My Land Cruiser Prado - Ownership Review


Thread Starter #1
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This is my first thread in this Forum. So need a little introduction. Let the first picture explain the terrain where this Tread starts. It is somewhere near to Wafra, an agriculture area in Kuwait.

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The picture will give some hint about the Vehicle.

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Yes. It is a Toyota vehicle.

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Preface

I was using Mitsubishi Galant Super Saloon (SS) prior to the proposed vehicle. The Galant is the elder brother of Mitsubishi Lancer, which is available in India. Shape almost identical but slightly bigger bonnet and cargo space. Like lancer it got low seating position (i). Entry and Exit are difficult. It got cargo space, but the cargo space door won’t open fully. Mostly we have weekend visit to airport to see off friends and relatives. Hence, the cargo space is important but due to the door opening is not wide enough to include second baggage (ii). Managing bumps is difficult when three passengers are accommodated at the rear seat(iii). Again, the car got blue metallic paint. Dark color is difficult to manage, as climate condition changes quickly. If any scratches, it will be highlighted. I prefer white color(iv). I used this vehicle extensively, and reached the time to change that vehicle particularly i, ii, iii, and iv above.

During my vacation, I got chance to drive rental Mahindra Scorpio (2008 Model) for almost one month. I made long drives, and some off-road drives. It was a different feel driving an SUV. The captain seat view is amazing. Seating is high. Ingress and Egress are easy. Difficult for parents. Decent cargo space, with wide opening door.

Purchase

So, Why can’t I try a land cruiser Prado. I fond that a new design with a new front profile is coming in year 2011. There are two flavors, 4Cyclinder (2.7VVT) and 6 Cylinder (3.2VVT). Only petrol variants are available. Six Cylinder model is having sapre tyre mounted on back door, while 4 Cylinder under the belly. Each model got different options. They call it as TX, TX-L, TX-L1 etc., TX model is having very basic options while TX-L model is having almost all options. The price difference is very high in between these models. The model available here in Kuwait comes from Japan. They offer warranty of 3 years or 100,000Kms which ever come early. The Toyota agent here in Kuwait is known and well established. They have garages in almost all main places. They send technicians to Japan for extensive hands-on training.

Finally, settled for Land Cruiser Prado TX-L (4 Cylinder Full options 4x4). It got side graphics of Land Cruiser Prado. Now let the picture explain. The vehicle at the delivery garage. The technicians will give a short demo of all controls. The vehicle is Left Hand Driving (LHS) driving, compared to India where RHS driving. Roads are well laid with all markings, not like Indian Roads.

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No Pre-Delivery Inspections (PDI). There are many quality check points. The vehicle handing over is a separate process, on a separate delivery garage. Before delivering to customer, they inspect all areas, including tyre pressure. The first service is at 1000kms as with all countries. The service interval is 5000kms for engine oil change. The first 1000kms (running period), they advice to drive below 3000rpm, or 100kms. No unwanted engine raising. Like in India, the insurances are third party and comprehensive. I opted for comprehensive insurance for the first year, and third party for second, third years. The Toyota agent will make registration, and other documentations. One can complete in 30 minutes all these paper works. Now the vehicle completing third year with 35000km on Odometer.

The third seat is flat bed type. We can pull it to its regular position to accommodate the passenger or flatbed for cargo space. This is the beauty of the new model. The same Prado models are available in India, but with Diesel Engine. I found one in Nippon Toyota Kottayam. It is having 3.0Litre D4D Diesel engine, the same one in Fortuner but with different Tuning. Toyota follow different numbering, I believe it is GX or VX options. Prado cabin is roomy unlike Fortuner. The driver seat is properly positioned to have a good view of the Terrain.

Climate control is three zone individually controllable. The front passengers can adjust separate temperature settings, while the rear can have different settings.

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The 4x4 Control by a rotary switch, near to Transmission lever.

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A small fridge is positioned at the middle portion between front seats. It can accommodate decent items for 5 passengers at least. The rear side of the fridge, is having separate climate control for rear passengers.

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Flat bed third row seating. The seat can be folded, and kept as flatbed. It increases the cargo space. The middle seats can be moved front, and back. So two adults can easily occupy these seats.

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The stereo system is regular, 6CD changer but no video options. Green indicator on the console is the rear parking sensors, graphically readable. Steering mount control are handy to control Bluetooth paired phones, and Stereo. The traction is Automatic (4Speed), with 4x4 options. Disc brakes all around, and braking performance is much better compared to Toyota Fortuner.

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The driver can see all rear passengers through this mirror. The passenger can feel that as if they are talking face to face.

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There is Malayalam Film, ‘Thiruvambadi Thampan’. The film is all about a Land Cruiser Prado, making some off-road driving. On a big screen, the side profile is very much interesting. Exteriors are properly aligned to enhance the overall character.

Interiors are excellent, but same aspect with Toyota not provisioning LCD, Navigation systems etc. Space is sufficiently enough.

Ride and Handling is super. Let me refer back to first or second picture, where we did little off-road driving. It got balanced control on any Terrain. Steering is smooth, and controls well on slow speed as well as high speed.
 
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That was a nice & short review. The starting section was really interesting.
You have got yourself a very good car. The prado is a car which has got some capabilities of its bigger brother TLC.
How old is the vehicle now? How much kms done?
Is there 4x2 Option available in Kuwait?
 
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Nice thread, it would be rare and iconic.

In one of the pic, I see, your thigh is very close to steering wheel, does the steering touch the driver's thigh at some point?
 
Thread Starter #5
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Thanks 350Z, jihu123, and Tornado.

What Tornado mentioned is right. But it is not because of captain seat, or steering wheel. I am 6'1''. Now you can figure out me from one of the picture. The steering wheel is having adjustments, together with driver seat adjustments can make comfortable driving position.

