• Off-road credentials, interior room, features.
  • Gearbox problems, nagging computers during off-road driving.

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

It’s certainly bigger, but is it better?

Models Tested:

  • 2010 Toyota LandCruiser Prado ZR; 3.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; five-speed automatic; SWB wagon – $65,990*
  • 2010 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Kakadu; 3.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; five-speed automatic; LWB wagon – $88,990*

Options:

  • None fitted.

CarAdvice Rating:

Words – Paul Maric

The Toyota Prado has an illustrious history in the Australian market. It has become popular with city dwellers that need the flexibility of a part-time off-road vehicle, but don’t want the cumbersome size that is associated with the bigger LandCruiser.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

Competing against the likes of the Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Pathfinder, Land Rover Discovery, Mitsubishi Challenger, et al. the Prado strikes a balance between driveability in the city and rock hopping in the bush.

It’s clear that Toyota didn’t need to do much with the Prado’s styling. The outgoing 120 Series was and still is quite a handsome vehicle. The 150 Series introduces a muscular grille, curved headlights and a new rear end.



The improvements to design are not only for styling purposes. The coefficient of drag has been reduced from .37 to .35, further helping reduce the Prado 150 Series fuel consumption.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

The Kakadu model tested sits at the top of the Prado tree, priced from $88,990. The three-door ZR variant also tested is priced from $65,990.

As part of the price tag, the Kakadu features an all-new camera trekking system used in the Lexus LX570. The system uses one wide-angle fish-eye camera mounted on the front grille, along with two wing mirror mounted wide-angle fish-eye cameras and a reversing camera to help judge wheel position and objects in front and behind the car.

It’s inside the cabin that the Prado really shines. While some people won’t like the simplistic design Toyota has chosen, it is extremely effective with all controls in logical, easy to reach places.

Touch screen satellite navigation doubles as a touch screen for audio, climate and vehicle setup functions. The improved satellite navigation system has further refined the class-leading offering. The easy to use system is now faster and predicts street addresses intelligently.

Get used to stopping to type your address in though. The navigation destination entry only works when the vehicle is stationary, as it assumes the driver is typing the address, even if the passenger is controlling the screen.

Kids are kept happy with a roof mounted DVD player that comes with three wireless headphones and AV inputs. The DVD player is also linked to the car’s 14-speaker Pioneer sound system. The sound system is excellent and offers plenty of bass and very crisp treble.

New steering wheel controls now manage the selection of 4WD modes. The Multi-Terrain Selector on the steering wheel allows the driver to switch between four modes, ranging from Mud and Sand, Loose Rock, Mogul and Rock. Each mode can vary wheel slippage and cater the stability control to the driver’s needs.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

Height adjustable suspension is also standard on the Kakadu model. The system increases the standard 220mm ground clearance and allows a maximum wading depth of 700mm.

Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t improved the maximum power or torque output of its four-cylinder diesel engine. While Toyota has improved fuel injection and changed from a top-mount intercooler to a front-mount intercooler, the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel motor still produces 127kW and 410Nm of torque.

Fuel consumption has been improved by 8.6 percent, with the ADR figure now 8.5L/100km. This figure was hard to achieve on test, despite over 1400km behind the wheel. The best average I returned was 9.1L/100km, with the rest sat north of 10L/100km.

The diesel engine struggles to keep the Prado’s 2.4-tonne weight up to speed with traffic. Considerable throttle is required to keep the Prado moving with the flow of traffic – especially with a full load of passengers on board. It would have been nice to see some more torque out of this carry-over engine.

Transferring the power to the road is Toyota’s five-speed automatic transmission. The five-speed unit does a good job shifting cogs, but an extra gear could yield further fuel consumption reductions in my opinion.

Behind the wheel in the city, the Prado doesn’t feel anywhere near as cumbersome as it looks. While it’s a big unit to keep tabs on, the light steering and tight 11.4m turning circle make it easy to place in city traffic. Parking is also a breeze with the raft of cameras, including front and rear parking sensors.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

Cabin comfort is exceptional. A third row of seats can be controlled electronically and accommodates kids in comfort and adults for short journeys. Front and second row leg room is very good, which can only be expected from a vehicle of this size.

Toyota claims to have improved handling with the new Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS). KDSS claims to electronically modulate individual suspension members to provide a flatter ride through corners and to help absorb bumps off-road.

On-road, the Prado still carries a considerable amount of body roll when put through corners. Even in the Sport mode, KDSS seems to simply firm the dampers, opposed to improving body roll and ride quality. Off-road it’s a similar story. The system seldom reacts quick enough to prevent the body from crashing on the rebound.

To put the Prado through its paces, I ventured through a selection of off-road conditions ranging from mogul in the Grampians Nation Park, through to sand in the Big Desert, hoping to see just how good the Prado was off the beaten track.

It didn’t start well. Our first hill climb featured loose rocks and a considerable 400m long gradient. Around 1/3rd of the way up the hill a warning light came on indicating the automatic transmission was getting too hot and that we should stop on flat ground to cool the system.

Unfortunately, stopping wasn’t going to happen as the end result would be far worse than a warning. Upon reaching the top of the climb, we pulled over and let the Prado cool down. It took around five to ten minutes for the warning to disappear and from the looks of it, it was all back to normal.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

From there, a set of challenging mud ruts followed. The mud ruts were tackled with the suspension height fully extended. The lack of bumps and crashes from the undercarriage indicated the added ground clearance courtesy of the height adjustable suspension was worth its weight in gold.

The low range gearbox worked well during a very steep decline over loose rocks. Engine braking was sufficient to keep the car from running away. The hill descent control also worked well, but I didn’t choose to trust it when not slowing down enough meant going over the edge of a very steep drop.

It didn’t take long before the transmission warning popped up again. This time around it was on a relatively meagre climb up a gravel hill. High range was selected with all four-wheel-drive modes off.

After stopping to let the system cool down, we were off again. The final stint of off-roading was on sand. This is where the Prado really excelled.

With some pressure let out of the tyres, the Prado’s power delivery pulled it through flat and steep sand dunes. Although the sand mode selected via the Multi-Terrain Selector was useful in holding gears, it kept interfering during cornering. The stability control would continuously beep each and every time you turned the wheel to go around a corner in the sand.

It became so frustrating that I ended up disabling all the on-board computers and stability control. That move resulted in care-free driving, without the constant nagging of the computers.

Unfortunately, during the period driving on sand, another five transmission temperature warnings came up. Every time a warning came up we had to stop and wait for the system to cool down.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

I wasn’t too impressed with the brakes on sand and loose gravel either. If you had to get onto the brakes hard, there would be a momentary lag between brake application and full brake intervention. It was almost as though the system had to think about how much braking force to apply before it went ahead and did it.

The braking anomaly is probably due to the onboard ABS that prevents the wheels from skidding.

As a 4WD, the Prado still ranks as one of the best. With the transmission issue aside, the Multi-Terrain modes generally worked well and helped assist during tricky situations. The front and side cameras were also a godsend in situations where it was impossible to see the other limits of the car.

My only real gripes with the Prado are the engine’s lack of torque when it’s needed on-road and the continuous issues with the transmission off-road.

Toyota was contacted in mid-January regarding the problems we had with the transmission. The vehicle is still being investigated and we will report back once we receive a definitive report with regards to the issue.

The Prado’s exceptional list of standard features, in addition to passenger comfort levels and interior room place it ahead of the field, certainly in this price bracket. While I wouldn’t hesitate recommending the Prado, I’d hold off until the verdict is out on our transmission issue.

If the problem is limited to the vehicle we drove, we will retest the Prado to ensure the issue can’t be replicated on other vehicles.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
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TOYOTA LANDCRUISER BREAKDOWN

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review & Road Test
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  • Tony

    $89k

    you are having a laugh aren’t you?

    may as well go that rover sport and at least drive a prestige SUV… like all the English footballers… a Prado? seriously?

    • Howie

      I agree. I am as curious as Toyota are on how high much they can charge for their vehicles and still sell them.

      A good review of an otherwise decent truck.

