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by Tim Beissmann

The special edition Toyota LandCruiser Prado Altitude has been introduced sporting a clean tailgate design for the first time in the model’s 18-year history in Australia.

Unlike the standard Prado that has its spare tyre fixed to the rear door, the 2014 Prado Altitude’s spare is located out of sight underneath the vehicle as it is on European-specification models.

The new rear-end design brings with it a glass hatch on the tailgate, allowing access to the cargo area without opening the door.

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Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb said the company was keen to receive feedback from customers about the convenience and style of the LandCruiser Prado Altitude’s new rear design.

“In giving Prado a clean pair of heels by moving the spare wheel and tyre, we’ve made the tailgate lighter and therefore easier to open – especially when the vehicle is parked facing down a hill,” Cramb said.

“Owners can also open the tailgate wider in cramped situations such as when parked close to other vehicles or using a towing hitch, plus there’s the added convenience of the separate glass hatch.”

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The relocated spare wheel replaces the Prado’s 63-litre auxiliary fuel tank, leaving it only with its 87L primary tank. The shift reduces the Prado diesel automatic’s theoretical driving by 741km, down from 1765km to 1024km (based on the 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine’s 8.5 litres/100km combined cycle fuel consumption rating).

At $68,520, the 2014 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Altitude costs $4800 more than the Prado GXL on which it’s based, yet Toyota claims it includes up to $10,000 of additional features.

The special edition gains the leather-accented seats with contrast grey stitching from the SE, along with the tilt-and-slide moonroof, Blu-Ray rear entertainment system, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, electric front seats and rain-sensing wipers from the VX and Kakadu grades.

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The upgrade also incorporates a 14-speaker JBL audio system with DAB+ digital radio, seven-inch display screen and satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic alerts.

Chrome side mouldings, door handles and air vent surrounds, and a carbonfibre-look finish to the dashboard panel and gearshift surround distinguish the Prado Altitude further.

Altitude badges and four premium paint colours – Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl, Graphite and the exclusive Eclipse Black – complete the special edition package.




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