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by George Skentzos

Out to prove that “less is more”, Toyota will offer customers the choice of a three-door version of its next generation Prado in Australia for the first time.

Aimed at a younger buyer with off-road recreation in mind, the three-door Prado will be sold alongside the current five-door models from November.

Aside from its shorter stature, the three-door version remains identical to the new Prado 150 range, with only the roof and rear-quarter panel needing to be changed.


Its short wheelbase and inherited higher break-over angle mean the three door version is more capable off-road that its larger sibling, able to travel over steeper peaks than five-door.

Its reduced weight not only means improved acceleration and fuel efficiency but also a strong towing capacity of three tonnes – 500kg more than the already impressive five-door.

Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said three-door Prado was a valuable addition to the local range.

“Prado three-door will be the ideal vehicle for couples who want a vehicle for its sporty styling, as well as Prado’s legendary towing and off-road abilities,” Mr Buttner said.

All next-generation Prados in Australia will have seven airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Alloy wheels and Toyota’s Smart Entry & Start, which provides keyless entry and ignition, are also standard.

  • Mark

    I have no idea why Toyota think this model will sell. 3-door SUVs went the way of the dodo nearly 10 years ago. The first casualty was actually the Ford Bronco in 1996, with the 3-door Land Rover Discovery, RAV4, and 3-door Explorer following shortly afterwards. The short wheelbase looks ridiculous. I predict Toyota will drop it after a few years.

    • NacaYoda

      Weird indeed. Destined for failure IMHO. Must be VERY cheap to bring in and sell locally. Their markup must be massive in order to think this risk is worthwhile!

      Are they trying to take sales away from Jeep?
      Until the roof is removable, I doubt that’s likely to happen!

    • Tomas79

      The 3 door Prado sells well in europe, I don’t know why it should be any different here!!
      Besides Pajero, Wrangler, Jimny, all sell in 3 door versions here, and are fairly popular!! Toyota Bundera that was fairly popular here, and actgully was the 1st generation Prado!!

  • AB

    Once again, Prado looks like it’s trying to be a Pajero, unsuccessfully

    • Golfschwein

      But that’s how it started off in life.

      There’s no profile pic, but it looks as though they’ve not bothered giving it longer passenger doors. Morris went to similarly little trouble with the Marina Coupe.

      • Tomas79

        Golfschwein says:”But that’s how it started off in life.”

        Thats a bit of silly statement don’t you think? What mitsibushi does the first generation Prado resemble??


        • Golfschwein

          The Pajero! Didn’t that hit you between the eyes when you were a little boy? The body styling, size and everything about it was close enough to make it clear that Toyota badly wanted Pajero customers. Toyota guys must have said, “Cripes, look at that Mitsubishi! We haven’t got one of those…but wait…we have now!”

          • Tomas79

            Thats just stupid.. First Generation Prado din’t look anything like Pajero! Back then Mitsibushi didn’t have any offroad cred, and was still trying to catch up to Toyota and nissan!!

          • Golfschwein

            Always fightin’ Tomas 79…always fightin…can’t you smile and be nice to people? Read what I wrote: I responded, but never insulted you.

    • Andrew

      I think the NS Pajero SWB looks miles better!

      • Drecked

        Looks are only skin deep Andrew I never liked Japanese cars
        but after seeing the way my wife’s Rav performed I had to
        eat my words and my SX should be here in June and I’m
        looking forward to it !

  • maximark

    I don’t think they could sell a lot of these 3 door model since it’s mainly considered as a sort of family SUV in Australia, I often see mom & dad in the Prado with 2 or 3 kids at the back.

    • PN

      Couldn’t agree more

    • Tomas79

      Just becasue you consider it a family sort of SUV, doesn’t necesseraily make it so!!! There is plenty of them on mine sites!! I reckon a serious 4wd in 3 door is a much better alterntive to softroaders!!

  • sammo

    Oh my god…that thing is putrid!
    Even SsangYong could give Toyota a few hints on how to style SUVs.
    Everything about this car is wrong – and because it’s a Toyota we’re going to be seeing HEAPS of them on our roads…brace yourselves everyone…

  • DipStiK

    I think this is great. I would like to see prices on the up specked diesel. Ideal for those with no family and time to explore the out doors :)

    • John

      56- 58,000 for the GXL 3 door and 66- 68,000 for the Grande (Kakado)

  • Kris

    My parents were all set to buy the 3 door turbo diesel Pajero next month but Mitsubishi have killed it off and there are pretty much none left so this new 3 door Prado will be sitting in their driveway soon. I like the look of the Pajero better but I think Toyota will have some decent technology in this and they’re built well.