      • Tony

        apparently they believe the Toyota name means something

        yeah it means something all right…

    • Pradolover

      Have owned several Toyota 4WD’s over many years. Curently have a Kakadu 4 l for 12 months and regularly off road. Love it! When a Disco owner comes to sell it, lets see how he fairs! My LC100 Sahara traded in @ $48k!!… after 5+ years and 130K – 50% of the purchase price. I expect the same for Prado – so who cares that it is pricey at start when its trade in value holds up MUCH better than Disco. RangeRover’s / Disco can watch massive write offs. Not so good value wise then is it?
      I don’t believe the Disco4 is that much better O/r than my Kakadu petrol either. Disco small fuel tank and wheel size that don’t match any off road rubber is a joke for Aust. Must admit I love the 3l twin turbo Disco diesel.The Toyo 3 l diesel is an embarassment and long overdue for massive overhaul. Most gutless 3 l engine currently on market compared to Pajero, Disco, Jeep etc

  • AB

    Paul, I am interested to hear your opinion.

    If it was your money, would you choose this Prado over something like a TDV6 Discovery 4 which on paper is now a cheaper vehicle and arguably better equipped.

    Alternatively what about a cheaper but slightly dated Pajero 3.2 Exceed

    I have to say I was shocked when a local dealer advertised the Kakadu model as $99,000 driveaway!

  • sammo

    The interior is ‘simplistic’? It’s an absolute mess!
    It’s confusing to look at and those cheap, hard surfaces are a real turn off – I would expect more from a near-90k car. Give me a Discovery 4 any day..

    • NotTheStig

      Yes indeed, this is a cheap and nasty interior. Feel the light door handles – urgh.

      Controls and displays all over the place. Shiny nasty plastics. You won’t find that in a VW Golf let alone a Audi/BMW etc. And so much for off road ability with transmission issues…

      Oh well, at least you save money on speeding fines as these things are slugs !

      • Bor’ka

        Get over the VW golf, does not realate to this car what so ever (even just talking about interiors). Merc/BMW/Audi etc. different category of cars again. They are AWD not 4WD, there is a difference.

        However $90K for a Prado is a rip off, Disco4 or a much cheaper Nissan Pathfinder for $60K (less equipment) is a much better option for this type of vehicle. Toyota 4WD and AWD are overpriced!

      • Comrade Spear

        I have a VW Golf and yes the knobs and door handles looked premium but the quality is shocking. Peeling paint, broken hinges and loose knobs. Golf has serious quality issues

    • Reliability

      My friend did purchase the discovery instead of the prado and had to take it back to the deal 14 times in the first year! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be taking a discovery on an off road adventure too far from home…

  • david jones

    disco 4 makes this look like a joke and the power outputs from the Toyo are weedy compared to the Disco 180kw and 600nm.

    • Jim

      Completely agree with you. Still I expect to see much more new Prados on the road than new Discos. It’s sad.

      • Simon

        Not sad, it’s a joke. When Pajero has out-muscled this thing for years to think Toyota wouldn’t even try to match them!
        Transmission overheating? WTH?
        Sorry Toyota – Fail.
        Although you are succeeding in keep resale high in the old model (the model with 8 seats!).

    • RicardoColombia

      And to the Sorento 2.2 lt diesel Power: 145kW @ 3,800rpm
      Torque: 436Nm @ 1,800rpm. or even better V6 3.5 lts 206kw. Maybe something to think…

  • Eric

    90K for a Prado? Who in their right mind is going to buy a new Prado for ninety grand only to drop 30-40K in depreciation in the first few years?
    A car is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and I’m not willing to pay 90 for a Toyota. Surely an 18 month old BMW or Merc can be had for that money

    • Baddass

      Hate to say it, but they sell in truckloads. I have seen plenty already in Brisbane, starting their gruelling lives as school shuttles. The only reason Toyota prices it so high is because it knows they will sell, even if they are close to a 200-series in price and past the infinitely better Disco 4. The three-door is a joke: it’s shorter body highlights he design faults in the car, namely the ridiculous pumped wheelarches and pulled tight front headlights, and it can only carry five. A suicide door on the side would be a better bet, but this will be covered by the Prado-based FJ Cruiser which is coming later this year.

    • Tomas79

      As deprecians go, Prado have one of the best, if not the best residueles in Australia.
      And if you go BMW, you will be just getting a soft toorak tractor purely for the burbs!!

  • Non Toyota Buyer

    $90,000 for a car that overheats it’s gearbox when asked to climb a hill? WTF.

    Simple interior, under powered that need’s heavy throttle to keep up with traffic, only a 5 speed auto etc. 14 speakers for a stereo sounds good but all this adds weight to an underpowered diesel that will only increase fuel consumption.

    I would laugh if it wasn’t a one off with the overheating and they had another recall.

    Buy the Platinum Sorento as tested by car advice long term test and still have approximately $40,000 change.

    • Clued Up Aussie

      Couldn’t agree more. The Toyota range is way overpriced. I get that they are well built and “alledgedly” reliable, but most writers complain about dynamics. So why on earth would you buy this over a Sorento. I’d also argue the Sorento is better looking.

      • Tomas79

        Mate the Sorrento is a Soft-Roader… Are you gonna be comparing this to a nissan micra next??

        • Ken

          So is this from the sounds of the transmission problems. No good having a car that overheats when asked to climb a hill now is it.

          Most of these sold are for the “Desperate Housewives” doing the school run competing with each other on who “Appears” to have more money. The smart people will buy the Sorento which is just as capable for most people and still have at least $40,000 spare.

          • Tomas79

            Transmition Problem is a one off, as none of the other reviews had a similar problem.
            Besides the transmittion is a mostly old unit used in the old 120s… Which are used across the world with no problems…

            Desperate House wives also buy the Discoveries, Range Rovers, Pajeros etc… Not to mention all the soft-roaders including the Sorrento and the X5… Since unlike with the Prado, I’m yet to see one being used for work in the Mines of Australia, or Africa!!

  • Tony

    but a Toyota is soooo much more prestigious than a Kia…

    yeah i didn’t think so

    how about an apology from Akio Toyoda?

    no?

    • RicardoColombia

      Maybe that is why a prestigious Toyota only has a 3 year warranty vs Kia a 5 year warranty. It must have something to do with quality. Maybe some of you should check the Sorento review from february, albeit the sorento is a softroader. Luck to those who want their car to be on a recall list.

  • Adam

    That interior is NOT $100k’s worth.

    Has anyone from Toyota sat in an Audi Q7 (or even a CX-9) lately?

    • zed

      sat in a cx9 piece of city crap would fall apart of road.when i sat in the prado there was a massive difference

    • Q7 Lover

      While the Q7 looks great, its not the most reliable of 4WD. We drove one from Sydney to Coffs Harbour on sealed roads in heavy rain and it broke down… good thing it was still under warrantee! Also the door fittings feel weak and make it feel like a cheap car. I do agree that the interior of the new Prado could have a better layout. They seem to have copied the Range & Land Rovers a little with the sharp lines.

  • Reality Check , is absolutly pathetic for p[owering

    410nm of torque (and that’s only when the gearbox is working properly)is absolutly pathetic for “powering” what amounts to a 2.5 ton vehicle.

    Meanwhile over at Range Rover they make 180KW, 600nm, that nearly 50% more torque, through a world class ZF SIX speed auto, (not old fashioned five speed auto, when it works). Range Rovers also ooze class, panache and style by the truck load, unlike this Toy from Toyotter.

    You’d have to have rocks in your head to pay $90K for this Toy Motor especially with all their other problems, like a delay between when you hit the brake pedal and when it actually works, LOL, where have we heard that before ??

    What a truly pathetic effort from Toy Otter.

  • phase3

    gee, the 3-door is one ugly, ill-proportioned thing…

    • Roman

      Looks like it’s been dropped on its rear.

