Toyota has expanded its Prado range with the addition of the eagerly anticipated 4,0-litre V6 model, claimed to be the most powerful six-cylinder engined vehicle in its class.

Toyota has expanded its Prado range with the addition of the eagerly anticipated 4,0-litre V6 model, claimed to be the most powerful six-cylinder engined vehicle in its class.

First announced at the Auto Africa Show in October last year, it completes Toyota’s three-model Land Cruiser Prado range, consisting of the Turbo diesel manual, mechanically similar VX turbo diesel automatic, and now the VX petrol automatic.

The new engine develops 179 kW at 5 200 r/min and a mighty 376 N.m of torque at 5 200. These figures are up from the previous 3,4-litre model’s 132 kW at 4 800 r/min and 298 Nm at 3 600.

In common with the VX turbo diesel, it features a permanent four-wheel drive system that is mated to Toyota’s smooth-shifting four-speed automatic, with a lock-up torque converter, and second gear start function.

Techno-wizardry features include: a Torsen limited slip centre differential; Active Traction Control (A-TRC); Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). After driving the Prado on some of the most daunting 4x4 trails in the Gauteng area, we can certainly vouch for the effectiveness of these systems.

The rest of the comprehensive package includes: 17-inch wheels, latest generation ABS brakes, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and the Emergency Brake Assist System (BAS), a 180-litre fuel tank, intelligent dual-stage front airbags supplemented by side airbags for the front seats and curtain shield airbags for the front and middle row seats, two ISO-FIX child seat anchors, plush leather furnishings.

There is also an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger seat, a one-touch auto up and down function for all four electric windows, a three-zone climate control system with separate controls for rear seat passengers, Optitron instrumentation, a multi-function trip computer and an integrated premium audio system with a convenient six-CD shuttle mounted in the glove compartment.

It includes a 90 000km/five-year service plan.

Prices (including VAT)

Turbo diesel R419 800

VX Turbo diesel R469 800

VX V6 petrol R446 230.