    • Safety Frist

      Hope your parents realise that the biggest down fall of the three door variants is the hoby horsing that they get when travelling down the Highway. Has been a constant buyer turn off from Pajero’s since the dawn of time, and the reason why the three door Pajero has been an on again off again model….
      Personally, if Toyota were wanting to get the Jeep market they should go back to the FRP tops

      • Captain Nemo

        Yeah and the rear windows don’t open you wouldn’t want to be feeling sick from all that pitching these SWB things do. Not to mention the gutless A/C Prados have a ride in the back would be quite hot & uncomfortable.

    • kenny

      I think u r parents have made a mistake the Mitsu web site is indicating the 3 door Pajero is available either with the petrol or the Turbo Diesel engine.

  • Martin

    Looks even more wrong than the 5-door. Such a tall, large body, on that short wheel base looks foolish.

    • Drecked

      there is only 335 mm difference between the 5 & 3 door
      wheel base Martin and I found It rides nicely !

  • TM

    Magnificent as usual from Toyota,will sell heaps.

  • Karen

    This thing is Hideous!!!! YUK!

    How would even consider the 5 door. Its just as bad, I think resale value with Toyota will be better with Current model than this UGLY THING

    Well done toyota. You’ve successfully stuffed up and made a motza out of a good car.

    I think i’d rather the Pajero if i were after a SWB

  • 4:20 All Day

    Just doesn’t look right. If I were going for a SWB 4X4 I’d be importing a Defender 90. A real man’s 4X4.

    • figjam

      “a defender ha ha ha what are you smoking” this is one great looking car and will sell like wild fire, i have seen the specs on the 5 door and 3 door and it will be awesome!

    • Tomas79

      Defender real man’s 4X4, you got to be kidding more like a clueless mans….

      SWB Rubicon totally smashes the defender, off and on road….

    • Wheelnut

      What about a Bowler? That’s my favourite serious 4×4

      • Tomas79

        Bowler is a company that converts a number of different landrover types into offroad racing 4wds!! So no it’s not a serious, or a practical 4wd!! Bowler-offroad is a company!!
        To even bring it up shows you have no idea what you are going on about!!

        • Wheelnut

          I know that but its the one I would go for.. it all depends how “extreme” you want to go etc.

          As for saying that its not Practical – well maybe not; however; neither are Landcruisers Prados Patrols or Pajeros Hummers in the CBD now are they?

          • Tomas79

            Wheelnut you must be grasping at straws, because thats a bit of a stupid comparisson don’t you think??
            In the city the big 4wheel drive are still very practial since, they get you from A to B, have a large payload capacity, have large volume capacity, close to a van. And can transport5-8 people. Also sitting up high, gives excellent visibility, and comfort, and on the road only take up roughly the foot print area of a holden commodore or falcon ute!!

            While Bowler wildcat for example would be nearly useless crossing the simpson desert, without a support team.
            It’s gearing is designed for high speed, so it would need to cross rough terrian at high speed, only causing damage to itself… It’s more of buggy, then a rockcrawler..

            Also not much space to carry supplies and fuel for a long track!

          • Wheelnut

            Not really Tomas; because whilst a 4×4 can get you from one side of the city to the other so to can a Commodore or even a VW Golf

            Sure a 4×4 may carry more people than a Commodore but how many families these days have more than 5 people?

            Whilst 4x4s may have a bigger towing capacity; supposedly greater payload etc they aren’t as economical/efficient; or as agile/manoeuvrable or easier to park as a Commodore
            so yeah 4x4s are really practical [in the metro area] aren’t they?

            …and if 4x4s give you better visibility how come they have parking sensors not to mention rear view cameras?

          • Tomas79

            Looks Like my responce due to it’s size has been moderated!!

        • Chill out

          Tomas79 why must you always belittle people? There are ways to put forward information without making yourself look like a moron.
          From the dozens of posts you have written, it seems evident you are a 4×4 enthusiast. That’s great and I’m sure you have lots of valid comments to put up, but just stop and think – you’re not the only one!

  • Shak

    I thought the Prado was meant to the large off roader or the white goods range, whats the point of making an off roader smaller. leave that for the RAV 4. Toyota is trying to do what BMW is doing and fill every niche possible. One hint Toyota, whne BMW do it they do it with style and some proper research, you guys should try it some time.

  • Reckless1

    I can’t believe that this thing has a tow rating of 3000kg.

    I’m beginning to fear for my life when these stupid, impractical, ugly things are hooked in front of a giant caravan and begin weaving, swaying, pogo-ing, and crashing…

    OMG – please ban them now.

