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The devil drives prado

autos Updated: Feb 04, 2010 01:49 IST
Highlight Story

The Toyota Landcruiser Prado, in India for the first time, comes with a 3-litre diesel lump similar to the one in the Fortuner. However, at 41.8 kgm, the torque output is a huge bump up from the lesser Toyota. The extra torque is welcome because at 2,140 kg, it’s a good 185 kg heavier than the Fortuner. This extra weight doesn’t make the Prado particularly quick when you put your foot down.

Engine
The Prado’s engine is effortless with its torque and the five-speed auto pleases with its discreet shifts. The gearbox is best left to its own devices, though; there’s not much point in you hurrying it through the gears in tiptronic mode. It responds well when you tap the throttle, it’ll cruise at acceptable speeds and it’ll do all this without much ado. It’s also a silent cruiser but a bit too raucous when revved.

This is a very large car, but the driver is saved from its enormity by good visibility, and light and surprisingly accurate steering. The seats are comfortable, there’s good space and a great sense of security. The insides are well built, though the texture of surfaces shout out “durability” louder than “luxury”. The Prado has seven seats but there’s a very neat trick up its sleeve. Push the buttons on the inside of the D-pillar and the last row of seats slides electrically into the floor to form a flat loading area. It’s got a split tailgate and there’s a biggish refrigerator between the front seats for those dune-bashing days.

Well kitted out
It is impressively kitted out as well. Standard equipment includes three-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, six-CD changer, parking sensors, reverse camera, seven airbags, leather seats, air suspension and cruise control.

It’s a disappointment that Toyota won’t be offering the Multi-terrain Select function (‘mud and sand’, ‘loose rock’, ‘mogul’ and ‘rock’) in India. The heart of a Landcruiser lies in its off-road capability. Still, not many Indian Prado owners are going to go
serious boulder-crawling.

As far as looks go, the toothy grille and massive headlights could make young children cry. Expect prices to be in the mid-Rs 40 lakh range. Even at this price, the Prado is quite worth it.

Toyota Landcruiser Prado

Price: Rs 45 lakh (estimated)
Length: 4,760 mm
Width: 1,885 mm
Height: 1,880 mm
Wheelbase: 2,790 mm
Ground clearance: 220 mm
Engine: 4-cyls inline, 2,982 cc, common-rail direct-injection, turbodiesel
Power: 170 bhp at 3,400 rpm
Torque: 41.8 kgm at 1,600-2,800 rpm
Gearbox: Five-speed auto
Fuel tank: 87 litres
Brakes (f/r): Ventilated discs/ ventilated discs
Tyre size: 265/60 R18

Verdict
It may not be exciting to drive in a BMW X5 sort of way, but it’s impressive, has fantastic specs and unlike the earlier Indian Prado, this one gets diesel power. If that’s not enough reason to go for one, then we don’t know what is.

— Autocar India