Depending on your propensity for torturing yourself emotionally with things you aren’t allowed to have knowledge of non-US-market cars, you might be familiar with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. If you aren’t, it’s essentially a smaller version of the standard Land Cruiser sold in virtually every area of the globe (both as a four-door and two-door) except for North America. On the bright side, I guess, we get the four-door version in the form of the Lexus GX, a leather-and-wood-swaddled luxury variant, but in other areas of the world, the Prado is a much more humble machine. Toyota, however, just announced this week that the Prado is about to get a lot humbler, with the introduction of the Prado Utility Commercial.

So how humble is it? Well, it comes rocking steel wheels and a cloth interior, while the torquey, 2.8-liter diesel engine sends its power to the wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Meanwhile, the rear seats have been removed, offering up a cavernous cargo area for hauling mulch or, I don’t know, maybe a pack of bandana-wearing golden retrievers? The only limits are your imagination and the 78 cubic feet and 56 cubic feet of cargo space in the long-wheelbase and short-wheelbase versions, respectively.

Ostensibly, these Land Cruisers are made for commercial purposes, but being stripped of their luxuries, they’d make a great blank slate for an overland build. The short-wheelbase version is an especially lust-worthy machine, seeing as smaller off-roaders are easier to wrangle into tight, off-road spaces. Given that Ford is bringing back the Iconic Bronco (potentially in two-door guise) and the next generation Land Rover Defender will be making its ways to our shores, Toyota could certainly use a small, capable and simple two-door off-roader like this to satiate America’s growing lust for such a thing. Bringing it over here is probably just wishful thinking on our part, but it’s okay to dream.

Today in Gear

The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story