    • Tomas79

      Reckless1 says:”I can’t believe that this thing has a tow rating of 3000kg.”

      It doesn’t, the 3000Kg towing capacity is of the 5 door!!

      • Safety Frist

        Tomas79, if you read the article (and I Quote “”Its reduced weight not only means improved acceleration and fuel efficiency but also a strong towing capacity of three tonnes – 500kg more than the already impressive five-door.””)
        Reckless is right. Especially the bloke who wants to tow his 28′ Shark Cat to Harvey Bay with one of these!

        • Tomas79

          Well obviously that is not correct!!
          The new 5 door has a 3000Kg towing capacity.
          Since the new 3 door has the same brakes etc, and is significantly lighter, it’s towing capacity will be less!!

          The old LC120 has a 2500KG towing capacity.

          • Reckless1

            Well let’s flip a coin and assume this thing has a 2500kg tow rating, so I’ll rephrase

            I can’t believe that this thing has a tow rating of 2500kg.

            I’m beginning to fear for my life when these stupid, impractical, ugly things are hooked in front of a giant caravan and begin weaving, swaying, pogo-ing, and crashing…

            OMG – please ban them now.

          • John

            The 3 door has the 3 tonne towing cap. The 5 door remains unchanged for the current gen.

  • Richo

    Mitsubishi pulled the 3-door Pajero because no one was buying it… why does Toyota think they will fair any better with basically exactly the same kind of vehicle, only 600 times uglier…

  • Tomas79

    Personally, I don’t like the look of the 3 door. I didn’t like the looks of the 3 door LC120 either… The Fuel tank capacity is greatly reduced to 90L, and the internal payload (which is the best in oz) is also greatly reduced.
    Reducing it’s ability as an offroad tourer!!

  • Wheelnut

    Tomas Says: “,…Back then Mitsibushi didn’t have any offroad cred,…”

    Youre right Tomas Mitsubishi didn’t have any off road Cred – they’ve just won how many paris to Dakkar Rallies?

    • Tomas79

      Don’t know why you bother wheelnut?! Yes, “Back then Mitsibushi didn’t have any offroad cred”, not as great as Toyota or nissan anyway!!

      Dakar has been won by many sedans, estates, and even sport coupes (porsche 959), And all significantly modified, so that exactly isn’t hard cred in it’s own right!! Also let’s not forget, Mitsibushi is the only manufacturer present, with a significant factory support!

      • Wheelnut

        As for having Significant Factory Support.. whilst it does help that doesn’t necessarily guarantee success

        I mean given that Toyotas F1 Budget is greater than Ferrari and McLaren combined – so you would expec them to have won at least 4-5 world F1 Championships in a row wouldn’t you?

        Not to mention FPR and Stone Bros are the only 2 tFord teams in the V8s with factory Sponsorship.. yet the 2 Ford teams that they dumped [DJR and 888] are doing much better in the championship.

        So that kind of dispells your theory doesn’t it?

        • Tomas79

          Why do you constantly incist on going off topic?!
          It doesn’t dispal my theory at all!!
          You will find over the history of F1, Ferrari and Mclaren spent much more on F1 racing then Toyota!

          And in Paris Dakar there is nothing even the relative size of Ferrari and McLaren to rival Mitsubishi!!

          • Wheelnut

            Whatever; Tomas

  • Richo

    Ever noticed how Pajero’s only ever seem to be disliked by Toyota and Nissan owners who have never even driven a Pajero before? Crazy world…

    Look if you like driving something thats mechanicals date back to 1988 (and drives like it) then go buy a Patrol, if you like paying at least 20k too much go buy a Landcruiser, but for the rest of us there is the Prado and the Pajero. With the “new look” for the Prado I dare say the old Pajero is going to find a fair few more homes now…

    • Tomas79

      I don’t dislike Pajeros, and I actually considered getting one. Especially the 3 door variant… But I just prefer the Prado, it’s a little bit more serious offroad tourer… It’s 180l fuel tank, and close to 1 tonne payload capacity, and body on frame chassis allows you to build a decent custom truck….

