We had been looking to replace our 7 seat, 2008 Ford Territory TS for a few months and needed something with 7 usable seats, good on fuel and comfortable to drive. We have 3 children in school now and needed a 3rd row seat that was usable for school friends and adults alike when necessary.
After test driving several different cars we settled on the new 2.8L GXL Prado. While we don’t have any plans for hardcore off road work the family car usually sees 500 – 600km a week along with long haul trips from Melbourne to Brisbane etc.
I was surprised how nice the Prado was to drive on road and I have found it feels a lot smaller and lighter than it really is. The 6-speed auto is refined and smooth and the new 2.8 diesel is a lot quieter than expected. Fuel economy is good and I expect it to get better considering the engine is still very new. Currently we are getting around 10L/100km which given the Prado’s 150L tank gives a range of 1500km. Realistically the Prado could do with around 10% more power and torque as the engine does seem to work quite hard when fully loaded or going uphills which in turns increases the fuel usage – 150kw/500nm would be perfect.
I have found the cabin a very comfortable place to be and even the 3rd row seats are usable for adults without being uncomfortable. The 3rd row seats are individual so you can have 1 or both up. The only negative with both 3rd row seats up is there is very little boot room behind the 3rd row.
You don’t get a lot of features for a car costing over $60k but the interior is very well built, no creaks or rattles and everything is very solid. You do get Sat Nav, touchscreen infotainment, 9-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, auto down/up on all windows, heated folding side mirrors and tri-zone climate control, proximity key with push button start.
Negatives on the interior is that there is only 1 USB input, the second row only has 1 12v socket and the 240v socket while handy is behind the 3rd row which we don’t find very convenient for laptops etc. I do see how it’s handy when you have portable fridges etc in the back. An electric drives seat should be standard, along with front parking sensors (we got these for free but they should be standard) and leather would be nice as well.
When it comes to servicing the intervals are 6months/10000km. I think this should be 12months/15000km like the Everest but saying this the servicing costs are half the cost of the Everest so it does balance out.
When it comes to off road features you miss out on the KDSS suspension seen in the VX and Kakadu. You have 4H and 4L along with a centre diff lock and hill decent control.
Overall I have found the Prado to be a great option if your looking for something with strong resale value, 7 usable seats and an efficient diesel. For the price I think there should be a few more standard features and the engine really could do with a little bit more power but overall the GXL is an excellent package.