  • JEKYL & HYDE

    here’s ninety thousand good reasons why nissan should put its 3.0 v6 turbo diesel (175kw,550nm)into its new model patrol wagon,and start selling it over here a.s.a.p…

    • alex

      U mean Renaults 3.0 v6 turbo diesel and by the talk they will place the engine in the new patrol (even though the new Patrol will most likely be even more expensive then the Prado)

  • Fenno

    As Paul was saying the problem in question may only be for the one car that he tested. I have lost track of how many times I have had a land rover/ range rover on a four wheel drive course I have run break down during easy maneuvers. And dont even start me on how useless the Koreans are in the rough stuff. You all bleat and moan about the price – but they do hold their value better than any of the euros along with a much larger dealer network to back you if something does go wrong. Toyota’s may be simpler to the consumerist approach that you who knock it have but the engineering is there to be had and these cars are proven to last a lot longer than anything mentioned above as better. Go out where these cars need to work and all you’ll see are Toyotas and Nissans and for that 89k is good value. For those that only drive them in the city? yes a Kia might do the job but your kids wont want to be dropped off anywhere near the school in one.

    • Alex

      You summed that up nicely in your last sentance, Toyota’s quality is not in the car, its in the image. $90K gets you an OK SUV and a truck load of 1st class street cred. Too bad most people chose the latter.

      Once your stranded in the bush, street cred ain’t good for much.

  • Mk

    Imagine paying the 90-100 big ones for the current I4 diesel just before the new V6 diesel arives.

    • Tony

      imagine dropping your kids off at school… in a 4wd!!!

      and they care what make the car is!!!

      who does that? “work at home” north shore housefraus maybe? is that you?

      you are kidding right… a $90k SUV as a family shopping trolley! and a Japanese one at that!

      what universe do you guys think you live in?

      what universe does Toyota live in?

  • Mike

    For 90k i would buy a 12 month old BMW X5 and still be worth 70k in 2 years time
    and have a bit to up market car

    • Dlr1

      Sorry mike but no 3yo X5 is gunna be worth $70K … BMW/ Merc resale is poor.

      • Tomas79

        Obviously if he is after an x5, he is one of those tossers that are after a possy toorak tractor, not an offroader!!

  • ohreally

    I thought Prado was supposed to be some type of entrant level offroad king, before people upgrade to the Landcruiser grand daddy.

    Apart from engine choice they both share similar prices and are huge.
    Is there any reason to chose prado over the regular landcruiser?

  • nick

    Disco or Pajero for me. You could buy the Pajero Exceed diesel with a better engine and as many features for 15-20k less. I’d be happy to put up with it being a bit older if it meant a trip to Europe in savings.

    • Simon

      You’ll pay for that trip to Europe later when you try to resell it and realise the loss you’ve made.

      • nickdl

        Not necessarily, the Pajero has an extra two years of warranty. Plus it’s a better car so you’ll want to keep it longer. :)

  • jinsei

    Shoppers would rather go for the Lexus RX or even the Discovery than this Toyota. With the same money, they can get a lot more prestige so why bother with the Prado?

    The base model RX is only around 83K(RRP)…

    • Campman

      Lexus RX is not a competitor for the Prado – it is not a 4wd and does not pretend to be either.

    • Matty B

      jinsei says:
      March 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm
      “Shoppers would rather go for the Lexus RX or even the Discovery than this Toyota. With the same money, they can get a lot more prestige so why bother with the Prado?

      The base model RX is only around 83K(RRP)…”

      Shoppers would rather ???
      Have a look at vfacts before making a statement like that champ.

      • Tomas79

        Too right!!

  • Jo

    Too expensive. Sorry the brand isn’t worth the extra 40k

    Too bad the Challenger diesel is weak (350nm), and that the Sorento has gone the soft route. The current Sorento CRDI in the old ‘tough as nails’ model would’ve given people more options.

    I’d take a Landrover over this junk. Toyota and Honda are out of touch and think their brand equity is greater than what it actually is. What a joke.

    • Calabria

      Big-T[tm.F-0] sell there vehicles for what the punters will pay, the punters WILL and do pay the extra $40k over the vehicles you have mentioned.

      No need to sell they cheap, why devalue the brand.

      I agre not very good value but the market decides how much something should be priced at.

      No different to say Pansonic, Sony etc etc and any other premium brand.

      One guys comments are right though, its more than a Lexus RX350 Luxury, thats just weird!

      • Tomas79

        “One guys comments are right though, its more than a Lexus RX350 Luxury, thats just weird!”

        Not weird at all, the rx350 is just a softroader, while the prado is a much more/ practical & capable offroader.

  • Lot6

    This is only $9k less than the RangeRover V6 twin-turbo DIEsel, you would have to be a fool to buy this gutless auto tranny issue Prado?

    How/why did BigT[tm.F-0] lose the plot?

    • Tomas79

      You are forgetting the Range Rover and it’s Power becomes only relvent in the Burbs!!
      RangeRover is a posser vehicle, this, and especially the previous vehicle is a practical vehicle!!

      Also compare the Residule on the Rovers VS the Prado?!!

      • Calabria

        Your joking right tomas?

        A RangeRover has the BEST true 4×4 DNA on the planet, the only LandRover that would fail is the compact SUV they sell, mind you its still the best performing 4×4 compact SUV.

        ALL the others in the L/R range have the best off road performance on the planet, they only vehicles that come close are the GW range fron Benz and the Iveco/Fiat Masiff.

        I have owned both RangeRover and LandCrusier, the Range Rover is better off road and also on road, by a HUGE margain too…

        • Tomas79

          lol, Range Rover is just a posser mobile, which can can allright offroad but aimed at the burbs!! It wouldnt be practicall to live/work with it weeks on end in the bush!!!

          I’d take a Prado or a 70′s series with difflocks over a range rover anyday!!

          • Nat

            mate ive got a new range rover sport tdv6 and i know how capable it is off road i ues it off road and there is noway in hell that a prado is better the range rover engine is about the best diesel engine on the planet and its more capable off road with high speed highway tyres than a prado with off roads and with regards to mines using vehicles they only choose toyota because they get such a huge huge discount so thats the only reason not for the capablitiy and strongness the landcruisers are flat out last 12months before there fully stuffed

          • Tomas79

            The range rover might have more power, but the prado will get you further!!
            And your high speed highway tires will have no traction and will get cut up in the rough stuff!! Funny that most of the minning trucks i used were older then 2 years….

          • Nat

            obviously you havent spent much time in the mines tomas79 i work on the biggest bhp mine in queensland and have done for serveral years and can tell you the vehicles are stuffed after 12months and get turned over and sold because the just cant handle it

          • Tomas79

            Nat, I spent propably more time on mines in WA and West Africa then you could imagine.
            And Like i said most of the toyota trucks i used were 2 years or older!! And there is absolutley nothing that does better, or lasts as long in the rough stuff!!

  • Maciej

    i own a NS pajero, and whist i must admit i have had some minor issues with my, all covered by warranty, with decent tires and suspension the car goes everywhere i want it to and then some. I payed 24K for mine ex police and came with a whole heap of goodies. The base model pajero comes with more fruit then the prado and whilst the depreciation is not much worse then prados, it costs 1/3 for spare parts compared to the prado and is much cheaper to service.

    Now a new Pajero still costs 20K less then the Prado, you can do a lot with 20K, like a new camper trailer and a trip around Australia.

    The 200 series is a great car, but once again way to comfort and class oriented.

    With the new Patrol being IFS and IRS, the 4X4 is being made softer for all those school soccer mums out there.

    No thanks, i’ll keep my Paj

  • Baji

    Just a question Paul, but did you climb those hills in high range? Or did you drop it into low range? Perhaps this could be the reason for the overheating transmission?

    • Reckless1

      If the hill can be climbed in high range, it should be, and the transmission should not overheat.

      So your remark is irrelevant.

      This vehicle should be able to tow a camper trailer (say 1200kg) over the trails without the transmission overheating, but it can’t pull its own thumb out of its nose.

    • Paul Maric

      All the gearbox issues arose when high-range was selected.

      This included flat stretches of sand where constant throttle was required.

  • Shak

    The simple fact is no matter how much Toy Motor talk up this car, the Disco and Pajero outclass and trump it in every category.

    • Tomas79

      But they don’t!!
      Neither of them will get you as far offroad as the Prado!!
      They have about half the touring range!!
      And I can only imagine how much it would cost you when a D4 brakes down (as it will) in the bush!!