      But Pajeros are better value, and better onroad ability…

  • Kumar

    I don’t know if the three door prado will sell well but i am sure the five door will kick the pajeros ass and all the other mid size 4wds. As prado is a toyota it will have more technolgy than the pajero and the third row seats are really spacious compared with the pajero. As it is a toyota it will take less feul and will be cheaper to buy and service. The number of prados you see on the road comapred to pajeros are like 10 to 1. With the new prado it would be more like 20 to 1. Pajero has to lift its game if it wants to comptete with the Queen of 4WD (Landcrusier is the King). Oh what a feeling Toyota!!!
    Sources: (I owned both vechicles in the past)

    • kenny

      The main reasons Prado has been selling well up to now r because the perception Toyota r reliable & the previous model Prado was visually appealing. The new Prado is not visually appealing. The current Pajero is visually more appealing than the new Prado. Also the previous model Pajero wasn’t that visually appealing. On average the Prado is $5k more expensive than a similar Pajero. Also Pajero’s Diesel engine (147kW/441Nm) is far better than the current model Prado’s diesel engine (127kW/410NM). I think even the Pajero’s petrol engine (182kW/329Nm) is better than the Prado petrol engine (179kW/343Nm).

      • Tomas79

        Kenny the peak power/torgue figures for the Prado’s smaller diesel engine are archived at significantly lower (and wider) RPM. So actually if you read the comparisons, the Prado feels just as, if not more powerful. Also the Prado is more capable offroad, due to it’s separate body on frame construction, and solid axle in the rear, greater payload capacity, 180L fuel tank. Also the interior is made of a better material…

        I agree about the looks though. I reckon the 5 door variant will grow on me. But regardless, the new bulging look will be less practical in the bush, where it will get scrapped pretty bad. Also the new variant has a smalller fuel tank (150L for the 5 door, and 87l for the 3 door).

      • Simon

        Agreed – but the new Prado diesel is a month away. At the very least it will have sub-9L/100ks. Fuel economy will be a fair bit better than Pajero I’m guessing and they may have got more ergots out of the engine too.
        I’m looking forward to it’s release and price tag.
        Anyone had much luck bargaining with T on a new Prado?
        Anyone had any corporate discounts with T?

    • Simon

      Kumar – out of curiosity, Do you live at No.42 ???

  • kenny

    Prado updated the Diesel engine in 2007. From 2003 to 2007 Prado had a very poor diesel engine (96kW, 343Nm). I can’t see Toyota doing a major upgrade on the diesel engine. By the way Mr Kumar @ Number 42 Toyota seem to be trying catch-up with the Pajero. The Pajero has better engines & first to introduce the 3 door.

  • Neil

    The comments on here have been fascinating, in a derogatory sort of way. I have driven a number of different Toyotas over the last few years in places like far North Queensland, the Kimberleys, WA mine sites and the reality is that Toyota make a damn good product. Thats why they sell so well. The other interesting thing is that the other manufacturers are playing catch up to try and tap in to the resources market that Toyota has such a good hold on.The ratio of Toyota to other manufacturers is huge to tiny. In terms of the 3 door, it may be a good replacement for my Kluger. I was considering the Rav V6 but this could be better. I will make that decision when I see the vehicle in the metal. The pictures available here were not exactly flattering so it is inderstandable that many comments have been negative.

  • Carfanatic

    As most of you know I currently work for Toyota, but even I am at a loss as to explain why the hell they think this will work. Dear dear dear!

  • chery

    looks horrible… reminds me of some “made-in-china” or “design-in-china” vehicles. was it called the great wall or what?

    looks like toyota has to use their reliability trumph card again…

    • drecked

      You don’t have to marry it Chery just enjoy the affair ! we are getting a SX three door cause my wife misses her Rav three
      door after down sizing from our house to a apartment which
      meant one garage instead of three ! and it attracted a lot of bids at the car auction , Just go and have test drive and
      you will not want to give it back !

  • Bretta

    I’ve owned a current series prado for near 7 years. It runs & feels like a new car still and has been fantastic, esp in grande trim. The new one is ugly, yes, but if a pretty car is what you want, buy an X5 maybe & stay on-road. I’d get the 3 door for the greater towing capacity but would have to consider its SWB limitations. The only alternative is the new Landrover with great diesel but historically questionable reliability.

  • rick5

    If you have the means I can’t recommend enough the 150 Series. Two weeks ago I took delivery of a white SWB SX Demo – incredible, fantastic, luxury, power and economy. I am in Cairns and the computer indicates 6.2l per hundred on the highway and 6.8 per hundred around town that’s with aircon on no less! I have driven up to Port Douglas and down to Mission Beach really eats the highway up – I traded a Daihatsu Terios which I bought new in 2004 for this SX so it is a big change for me. I have driven the SX in sand and no problem at all did not even need to let the tyres down just dropped in Low Range and it was effortless to get through quite deep sand.

  • rick5

    Also the diesel engine is really smooth and quiet at highway speeds.
    Resale and depreciation were a concern however I did my research and being a Toyota Diesel is a big factor, plus the most interesting is the three tonne towing capacity of the SWB that being substantially more than the 5 door which is 2.5 tonne.