The 2010 Prado has been redesigned to project a more belligerent masculine look. Its new found dynamism is anchored on its flowing but more aggressive design, highlighted by a protruding forward and rear fenders with three dimensional grille and angular headlights. This “Intelligent and Modern” outline as Toyota designers calls it, projects the rugged contemporary feel and wider stance of an SUV from the outside but provides spacious and luxurious accommodations inside. Leather interiors with wood grain trappings blends well with Prado’s modern fashionable new look giving it a more expensive feel.
The New Prado’s improved interiors, instrumentation and modern gadgetry deliver added passenger ease and convenience. Driver and front passenger are provided an extraordinary amount of moving space. There is ample legroom on the middle seats even with the front seats pulled back to its fullest. The innovative flush-with-floor device on its third row seats is mechanically activated with just a touch of a button. This allows the rear bench to be folded down flat on the floor, rather than against the sides, resulting to more storage space.
In terms of equipment, the new Prado gives stiff competition to other SUV’s in the market. The superior Park Assist system has a rear camera coupled with front and rear sensors to guide in tight parking situations. New projector headlights boast of an automatic leveling mechanism. Keyless entry, cruise control and steering wheel mounted controls are standard features. These minor improvements together with minute but significant features result in a generally better traveling experience.
The new Prado is driven by Toyota’s D4D Common Rail Direct Injection diesel power plant. It can produce 173 PS of juice and 410Nm of torque sufficient for city driving. Speed buffs however will find the Prado a bit sluggish. It takes the SUV 18 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 kilometers per hour with its 2400 kg weight. Nevertheless, it proved to be a capable off-road vehicle with its strong power and torque, enhanced by its full-time 4×4 drive and a plethora of advanced technologies like Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Ride Height Control and Electronic Modulated Suspension system. These features enable the Prado to traverse rough terrain and stiff inclines. Wide range of Driver Assist Technology (DAT) system is incorporated including the ABS anti-skid brakes, Hill-start Active Control that prevents backward rolling, Downhill Active Control and the Toyota CRAWL control previously available only on the larger Land Cruiser 200 series. The 5 speed automatic sequential shift transmission results in smooth gear shifts and provides an enjoyable driving experience.
Toyota’s new innovations brings it almost at par with the best known brands in the SUV competition like the Audi Q5, BMW X3,Land Rover Freelander2 and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. But its improved interiors and modern gadgetry are not as exciting as the Benz or the Audi. The 2010 Toyota Prado is undoubtedly an enviable mix of city and off-road driving comfort but still feels short on complexity and flamboyance that are very evident from its European competitors.
Toyota vehicles are world renowned for its reliability and high resale value. With the added improvements in body, mechanical design and off-road driving performance the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is definitely a good buy