  • Simon

    Interesting, just about every comment has bagged the Prado.
    I wonder how it will sell compared to it’s competitors and predecessor.
    There are certainly better value alternatives.

    • Tomas79

      Most of the negative comments are made by the falcadore fan group, because of their anti-toyota agenda.

      But I got to say, even though the looks of the LC150 grown on me, I recon the LC120 was a better vehicle, purely due to it’s greater practicality (180L fuel tank, nearly a tonne internal carrying capacity, etc) . The Cameras, the air suspension, the new DAT are gimmicks i reckon, i’d rather air-lockers any day….

  • Gibbo

    Id deffinately pay the extra 5 or so grand to get the top of the range Disco 4, with the twin turbo V6 diesel that would eat this Prado, not to mention all the extra toys the Disco is equipped with, and the Disco is much better looking, and more comfortable, and more capable, oh and the transmission warning light won’t come on every time the vehicle attempts to climb the slightest of inclines. And lastly, when u touch the break pedal in the Disco, unlike the Toyota, the breaks work very well.

  • Dave

    Last year I wen’t to Fraser island and what did i see. Two broken down land rover discoveries. The Nissan patrol, Mitsubishi pajero and Toyota land cruiser all share something in common; that their all Japanese and reliable. Sure a land rover might get you to your destination but getting you back is another story. Also if you go into remote areas e.x Alice springs, cook town how many land rover dealers are their to fix your broken air suspension;none. Also 90k; with a good deal you can get one of these for 85k and /also i was recently offered after a test drive plus negotiation a prado v6 gxl auto for 55k driveway. Similarly, i think its fair to say that no one can argue about the fact that land rovers are unreliable.

    • AB

      I also was on Fraser last year and saw 2 Prado’s completely stuck due to the lack of ground clearance. The new Prado’s have zero ground clearance!

      We literally drove over the same track in 4wd high in the Troopy without even noticing what the Prado was stuck on

      • Tomas79

        LOL, you are technically incorrect!!
        Obviusly you don’t know much about 4wd’s and how they work, and what makes them stuck!!!

        • AB

          Please explain mate…
          And dont give me the old “IFS set up has better ground clearance jargon”
          I mentioned the 4WD High to let people know that the ground we were on wasn’t soft, wasn’t sticky and sure as hell wasnt hard to drive across.

          I have done 7 years in 4WD’s, 2 of those years solid across the Top End in a Jackaroo and a Land Cruiser, currently have a GU Patrol and have been out in almost every thing else in between!

          • Tomas79

            Well for one the Gu Patrol has the same ground clearance as the old LC120.
            The 150 has a 10mm higher ground clearance then the older LC120, and thats without using the air suspension to raise it’self further!!!

          • AB

            Tomas79, dont quote me specs from a brochure or website. If you really think these cars have better ground clearance go park them side by side.
            You are clearly the one here that has no idea about 4WD’s.

            The 100 series with a live front end is a much better off road tool than its IFS twin because 1) it has better ground clearance and 2)a live front end gives much better articulation

          • AB

            even my old 60 series Cruiser was better off road than a lot of these new compromised 4WD’s!

          • Tomas79

            AB, you are the one here with no idea!! i have checked them out side by side!!

            The 100 series with solid axle is the lc105, and I’m all for solid axle!!
            But the Prado is widely acknowledged as having one of the best articulating ifs in the business!! Atleast the prado has a solid axle in the back, while it looks like the new patrol will have ifs and irs!!!

          • Gordon

            Has anyone here considered driver error when these vehicles got stuck!! A great 4X4 is only as good as the man behind the wheel.

      • Sean

        You take off the side steps and it is very easy to get a lot more clearance and replace the tyres for sand and road use and i have had two prado’s a v6 manual and a turbo diesel automatic and it was cheaper to run on sand then the v6. But once you take the side steps off and put them in the back shed and the diesel is unstoppable when rock walking and other 4 weel driving. But when i had the side steps taken off someone asked me if i had a lift kit on it and i said no it hasn’t and i would do it on my next prado and when i take it home the first thing i would do is take the side steps off and if you had to get replacement side steps from toyota spear parts from the dealer there not cheap and they only come in a pare and i nearly ripped off the side steps on Fraser Island and i use them off road and i stick with gxl models in the 5 door or sr in the 3 door version

    • Al

      True Nissan Patrol and Pajero are Japanese (manufactured), but Prado is from the Thailand, same as Hilux, Yaris and others. Toyota have already admitted to US Congress that they grew too fast and have quality issues. 8 million recalls dispel the Toyota is the only one myth.

      • Tomas79

        You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, the Landcruiser Prado is made in Japan, in the high tech Tahara plant (which mostly crates lexus vehicles)!!

        Most of the recalled vehicles were made in the u.s, and not sold here..

      • Gumby

        Prado’s are from Thailand??? Really Al, and where did you find this interesting tidbit? The Hilux, Yaris et al may originate from Thailand, but not the Prado. You may want do a bit more research before mouthing off next time.

      • Steve

        Yaris are made in Japan so check out your facts first. We have an 06 Yaris we bought brand new and is plated on the Build Plate JAPAN, the new hiluxs are made in Thailand.

    • Weedyapl

      The transmission problems have been picked up in a few forums and reviews, i just read 3 reviews and comments of people who have older Prado’s yet hired 2009 models that had transmission overheating problems.

      I think the Prado is just a SUV, when compared to the Pajero, 200 series landcruiser and Patrol which are serious off roaders.

      That 4.8L Patrol petrol with big drive train is looking more of a goer, shame Nissan dont make a decent diesel anymore.

  • Hoges

    Paul

    Yours isn’t the only one with transmission overheating problems.

    Toyota needs to rectify this quickly.

  • jim

    I have to admit quite a poor review, the entire write up was referring to the specs on the Kakadu and not the ZR though you stated it was reviewed and have included more pictures of the ZR than the Kakadu. You had both the Kakadu and ZR to test, which vehicle had the gearbox overheating issue? or did both have the overheating issue?
    You said the Hill descent control worked well though both models do not have hill descent instead it has the CRAWL control function.

  • erneztp

    What I don’t understand is, there are some people out there who still buy this car. I would personally take Mazda CX-9 luxury over this, and save some cash.

    • Reckless1

      You could spend your savings on educating yourself. The Toota is designed to travel the outback deserts and mountain trails, your CX-9 is not.

      • Tomas79

        You can see Prado’s like other LCs working up in the mines!!!
        CX-9 would not even access the sites!!

        • Tony

          and do you think a $90k Prado like the above vehicle is a common sight at “the mines”?

          is that what Toyota are aiming at?

          I know its nice to say that the UN love using Prados and whatever in war zones as if it’s some kind of justification for a $90k Prado… but face it… this is a Toorak Tractor, nothing more.

          And even then, the car has no street cred. The overweight 45 y.o. woman with three kids down the street has one. And that’s what I aspire to… no, really…

          • Tomas79

            Yes, the Prados are a common sight at the mines!!
            Just because some people use it for another purpose, doesn’t take anything away from it, doesn’t effects it’s practicality or effect the person who wants to use it for it’s inteded purpose!!

          • Kenn

            What u see in mine sites are bargain basement model with bull bars, roll cages, cargo barriers, whip aerials, beacons etc. Sold for around 30k a unit in big fleets to BHPs & Rio Tintos. The mines prefer the Hilux’s or the big land cruisers due to robust nature. Most of the mines in QLD which bought the Prado’s r going back to big land cruisers. The comparable to this is the Pajero, Path finder, Challenger, …. If I am in the market I would buy the Pajero diesel, cos the better diesel motor & save about 20k.

          • Nat

            mate i work in the mines and like kenn said they buy them super cheap they dont care because they get such a huge corporate discount and they dont care about 4wd ability we have 4wd hiace buses onsite and they go just as far as a prado they only buy them coz there a cheap car for the bosses to drive and they turn em over but most of them stuff up get new engines and gearboxes and clutches and just always getting fixed so get a job in the mines and really see what happens

          • Tomas79

            Most vehicles are dirt cheap at fleet prices, it’s just that the Prados are more practical then they’re mitsubishi or landrover counterparts!!

