2024 Toyota Prado unveiled, due in Australia mid next year

2024 Toyota Prado unveiled, due in Australia mid next year
2024 Toyota Prado unveiled, due in Australia mid next year

The first new Toyota Prado in nearly 15 years has finally been unveiled with a boxy new look and four-cylinder diesel power in Australia, or petrol-hybrid power overseas.

The 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado has been unveiled in the US, Europe and Japan – after years of speculation, reports and teasers – ahead of an Australian arrival mid next year.

It will be known as the LandCruiser 250 Series in Japan – to sit below the full-size 300 Series – but it will retain the Prado name in Australia.

The new seven-seat Prado is longer and wider than its 14-year-old predecessor, and has adopted boxy, Land Rover Defender-esque styling from its Lexus GX luxury twin coming to Australia for the first time next year.

There will a choice of a familiar 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder now with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance – or for the first time in the history of the LandCruiser badge, a full hybrid, combining a 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine with electric motors.

But the turbo-petrol engine – available in hybrid and non-hybrid forms – will not be available in Australia, at least at launch.

The long-rumoured option of twin-turbo V6 power – with petrol or diesel fuel – has not come to fruition, seemingly to build a gap between the Prado and its more expensive Toyota and Lexus 4WD siblings.

First Australian showroom arrivals for the new vehicle due mid next year.

As exclusively reported by Drive two months ago, there will be two appearances for the Toyota Prado: one with circular headlights inspired by the LandCruiser 70 Series, or with more contemporary, slim rectangular headlights.

Both will be matched with matte black plastic highlights and ‘TOYOTA’ script across the mesh front grille.

However only the rectangular headlights are bound for local showrooms.

The boxy makeover given to the LandCruiser Prado is shared with its Lexus GX twin, which company insiders say was built to challenge the Land Rover Defender luxury 4WD.

It has brought an increase in size, with a body that is 100mm longer (now 4925mm), 95mm wider (now 1980mm), 20mm taller (now 1870mm) and 60mm longer between the wheels (2850mm).

The wheelbase now matches the full-size LandCruiser 300 Series – for improved interior space – and the Prado is only 55mm shorter in overall length, no narrower and 80mm lower than its larger sibling.

The new ‘Prado’ and Lexus GX share their body shell, proportions and doors – but are differentiated through unique front and rear fascias, lights and wheel designs.

The circular headlights and ‘TOYOTA’ grille script are a nod to classic LandCruiser models – including the 70 Series of the 1980s – while the tail-lights draw from the Toyota Compact Cruiser electric 4WD concept unveiled in 2021.

All models shown to date have flat, top-hinged tailgates with under-slung spare wheels; there is no mention of a side-hinged tailgate with a mounted spare tyre.

Inside, the Prado brings the ‘junior’ LandCruiser lineage in step with the latest cars and SUVs in Toyota showrooms.

Available with five or seven seats overseas, top-of-the-range models drop the dated 9.0-inch touchscreen and 4.2-inch driver display (with analogue dials) for a widescreen 12.3-inch instrument display, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The touchscreen runs Toyota’s latest software, with wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, satellite navigation, over-the-air updates, and smartphone-connected services.

The seats are trimmed in leather on top models, with heating, ventilation and power adjustment.

The shape of the gear selector and off-road controls are reminiscent of the full-size LandCruiser 300 Series.

Top-of-the-range variants in the US are equipped with a wireless phone charger, 14-speaker JBL premium sound system, multi-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, a digital key, head-up display, digital rear-view mirror, and a sunroof.

Toyota’s full suite of advanced safety technology is available, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centring assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and automatic high beams.

Under the bonnet the LandCruiser Prado is due to offer one engine in Australia – a familiar 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel.

The outputs of 150kW and 500Nm carry over from the old model, however the engine gains 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance in Australia, allowing the car to coast with the engine off under low load, or save a small amount of fuel under acceleration.

There remains no direct rival for the 184kW and 600Nm of the latest Ford Everest 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, or the 227kW/700Nm of the 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 in the LandCruiser 300 Series – which is now a similar size to the Prado thanks to its growth spurt.

It is now matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission – up from six speeds – with full-time four-wheel drive.

A regular version of the engine with the same outputs but no mild-hybrid system will be sold in Western and Eastern Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

The headline addition is a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from Lexus luxury SUVs, matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4WD.

It will be available without hybrid assistance for outputs of 207kW and 430Nm, sold in the Middle East and Eastern Europe – while a full hybrid version (not mild-hybrid) will be available in North America and China with 243kW and 630Nm.

However it appears to be off-limits to Australian buyers – despite being one of the most powerful Toyota LandCruisers ever built.

If it was to be sold in Australia, it would be the first turbocharged petrol Toyota four-wheel-drive ever sold in Australia – and the first petrol Prado since the 4.0-litre non-turbo V6 was axed in 2017.

Towing capacity is up to 2722kg braked with the hybrid, or 3500kg for the diesel.

In overseas markets there will be a base 2.7-litre non-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine with approximately 120kW and 246Nm, but it will not come to Australia. The 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 in the Lexus GX will remain exclusive to that vehicle.

Under the skin the LandCruiser Prado sits on Toyota’s latest body-on-frame chassis shared with the Lexus GX, Lexus LX and Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series – as well as the Australian-bound Toyota Tundra full-size pick-up from the US, and the smaller Tacoma US pick-up not sold here.

Toyota says the body and frame are 30 per cent more rigid than before, and frame rigidity alone is up 50 per cent.

There remains double-wishbone front and four-link, rigid-axle, coil-spring rear suspension, while the power steering is now electric, and wheels up to 20 inches in diameter are available.

There is no mention of the air suspension fitted in the rear of today’s Prado Kakadu.

Full-time four-wheel drive continues to be standard with high and low-range modes, and locking rear and centre differentials.

Toyota in the US quotes a 31-degree approach angle, 22-degree departure angle, 25-degree breakover angle and 221mm of ground clearance.

There is no mention of Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) which is available in the Lexus GX and full-size LandCruiser 300 Series.

Other features available include Multi-Terrain Select off-road modes, Crawl Control low-speed cruise control for off-road trails, hill-descent control, and a surround-view off-road camera.

Making its Toyota debut is a disconnecting front anti-roll bar – marketed as Stabiliser with Disconnect Mechanism (SDM) – similar to a Jeep Wrangler.

The 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado due in Australia mid next year.

Local details are due closer to launch, however prices are expected to increase over the current range, priced from $62,830 to $87,468 plus on-road costs – with a 2.8-litre diesel engine in all models.

The post 2024 Toyota Prado unveiled, due in Australia mid next year appeared first on Drive.

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