It’s time for our long term Toyota Land Cruiser Prado to leave us.[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||November 2013|
|Kilometres this month:||1369|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||15.1|
Let’s not beat about the bush. The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is many things but it isn’t performance car porn nor is it sex on four wheels. As such, it isn’t really the bread and butter of the crankandpiston Journals. However, its Prado practicalities have seen action from almost every member of the team and most of us have come to understand why they are so damn popular in the Middle East.
Dubai in particular has an abundance of LCPs. So much so that – on more than one occasion – I have even struggled to open the doors of the Prado with the key fob until, after a bit of head scratching, I have realised that it wasn’t our Prado but an identical white Prado parked a few spaces away. After the first few times that happened I made sure I memorized ‘O 67995’ to save further embarrassment.
The success of the Prado is obvious enough. It is capable of carrying a family of seven or five adults and a lot of luggage. Its size gives it a presence deterring other road users from invading your space but, even fully loaded-up, the four-litre V6 never struggles or feels strained. All-round visibility – the key to road safety – is faultless and is helped by the high seating position which is also comfortable. It isn’t concerned much with speed bumps and is as competent off-road as it is on the highway. And so the list goes on…
Even a quick roadside chat with a couple of Dubai’s finest Police Officers revealed that the Prado is the favoured vehicle. While the fancy supercars are rolled-out for publicity stunts, the workhorse of choice for the force is the Prado as it “is a comfortable work environment to sit in all day, practical and can go anywhere, on or off-road”. I have to admit that I agree with them and it’s not just because they were carrying firearms.
Despite the Prado being able to give the hardcore FJ Cruiser a run for its money off-road, the FJ’s rugged styling probably succeeds in deterring as many buyers as it encourages. And that surely is another key to Prado popularity. The Prado is a supremely capable, comfortable, practical and adaptable SUV in inoffensive packaging which is something Toyota is very good at. And we’ll miss the Prado.
|Engine:||4.0-litre / six-cylinder / 24 Valve / DOHC / Dual VVT-i|
|Power:||267bhp @ 5600rpm|
|Torque:||281lb ft @ 4400rpm|
|Front suspension:||Double wishbone|
|Rear suspension:||Four-link type with Lateral Rod|
|Wheels:||17-inch front and rear|
|Tyres:||265/65 R17 front and rear|