    • Gumby

      As a previous owner of a CX-7, we did test drive the CX-9. I tried to love it I really did. But it’s hard to park, (end of bonnet isn’t visible – not good for a car of that size), the blind spot was horrendous and visibilty around the car is also poor – the same problems I had with the CX-7 but on a grander scale. In relation to the size of the car the windows are just too small and too high up. Also Mazda servicing left such a sour taste in mouth, I swore I would never get another Mazda serviced by the dealer again. Average was $500 for a small 2WD SUV, at 6 monthly intervals (in South Africa it’s yearly servicing and it’s included in the purchase cost). Also needed new tyres at 40,000kms. My 2004 Prado never cost a cent over $300, most services were around the $250 mark, and at 40,000kms the tyres still had plenty of tread left. My new Prado has capped servicing at $210. Resale value on my Mazdas were also lower compared to all our other Toyotas.

      • Simon

        Mazda make nice cars but the CX7/CX9 are simply not 4WDs. Their resale will also be a lot worse than a Prado.
        Trying to compare these cars is simply apples and oranges.
        My comments are not intended to offend or suggest which is better for everyone. They are only simple facts. Different cars built for different people and purposes.

    • http://mercedes zed

      people love to bag the prado for 1 reason. They cant afford one.give me a break i have taken mine through some very rough terrain,and still is a soccer mums car back home,

  • ohreally

    Why all the talk about offroad capability, for 90k plus luxury

    Lets be honest with ourselves, where will we see 99 of every 100 toyota prados? the same place we see the current generation prado. In the carpark of a shopping center.

    All the offroad cred means nothing when some of these drivers are to scared to mount the curb when parking.

    So I think the punters will probably go for the klugers and rav4s now.

    they could almost buy one of each with 90K

    • Howie

      Yeah, Prado owners should not be allowed to have kids in schools or go shopping. I just doesnt make sense;) Alternatively they should have to by an additional car for those purposes. Maybe Toyota should start with 2 for 1 deals. “Buy this Prado and get a Corolla for free”, chances are they would still make moeny;)

    • Simon

      You are right. Many Prado’s will never see dirt in their lives. But your argument is irrelevant because it doesn’t change the facts: they are great off road cars, they are comfortable and they will hold their value better than just about any other car in the country.
      Not such a bad buy if you want a large, comfy car. Even if you will never leave the city.

  • Radbloke

    For the price of a Kakadu you could get a brand new Hilux 4X4 xtra cab for the worksite/weekend bash and a brand new commodore ss sportwagon for lugging the kids around. This thing is ridiculous!

    • Sean

      For the price of a kakadu you would be better off to get a gxl version and still have cash left over and put a decent sound system in it and the spere cash it could get a camper trailer or a boat with a diesel and have it chipped and a good set of 4wd tyres like bf good ridge three ply side walls but don’t go one size larger tyre unless you get the speedo recalibrated to the tyre or the speedo will be out by around 3 km/h

  • http://www.cargamescom.au Simon Henderson

    Have to agree, it seems a high price to pay. Especially because it may get recalled!!!??? lol

  • Feral

    Lets be realistic – regardless what the brand, most of these types of vehicles (Prado, Range Rover, Discovery, X5) aren’t going to ever be used off-road. My advice is get a life, buy a real 4×4 (ie: something made before 1980) and get out and do some real driving where you actually have to think about what you’re doing instead of being spoon fed by this posturing crap. I got a mid 70′s Range Rover in almost original condition and have continually out performed the chest-beating, posturing tools – including Toyota drivers in their new vehicles – good car doesn’t make a good driver . Get off the grass, get off the blacktop and get a life!!

    • Tomas79

      Feral, Who cares what most of these vehicles will do?! It’s purely up to the driver in question what he does to them!! Also how far you get is mostly also based on skill, and I’ll bet i’d get this or the previous prado further then you stock 70′s ranger rover!!

  • James Cortez

    Toyota can dictate the price up to a certain point as it has no real competitor so far. I hope Nissan Australia decides to bring the V6 diesel and break Toyota’s market domination. Competition is good and the benefactors are consumers.

    I also hope Kia’s new Sorrento steal some of the Prado’s marketshare. Toyota keeps increasing the prices of their cars and let’s hope the competitors carve their market share so they learn from this “ego”

  • Grant

    I bought a 2010 diesel prado. The transmission overheated towing my 2000kg boat on every hill, wasted a lot of time on trip as had to stop 8 x for it to cool down, now have a transmission cooler fitted!

  • Truth101

    I owned a 2005 Prado 120 since new and recently bought the 150 (4L V6 petrol). I must say, after about 6000km I am truly satisfied with this vehicle, even the new design is slowly growing on me. The V6 has all the power you need and compares well to the Disco performance wise given that it is petrol and fuel consumption is higher. But you just cannot compair the quality and reliability of a Prado with that of the Discovery, I would rather pay a bit more fuel wise than be concerned with reliability issues (see http://www.landroverhell.com.) Here in South Africa the Prado also retails cheaper than the Disco. My 120 was traded on the 150, I was surprised by the willingness of the dealer to trade it as well as with the trade value I was offered. I never had any hassle with my 120, and I am sure that the new Prado will serve me just as well.

  • CA resident physio

    I’d rather buy a top of the range used Lexus SUV for what this baby is worth.

  • Electron

    I have a Prado 150 diesel auto, the overheating gearbox is not limitted to the test vehicle, mine has over heated twice in the last 3 months. My Toyota dealer knows of afew more as well. Mine overheated in easy offroad driving.

  • http://N/A Josh

    I find it so amazing to see most of the people who comment on htis are getting their facts from the news, and as any person with great common sense would know the news we haer has very rarely if at all got all of the facts. Toyota is by far the most reliable vehicle on the planet, it is also proven that Toyota averages one warranty defect for every 5 vehicles sold, where as other manufacturers average at least 2 per vehicle sold, you wouldn’t have heard that over in the states that Chrysler has had to recall 320,000 vehicles but can’t have them fixed until at least June, but Toyota which has had problems to a few cars not 8 million worldwide will recall all of them just to be safe.

    As for cars like a BMW and a Merc, they aren’t designed for off road, they are just a luxury car just trying to play with the big boys in the 4WD category, I mean if you want to spend money on a luxry 4WD why not just buy the re-badged Toyot in the form of a Lexus LX570, that way you can have your best of both worlds.

  • Steve

    Paul, when you write a review please DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

    Quote
    “KDSS claims to electronically modulate individual suspension members to provide a flatter ride through corners and to help absorb bumps off-road.
    …..KDSS seems to simply firm the dampers, opposed to improving body roll and ride quality. Off-road it’s a similar story. The system seldom reacts quick enough to prevent the body from crashing on the rebound.”

    Wrong, it is a fully mechanical system that connects the front and rear stabilizer bars, it is not connected to the dampers!!! It is designed to improve wheel articulation by disengaging the stabilizer bars.

  • Gavin

    Kia over Toyota, you must be kidding right? I have just taken delivery of my GXL Prado and don’t have any regrets so far. So what if I need to fit a transmission cooler, I’m sure Toyota will be fitting them free of charge in the near future. Sure $65000 is expensive but forget about that and do your resale sums. I put money (what I have left after buying the Prado) on the fact that the Prado will come out on top over any Pajero, Disc or Nissan several years down the track. Anyway, drive whatever you want and can afford to. Although I would never buy one, I do like the look of the Disco. If I wanted a tough offroader, I would do what everyone else does and buy something old (any brand) then set about changing engines, modifying diffs/gearboxes and upgrading suspensions. You would probably end up with parts from all the brands listed in this thread, except the KIA, fairdinkum….

  • John

    my parents are buying me a kakadu for my second car in black with the cream leather cannot wait till it arrives so excited. only 1 more week wait

    • Sam

      woah!
      you must be lucky.
      hope you enjoy it i love these things wish i could afford one.

      regards

    • Simon

      Lucky fella indeed. I wouldn’t go the cream leather as I’ve heard it marks quite easily.

