One of the smaller variants in the Land Cruiser range, Prado is a mid sized four wheel drive SUV produced by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and Colombia. It is marketed simply as Toyota Land Cruiser LC3, LC4 or LC5 (as per the generation) in Europe. This car is no more a part of the Land Cruiser line-up in North America where Toyota 4Runner has replaced Prado’s low priced trim levels. And the expensive ones are now sold as Lexus GX 470 with somewhat similar body panels and a V8 engine.
Prado has been around since early 1990s and now is in its fourth generation. This 2010 model is based on J150 platform and was also launched in India in the same year. While the powertrain includes both petrol and diesel versions globally, we have only the diesel powered variant of this SUV in Indian market. So there is a 2982 cc 4 cylinder turbocharged engine that churns 173 PS @ 3400 rpm and has 410 Nm of peak torque @ 1600-2800 rpm. This is mated to 5 speed automatic transmission. A facelift version of Land Cruiser Prado was launched in December 2013. It came with some cosmetic upgrades and additional features but the mechanicals were a carry over from its 2010 predecessor.
Upfront, the chrome grille has only five chunky vertical struts instead of six that were seen on the pre facelift version. The backswept headlamps have LED daytime running lights at bottom, and give a more aggressive look to the SUV with their new design. Fog lamps get new, round housings on the neatly chiselled bumper. With a height of 1880 mm and ground clearance of 220 mm, the Prado stands tall and its heavy built does give it a tough appearance. Prominent bulges above the rear wheel arch also add to the muscular look. The dual coloured tails lamps have been redesigned for the facelifted SUV and are more stylish than before. Chrome garnish for the restyled license plate completes the look. Prado uses 265 / 60 R18 tubeless radials as standard.
The driver of this Toyota SUV sits high and the visibility of the road ahead is good. Seats feel comfortable and the cabin is roomy. After the facelift, the changes in the cabin are rather subtle. Land Cruiser Prado is equipped with crawl control – with this feature you do not need to use the accelerator and brake when the car is being driven over rough terrain or on slippery ground. It helps you to concentrate fully on steering the car.
Prado also gets multi-terrain select through which you choose between different road conditions such as rock, rock + dirt, mogul, loose rock and mud + sand. The multi terrain monitor presents a clear view of the surroundings. Apart from this there is a 7 inch display unit with audio menu functions and new optitron meter. Connectivity for Aux input, USB devices and Bluetooth is standard. Audio, MID and Bluetooth buttons mount the steering wheel. There is a three zone automatic climate control for the large cabin.
Other comfort features in LC Prado include park assist system, cruise control, hill start assist including downhill assist control, and rear wiper + defogger. For safety, the Japanese SUV is equipped with a range of features that include 7 SRS airbags, ABS, electronic brake force distribution & brake assist, vehicle stability control, tyre pressure monitoring and engine immobiliser.
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado comes in just one standard 4 x 4 diesel powered variant – VX- L- in India. There is a choice between five body colours (- Black, Dark Blue Metallic, Grey Metallic, Silver Metallic and Pearl White Crystal Shine) - and two interiors trims - Black leather and flaxen leather.
Prado has been honoured with three awards for best performance on a SUV type vehicle in Australia and the United States.
An off roader family hauler, Toyota LC Prado has a torquey engine and long list of equipment. The facelift for 2014 also spruced up its looks. Even if it is not very exciting to drive, the package of 7 seats, engine reliability and off-roading capabilities make it a good buy for those seeking some adventure on rough terrains. The price tag on this car reads Rs 84.57 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi).