Toyota’s sibling rivalry: Land Cruiser Prado vs Land Cruiser 300

Toyota has long been synonymous with rugged reliability and off-road prowess, and the Land Cruiser line-up stands as a testament to this legacy.

Recently, the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado rolled into the South African market, slotting in below the revered Land Cruiser 300 range. Each model brings its unique blend of size, comfort, design, and powertrain options. Let’s dive into how these two SUVs stack up against each other.

Size and design

When it comes to size, the Land Cruiser Prado and the Land Cruiser 300 each offer substantial presence, but with distinct differences. The Prado measures 4 920mm in length, 1 988mm in width, and 1 860mm in height. This makes it 95mm longer, wider and 10mm taller than its predecessor. Its wheelbase has also increased by 60mm, now matching the 2 850mm length of the Land Cruiser 300.

Related: Official pricing and spec announced for Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

The Prado’s design philosophy merges traditional and contemporary elements, featuring horizontal lines, a rectangular grille, and tri-beam headlights, giving it a robust yet refined look.

In contrast, the Land Cruiser 300 boasts a larger profile with a more dramatic design shift from its predecessor. Its angular design exudes a dynamic presence, reminiscent of the beloved 80-series from the 90s. Key design elements include a prominent radiator grille, sculpted rectangular headlamps, and large trapezoidal taillamps, all contributing to its bold and commanding look.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 300. Photo: Supplied.

Comfort and interior features

Inside, both the Prado and the 300 emphasise comfort and functionality, but they cater to slightly different tastes and needs. The Prado offers a choice between five or seven-seat configurations, with a cabin designed for strength and functionality. Leather upholstery is standard, and the top-tier VX-R and First Edition variants include features like a digital rear-view mirror and larger infotainment screens.

Related: DRIVEN | Toyota Land Cruiser 300 3.3D GR-S

The Land Cruiser 300, serving as Toyota’s flagship SUV, takes luxury and versatility to the next level. It comes in three grades: GX-R, ZX, and the off-road-focused GR-S. Features such as power-adjustable third-row seating, a hands-free power tailgate, and advanced multimedia systems with a 12.3-inch screen are standard on the higher trims. The ZX and GR-S variants add premium touches like a JBL 14-speaker audio system, a wireless charger, and a WiFi-enabled rear-seat entertainment system.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Photo: Supplied.

Off-road capabilities

Both models boast impressive off-road credentials, but they cater to different types of adventurers. The Prado rides on the TNGA-F ladder-frame chassis, which is 50% more rigid than the previous generation, enhancing overall vehicle rigidity by 30%. This robust platform allows for improved suspension performance and greater wheel articulation, crucial for tackling challenging terrains.

The Prado also features Toyota’s new stabiliser-bar control system, which can disconnect the front stabiliser bar for better wheel articulation. Enhanced multi-terrain select and monitor systems further bolster its off-road capabilities.

The Land Cruiser 300, on the other hand, is designed as the ‘Master of Africa’ with even more advanced off-road technologies. It introduces the E-KDSS (Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System), which provides excellent wheel articulation and body-roll control. The system electronically links and unlinks the wheels as needed, optimising both on-road handling and off-road performance. Additionally, the 300 series offers a Multi-Terrain Monitor with a 3D display and Turn Assist Function, making it a formidable off-roader.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 300. Photo: Supplied.

Powertrain and performance

Under the hood, the differences become even more pronounced. The Land Cruiser Prado is powered exclusively by a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine producing 150kW and 500Nm, paired with an eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. This engine, also found in other Toyota models like the Hilux, is known for its reliability and decent towing capacity of up to 3 500kg.

The Land Cruiser 300, however, offers a choice between two robust powertrains: a 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol engine generating 305kW and 650Nm, and a 3.3-litre V6 turbodiesel engine producing 225kW and a massive 700Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth and efficient power delivery.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Photo: Supplied.

Price and value

Both the Prado and 300 continue the Land Cruiser brand’s legacy of excellence, each tailored to different needs and preferences. The Prado remains a solid, dependable choice for those who value practicality and off-road capability, while the Land Cruiser 300 offers a more luxurious, powerful, and technologically advanced experience. Whether you’re tackling tough terrains or cruising through urban landscapes, there’s a Land Cruiser ready to meet your demands.

Price-wise, the Prado is more accessible, starting at R1 296 300 for the base TX model and going up to R1 472 600 for the First Edition Bi-Tone. The Land Cruiser 300, with its more luxurious and performance-oriented variants, comes at a premium. The range starts at R1 458 900 for the GX-R and tops out at R2 095 100 for the GR-S 3.5T.

The Prado’s pricing reflects its blend of rugged capability and everyday usability, making it a versatile choice for those needing a reliable family SUV with off-road chops. The Land Cruiser 300’s higher price points are justified by its advanced features, luxurious appointments, and powerful engine options, positioning it as the ultimate choice for those seeking the pinnacle of SUV performance and luxury.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 300. Photo: Supplied.

Land Cruiser Prado

Land Cruiser 300

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Photo: Supplied.

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