      • John

        yeah simon i heard that aswell but i got it all protected and its got a lifetime warranty from toyota on the leather and if theres marks take it back and they put it through extensive cleaning or they replace the seat which is good. but i havent got any marks on it yet which is good im always cleaning it haha.
        but this car is awesome loveing the sunroof always open on sunny days, its just a great car all round

        cheers

  • Phee

    Oh great another 4WD for mothers to drive 2km to drop their little children off to school in. Only buy a 4WD if you are going to use it for the purpose it was built for.

    • Simon

      Buy a 4wd if you want one and can afford it. This is Australia damn it, no blogger will determine what I do and don’t drive!

      • Steve

        Totally aggree with you Simon, if you want one and can afford it then go for it.To look at my 120 prado you wouldnt think it ever went off road but it does and the wife uses it some times to drop our 3 year old off to day care. Cant reverse cause you cant see behind ?? try a new VE commodore, worst bloody thing or rear view

  • drecked

    Yo phase 3 you can drive her hard or fast but she will never Nag you ! I found it nice to drive and, if you should have it until your old she will look better .LOL

  • Thylacene

    Recently went through the comparison exercise and ended up leasing a VX Prado D4D, not being able to justify the extra $ for the Kakadu. Had the same issue with the transmission warning light, but a software upgrade sorted that.

    The only issue I am experiencing at the moment is a rattle in the dash which is being looked at tomorrow.

    I went shopping for a decent sized family wagon that would tow a boat @ 1.5T comfortably. The whole family is industrial sized with the 15YO @ 6’3″ already.

    The Prado won out on the following criteria;

    Fuel economy
    Interior space – the 15YO can still fit in the back with the drivers seat as far back as it goes, something we couldn’t do with the Pajero, KIA or the Disco
    Interior layout – apart from the switches being in a variety of places, the rest is where it should be
    Resale – based on recent years the Prado offered the best historical stats based on my leasing arrangements, with a statistically significant advantage
    Interior noise levels – far quieter than the Pajero or the Disco

    That said, the vehicles has its downside;

    They are large, but that is a compromise to interior space far a large family. Parking would be a challenge without the parking sensors and camera. The brakes are lacking a little in feel, and the stability control kicks in on a couple of the roundabouts on the way to work, when I don’t feel unstable.

    The towbar is low, and has to be because of the side opening door. The New Zealand model offers a lift up door with under body spare that would be a desirable option for those of us who are not seeking to become reborn Leyland Brothers, and with an opening glass hatch, far more convenient when towing.

    While there are comments about being down on power, I find the power and torque quite acceptable, even while towing.

    On the upside, fuel economy is good with 9.0L/100K loaded, and around 13 when towing 1500Kg. The gearbox works well and has a nice spread of ratios, and it is quiet on the road at highway speeds. The integrated bluetooth works well, and the sound system is more than acceptable, with the added bonus of a USB input, no cd’s required.

    Bear in mind that I spend the equivalent of one full day a week in the vehicle, and creature comforts were more important to me than off road capability. On regular occasions I have 3 hour plus stints, and often towing.

    Having driven almost 4000K’s so far, I am happy with the vehicle, and the extra few bucks a week over the Pajero is worth it to me. It is far from the optimal commuter, but given my other requirements, it is a practical alternative. Is it really worth the extra dough over a commodore or falcon wagon, definitely from my perspective. The difference in leasing costs for equivalent interior features in a “family wagon” or Territory was almost entirely offset by the difference in fuel consumption for the work it does.

    Different strokes for different folks, my circumstances may not match yours. If I was intending to be a serious 4WD’er, my choice might be different, it is a bit pretty, but for what I need to do, it is an acceptable choice, and a better option than a soft roader for no other reason than fuel and towing capacity.

    I guess that time will tell if my choice is the right one, and I would encourage everyone to do their research, drive everything that is a consideration and make up their own minds.

    Cheers

    T

  • Mike

    Thylacene pity you didn’t test drive the pajero:

    = better on road with monocoque. Prado waayyy too roly poly
    = better off road with harder sprung rear end. see how many Prado’s hang up their diffs on rutts due to heavy rear end and soft spring rate
    = better interior – twice the fruit for less cost
    = better tow capacity 3t compared to 2.5t for prado
    = better warranty – 10 years on drivetrain!
    = better reliability – haven’t heard of pajero’s overheating gearbox in light 4wd’ing!
    = better fuel economy
    = more power – 147kw in diesel v 127 for prado and 30nm more toque
    = good 10k cheaper to boot!

    toyota = living off brand and marketing hype for years.

    • Simon

      Mike, the Prado will now tow 3 tons.

      • Mike

        Only the 3 door model Simon, not the 5.

  • Simon

    “Toyota was contacted in mid-January regarding the problems we had with the transmission. The vehicle is still being investigated and we will report back once we receive a definitive report with regards to the issue.”

    Car Advice, any update?

  • freakson

    a pretty car, but i would love to see one with a 5.6L V8 with direct injection

    • Sean

      In the usa the prado has a 4.7 litre petrol v8 in the last model and i would like to see toyota bring the v8 to australia as well the 4.5 litre turbo diesel v8 that is in the landcruser as an option and it would be quite something

  • Jenko

    Was thinking about buying a prado but I hear so many negative comments… ALso have a look at Pradopoint.com and see what they say there.. I don’t know what to do now,,,, might wait and see if things get better…

  • http://caradvice stevo

    underground operator over 20years toyota landcruiser 70 series toughest 4×4 without a doubt

    • http://caradvice stevo

      65k for 70series ute speaks for its self

  • Gazza

    I live in the outback and have driven Toyotas for years. Many station people, although wary of the 80 series, brough the 100 series and loved them. The 200 series is rubbish as far as a everyday required four wheel drive, meant for grey nomads to tow caravans, and the prado 120 fell to bits. With the release of the 150, many station people ditched the 200 series for the Prado. 9mostly the GXL) The plain truth is is that everyone out here has Toyota parts. Few have some Nissan bits. Hardly anyone stocks Pajero parts and no-one has Landrover parts. I know that many on this forum are part-time four wheel drivers, but take it from some who lives an a place with a 40km 4wd only driveway. Toyota still know how to make a rock solid 4wd.

  • Bryan

    Has anybody seen a review of the petrol version of the new Prado? I know it will use a bit more fuel than the diesel but the engine is a lot quieter and [apparently] more responsive than the diesels.

    Whatever I buy will primarily be an around town car with maybe the occasional trip to the snow or towing my little boat up a wet boat ramp. The new Prado has some good family friendly features like a sliding second row of seats to get a bit more leg room for passengers and third row seats that fold in to the floor so as not to take up room in the cargo area. I am still hesitating at the thought of spending almost ninety grand on a Prado though!

  • Bill

    Hasn’t anybody realised that the car reviewed is the Kakadu? This is top of the range and for that you get fruit such as premium paint and sound, in car DVD, Sat Nav with Bluetooth etc integrated with phone, Ipod etc. This alone is a $10k option. Also fitted is the camera kit,240 volt power outlet in the rear, premium leather, twin fuel tanks (1000k+ range – beat that Soft roaders!), Height adjustable suspension, Toyota TEMS adjustable shock absorbers, The list goes on. Plus you get an extremely capable reliabe and proper 4wd with high and low range gear box and locking centre diff. You can get a base model GX for $40k less. Sure the Toyota is pricey but the motor wont blow up after 100,000kays like the Patrol will, the tyres wont cost you $500 + each like the X5, the bonnet wont blow away like the Navara and you will trade it in for a decent amount unlike the Disco.
    We now own our second 120 series D4D Grande.Every day we use the refridgerated centre console, the sat nav, the rear view camera and the integrated hands free phone, being able to adjust the shocks from hard to soft is a godsend, the height adjustable suspension makes hooking up a trailer or caravan a breeze.
    Other than regular servicing we have never had to repair anything, ever.
    We regularly use our vehicle for what it was designed to do, that is go offroad and it is not treated with kid gloves. Id like to see a Sorrento or X5 cross the Simpson, tackle the Gunshot, cruise the sands and bogs of Fraser Island without incident do it in luxury and retain the best resale value of any vehicle in Australia.
    Lets compare apples with apples here.

