The least costly Prado, the GX, offers the third row of seats, and extended curtain airbags for their occupants, as options. Step up to the GXL and both are standard.
Automatic transmission costs an extra $3000. Upgrading to automatic in the GX and GXL models also brings a Pre Crash Safety System, which incorporates automatic emergency braking, plus active cruise control, lane departure alert and auto high beam. All automatic models have also had their towing capacity increased by 500kg to 3000kg.
Upgrading from the GX to GXL also brings side steps, which make it easier to get in and out of the car, and roof rails for mounting luggage systems. It also has long lasting LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED front fog lamps, a cargo blind to hide whatever you may have in the cargo area, and rear parking sensors. The driver, front passenger and rear-seat passengers can also separately set their desired cabin temperatures, via three-zone climate control.
For off-road driving, the GXL and more expensive models also feature a driver-switched lock for the rear differential, which can help you go further in difficult 4WD conditions.
The VX swaps the standard 17-inch alloy wheels for 18-inch alloys, and has headlights that switch on automatically when it gets dark. Windscreen wipers activate automatically when it rains. And there is a blind-spot warning and a rear cross-traffic alert.
There’s also a 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.
You also get powered, leather-trimmed and heated and ventilated seats with lumbar support, a premium sound system, a refrigerated box in the centre console, and front parking sensors. The third-row seats can be deployed and retracted electrically.
Spend more for the 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.
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.
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.
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.