JUST when you thought the days of the 4x4 wagon were numbered due to the dual-cab onslaught, the Prado has fought back to take fourth place in the top 10 and move past Holden’s Colorado.
Prado year-on-year sales are up around 7.0 per cent off an increase last year and in spite of the popularity of dual-cab utes and more direct competition in the form of Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport, Isuzu’s MU-X, Ford’s Everest, Holden’s Trailblazer and Toyota’s own Fortuner.
Looking at the broader picture, Toyota now sells more Prados than it did five years ago, despite a lack of direct competition back then beyond Jeep’s Grand Cherokee.
After a slow start in late 2015, the Prado’s then newly arrived 2.8-litre diesel has been accepted as a decent replacement for the previous 3.0-litre diesel. And while the 2.8 isn’t a particularly exciting engine, it’s certainly quieter, smoother and generally more refined than the previous 3.0-litre and is both torquey off idle and still happy to rev.
It’s offered with a six-speed manual (used with the 3.0-litre engine) and a six-speed gearbox, which has two overdrive ratios, whereas the previous five-speed had a single overdrive. If anything, sixth gear is too tall and it’s a shame Toyota didn’t see fit to lower the final drive gearing to bring the new sixth back to where the old fifth was and gain a performance benefit everywhere else.
Regardless of the new powertrain the Prado remains happy in town, on the open road and off-road, and it’s a do-it-all wagon that impresses with its refinement, day-to-day practicality and effortless long-distance touring ability. It also now offers a 3000kg towing capacity; a long-overdue upgrade.
The pick of the Prado range is the VX, with the brilliant KDSS suspension which improves the Prado both on- and off-road. Unfortunately, KDSS is not available as an option on the popular GXL, nor does Toyota now offer the sweet but unloved 4.0-litre petrol V6.
Toyota LandCruiser Prado mid-2018 Year-on-Year sales
|June 2018 YTD||June 2017 YTD||Sales Change|
2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Specs
Engine: 2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel
Power: 130kW at 3400rpm
Torque: 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed auto
4X4 system: Dual-range full-time
Kerb weight: 2290kg
Towing capacity: 3000kg
Fuel tank size: 150 litres
ADR fuel claim: 8L/100km
Grading 4x4 sales performance on 4x4 Sales Report Card
Prado 4x4 Report Card
|Cabin & Equipment||B|
|Towing & Practicality||B|
|It’s none too exciting to drive,
but it still does everything well.
*Scored against class competitors. A = Excellent; B = Very Good; C = Good; D = Fair; E = Poor; F = Fail.