The current Toyota Land Cruiser we get in the U.S. — at least for now — is the flagship J200 model. But there are other, cheaper Land Cruisers in the lineage we don’t get. One is the J150 Land Cruiser Prado. (For the record, the Lexus GX460 does run on the J150 platform).
The Prado is more of a pure, workhorse-y Land Cruiser designed to conquer terrain in markets like South Africa and Australia. Now, it seems Toyota is giving the Land Cruiser Prado some upgrades we won’t see Stateside that make it even more of a desirable piece of forbidden fruit.
One upgrade is a new version of the 2.8-liter inline-four diesel engine used in the Hilux pickup. It puts out 201 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque, and pairs with a new six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It can cycle between five different drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Normal and Eco. It gives the Prado a tow rating of 6,600 pounds, higher than the GX460 with its 4.6-liter V8.
The Land Cruiser Prado is also getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, absent from the Land Cruiser and the GX. Luxury features like heated rear seats and a refrigerated center console are also being added to the mix.
Another cool feature the Land Cruiser Prado has that isn’t available in the U.S. is a rear-mounted spare — which, besides looking badass, offers space for an auxiliary fuel tank that bumps capacity to nearly 40 gallons. For comparison, the Land Cruiser has a 24.6-gallon tank and the GX has a 19-gallon one. That feature is excellent for overlanding (and for avoiding jokes about the Land Cruiser having to make trips to the pump).
Pricing for the Land Cruiser Prado in South Africa starts at the equivalent of around $63,000, which is about $10,000 more than the GX.
The Land Cruiser Prado is a fun look at what the GX could look like here, if Lexus decided to overhaul it. Though, considering that the old one is still plugging around selling three times as often as the LX and Land Cruiser combined, there’s not much reason to do so.