Base engine power, dull on-road handling, pricey options
The bulbous new-for-2010 Prado is available with two petrol and two diesel engines. The GCC-spec Prado 5-door will be available in VXL, VX and TX trim levels, with the choice of a 4.0-litre V6 with a 5-speed manually-shiftable automatic or a 6-speed manual, or an underpowered 2.7-litre 4-cylinder with a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. The two diesel choices include a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder and a turbocharged 3.0-litre 4-cylinder. All models get 17-inch aluminium wheels, except for the VXL, which gets 18-inch ones. All models also have four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, independent front and live-axle rear suspension, and on higher-spec models, a “KDSS stabiliser” system to reduce body roll. The interior is available with three grades of upholstery. Basic models get fabric and mid-range versions get a better fabric, while the VXL gets leather along with wood trim and thicker-bolstered front seats. The top VXL version also gets features such as three-zone automatic a/c, 17-speaker JBL stereo with AUX input, keyless entry and starter button, front and rear parking sensors with display, electrically-operated last-row seating, Bluetooth and rear-seat DVD entertainment. Also available are front, side-curtain and knee airbags, as well as stability control and turning HID headlights. The 7-seater 5-door Prado finally gets a fold-flat third-row seat, while a 9-seater configuration is optional. The top tech feature is the optional multi-terrain system in the VX-L, with settings for mud and sand, rock, and loose surfaces, mated with air suspension, locking centre and rear diffs, four cameras and adjustable air suspension. Lower models have to cope with “active” traction control and rear diff lock, all with low-range gearing. The VX-L can also be optioned with a Pre-Crash system to hit the brakes when an imminent crash is detected, but it cannot be had with the multi-terrain option.
Easily one of the most reliable cars around. However, first-year models equipped with KDSS suspension have a tendency to lean to one side by a few inches, with dealers either recalibrating it or denying the problem. First-year models had a recall to reprogramme the "VSC" stability control system to react better in certain situations.