Frankfurt Motor Show - Sold in more than 190 countries, the Land Cruiser Prado is the most widely available Toyota model worldwide, and it has a rock-solid reputation as one of the world’s toughest and most reliable 4x4s.
Most importantly, it’s one of a hard-core few (if you’ll forgive the pun) that still retain body-on-frame construction, giving it proven strength and durability. But toughness alone won’t cut it in a world awash with luxury SUVs, so the 2018 Land-Cruiser gets a load of new tech and luxury features.
All of which starts with a new, more functionally laid out dashboard incorporating an Optitron analogue instrument cluster, a 20cm touchscreen for Toyota’s own multimedia system and a 10.5cm onboard data display controlled from the new, leather-clad multifunction steering wheel, as well as an electric, heated windscreen and heated washer nozzles, reverse tilting door mirrors, and a new smart key design.
The touchscreen has been moved slightly downwards to lower the top of the centre stack, and below it, just ahead of the leather-clad gear lever, the driving and comfort-related switchgear (including heating and ventilation for the front seats are divided into separate panels for ease of use.
The centre stack now has a brushed metal finish with padded sides for you to brace your knee against in rough going, and trim elements in your choice of brushed metal, light or dark brown wood finish, against a colour scheme of black, black and brown, or a new soft beige.
Overall length has increased by 60mm to 4840mm, with redesigned bonnet, grille, headlights, front bumper and fenders; the bonnet is sloped to improve downward visibility in the middle, and sandwiched by the bumper sides to protect the engine bay.
The lower part of the bumper corners kick upwards and the centre section has been shaped like a bashplate, while the top corners of the fenders have been raised to show you exactly where car ends, and to line up with the grille and headlights, which are high-mounted to protect from marauding rocks and branches - and the main beam projectors are mounted at the inboard edge of the clusters for the same reason.
A sharply trimmed lower section - and a 215mm ground clearance - give it 31 degree approach, 25 degree departure and 22 degree ramp breakover angles.
The rear bumper is now also kicked up at the corners, and there is a choice of six-spoke 17 inch alloys with new, low rolling-resistance tyres, high gloss painted 18 inch alloys, or a new, 12-spoke, machined finish 19 inch design.
In Western Europe the new Land Cruiser Prado comes with a 2.8-litre turbodiesel four rated for 130kW at 3400 revs and 450Nm from 1600-2400rpm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, or 120kW at 3400 revs and 420Nm from 1400-2600rpm, when allied with a six-speed manual ‘box.
In Eastern Europe, however, the Land Cruiser is also offered with a choice of 2.7-litre or four-litre petrol engines.
The 2694cc four delivers a quoted 120kW at 5200 revs and 246Nm at 3900rpm, mated to either a five-speed manual ’box or a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the 4.0 VVT-i V6 with six-speed automatic transmission is good for a claimed 183kW* at 5600 revs and 381Nm at 4400rpm.
Land Cruisers with automatic transmission come with an active safety suite that combines a camera with millimetre-wave radar in a pre-collision system with a pedestrian detection function, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beam.
The new Land Cruiser Prado will be released in South Africa in mid-November 2017 with the same engine choices as the current model - a three-litre turbodiesel four rated at 120kW and 400Nm, or a four-litre petrol V6 churning out a claimed 202kW and 381Nm.
*202kW for models sold in the Ukraine; Toyota doesn’t say why.