Toyota Prado can ditch boot spare tyre for the city slicker
TOYOTA'S much vaunted bush-basher is tucking in its shirt as it dresses up for the urban commute.
The maker has ditched the rear mounted full-size spare tyre from the back door of the Prado - a major bugbear for families over the years - as it channels its inner urban cowboy.
The Prado's core use has changed as the tough off-roader is increasingly enlisted for the school run rather than being spotted out bush.
And to that effect the Japanese giant is now offering buyers the no-cost option of moving the spare to underneath the vehicle.
In its place will be a regular tailgate with a pop-out glass hatch.
The glass hatch gives owners access to the boot for smaller items without having to use the unwieldy large door.
Previously the awkwardly located spare tyre made getting to the boot much harder due to the extra weight - especially on any sort of gradient with the door often swinging back.
Toyota has ditched the Prado's second fuel tank to make room for the relocated spare. The removal of the second tank reduces fuel capacity from 150L to 87L, consistent with urban use.
The new tailgate is available on all versions except the entry-level GX.
Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Sean Hanley says: "Prado buyers, particularly those who drive mainly around town, will appreciate being able to open the tailgate wider in cramped situations such as when parked close to other vehicles or using a towing hitch.
"The glass hatch can also be opened for quick and easy access to the luggage area even in tight spaces, while the revised styling bears a strong resemblance to the LandCruiser 200 Series family."
Toyota made the revised tailgate a permanent addition to the range after the success of a similar limited edition model last year.
"The success of the special-edition models confirmed there was healthy demand for the relocated spare, particularly among buyers who don't necessarily require the … extra fuel tank," says Hanley.
Despite the Prado's city-slicker leanings the vehicle retains its tough and dependable underpinnings. Its reliable and strong engines will tackle the roughest terrain with aplomb.
The Prado is covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty - the duration is trailing rivals, many of which have unlimited kilometre coverage.
New car warranty periods are firming as the next battleground for car makers as they look to gain market share.
Only Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen among the top 10 selling brands do not have a five-year guarantee or better.
The company says: "At this stage, Toyota Australia has no plans to extend its warranty for new vehicles. However, we are looking at additional guest-centric programs designed to extend the new Toyota feeling and will provide more information in due course."