Next-gen Toyota Prado to come with a hybrid electric powertrain [Update]

Despite global emission norms tightening with every passing year and the heightening emphasis of governments on manufacturers to introduce BEVs, some gas-guzzling off-roaders are hanging on. Such is the case of at least Toyota’s go-anywhere SUVs Toyota Prado and Toyota Land Cruiser. According to a report from Japanese auto magazine bestcarweb.jp, the company plans to renew the smaller of the iconic 4×4 SUVs for another generation.

Release Date

The current, fourth-gen Toyota Land Cruiser Prado came out in September 2009 and it has received two facelifts in this time. The all-new, fifth-gen Toyota Prado would debut in November 2022, as per Creative311.

A report from carsales.com.au suggests that there would be a delay in the market launch of the next-gen Land Cruiser Prado in Australia, where the car has a strong fan following. A source privy to developments, has said that the redesigned model is “at least more than two years away” from the region. With the launch timing in Australia affected, the market release in New Zealand may also be pushed back.

New Toyota Land Cruiser sketch
Expect the 2023 Toyota Prado to retain the appearance and visual qualities of a frame SUV, keeping its distance from crossovers. Image: Sketch of the LC300 by Instagram page landcruiserupdates

The source revealing the deferred launch talked about the design of the model. The exterior would not be similar to that of the RAV4 as represented by some auto magazine renders recently. Toyota has to maintain the design identity of the globally acclaimed off-roader, and giving it the garb of a crossover sounds illogical for this main reason. Toyota’s crossover range has grown considerably since the Prado came out in 2009, and if anything, the virility would be heightened in the new generation.

Dimensions & Platform

The Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Prado would retain their heritage of die-hard body-on-frame SUVs. However, they would move to Toyota’s TNGA modular platform, which underpins most of the new Toyota models in the marketplace. Toyota is engineering a new version of the TNGA called TNGA-F for its upcoming large SUVs and pickups.

The next-gen 2023 Toyota Prado would have “a clean exterior design”, says Best Car magazine. Chances for a 3-door version look slim, while the 5-door version is expected to measure 4,825 mm in length, 1,885 mm in width and 1,830 mm height and have a 2,790 mm wheelbase. For reference, the current model (5-door version) has the same dimensions except for the height (1,835 mm/1,850 mm).

Powertrains to include hybrid

Seating options would be the same as today’s model – 5- and 7-seat. The big news is that the all-new Toyota Prado would be available with a new parallel-hybrid powertrain comprising a 2.7-litre gasoline engine and electric motor(s) it is reported. Customers would also get to opt for an improved version of the 1GD-FTV 2.8-litre diesel engine, which produces 150 kW (204 PS/201 hp) and 500 Nm in the current model.

CarSales Australia speculates that the Prado Hybrid would employ a smaller 2.5L petrol engine. Expect clarity to emerge on the powertrain later this year.

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado interior dashboard
Expect the new Toyota Prado to be unveiled in 2022 with a larger infotainment screen and new driver assistance features. Pictured is the current Prado, courtesy Toyota.

Current Toyota Prado to soldier on with minor updates

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J150 is getting an update in Japan in June in what could be the final (or pre-final) intervention, as per a report from creative311.com. Changes would help the model stay somewhat fresh until the touch down of the new generation model next year.

Creative311 reports that Toyota will reduce body colors from nine to five: White Pearl Crystal Shine, Black Attitude Black Mica, Red Mica Metallic, and Avant-Garde Bronze Metallic. The third-row seat upholstery will see a downgrade from genuine leather to faux leather, while the front seat backrests will receive a new design, the report adds. Customers selecting the Black or Attitude Black Mica paint option won’t get to specify the interior in beige this year. In the Black Edition grade, the seat color will go from black to brown, and so will the emblem design and floor mat.

On the equipment front, the cool box available optionally in the TZ-G grade will be discontinued. Clearance sonar and back sonar, standard only in TZ-G diesel configuration, will become standard. Lastly, the TX grade with L package (gasoline & diesel) will come with new 19-inch wheels.

For the United States

Toyota doesn’t sell the Prado in the U.S., and it is highly unlikely to change its mind in the next generation. What the renewal of the Prado means for Americans is the possibility of the Lexus GX staying in showrooms for another generation.