What stands out
If you’re after a tough and reliable four-wheel drive that can also double-agent as a family car, then the Prado is probably going to appear on a number of your search results.
It’s one of Australia’s favourite cars for a reason.
But its drivability and handling aren’t exactly at the top of its most attractive features.
It’s a high-riding and heavy vehicle, so it’s not your best choice when it comes to steering, handling, and minimal body roll.
It is, however, a genuine off-roader, and even on the most treacherous roads, the Prado is comfortable and quiet.
Meaning if you need a big family 4WD wagon that can also tough it out in the Outback, then the Toyota Prado is up there as one of your better, and only, choices, competing against a very small group of genuine competitors.
True to Toyota, the Prado comes with all the equipment you’d expect on a modern car.
It’s got smart key entry and smart start at all model levels and electronic traction control, which comes in handy when off-road.
A rear-view camera is also included as standard.
A third row of seats and curtain airbags are options in the base model GX, but standard in the next model up, the GXL, which also gains satellite navigation, a few extra features like side steps and roof racks, and rear parking sensors, to name a few.
The VX gets the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which automatically adjusts the anti-roll bars for better off-road handling.
Throw in front parking sensors, automatic windscreen wipers and lights, and better interiors.
Its third-row seats can also be deployed and retracted electronically.
At the top of the range sits the Kakadu, the model we’ve got here. It gets a bunch of extra safety gear, a sunroof and this box in the centre console is refrigerated.
It’s also the better option for long trips with an entertainment system for the kids and more off-road specific features like a driver-switched lock for the rear differential, crawl control and multi-terrain select.
The choice really depends on why you’re choosing a Prado.
If you want an off-road capable car that’ll predominantly get around the city, then the GXL will do the trick, with our preference being the diesel-engined automatic.
But if you plan on spending a lot more time traversing rutted tracks, then you may want to consider the Kakadu.