There only two full-sized SUVs in production by Toyota: the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Toyota Landcruiser Prado.
These two SUVs have a lot of things in common but none is a rebadged version of the other. These two SUVs have very distinct designs that make every Tom, Hick, and Harry easily identify them when spotted. However, if you own one of these, you could still easily pimp it up with an upgrade. Would you like to know how to upgrade or facelift your Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado in Nigeria?
You always see these cars with Nigerian politicians and CEOs right?
The Land Cruiser is actually divided into the off-road and the comfort models. The off-road models are mostly used as a defense vehicle in the military like the J70 platform Land Cruiser. On the other hand, the comfort models are what we are talking about here. The comfort model of the Land Cruiser can be considered as a boxy SUV while its Land Cruiser Prado brother can be considered a curvy SUV.
They are both all-wheel-drive vehicles, so you don't need to worry about them being either front-wheel or rear-wheel drive vehicles. However, the Prado uses a V6 engine as standard while the Toyota Land Cruiser uses a standard V8 engine.
Also, they have a body-on-frame chassis design or otherwise known as ladder frame chassis. Both cars now pass for Luxury cars and that is why a lot of Nigerian first-class citizens use them. They are also preferred because they are very economical compared to rival land vehicles with the same engine specification. The Toyota Prado 2019/2020 price is set at ₦38,500,000 to ₦45,500,000 while the Land Cruiser is set at ₦40,500,000 to ₦50,000,000.
Today, we talk about how to upgrade Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado in Nigeria to make older year models look like newer year models. With these two cars, something is very special. You can call them the best 'cars of Japan' to upgrade in Nigeria and all over the world.
How to upgrade Toyota Land Cruiser in Nigeria
Can you believe that since the Toyota Prado 2010, the Toyota Landcruiser Prado hasn't been redesigned fully? It keeps getting facelifted by the Japanese car manufacturer on the same engine platforms and this applies to the Toyota Land Cruiser as well.
Since the Toyota Land Cruiser 2008, the SUV has been running on the same design and only goes through facelifts year in year out. This is the biggest advantage of these two cars to Nigerians.
So, how do you go about it? Let me first show you all the points when the two cars got facelifted with the infographic below.
The Prado has been facelifted twice in 10 years
Only one Land Cruiser facelift in 11 years
Facelifting the Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado
There are full conversion kits available for both cars and they range from ₦2,000,000 to ₦3,500,000. There is no point going for the facelift if you won't purchase the complete conversion kit because your car will just look tacky. Imagine a 2015 front end with a 2009 rear end, that is totally unacceptable in the unwritten code of cars upgrading.
You could get this conversion kit easily at car parts dealerships because it is a very common project that Nigerians do with their Land Cruisers. I have been part of upgrading projects on Land Cruisers for 2 popular Nigerian houses of assembly members. I mean, everyone wants to save money on new cars. What is the point of spending an extra ₦40,000,000 on a car that can be achieved with less than ₦5,000,000? Think about it.
A 2009 Land Cruiser facelifted to 2018 in Lagos
The conversion kits include:
- Front/rear bumper
- Front/rear spoilers headlights
- LED fog lamps
- Side skirt
- Side molding
- Exhaust tips
- Side mirror chrome
- Rear chromes
- Front chromes
- Hood cover (bonnet)
- The rear swing gate
2012 Prado facelifted to 2018 in Lagos Nigeria (Look at the ground effect)
Note: The front spoiler is what makes the car have ground effects and look fully kitted.
The interior upgrade hack of the Land Cruiser / Land Cruiser Prado
The interior of both SUVs can be hacked from any year model to look like the latest year model. With the Tesla type screen fully controlled with a touch-sensitive screen. This screen eliminates the use of every form of button including the A/C button as everything would now be controlled from the infotainment.
Tesla screen upgrade on a 2012 Toyota Prado
Depending on how old your SUV is, you might be needing a new upholstery in the car to match the Tesla screen installed. You would also need to upgrade the steering wheel and gear shifter as a stand-alone upgrade (it doesn't come with the conversion kits).
You can see this upholstery upgrade makes the car look better
This is how you achieve a fully upgraded interior on either your Toyota Land Cruiser or the Prado.
Tesla screen upgrade for Toyota Land Cruiser
Upgrading the wheels of the Land Cruiser / Land Cruiser Prado
If you want your old Land Cruiser/Land Cruiser Prado to be undisputedly upgraded, you have to purchase the aftermarket rims that look exactly like the ones on the recent year model. These rims need new tires so that the glow can be complete.
Things that can go wrong with the Land Cruiser Upgrade
- A wrong installation of the infotainment can bring malfunctions or even damage the tesla system.
- Inexperienced panel beaters would make gaps appear on the body parts of the car that gives the car away as being upgraded.
- Wrong wiring of the headlights.
Old VS New steering wheel and gear knob for Prado
There are also aftermarket modifications that make the Prado or Land Cruiser look sporty but you would rarely see that in Nigeria because the two SUVs are executive cars. The most expensive aftermarket tuner for both SUVs is called 'WALD.' A Wald body kit for Toyota Prado 2018 costs about ₦5,500,000.
Can you see how sporty the SUV looks?
Frequently asked questions about Land Cruiser/Prado upgrade
Here are some frequently asked questions about upgrading these cars in Nigeria and answers :
Would the engine also be upgraded?
No, the engine won't be upgraded. The engine on a 2009 Prado is very similar to the engine in a 2018 Prado because Toyota rarely builds new engines for its cars. There is also no need to think about an engine upgrade when executing a Land Cruiser upgrade.
The 2020 Toyota Prado still has the same old engine V6 engine while the 2020 Land Cruiser is getting an engine downgrade from a standard V8 to V6 because of emission laws.
Check out this modified Land Cruiser from Russia, it is really awesome! :
What would happen to the old parts?
You choose what happens with the parts as the car owner. You can sell it to someone who needs new body kits and parts for a Land Cruiser/ Prado. You would gain thousands of Naira doing this transaction. So you have to make sure that the panel beaters working on the upgrade for you handle every old part with care so that they can retain standard value.
TheToyota Land Cruiser upgrade in process in Lagos
Can I upgrade my car more than once?
According to my experience in the field, you should upgrade your car only twice because the more you upgrade the weaker your car body gets, and then the value keeps dropping in the second-hand car market.
For example, say you upgrade your 2009 model Prado to a 2012 model then 3 years later you upgrade the same car to a 2015 Toyota Prado. If you dare upgrade that car to a Toyota Prado 2019 after 4 years, the car's body won't be strong enough to glorify the last upgrade. It would look very tacky.
How can I identify an upgraded Land Cruiser/Prado?
If the upgrade was well done, you won't easily tell from the exterior. However, from the interior, you would have an idea if the car is upgraded or not. The overall interior design can't be changed especially the interior trims. You can google the Toyota Prado specifications for the year model it looks like then compare the pictures online to what you are trying to be clear on.
Above all, the surest way to know if a car is upgraded is by checking the chassis number to confirm is there is a mismatch between the year of the car and what it looks like. Please, know that you can never know from the Toyota Prado price, it might be a scam.
Must I respray my SUV after the upgrade?
It is a must for a complete facelift because the fabrication processes to fit the new parts would leave your car in a mess. Also, most parts come colorless or the colors won't match with the paint color on your car. Learning how to protect your car paint will come in handy for you too.
Knowing how to upgrade Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado in Nigeria really just makes a lot of sense. Be careful when buying a Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Prado for sale in Nigeria to avoid being scammed into paying higher than the value of the car. Check Naijauto.com to have an idea of Toyota Prado prices in Nigeria and also the Land Cruiser.
>>> Read also: What you need to know about upgrading your car in Nigeria