The Toyota LandCruiser Prado - Australia's biggest-selling large SUV - has been given a swathe of price cuts yet picked up way more safety equipment and some offroad-focused tweaks to boot.
Bidding to make the strong stronger, Toyota has also bumped the braked-trailer towing capacity on all auto versions to 3000kg - sure to delight grey nomads, horse trainers and mine-site fleet buyers at the same time - put a rear diff-lock on the GLX auto and VX grades, and ditched the V6 petrol engine altogether.
So, what're the other guts of the changes?
Pricing has been reduced by $600 for the manual GX to $53,490 before on-road costs, by $1200 on the big-volume GXL to $59,990, by $911 on the VX to $73,990 and by $1121 on the Kakadu, now $84,490 - still mid-range Land Rover Discovery HSE money.
The Prado cuts aren't as extreme as the $5000-plus reductions Toyota made to the cheaper, HiLux-based Fortuner recently, but there's clearly still a theme here...
The only variant to go up is the automatic GX in both five- and seven-seat guises, by $400, though you get more stuff as you'll see in a sec.
Looks-wise, the MY18 Prado gets a new centre-sculpted bonnet that Toyota reckons enhances downward visibility, new fenders to help you more easily locate the vehicle extremities, and lower corners of the bumpers that kick upwards to enhance off-road manoeuvrability.
There's also a revised grille with vertical bars and cooling openings, new headlights (Bi-LED on GXL, VX and Kakadu) with the main beams apparently positioned inboard to avoid damage from obstacles when off-road driving. There are new light clusters at the rear too, and two new exterior colours called Peacock Black and Dusty Bronze.
Safety features now standard on all LandCruiser Prado automatic models (a steep $3000 extra over the GX and GXL manuals) are autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, active cruise control, lane departure alert and auto high-beam. Want this stuff on the manual models? Tough luck.
Still, most of this tech was once the province of the range-toppers only.
Other new features include:
- Satellite-navigation and Toyota Link app-ware on the GX
- LED headlights/DRLs on the GXL
- A 360-degree camera and terrain monitor, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, ventilated seats, and a cool box on the VX
- A drive mode select function and the VX's panoramic view monitor on the Kakadu
Inside the cabin there's a re-jigged dash, instrument binnacle and new switchgear. For example there's a flush-surface AC control panel that looks way slicker.
GX and GXL variants have grey fabric trim, while the VX and Kakadu are offered with black and beige leather-accented trim. A $3500 option pack for GXL adds leather-accented trim, ventilated and power-operated front seats, and heated front and second-row seats.
There's no notable change to the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine launched in mid-2015. The 130kW (at 3400rpm) unit makes 450Nm from 1600rpm with the six-speed auto mated, or 420Nm from 1400rpm with the six-speed manual.
The previous 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine is being discontinued in Australia due to overwhelming consumer preference for the turbo-diesel engine (98.8 per cent of sales apparently).
The LandCruiser Prado is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $240 a pop.
2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado pricing (before on-roads):
- GX manual - $53,490 (-$600)
- GXL manual - $59,990 (-$1200)
- VX auto - $73,990 (-$911)
- Kakadu auto - $84,490 (-$1121)
- Six-speed auto (GX, GXL): $3000
- Seven seats (GX auto): $2550
- Premium paint (all grades): $550
Keep an eye out for our first 2018 Toyota Prado review soon.