The word ‘HATE’ is a word I avoid wherever I can find a less cruel one to use.
It is a word whose meaning is deeper than we care to deliberately acknowledge. When you hate something, it is a bottomless pit of your extreme dislike for it. I HATE rude and entitled people. I dislike this Government. I dislike pain and misery. Do you get the drill?
When you hate, and when you understand the true extent of the word, it means that you wish that ‘that’ you hate a front row seat in hell’s most remote village.
The other day, I stepped out of the office and crossed over to Antonio’s Restaurant & Takeaway’s outside “canteen” to grab a snack. I found a woman making her order. I stood and waited as I caught up on my group chats and emails. The woman asks the attendant for pizza, and the attendant with a pair of togs reaches for a slice from the food warmer and puts it in a paper bag.
In the harshest tone I’ve heard in a very long time, the woman screams at the attendant; “Excuse me, is that Pizza hot?” “No, it’s not. It’s warm,” the attendant responds. And this monster of a woman gives her a very belittling look followed by degrading insults about what she does and how lowlife and unhygienic the attendant is.
The attendant removes the pizza from the paper bag and puts it in a microwave. And this monster loses it now.
“Excuse me! I asked you if it’s hot and you just kept quiet? What’s wrong with you people? You think I don’t have money to go elsewhere for better food and good service?” She screamed at the attendant again. I’d heard the conversation that went on, and here she was acting like she’d not heard the attendant responding politely and trying to meet her exact requirements for the pizza she had ordered.
By the end of the whole ordeal, I truly, genuinely HATED this selfish, ill-mannered woman. I wished she’d choke on that pizza once she tried to put it into her rude mouth. And that is the most recent I have used the word HATE in its full extent and truly meant it.
The 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado TX, and where it relates to this story; it is another thing that I have recently straight out HATED. I have had bad experiences with cars, but this Land Cruiser is by far the most irritating, underwhelming, uncomfortable, overrated car I’ve ever driven.
It’s a machine, and unlike a human being, machines can be tuned, tweaked, designed and conditioned to perform in a specific way and only deviate when something has gone wrong. With this car, it’s hopeless trying to understand why they are so common and loved. Well, they are cheap, there is that. But they are horrible horrible cars.
First of all, anyone that speeds in this car is a moron. That’s my personal judgement from the time I spent with the car. It is too tall and too narrow, seated behind the drivers’ seat, it’s obvious that if you speed and a child suddenly hops into the road, even at 70 km/hr, if you swerve, you’ll flip it.
We’ve read and even seen a number of published stories about Ugandans that have tipped over these Prados. Coincidence? I think not!
Of course, they’ve been tested and by the time they went into production they must have been certified to have passed all mandatory checks for safety and regulation standards. But why are they so horrible? Is there a specific checklist to score a certain percentage of recklessness before you can buy this car that Ugandan buyers have to tick off?
All this cannot be that I am witch-hunting or picking-on the frankly very unattractive SUV. All factors considered and all scenarios in play, it is a terrible car. My review unit had battery issues, alarm issues and a whole bible of other issues, but I won’t judge them all on that. I’ll focus on its general imperfections as a very popular SUV on our roads.
It is very uncomfortable. You seat so high off the ground, which is a good thing, I’ll give it that, but for that height, it’s not too much to ask for out of the factory comfortable seats. And I get it, it is a popular choice meant for “poor” countries therefore not much effort will go into making it luxurious, but for the love of Christ comfortable seats aren’t too much to ask.
I’d understand the underwhelming performance, throttle response and general drive. It is not built on a chassis as heavy and as aerodynamically grounded as the alternatives from other makers, but at least try to match up. It is an off-roader that’s not built for speed at all. And considering most owners don’t do extreme offroading in Uganda, it passes the bar of what owners expect from it.
Behind the wheel, you start to understand why impatient, power-hungry drivers flip these cars. The Prado performs so reluctantly when you really push it. You get to a point where you cannot sanely handle how far you’ve pushed it and you risk flipping it. When it gives you all the power, it’s not safe and the bulky thing becomes uncontrollable.
From a reasonable consumer point of view, it’s justifiable why Ugandans even consider buying this Prado. The ground clearance is excellent for our very poor roads, the diesel version is very good for fuel economy with our soaring fuel prices, it is spacious and can carry the whole family, luggage and your neighbours too, who also have luggage, and finally, people will think you are rich.
It looks powerful and expensive, but that can be contested. It is by the fact one of the cheapest SUVs on our market, and we can list more capable SUVs with some that are a lot cheaper. The powerful and expensive assumption remains with people that don’t really care about cars and which ones are the quality affordable ones.
From a motor enthusiasts point of view, the 2000 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX is an appalling SUV, both in performance and looks. I HATE it. It just doesn’t live up to the implicit capability and luxury. I can’t imagine what it’s like offroad, perhaps an experience of sequential heart attacks and mini-strokes is what would best describe it.
Would I recommend it? I’d prefer not to, but if the advantages I stated above are what you want, and won’t drive too fast, then by all means.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”