  • Fatew

    It’s the same the world over, people are precious about the brand of 4wd that they own. I’ve chosen a different route and tried them all; new model Land Rovers (defender, discovery, range rover), Pajero, Toyota (land cruiser 200, rav), Jeep and I’ve probably forgotten a couple. These have been used in some of the harshest conditions while loaded and/or towing. Each has it’s good and bad points, but they all did the job required of them. I have spent many hours fixing all of the land rovers (including the range rover) in some of the most remote places, but I didn’t mind because I was expecting that and prepared. My advice is do your research and define your requirements, then match your needs to the right vehicle. There is no right or wrong, just what’s best for you. Then get out there and enjoy it. BTW just ordered a Prado VX diesel for my wife to do the school run and for weekend family camping.

  • Garry

    I appreciate that this site is predominantly biased towards the Australian market for the new Prado but I would just like to comment on the new machine having done a brisk 22,000kms in mine since September last year.

    Having had the luxury of driving the Prado since arriving in Oman in 1998 I have spent an extensive amount of time off-road in various GX, VX & VXL models. A few airborne excursions (wasn’t expecting that!) aside, I can honestly say that they’ve been absolutely brilliant to drive.

    The crux of my comment is that I’ve also had the (mis)fortune to be able to drive other reputable 4×4′s along the way also. I was invited to the launch of the “well-capable” Porsche Cayenne and was pleasantly surprised at its electronic wizardy as it danced over ruts with its computer-aided suspension.

    Feeling compelled at one point! I even bought a 4.6is X5 for the good lady – what a nightmare – it cost over US$ 10,000 just to put the thing to rights with the amount of worn out parts on a 4-year old vehicle. Let alone the US$ 2,000 for the new boots to reduce the road noise to a tolerable level.

    As for the Pajero – let’s say having a good friend who is the Sole Importer for the brand in-country and the offer of a deal on anything I wanted – I was very tempted. But we’d already got one in our fleet and I’d driven it on and off-road a number of times and the lasting thought in my mind had always come back to the horrendous amount of noise from the transmission. The High-End demonstrator vehicle that they gave me to try was no different!! With only 20,000 kms recorded this also was whining like a banshee. Drive past a Pajero on smooth ashspalt in a Prado; I guarantee the noise you hear as either he passes you or vice-versa will be the Pajero’s transmission.

    The good lady is now driving the ’09 VX 4 ltr and she’s got a smile on her face like a “Cheshire Cat”! My 2010 Prado VXL (Equivalent to the Kakado) is top-spec but is gutless on acceleration compared to the previous model. That aside the truck itself is astounding; ride-comfort is on a par with any of the X5′s or Cayenne’s I’ve driven. The Audio system is Harmon Kardon and even the MP3-loaded flash disk in the Aux USB slot sound better than my SONY High-End Hi-Fi indoors!!

    A regular passenger in the new truck has the 2009 LR3 V8,and YES, that thing goes – as you would expect with 2 more cylinders in the Vee!! But……..and it’s a big but!! He comments on nearly every occasion that the Prado is SO much more comfotable than the LR3 both as a passenger and as a driver. I know the LR4 is a better machine but I’ll reserve judgement on it until we’ve taken it on a trip through the desert.

    The ONLY failing I’ve seen on the vehicle is the Pre-Crash Radar!! Now I’m based in Dubai I do tend to put the cruise-control into “Adaptive” mode on the shortest setting then select “Sports” mode on the air suspension for going through the twisties!! This results in the millimeter radar detecting walls, armco barriers and other road-side objects as “potential accidents” the result is that it automatically applies the brakes, the ABS activates then de-activates causing the vehicle to behave violently in mid-corner situations!!

    My advice – stop short of buying the Pre-Crash Radar version to avoid this spoiling your driving experience. Toyota’s answer by the way on this, when I took it in to Al-Futtaim’s Main Delership on the Sheikh Zayed Road – you’re driving it too fast in the corners!! Only fix – turn off the TRC before going out on your journey to disable the radar system!!

    To conclude – I don’t drive Toyota because of the name but for their reliability, comfort and total practicality.

    Hope you enjoy whatever you’re driving & drive safe.

  • Andy

    ‘Drive past a Pajero on smooth ashspalt in a Prado; I guarantee the noise you hear as either he passes you or vice-versa will be the Pajero’s transmission.’

    Have driven both cars extensively, and think you gave the game away with this comment. The Prado was no quieter or noisier than the new Pajero. The NS/NP Pajero’s were loud, but with the new motor and gearbox the Pajero is easily as quiet as the Prado. Suggest you drive a new model.

    For my 10cents – the noise you will hear is the Prado driver screaming as his car rolls and rocks all over the road like a boat on high seas. Then again, a Prado driver will only know the sound of a Pajero driver flying past them – the D4D engine in the Toyota is totally gutless compared to the Mitsubishi.

    How is the Prado holding up in the UAE – have you had to fit an aftermarket oil cooler to it yet to get over those overheating issues?

  • Rickoshay

    Toyota’s great success in the sales race is due very much to its great advertising. They simply copied General Motors hype, then improved on it, then made a better vehicle that the General can, and look at their sales volumes – BUT there are far far better vehicles around.
    1. Mitsubishi Pajero greatly preferred by caravanners as Prado is simply 1990′s technology Pajero is a far better tow vehicle, and handles much more car-like when not towing.Let’s face it – Toyota made Prado to copy Pajero.(Wonder if thename was meant to be playdoh?)
    2. Interestingly, my Hyundai Santa Fe eats both Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger and Prado in fuel frugality stakes. And with more torque that the Territory and Prado and heaps more than Kluger (o what a fooling) plus a brilliant (instantly automatic) four wheel drive, is a great tow vehicle for any caravan up to 2000 KG It has only 20mm less ground clearance, and is about the same size – but has that towing limitation – which will not bother many caravanner/camp trailer people.
    I urge you not to buy a fault ridden recall common Toyota before you try a Hyundai Santa Fe R Series.

  • Rickoshay

    Toyota’s great success in the sales race is due very much to its great advertising. They simply copied General Motors hype, then improved on it, then made a better vehicle that the General can, and look at their sales volumes – BUT there are far far better vehicles around.
    1. Mitsubishi Pajero greatly preferred by caravanners as Prado is simply 1990′s technology Pajero is a far better tow vehicle, and handles much more car-like when not towing.Let\’s face it – Toyota made Prado to copy Pajero.(Wonder if thename was meant to be playdoh?)
    2. Interestingly, my Hyundai Santa Fe eats Ford Territory Toyota Kluger and Prado in fuel frugality and driveability stakes. And with more torque that the Territory and Prado and heaps more than Kluger (o what a fooling) plus a brilliant (instantly automatic) four wheel drive, is a great tow vehicle for any caravan up to 2000 KG It has only 20mm less ground clearance, and is about the same size – but has that towing limitation – which will not bother many caravanner/camp trailer people.
    I urge you not to buy a fault ridden recall common Toyota before you try a Hyundai Santa Fe R Series.

    • Rickoshay

      web site said to re-enter – so I did…

  • croozza

    For all those commenting on the Auto overheating, it is just an ECU problem on the auto (diesel only), Toyota will rectify this at your next service, as it is getting a false reading. (this only affects the early production 150 series Prado) later ones dont have the issue.

  • VW Diesel

    My 550Nm V6 diesel VW Touareg can pull 3500kg offroad & is $10k cheaper however decades ahead in technology.
    Toyota tatooed plonkers don’t know what they are missing.

