Saturday, February 24, 2007

In Praise of Prado

We've just returned from a packed, exciting five-day trip to the United Arab Emirates, the full story of which I'll be writing on Neal of Arabia over the next few days.

This was a road -- and off-road -- trip, the kind of trip where your car makes the difference between dream and nightmare, and I'm very glad to say that the trip was a dream; thanks to my wonderful, trusty, smooth, comfortable, roomy, never-say-die Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

On Monday I drove 1100km from Riyadh to Dubai in ten hours: the Prado cruised all the way.

On Tuesday we drove around Dubai, visiting shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants: the Prado was the ultimate town car.

On Wednesday we went "wadi-bashing": the Prado never missed a beat as I drove it over rough rocks and down the steep inclines of Wadi Asimah.

On Thursday we drove over hundreds of tightly-grouped, steep sand dunes in the desert, loaded with camping equipment: the Prado was as sure-footed as a Mountain Goat. We never got stuck in the sand once (others did), and we never broke a bumper (others did).

On Friday we drove back across the sand dunes, pumped up the tyres, and then drove the 1100km back to Riyadh, again in ten hours: the Prado cruised happily all the way.

This is the best, most reliable, practical car I have ever owned. It also looks good and is a joy to drive. What more could you ask? Well, better fuel consumption I suppose, but then I live in a country where petrol is practically free.

Thank you Toyota.

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