The Toyota LandCruiser Prado is the quintessential go-anywhere 4WD SUV that’s very comfortable as a day-to-day family car, while being built extra tough for long outback trips. It comes with a choice of 4.0-litre V6 petrol and 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engines in five- or seven-seat configurations. Because it’s designed to travel long distances, all but one special version of the Prado is equipped with a big 87-litre fuel tank and a 63-litre auxiliary tank.
There are four main Prado variants plus a special edition ‘Altitude’ model that’s more tailored to urban duties. The range starts from $54,090 with the five-seat Prado GX that’s powered by the turbo diesel, borrowed from the Toyota Hilux trade ute, coupled with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes a touchscreen with reversing camera display, cruise control, keyless entry and start, durable cloth seats and 17-inch alloy wheels. Third-row seating is a $1440 option.
The Prado GXL comes with seven seats and both engine choices, although, as with the rest of the range, the V6 petrol is only available with the six-speed auto. Extra equipment includes satellite navigation, side steps, roof rails, front fog lights, a cargo blind, three-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
Further up the range the Prado VX introduces the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which gives both flatter on-road handing and more off-road capability by automatically adjusting the tension on the suspension’s anti-roll bars. The VX also comes with 18-inch alloys, dusk sensing headlights, auto windscreen wipers, leather-trimmed and heated seats, and front parking sensors. The third-row seats also fold up and down with the push of a button.
The range-topping Prado Kakadu brings plenty of features for its $10,000 premium over the VX: mainly advanced driver assist technology including automatic emergency braking, radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert.
Specific off-road functions include a rear-differential lock, Crawl Control, and self-levelling and height adjustable suspension. Multi-Terrain Select lets you control stability and traction control over different surfaces.
Extra creature comforts include refrigerated centre console bin, sunroof, powered driver’s seat with memory settings, and DVD screens for rear passengers.
The Prado Altitude bridges the gap between the GXL and VX with the big smoke in mind. It replaces the big swing-out tailgate with a fold-up version with separate opening rear that allows much easier access. The spare tyre, which is mounted on the tailgate in other models, is stored underneath the vehicle with the 63-litre auxiliary tank removed to accommodate it.
Based on the GXL, it comes with the diesel engine and six-speed auto, and a bunch of extras including 18-inch alloys, a tilt-and-slide moonroof, auto-levelling LED headlamps, chrome side mouldings, black leather-accented upholstery, eight-way powered front seats and premium entertainment system featuring a JBL 14-speaker audio system, digital radio and DVD system. The Prado Altitude was released in April 2017 and limited to 1200 units, and was still available at the time of writing.
- Prado GX, 5-seat, diesel, manual - $54,050
- Prado GX, 5-seat, diesel, auto - $54,990
- Prado GXL, diesel, manual - $61,190
- Prado GXL, diesel, auto - $63,230
- Prado GXL, petrol, auto - $62,210
- Prado Altitude, diesel, auto - $68,320
- Prado VX, petrol, auto - $74,170
- Prado VX, diesel, auto - $75,190
- Prado Kakadu, petrol, auto - $84,880
- Prado Kakadu, petrol, auto - $85,900
First and foremost go with the diesel engine. It’s not as sprightly as the V6 petrol but its way less thirsty around town or when towing, driving up hills or in general off-road use. We’re talking a difference between 7.9L/100km and 11.6L/100km. Fill both fuel tanks and the diesel will take you 600km further.
The VX is great for serious highway and off-road travelling, but the GXL has a good range of standard features and the $12,000 difference from the VX would go a long way to paying for your travels.
That said, if you don’t have any plans to travel far and wide, the Prado Altitude offers great value and is worth looking at while it’s still available.
- Third row seating (GX only) - $1440
- Premium paint - $431
- Roof racks – check with your nearest dealer