    • John van Toorn

      I read a lot of negative comments about the Prado in this forum. My experience is different. I have had 2 Pajero’s over the previous 10 years. The last model was a diesel 21st anniversary which failed to proceed on a trip to the Simpson desert at around 105,000km and had to be towed back to Sydney for a known fault with no warnings from service department despite my request to fix any possible issues known before the trip (no parts took 9 days to repair for $700 and a $2900 tow). At around 150,000km the auto gearbox failed and needed replacement (another $4500 odd). At another service it needed new belts – lucky I had spares otherwise the car would have been in the work shop for 3 days. At that point I had enough from Pajero’s – although they are a capable and cheaper vehicle – there are NO PARTS around the country, a lot of road noise with AT tyres and the build quality is simply not the same as a Prado.
      End of March 2010 I was lucky and found a “last years” model Prado Kakadu for the right price, with a diesel engine and “cruise pack”. Although I would have preferred the Off-Road pack, this combination has been marvellous and since most of my driving is on bitumen at the moment, the cruise pack has been fantastic on highways and country roads. OK the diesel engine could do with a bit more power but it is not bad. I did experience the transmission fluid overheating problem off-road, which ended up a non issue and has been corrected. For the rest the car is in a different league from the Pajero, fantastic and comfortable to drive, cheap to service, great build quality, parts available nationwide, very capable off-road and easy to drive both in the city and on long trips. On long trips I do manage around 9.0 l/100 and in the city it is closer to 12.1 (not sure where Toyota gets there numbers from – I can’t match them).
      Changing tyres to a slightly more off-road version was initially restrictive and pricy. Coopers now do have a 265/60/R18 ATR tyre available so that will be my next change. I do wonder what the road noise will be like with these tyres on the Prado. (First time I drove my Pajero out of the workshop with new BF Goodrich ATR’s was a bit of a shock and it sounded like the Diff was about to be destroyed or physically fall of the car).
      I did look at other vehicles like the Land Rover – at the time only the 2.7ltr diesel was a reasonable price match to the Prado (at my purchase price). I did like the looks but did not like the number of failures you hear about.
      Price difference with the Pajero is major but worth it, if you can afford it. In the end I am a happy Pajero convert and am looking forward to enjoying the Prado for years to come.

  • Michael Aspen

    Well my experience with Toyota’s is complete opposite. Had a 150 Prado GXL now for 1 1/2 years, paid $70k for what I thought would be a good vehicle. Boy was I wrong! The interior is very basic and squeaks and rattles despite being nearly new. Very disappointing when a car costing this much doesn’t even have sat nav or comfortable seats. The engine – forget it. I had thought it would loosen up and perform once it was run in but I was wrong. The diesel is simply gutless and I really don’t like towing our 2t caravan with it because it seems scared of hills. Don’t get me started about round town – that high boot is a pain in the butt – my wife struggles to load shopping in. Have had the gearbox shut down while driving on sand at Robe last Christmas, had to be towed back to the bitumen and wait an hour for gearbox to cool down. I so wish I had never sold my NP pajero, such a more capable and reliable car!

  • Darryn

    I have a 2010 Kakadu and cant fault it…Its very solid unstoppable off road, comfortable and pulls my 1.5T caravan easily. I have done ALOT of off roading and have never had the trans warning light come on Im so glad I didn’t buy a HSE Disco 4 like my father in law did…so far he has had a loan car longer than his Disco AND my resale is holding up much better than his..
    The Disco 4 deisel V6 HSE optioned up to just match the Kakadu was 124k compared to my 84k driveaway price left me 40k for a brand new caravan….easy choice for me.

  • Richard

    I would like to share my experience to date with my 2010 prado GXL Diesel now just over one year old with approx 20k on the clock.
    The dashboard rattles severly at around 1500 rpm this has been the case since day one and cannot be masked no matter how loud you turn up the radio. I have contacted Bill Buckle service regarding this issue and they have advised me that the dash will need to be removed completly from the vehicle which I am reluctant to let them do as it is a major job taking 2 days to complete so who knows what other issues this process will possibly create therefore I have delayed this for some time now.
    I have also encountered the auto transmission overheating issue after a trip to Tasmania towing a small 14 foot Windsor Rapid caravan we were on a dirt track at the time going up a hill but taking it very slowly at around 20 ~ 30kph.
    The problem occurred twice and had to stop in a very dangerous position and wait for the transmission to cool down. Bill Buckle advised that a firmware update was required to correct this and that it was caused by the traction control working too hard however after a firmware update they then advised that it was in fact the latest firmware in the vehicle and have referred the matter to Toyota: still waiting 4 months later with no follow up’s!
    To be frank I could not see how this vehicle could be used for its intended purpose – if towing off road – until this design issue is corrected, imagine trying to tow an offroad trailer across the Simpson desert with it overheating on every sand dune.
    I find that the diesel is a bit lacking but not too bad and very fuel efficient.
    Service is a major consideration that Toyota needs to address urgently in my opinion and experience. The service department does not return calls and has limited product knowledge.
    I have for a number of years been a fan of Toyotas however the experience that I have encountered with this vehicle will have me looking elsewhere for my next purchase I am sorry to say.

  • @prado

    Have they fixed the gearbox, lag & ESC issue in the 2011 2012 model? Please advice as I am going to place an order for one in January.

    Thanks!

  • Flackie

    I live in Dubai, UAE and have a 4 litre petrol Prado TXL. I went out in the desert this weekend for first time. No problems with the transmission or engine temp at all, and it was fairly warm out high 20s. Engine has tons of power and torque (not sure 4L one is available in Aus?). Main gripe was the traction control that kept kicking in, even when turned off – exactly like it said in this review, it happened primarily at tight turns in the sand. Beeping, reduced power and could feel the front wheels vibrating. I’ve read since you need to push and hold the button for few seconds to really, really turn it all off… seems nuts to me. Off should mean off, there was a warning light in orange saying ‘TCS off’, but everytime the TCS still kicked in, and the light just blinked at me (along with the incessant beeping and vibrating). I have also read that using the centre diff lock turns this off, but advice here on soft sand is generally only use the diff lock if you get stuck. Can’t wait to take it out again with TCS fully off (even if I have to pull a fuse out to do that).

  • 1deanvanalstyne61

    I live and work in Kingston, Jamaica. I ordered the Prado 2012 and expect to have it in mid-February. I was quite interested to hear the comments of the expert, who sounded quite frank and on top of his game. The implications, I have picked up, are the weight and bulk of the unit that affects braking, acceleration, and general handling. This is quite significant for me because I have owned and driven the 2006 Hilux Workhorse 4×4 since March 2006. Though the acceleration is sluggish with it’s 2.5L TD engine; braking has never been an issue during my operation of the truck. The 5-speed standard transmission doesn’t hurt either. Saying this to say; I may have to significantly adjust my driving practices to enjoy the best of the heavier, auto-transmissioned SUV.

    Looking forward to my new adventures….. ;-)

  • Jackie

    I drive a 2008 diesel unit and in the past year has had an on-going problem with adding engine oil – this is not only costly but has caused me great concern.  I have done some informal investigations and found other owners of similar vehicle are experiencing this problem.  Is this the norm for a four and a half year old unit??????????? I think this is unacceptable and I am very dishartened

  • julius Khun Caeser

    I currently running a toyota harrier 2.4G and I would like to change my car, Should I go for a Toyota TX or Lexus RX 3.0 0r 3.5???

Toyota Landcruiser Specs

60th ANNIVERSARY L.E. : 4.7L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 5 SP AUTOMATIC - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
TOYOTA
Model
LANDCRUISER
Variant
60th ANNIVERSARY L.E.
Series
UZJ200R 09 UPGRADE
Year
2010
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
8
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
4.7L
Cylinders
V8
Max. Torque
410Nm @  3400rpm
Max. Power
202kW @  5400rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
76.7W/kg
Bore & Stroke
94x84mm
Compression Ratio
10.0
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
4x4
Final Drive Ratio
4.1
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
138
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
14.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2635
Gross Vehicle Weight
6800Kg
Height
1905mm
Length
4950mm
Width
1970mm
Ground Clearance
225mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:3500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.8
Front Rim Size
8x17
Rear Rim Size
8x17
Front Tyres
285/65 R17
Rear Tyres
285/65 R17
Wheel Base
2850
Front Track
1640
Rear Track
1635
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hill Holder, Traction Control System, Vehicle Stability Control
Driver
Power Steering
Engine & Transmission
Limited Slip Differential
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors, Rear Spoiler, Side Steps
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-L-10
Country of Origin
JAPAN