying claim to the title “Master of Africa”.
New Toyota Prado gets new lookThe design brief for the new Toyota Prado required that any increase in overall size be kept to a minimum to preserve the excellent agility and maneuverability of the current model and retain its true mid-size SUV character. In keeping with this brief overall length increases by 45mm and overall width by 10mm. The height of the new Toyota Prado is reduced by 20mm compared to the model it replaces and this provides for enhanced aerodynamics and thus improved fuel economy.
Styling features that create a powerful image for the new Toyota Prado include the belt line positioned 20mm higher, the extension of the engine cowl 45mm further forward, and a raised bonnet line. These features also provide for improved visibility and situational awareness for the driver.
Within the new external envelope the Prado design team has improved interior space and utility. The length of the cabin is increased by 35mm, it is 5mm wider, and the space between the driver and the front passenger is increased by 30mm.
Sliding second row seats provide for “walk-in” entry to the third row of seats and for increased leg room for passengers in the second row of seats. The floor level is lowered around the third row of seats to improve foot space and seating posture. The third row seats can be stored under the floor when not in use for improved luggage area utility.
With its full complement of electronic driver and safety aids the new Toyota Prado sets new standards for vehicle control in its class.