Continuing the legacy of the powerful four-wheel drive performance and unrivalled off-road capabilities, the new 2018 Land Cruiser Prado has been officially launched by Al-Futtaim Motors. The new Prado comes with a more robust exterior, sophisticated and intuitive interior design in addition to improved driving abilities and user-friendliness, both on-and off-road, cementing its reputation as one of the world’s toughest and most reliable SUVs.

Sophisticated and Intuitive Interior
In the redesigned, four-gauge driver’s instrument binnacle, the precision ‘Optitron’ metres feature a metallic base panel and spin-polished dials with raised scale markings. They flank a 4.2’’ TFT colour Multi-Information Display* which provides drivers with a comprehensive vehicle and infotainment data. Controlled via steering wheel mounted switchgear, the display features on-screen content including driving, vehicle, navigation, audio, driver assistance and warning message information.

A high-definition 9-inch full-colour multimedia screen enables centralized control of navigation and audiovisual systems which complements the rearview monitor to guide the driver while backing up the car. In addition to AM/FM radio and a DVD player, the JBL system* optimally positions 14 speakers through the cabin, creating a quality sound space. The amplifier is compatible with Clari-Fi™, a compressed audio restoration technology that helps play the music as close to its original audio quality by recreating the high-range and low-range sounds, as well as sounds of the natural vocal and stereo feelings that are usually suppressed when saving files in the MP3 format.

The system also features Bluetooth support and has USB and mini-jack inputs offering external audio input, enabling the driver and passengers to easily connect playback devices to enjoy their favourite music. Rear seat passengers can also enjoy video from DVDs, Blu-ray discs and other sources on the large, retractable 9-inch LCD monitor.

Storage points are provided all around the cabin. Front seat storage includes a capacious glovebox, overhead sunglasses holder (with built-in conversation mirror), two cup holders, and large front door pockets with built-in bottle holders. There is also a large storage box, available with cooling function, under the centre console armrest and is big enough to hold four half-liter bottles and fitted with an upper-level tray. Second-row passengers are served by seatback pockets, centre armrest twin cupholders and door pockets with bottle holders. Cupholders are provided for third-row occupants, too. Twelve-volt power outlets are provided in the front and second rows, with a 220V AC power outlet in the loadspace.
But that’s not all when we talk about storage, as the powered third-row seats have under-floor storage function giving the Prado extra load capacity. A toolbox is stowed in a purpose-designed compartment in the tailgate.

Powerful Engine and Superior Driving Dynamics
The new Prado is available in two engine options including a 4-cylinder 2.7-liter in-line 16-valve DOHC format with VVT-i producing 164 hp and up to 25.1kg-mand a V6 engine 4.0-litre 24-valve DOHC with dual VVT-I producing 271hp and up to 38.9kg-m.

Both petrol engines are mated with a 6-speed ‘Super-Intelligent Electronically’-controlled automatic transmission with multi-mode sequential shift mode that allows the driver to select gears manually, making it ideal for added control in challenging weather conditions.

In addition to a solid engine profile, the new Prado comes with a series of advanced dynamic and handling features that highlight its reputation as one of the most technically-advanced four-wheel drive vehicles, including the newly-developed full-time four-wheel drive with TORSEN® limited slip differential (LSD), which allocates optimal driver power distribution to the left and right wheels in response to various driving scenarios, including straight-line driving and cornering. The system helps achieve outstanding straight-line stability and cornering performance. An additional central differential lock is also available, thereby increasing stability especially in extreme off-road conditions and terrains.

The new Prado comes with Drive Mode Select*, allowing the driver to tailor powertrain and suspension responses by selecting drive modes suitable for the situation, or to match their preferred driving style, thus heightening driving pleasure. Modes include NORMAL, which realizes an excellent balance between driving performance and fuel economy that suits a wide variety of driving scenes; ECO mode adjusts powertrain responses and air conditioning to prioritise fuel-efficient driving; while in the SPORT mode, the Variable Flow Control (VFC) and powertrain components, such as the engine and transmission, are controlled. This provides enhanced accelerator response and a more dynamic and powerful feel of acceleration.

The Crawl Control System*helps maintain a low uniform vehicle speed by automatically controlling the engine output and hydraulic brake pressure to reduce driver burden during off-road driving. This system works on rough off-road terrains and slippery surfaces by moderating the accelerator and brake operations, leaving the driver with complete focus on steering the vehicle. The smooth control minimizes wheel spin and wheel lock-up, ensuring vehicle stability even on slippery surfaces. The Crawl Control System has five adjustable speed levels that can be selected to match the terrain.

Multi-Terrain Select (MTS)* automatically modifies vehicle acceleration, braking, and traction control to suit off-road conditions, providing the driver with optimum traction and vehicle control on five terrain modes: ‘Rock,’ ‘Rock & Dirt,’ ‘Mogul,’ ‘Loose Rock,’ and ‘Mud & Sand.’ There is also an Auto mode to optimise car-control according to the preset vehicle speed set on the ‘Crawl Control.’ The selected mode is displayed on the multimedia screen, along with an additional prompt for the driver to engage the appropriate H4 or L4 four-wheel drive transfer range.

Other features include a Multi-Terrain Monitor*is used in conjunction with MTS to help the driver confirm their surroundings when driving off-road. The driver can select a view from the front, side, and rear cameras to conveniently check the vehicle’s blind spots and immediate surroundings. The MTS includes Underfloor View and Panoramic View to help the driver visually confirm the area under, in the front, and on the sides of the vehicle.

Adding to the versatility of the Prado is the Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) system which prevents vehicle roll-back when stopping and then starting again on a steep incline or slippery surface. In addition, the Downhill Assist Control (DAC)feature improves directional control during descent on steep or slippery surfaces.

Prado’s front independent double wishbone and rear four-link rigid suspension offer greater ride comfort and better steering feel. Further enhancing the ride experience, the electrically-controlled Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)*, that is available on Limited, optimises the effect of the front and rear anti-roll bars for better on- and off-road performance. When driving on the road, the system works to suppress body roll, improve steering response and absorb the effects of driving over poor road surfaces. During off-road conditions, all tires are kept firmly in contact with the ground even when crossing over rocks and other rough surfaces so that drivers can enjoy a stable ride with excellent traction for superior rough-terrain driveability and control.

The new Prado’s Tire Pressure Warning System detects low tire pressure and displays a warning on the Multi-Information Display in real time. Hence, insufficient tire pressure can be determined at a glance, and pressure refill or tire replacement can be performed with accurate and timely information‎.

In order to make it more appealing and suitable for all those who desire joining the Prado family, the 2018 model is now available in 4 grades/ 8 derivatives to choose from.
• 3-door 2.7 L GXR starting at AED 129,900
• 5-door 2.7L engine, coming in EXR for AED 129,900, GXR for AED 144,900 and VXR for AED 159,900
• 5-door 4.0L engine available in EXR for 159,900, GXR for AED 179,900, VXR for AED 194,900 and now an even more exclusive grade the Limited priced at AED 204,900 which comes fitted with leather beige interior

*Available only on the “Limited” model ■

Words by: Gaydzag Terterian
Photos by: Jung Francisco