As mentioned before, the Malayalam Film, ‘Thiruvambadi Thampan’ will show the true capacity of Prado. These two below pictures will explain the true caliber of Land Cruiser Prado.

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Dear Mathew
Welcome to TAI. It is a sensible buy for the Gulf countries. Enjoy the Prado to the fullest and do post pictures of any offroading adventures you have undertaken. If I am not wrong this is the first Prado post in our forum.

Many Congratulations
 
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Hi Mathew,
What's the price of the SUV there?Do you have Toyota service networks or have different brands being serviced at a single place.How long does the govt issue fitness or after how many years does one have to get fitness checked by any govt agency?
Regards,
Aneesh.
 
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Thanks 350Z, jihu123, and Tornado.

What Tornado mentioned is right. But it is not because of captain seat, or steering wheel. I am 6'1''. Now you can figure out me from one of the picture. The steering wheel is having adjustments, together with driver seat adjustments can make comfortable driving position.

As mentioned before, the Malayalam Film, ‘Thiruvambadi Thampan’ will show the true capacity of Prado. These two below pictures will explain the true caliber of Land Cruiser Prado.

View attachment 115279

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@Mathew

Excellent review and beautiful pictures. This reminds me my days in KSA in 80's where I was owning a Mitsubishi Galant sedan. It was a really a good car and for it's memory I bought a Lancer Glxd as soon as HM introduced in India.
 

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Thread Starter #9
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Thanks srid68.
To draneeshpm, noted your points. Watch this space for more details.
To AR Ram, noted your memories. Let me add a picture that will provide little more details. The Galant in your picture is 4th generation model. It may be rear wheel drive. Later models are front wheel drive. This model is most sturdy and robust. Sheet metal used of high quality. I owned both generation 6 and 8.

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Nice that you are keeping your old memories. I regret lately about my mistake of not keeping any vehicle pictures. The color of my previous vehicle was amazing. No photos taken to make any reference.
 
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Thanks srid68.
To draneeshpm, noted your points. Watch this space for more details.
To AR Ram, noted your memories. Let me add a picture that will provide little more details. The Galant in your picture is 4th generation model. It may be rear wheel drive. Later models are front wheel drive. This model is most sturdy and robust. Sheet metal used of high quality. I owned both generation 6 and 8.

View attachment 115414

Nice that you are keeping your old memories. I regret lately about my mistake of not keeping any vehicle pictures. The color of my previous vehicle was amazing. No photos taken to make any reference.
Yes, it was a rear wheel drive. After that I bought a Chevy Impala which got amazing comfort, automatic transmission with the lever near the steering wheel, the music system was 8 track cartridge. Down below is the file image and what I had was a metallic sky blue color.

Those nostalgic memories and those vehicles are still haunting me!!!![:D]
 

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Wow what a thread!., I always loved the Prado and its features., for example rear wiper hidden in spoiler and working exactly opposite from other vehicles :) I love this beast., Thank you for this wonderful thread! drive safe
 
Thread Starter #12
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Shipments to Kuwait

Transporting vehicles to Kuwait is a big story. These vehicles are manufactured at Toyota facilities in Japan (Made In Japan). Toyota is having different variants of vehicles and sells in two profiles, regular Toyota Vehicles, and Lexus brand Vehicles. Lexus brand is for high end products with separate channel for transportation, sales, and service. Let us focus on regular brands in this discussion. They sell cars such as Camry, Corolla, Aurion, Innova, RAV4, FJ Cruiser, Fortuner, Land Cruiser Prado, Land Cruiser, Hilux, Sequoia, Yaris, Coaster Series Mini Bus, HiAce Van etc. These vehicles reach Dubai port using Mother Ships, and later moved to Kuwait in smaller Ships.

Check this Video.​

Shipping Cars from Japan! - YouTube

Two pictures showing for illustration (Courtesy to the respective owners- from web).

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The stock yard is another big area, in square kilometers. They have separate garage for quality checks, key-point checks, and final hand-over to respective customers. The reception lobby of this delivery garage is like a mini Auditorium. Throughout the shipments they maintain one sticker as showed below. This sticker is positioned just below the rear view mirror on front glass.

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Some customers will maintain this sticker for years, or they move to side mini glass for showing as new vehicle. But, this sticker/card is the sole tracking document for the entire shipment till the customer end.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah visited India in these days. Kuwait is keen to invest in infrastructural and financial sectors in India through its $350-billion sovereign fund. India was also reportedly looking for participation of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in dis-investment of public sector undertakings.[Courtesy to Newspapers]

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We used to have a Gen 6 Mitusbishi Lancer (not Galant) in the exact same colour as the one in the photo. One of our friends had the exact same Galant in the same color. I, as a little kid, used to wonder what the difference was between the Lancer and the Galant then except for the different names, auto gearbox and power windows. [clap]
Even now, I wonder if there was a difference in the engine capacities. It was funny how two cars that looked exactly the same from outside could have different names back then.

Regards,
Vipin
 
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Hey Mathew, Congrats on your beautiful Prado[clap], the LC Prado is the apt vehicle. Much better than the 'Fortuner' offered here in India. LC Prado looks stunning in white color, just love the stance of it, its a real SUV.
Thanks for all the shipment info. etc. very interesting.
Pls. do share some more offroading experiences of yours in your 'Prado' with lots and lots of pics, thanks.
 
Last edited:
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Hi,
Congratulations on your Toyota Prado..
As we all know the Technically and Mechanically Toyota badged Cars are very well done and its proved all through this years. But as i see in all the segment cars from Toyota, the interiors (Dashboard objects setup) were not matched with the competitors.
Even in India Innova and Fortuner were not having designed with some good looking Dashboards / Consoles etc., Its simple and plain looking.
 
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