The revamped Toyota Condor eight-seater MPV has a new powerplant and features, and bears a strong resemblance to its Prado SUV sibling. Is the facelift a success?

The revamped Toyota Condor eight-seater MPV has a new powerplant and features, and bears a strong resemblance to its Prado SUV sibling. Is the facelift a success?



Toyota South Africa announced details of a new specification and styling package for the Condor at the weekend. Eight models - with either 4X2 or full time 4X4 drivetrains - and a choice of two-litre fuel injected petrol, 2,4-litre fuel injected petrol, or three-litre diesel engines are offered.


A two-litre four cylinder engine has been fitted to the entry-level Condor Estate model. Designated 1RZ-E, this latest generation engine from Toyota Motor Corporation offers an increase of 6 kW and 23 N.m more torque than the outgoing 1,8-litre powerplant. Also new on the base model is power steering, previously only available on the larger-engined variants in the range.


The exterior has been updated with a new grille, front bumper and multi reflector headlamps, which Toyota claims give the Condor a striking resemblance to the Prado SUV. The rear of the vehicle has new light clusters and 4X2 TX has a new style alloy rims.


The front windscreen trim includes a chrome beading and the top-of-the-range TX models have a revised side protection moulding with wide chrome beading insert complimenting the chrome drip rail beading. New on the TX specification models are electrically-adjustable chrome side mirrors.


The Condor 2400 TX and 3000D TX 4X4 variants now feature a new "off-road" 205/70 R15 96S specifications tyres from Continental.


Inside, the seating arrangement remains an eight-seat configuration with a 2/3/3 arrangement. The rearmost split folding seat has however been revised to Toyota's "space-up" design with seats folding up for storage against the side of the vehicle when not required for passenger use.

Trim material has also been refreshed across the range. On the TX specification models, the seat trim is a fawn coloured two-tone design and leather trim is available as an option.


On the standard and TE specification models a storage compartment is added at the rear of the centre console. On the TX specification the centre console incorporates a lid for the large storage bin, drinks holders for the front seat occupants and a fold down drinks holder for passengers in the middle row of seats.


The instrument panel gets a new lower cover and the instrumentation is revised with a brighter illumination setup.


Toyota has further included a driver's side airbag in the TX specification 4X2 and 4X4 models.


"We don't pitch the Condor as a full-house, go-anywhere, 4X4 but rather as an off-roader well suited to the average family and recreational user," Toyota president and chief executive, Johan van Zyl, said. "Our tests show that it has a 4X4 capability above that of vehicles in the 'soft roader' category and only marginally below that of the popular 4X4 Hilux", he claimed.


"To implement the improvements to the Condor we have invested R12,5 million over and above the original investment of R250 million to bring this model to the South African market.


"Most of the changes implemented on the local models are also featured on the export versions that make a large contribution to our overall vehicle export programme. The Condor is exported in both right hand and left hand drive versions into Africa with more than 2 300 already delivered into Africa," he added.