TOYOTA has always been a big name in the 4×4 segment, especially here in the Middle East. This region is filled with off-road lovers, people who love taking their cars to the deserts for dune bashing or for a cool dip in the rocky terrains of natural oasis. Such a market keeps car makers like Toyota on their toes all the time to design and produce the toughest and most comfortable four wheel drives both for off-roads and casual city cruising.
The new Prado 2012 does all the above and it does it well. With ample of new features and technologies, these set of wheels is the perfect blend of design with intelligent performance. On the inside it is spacious and luxurious and under the hood lies an engine that boast power to command over any terrain.
Prado comes with 4 engine options to select from. The high powered 4.0L V6 petrol engine with the new Dual VVT-I, 2.7L L4 Petrol engine, 3.0 L4 Diesel Engine and another variant of the 3.0 L4 Diesel. So you have options ranging from high torque to economic fuel efficiency to suit your requirements.
For optimum driving according to off-road conditions, Prado offers four preset driving modes (Mud & Sand, Loose Rock, Mogul and Rock) which can be activated by the multi-information switch placed on the steering wheel. The selected terrain is displayed on the multi-information display which also displays other features like ABS, EBD, and Steering Angle Display etc. ABS operates in sync with the terrain select to give the driver optimum off-road control, normal ABS can be activated for on-road driving.
This SUV is also equipped with four cameras mounted on the sides, front and rear end of the vehicle. This helps the driver to have a 360 degree view of the terrain outside when he is cresting a hill or driving on uneven land which makes it difficult to see the terrain directly. You can shift between views through the multi-informational switch and when on the front view you can see the current direction of travel thanks to the on-screen indicators.
Another impressive feature is the 5 speed Crawl Control System, now seen in most of the four wheel drives. This feature maintains a constant low speed with fully automated throttle and brake control on tricky surfaces which require fine acceleration control. This frees the driver to focus solely on steering the vehicle. Prado also offers an electronic rear air suspension to maintain a constant height of the vehicle irrespective of the cargo the number of passengers inside, on the other hand adaptive variable suspension adjusts the damping force of shock absorbers as per drivers input.
So much for under the hood, on the interiors Toyota has done a pretty good job as well, wooden finishing on the steering wheel, doors and central console, decent legroom on all the three rows. Electrically retractable third row seats provides ample of cargo space.
However we felt the central console is still very old school typical Toyota design, with other competitors like Ford and Chevy having interactive touch screen multi-information displays in a compact yet attractive design, Toyota is lacking a step behind.
However the car offers impressive features like 3 zone air conditioning, 17 speakers JBL 7.1 Surround Sound System with 605-watt amplifier with Bluetooth hands-free capability and external audio output for your IPod, front and rear parking sensors, Key-less smart entry and engine start-up to name a few.
With all the car maker going an extra mile with regards to safety, Prado doesn’t leave any stone unturned. It offers the basic driver and passenger side airbags along with knee, side and curtain shield airbags. For driving safety, Prado comprises vehicle stability control, crash safety and dynamic cruise control system which adjust the speed of the vehicle according to the changes in direction and speed of the vehicle ahead. Active Head rest move diagonally upwards at the moment of collision to absorb the shock from the impact and provide cushion to the driver’s neck and lower back. When the car judges a collision due to an obstacle ahead, it alerts the drives with a warning beep and if the driver hits emergency brakes the brake assist automatically bolsters braking force to avoid the collision or reduce speed as much as possible in case of an unavoidable collision.
Prado is available in 10 body colors and 6 interior colors ranging from leather, high-fabric to basic-fabric to choose from. The additional accessories include dual headrest DVD players with 7” display for viewing pleasure of passengers, protection window tints by 3M and genuine leather seats.
Overall as an off-road cum luxury package Prado is the right choice. It offers all from sporty looks to powerful engine and user friendly technologies. Another strong player in Toyota’s mesmerizing line of SUV’s
AED 123,000 – AED 220,000*
*Price may vary as per features and options selected.