Owing to its heritage, the Land Cruiser is easily one of the most capable off-roaders anyone can buy. Even its “baby” sibling, the Land Cruiser Prado, boasts one of the most impressive underpinnings for off-roading. A full-time 4WD system comes standard, so whatever the terrain—whether you’re out prancing on the farm, in the mountains, or deep mud—you’ll never have to worry about your Prado losing traction.
The Land Cruiser Prado offers buyers with a choice between a 4.0-liter gasoline DOHC with Dual VVT-i (271hp, 381Nm)and 2.8-liter DOHC turbocharged diesel engine (201hp, 500Nm). For shifting, the Prado relies on a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift feature. Both engines provide plenty of power for decent acceleration. Chassis support consists of a double wishbone independent at the front and a 4-link type at the back. These are enhanced by kinetic dynamic suspension system stabilizers.
Cabin-wise, premium is the first word that pops in your mind once you view the Land Cruiser Prado interior. Every seat designed to lull you into a heightened sense of relaxation. Leather upholstery, multiple accessory power outlets, dual auto climate control, and a hi-definition 6-speaker audio system give occupants plenty of opportunities to sit back and relax for the ride ahead.
Priced between PHP3.37 and 4.2 million, the Land Cruiser Prado has very few competitors in the market. Below are four of its known contenders.
Before the Montero Sport, the Mitsubishi Pajero was the SUV nameplate most synonymous with the Three Diamond brand. The 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero remains powered by a 3.2-liter in-line 16-valve turbocharged and intercooled VGT Di-diesel engine that puts out 189hp and 441Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a an INVECS-II 5-speed automatic with Sports Mode, aided by a Super Select four-wheel drive system that offers reliable off-road performance.
The latest Pajero’s cabin welcomes a new 6.9-inch touchscreen interface that links to a multi-media entertainment system with GPS navigation functions. Interior comfort is enhanced by the addition of power-adjustable seats (10-way for driver, 4-way for front passenger), rear aircon vents, audio/video jack, USB port, and genuine leather upholstery.
The 2020 Nissan Patrol Royale is one of the ideal choices in the Philippine market if you're considering to purchase a brand new SUV. It’s pricier than the lower trim Prado, but it’s also considerably larger in all dimensional aspects. And the 3075mm wheelbase, compared to the Prado’s 2790mm, ensures all occupants have plenty of legroom to enjoy.
Under the hood is a 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine that boasts a powerful 400hp and 560Nm, mated to a 7-Speed AT with Manual Shift Mode. A Variable 4X4 mode allows drivers to effortlessly switch between four drive modes for ultimate off-road capability. Other noteworthy features include vehicle dynamic control, independent double wishbone suspension with hydraulic body motion control, a 13-speaker Bose audio player, and rear entertainment system to keep passengers at the back occupied during travel.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB—the car that marks the eighth success story for Mercedes-Benz’s MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform—was introduced in the country August of this year. Powering this newly-introduced crossover is an efficient 1.3-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that provides up to 163hp and almost 339Nm of torque. This vehicle has three driving options accessible through a nifty Dynamic Select feature that adjust the engine, transmission, chassis and steering to suit one’s preference. Drive modes include Sport (for agility), ECO (for better fuel efficiency), and Comfort (for a more relaxed ride experience).
The all-new Mercedes Benz GLB is the first seven-seater in the brand’s compact car roster. The additional two seats at the rear, plus the ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages, can hold four suitable child seats in the car. So for those with more than a couple of toddlers in the family, the GLB Class is easily the best luxury SUV to buy. And it doesn’t hurt that the seats are covered with luxurious Black Artico Dinamica microfiber material.
Further, the all-new GLB has the intuitive Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) in-car personal assistant, which can respond to your request and queries with its seven-inch standard central touchscreen controlled by touchpad on the center console, steering wheel controls and natural-language commands.
For 2020, Ford Philippines reduced the Everest SUV line-up from six to four, with the 3.2-liter engine dropped and replaced with a 2.0-liter Turbo (178 hp, 420 Nm) and 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo (210 hp, 500 Nm). A 2.2-liter (160hp, 385Nm) remains available for the base trim. For the new engines, the six-speed automatic transmission has been swapped with a 10-speed auto gearbox with Select Shift. Still, if you’re looking for flexibility in your options, the Ford Everest is easily the one to go for, based on the number of variants alone.
Inside, there’s the usual suspects: dual-zone automatic climate control, rear AC with control switch, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, active noise cancellation, and 12-volt and 230-volt power outlets. With regards to the infotainment system, the eight-inch multi-touch screen runs on Ford's Sync 3 with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and links to nine speakers with subwoofer and amplifier.
Photos from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Ford