While we here in the U.S. along with drivers from around the world are still waiting for a practical and sporty compact coupe like SUV, the Japanese automaker Toyota has just answered that call for the Australian market when they released the Land Cruiser Prado Three Door. However Toyota traditionalists should not worry because the quality car builder will sell their new truck alongside the old five door model starting this November.
The Land Cruiser Prado is a compact version of Toyota’s full size Land Cruiser SUV and the upcoming three door model wears the same stylish face as the of the five door, with its oversized headlights that are stretched over and around the front fenders, while the chrome framed and stripped vertical bar grill gives the front end more of a three dimensional feel. The three door Prado’s matching boxed fenders scream fun while the six lug hubs, multi piston calipers and spare tire on the trunk let you know that the Prado means business.
However, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado isn’t all about being cute, because of its shorter wheelbase the off road vehicle actually exhibits a higher break over angle and allows the SUV to travel over steeper peaks than the larger five door model. Combine that with the sectioned truck’s reduced curb weight, which leads to improved real world acceleration as well as fuel economy.
Press release after the jump.
Toyota’s next-generation LandCruiser Prado is out to prove that "less is more" with the introduction of sporty three-door versions for the first time in Australia. Aimed at a younger buyer seeking recreational off-road fun, three-door Prado will be sold alongside five-door models from the November introduction of the new Prado 150 range.
The three-door model has the same distinctively LandCruiser-like Prado face of the five-door, featuring a three-dimensional vertical grille. Its roof and rear-quarter sheet metal are unique, though the back door - which bears the spare tire - is shared with the five-door version.
A higher break-over angle, courtesy of the shorter wheelbase, provides three-door Prado with the ability to travel over steeper peaks than five-door. Lower weight for the three-door versions is expected to translate into even better real-world acceleration - as well as a small improvement in fuel economy and emissions.
Another key benefit of the three-door is its strong towing capacity of three tonnes - 500kg more than the already-impressive five-door. Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said three-door Prado was a valuable addition to the local range.
"Prado three-door will be the ideal vehicle for couples who want a vehicle for its sporty styling, as well as Prado’s legendary towing and off-road abilities," Mr Buttner said. "Even more than new five-door Prado, the three-door will definitely attract buyers who previously have not considered a sports utility vehicle," he said. "Specification levels will be high across three- and five-door ranges, with several flow-down technologies from Lexus and from LandCruiser 200 Series. New electronic features will take Prado’s off-road ability to new levels for Toyota, catering even for those new to off-road motoring. Handling, stability and ride comfort have been raised to new heights."
All next-generation Prados in Australia will have seven airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes. Alloy wheels and Toyota’s Smart Entry & Start, which provides keyless entry and ignition, are also standard.
Prado first arrived in Australia in 1996 and quickly secured a firm foothold in the mid-size SUV market.
To the end of September this year, Australians have bought almost 149,000 Prados. The 150,000 milestone is expected to be reached in the first month of next-generation sales. It was Australia’s best-selling SUV overall in 2008.
The medium SUV segment has grown markedly in recent years with sales more than doubling from just 33,468 in 2002 to a record of 75,485 last year.
This year, the segment has basically moved with the overall industry average.