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2021 Toyota LandCruiser Prado: Which spec is best?

By David Bonnici, 31 Aug 2020 Car Advice

Which Prado variant offers the best buy based on features, performance and value?

2021 Toyota landcruiser prado range

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.

In showrooms from October 2020, the updated 2021 Prado range has received a range of updates including the deletion of the manual versions and the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine receiving the same power-boost as the 2021 HiLux and Fortuner.

MORE: 2021 Toyota Prado pricing and features

It also gains a new infotainment system with a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and MyToyota which adds third-party apps such as Waze, AccuWeather and Stitcher. 

Other range-wide additions include day and night pedestrian and cyclist protection for the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system, lane-keeping assist and road-sign assist.

Variants

There are four main Prado variants. The range starts from $59,840 with the five-seat Prado GX that’s powered by the turbo diesel with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Prado GX

Standard equipment includes:

  • The 9.0-inch touchscreen.

  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

  • Reversing camera display

  • Cruise control.

  • Keyless entry and start.

  • Durable cloth seats.

  • 17-inch alloy wheels.

  • Rain-sensing windscreen wipers.

The GX comes standard with five seats, but third-row seating is a $2550 option. 

Upgrading from the GX to Prado GXL also brings seven seats as standard along with:

Prado GXL

  • Side steps, which make it easier to get in and out of the car.

  • Roof rails for mounting luggage systems. 

  • Long-lasting LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED front fog lamps

  • Rear parking sensors. 

  • Three-zone climate control air-conditioning, which lets the driver, front passenger and rear-seat passengers separately set their desired cabin temperatures. 

  • A driver-switched lock for the rear differential, which can help you go further in difficult 4WD conditions.

Prado GXL variants can also be specified with a premium leather-accented interior as a $3,470 option.

All versions from the GXL up come with a no-cost option of having the spare wheel and tyre stowed underneath the Prado rather than on the tailgate.

Spending more on the Prado VX brings:

Prado VX

  • Bigger 18-inch alloy wheels.

  • Leather-trimmed seats. 

  • Heated and ventilated front seats with lumbar support. 

  • Third-row seats that retract with the flick of a switch.

  • Refrigerated centre-console cool box. 

  • 14-speaker JBL premium sound system.

  • Headlights that switch on automatically when it gets dark. 

  • Blind-spot warning and a rear cross-traffic alert. 

  • Front and rear parking sensors.

  • Multi-terrain monitor that uses front, rear and two side cameras to allow the driver to check vehicle blind spots and confirm their surroundings. This includes a panoramic view that enables the driver to check for other vehicles at blind intersections.

Spend more for the Prado Kakadu and your best additional feature will be its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which gives both flatter on-road handing and more off-road capability. KDSS works by automatically adjusting the tension on the suspension’s anti-roll bars. For some reason, this feature was removed from the VX in November 2017.

MORE: Toyota Prado KDSS review

The Kakadu also features Crawl Control, which automatically controls the accelerator and brakes through very rough terrain at a speed you select: all you have to do is steer.

Prado Kakadu

Multi-Terrain Select allows you to tailor stability control and traction control for different off-road conditions. The Kakadu also has self-levelling and height-adjustable rear suspension, and the driver can change suspension settings for a softer ride, or sportier handling.

On the luxury side, the Kakadu has a sunroof and driver’s seat that remembers settings for two different drivers. And a rear-seat DVD entertainment system can help keep children occupied.

All versions from the GXL up come with a no-cost option of having the spare wheel and tyre stowed underneath the Prado rather than on the tailgate.

  • Prado GX, 5-seats - $59,840
  • Prado GXL, 7-seats - $66,540
  • Prado VX, 7-seats - $76,380
  • Prado Kakadu, 7-seats - $87,030

Our pick

The VX is great for serious highway and off-road travelling, but the GXL has a good range of standard features and the $10,000 difference from the VX would go a long way to paying for your travels.

Prado VX

Available options

  • Third-row seat (GX) - $2550
  • Premium interior (GXL) - $3470
  • Optional paint (all grades) - $600
  • Flat tailgate (GXL and above) -no added cost