Need a practical 4x4 without the extra trimmings and luxury add-ons? You're in luck as Toyota recently revealed a 'Utility' variant of the Land Cruiser Prado over in the UK. While wearing only the bear minimum in terms of aesthetics, this particular LC Prado still comes with off-road capability thanks to its tall ride height, relatively short overhangs and 4x4 drivetrain.
“Bringing the exceptional strength of Land Cruiser to our LCV line-up adds a valuable new dimension to the range, alongside the rugged Hilux pick-up and versatile Proace medium-duty van. We are sure that the quality and performance that have made Land Cruiser such a strong performer worldwide will be sought after by customers who need a vehicle they can rely on to do the job, every time,” said Gareth Matthews, Toyota Light Commercial Vehicle Manager in the UK.
Available in both short wheelbase (three-door) and long wheelbase (five-door) versions, the Land Cruiser Prado Utility shares the familiar styling of the standard models albeit wearing less chrome and pizzaz. Up front it gets standard halogen headlights and a matte-black grill. It also gets 17-inch steel wheels instead of alloys which works with the Prado's 'utilitarian' duties.
In terms of size, the three-door measures 4395mm long while the five-door comes in at 4840mm long. They also slightly differ in height as the three-door measures 1830 tall while the five-door is 1845mm high. Both have a width of 1885mm.
To make full use of its cargo space, Toyota opted to remove the second row bench as well as the third row seats entirely. This allows the LC Prado Utility to carry both tall and long loads with ease. The automaker even installed a non-slip flat floor tray to make sure the cargo does not move about while in transit. In addition, Toyota installed a rear bulkhead divider between the front seats and the cargo bay for a safer and easier access to the cargo.
While it is built for hauling, Toyota did install some in-car amenities like air-conditioning, cruise control, six-speaker audio system with CD, Bluetooth, Aux and USB connectivity and keyless smart entry.
Under the hood, the Land Cruiser Prado is powered by the familiar 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV turbo-diesel engine that is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and 4WD system. Both the SWB and LWB versions are rated at 177 PS but have different torque outputs. The former only generates 420 Nm of pulling power while the lattter gets a healthier dose at 450 Nm. Both vehicles can go from 0 – 100 km/h in 12.1 seconds and reach a top speed of nearly 175 km/h.
An array of safety features like anti-lock brakes, front, side and driver's knee airbags, traction control, vehicle stability control, trailer sway control and tire pressure monitoring system come as standard on the 2018 Land Cruiser Prado Utility.
While essentially marketing as a 'commercial' version, this new version could be part of an off-roader's pipe dream realized as it now gets rid of virtually all the parts they want to throw away and replace. There is no word yet if Toyota will offer the Utility version of the Land Cruiser Prado outside the UK.