New Prado hides a 300 Series

Riley Riley

What came first the chicken or the egg, or in this case the Toyota Prado or Hyundai Santa Fe?

Just like the Santa Fe that we previewed a few weeks ago, the all-new Land Cruiser Prado has adopted a tougher, more utilitarian look.

Due to arrive in Australian showrooms towards the middle of next year, it benefits from significant mechanical upgrades, enhanced performance and rugged styling changes.

Since its arrival in 1996, Prado has been one of Australia’s most popular large SUVs thanks to its blend of capability, amenity and passenger-oriented comfort.

The all-new model continues that brief with go-anywhere performance and a design that symbolises the essence of the Land Cruiser.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley said the new Prado provides all the hallmarks of a Land Cruiser that customers love.

“Australian customers appreciate the vast capability of the Land Cruiser Prado, from use as a family vehicle, to off-roading, towing and long-distance touring, which is evidenced by its huge popularity,” he said.

“The all-new Prado takes everything that customers love about the Prado to a new level, with even greater performance, capability and technology, as well as bold new styling inside and out.”

The new-generation Prado adopts a new design direction that fuses traditional and contemporary styling cues, employing horizontal lines inspired by Land Cruisers of yesteryear to deliver on the theme of functional beauty.

The front end is based around a rectangular grille and triple headlights, with a low-set front cowl to improve forward visibility.

Muscular wheel arches and strong horizontal lines provide a sense of strength, with a low beltline that further improves visibility for occupants.

At the rear, the Prado features a vertically oriented tailgate and simple tail-light signature to complement the front end, with silver lower bumpers at both the front and rear of the vehicle.

Measuring 4920mm long, 1988mm wide and 1860mm high, it’s 95mm longer and wider, and 10mm taller than before.

It also has a 60mm longer wheelbase at 2850mm, matching the Land Cruiser 300 Series.

In fact, Prado now shares its underpinnings with the 300 Series, riding on the rugged and sophisticated TNGA-F ladder-frame chassis which is 50 per cent more rigid than the current-generation Prado, helping to increase overall vehicle rigidity by 30 per cent.

The modern and stiff platform allows for improved suspension performance with greater wheel articulation for off-roading and excellent handling and ride comfort on-road.

Wheel articulation is improved further with Toyota’s brand-new stabiliser-bar control system which allows the front stabiliser bar to be disconnected for excellent wheel articulation, while enhanced functionality for the multi-terrain select and multi-terrain monitor systems help the Prado go even further off-road.

The adoption of electric power steering provides a crisper steering feel and enhanced low-speed manoeuvrability on-road, maximises control when off-roading, and allows compatibility with active safety systems such as lane trace assist.

In Australia, the all-new Prado will be offered with the 1GD-FTV 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine enhanced by a 48-volt mild hybrid.

Producing 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque, the 1GD engine drives all four wheels via a new Direct Shift-8AT eight-speed automatic transmission which replaces the existing six-speed unit.

Inside, Prado employs a clean, stylish and functional interior design with dual digital screens for the instrument cluster and multimedia system, and an intuitive layout for the switches that group basic functions together.

Prado will be available with either five- or seven-seat layouts depending on variant and will be offered with a full suite of Toyota Safety Sense active safety technologies.

Further details will be revealed closer to launch in 2024.


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