Today i want us to discuss TOYOTA LAND CRUISER PRADO
A vehicle that have lovers, admirers and haters in almost equal numbers and what makes lovers love it is exactly what makes haters hate it.. the SUSPENSION
Am sure you have heard alot of stories about prados and their stability horror and some people believe prados got their suspension straight outta horror movies and it might be true because prado is the wrong car for speeding unless you are on a straight road that doesnt have a bump or pothole.. chances of rolling a prado are 50/50, like 50% we die 50% we get home, but do you its not all prados that have this problem?
Someone will say prado is prado, what are you saying? Look, prado is probably among the most diverse car model if not the most, number 1 or 2 of the cars with very many different variants. We have like 7 or 8 different versions of prado. I’m not sure how many they are but i suspect we could have upto 10 diffrent versions and most of them look alike you cant tell unless you get the owner and many owners dont even know the difference.
On the right side of the rear door we have some letters written and some of them dont have, like TX, TXL, TZ, TZ-G, VX, VXL, GX, KAKADU etc, they are so many and they have engines from 2.4L all the way to 4.4L v6, they have engines that share with shark 5L matatu, vigo D4D 3.0L turbo diesel, 4.0L v6 and we even had a 4.6l v8 for some markets like USA and Australia which was discontinued around 2013 which was sharing engine platform with the likes of lexus 470.
Prado has grading in terms of comfort, and interior accessories as well as suspension. There are prados that use petrol and are thirsty as hell and there are diesel ones that are known to be so powerful offroad but lazy on highway speed. What most Kenyans drive is the TX and it is the lowest grade of prado and the most affordable prado and it is the prado with issues of suspension being so bouncy but it is a prado designed for offroad. If you ask those who own it, that thing can go literally anywhere and it is so hard to break, that thing is unkillable and most of the ones available in kenya are diesel 3.0L D4D engines and 2.8L and they are cheap compared to other SUVs coz with 2.5m you can own a very clean prado TX locally used.
Kakadu and TZ_G are the godfathers of prado, they are the most luxurious and also costly followed by the locally assembled XVL that Toyota Kenya been selling for years with spare wheel at the back. VXL is fast and also very stable and they dont have issues of rolling like the TX and politicians love them because in a convoy of land cruiser 200 v8, a vxl will keep up with crazy speeds and if things go wrong in a political rally VXL is safe to speed offroad and get away.. diesel prados especially the 2.8l and 3.0L turbo diesel will give you very nice fuel consumption of upro 12kmpl while the 4.4L petrol can drink 4.5kmpl. very thirsty but very fast and comfortable.
Prados are not unstable, they are designed to handle offroad and you will never see a prado roll offroad unless you make it roll, but the same suspension that jumps over rocks is what you want to take corners at 120kph? Anything labelled Land Cruiser is a monster offroad so when you choose to take it to the highways just remember you are on an offroad suspension that can stretch to 1m long and spring you back like a rat trap and thats why Toyota made Lexus as the highway SUV for people who want speed, comfort and have money to spend.
Look at the gap between the wheel and body panel, that gap is big and it can increase to an extra 1 foot with that wheel still on the ground that means if there is anywhere a prado cant go, its probably your fault.
Finally, a brand new toyota prado will cost you between 13 million to like 18 million depending on which version you are buying. VXL is 13.8m pale Toyota Kenya. Most people who hate prados cant afford it and will not mind getting it for free.