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Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Review: A Luxurious Blend of Ruggedness and Sophistication

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, with its introduction in 1990 and evolution through to the 2012 fourth generation model, showcases a rich legacy of rugged durability, luxury, and off-road capability. The Prado, priced at an ex-showroom cost of Rs. 80 lakh for the sole diesel VXL model, has been a testament to Toyota’s engineering prowess and understanding of the luxury SUV market. The version under review, a used Prado available for Rs. 35 lakh from Harman Motors Kerala, represents a significant value proposition for those seeking the prestige and performance of a Land Cruiser at a more accessible price point.

Toyota discontinued the Prado in India by 2020, pivoting towards the international market with its fifth-generation models. This decision reflects shifting market dynamics and Toyota’s strategy to focus on regions with stronger demand for such high-end SUVs. The Prado, a 7-seater SUV named after the Spanish word for “field” or “meadow,” embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration. Its codename J150, also known as LC150, signifies its place within the Land Cruiser family as a lighter duty version, yet it loses none of the lineage’s robustness and capability.

Built on Toyota’s F2 platform, shared with vehicles like the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, and Lexus GX, the Prado’s design and engineering were led by Takanori Ito and Kenji Kido. It boasts a ladder frame chassis and a full-time 4-wheel drive system, essential features for an SUV designed to conquer diverse terrains. The vehicle’s aesthetic is marked by a chrome grille, automatic projector headlamps with washers, and electrically adjustable, retractable outside mirrors with turn indicators, projecting a blend of sophistication and functionality.

The Prado’s dimensions and capabilities – a length of 4.7 meters, width of 1.9 meters, height of 1.9 meters, ground clearance of 220 mm, and a water fording depth of 700 mm – are indicative of its readiness for both urban and off-road adventures. Its 18-inch alloy wheels, disc brakes, and 265/60 R18 110T MRF Wanderer AT radial tubeless tyres ensure a comfortable and safe ride across various surfaces.

Safety is a paramount concern, reflected in the Prado’s 5-star Australian NCAP rating, underpinned by features such as smart entry, a defogger with a timer, and an advanced suspension system comprising double wishbone at the front and a lateral rod with 4-link suspension at the rear, augmented by rear air suspension. The inclusion of Toyota’s electronic modulated suspension (TEMS) and kinetic dynamic suspension system (KDSS) highlights Toyota’s commitment to providing a balanced drive across all terrains.

The Prado’s powertrain options cater to a wide range of preferences and requirements, from the 2700 cc, 3500 cc V6, and 4000 cc V6 petrol engines to the 2800 cc diesel engine, with availability in both automatic and manual transmissions. Its 2982 cc, Inline 4 cylinder, common-rail fuel injection, 16-valve, DOHC, D-4D, Toyota 1KD-FTV diesel engine with an intercooler turbocharger, producing 170 horsepower and 410 Nm of torque, ensures robust performance complemented by a reasonable fuel efficiency of 11 kmpl and an 87-litre fuel tank.

Interior features like a 9-speaker music system, auto up-down power windows with jam protection, leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats with whiplash-reducing headrests, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat with heated front seats, underscore the Prado’s luxury SUV credentials. The vehicle’s technological offerings, including a 5-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, infotainment support for a 6-CD changer, FM radio, USB, and Aux, along with a 3-zone automatic climate control AC and a 4.2-inch multi-information display, cater to the modern driver’s expectations for comfort and connectivity.

In summary, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado stands as a testament to Toyota’s legacy of producing vehicles that are as luxurious as they are capable. The fourth-generation Prado, despite being discontinued in India, continues to offer a compelling mix of performance, luxury, and reliability, making it a sought-after model in the used car market. Its blend of off-road prowess, sophisticated technology, and robust safety features ensures that it remains a prestigious choice for those seeking adventure in style.

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