Toyota LandCruiser Prado Review

$19,890 $23,650 Dealer
  • Fuel Economy
    8.8L
  • Engine Power
    127kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    232g
  • ANCAP Rating
    5Stars

The course was a grueling mixture of off- and on-road exercises aimed to outline just how capable, versatile and practical this successor to the segment leading Prado name has become.

Joined for the first time by a rugged three-door, short wheelbase model - a model Toyota say will account for almost 10 per cent of sales - the new Prado range is now available in 14 variants that includes two body types, two engines, two transmissions, two seating capacities and six model grades, all of which are in addition to a heavily revised, and impressive range of equipment and technology certain to maintain the brand's popularity.

A more streamlined body has also helped Prado achieve a slippery aerodynamic figure of just 0.35Cd, down from the previous model's rating of 0.37. Aerodynamic aids, including under-body panels, new front spats and integrated front and rear spoilers (either as part of the bumper or atop the rear window), have also helped in the vehicle's more efficient shape.

From the side the beltline is higher and the cowl has been moved further forward to maximise interior space. More sharply trimmed lower sections of the bumpers make the overhangs appear shorter for a more 'agile' look.

LED taillamps and wing mirror repeaters are also included across the new Prado range while up the back, a colour-coded rear wheel cover (that incorporates the rear-view camera) is also standard across the range.

Five-door Prado now boasts four equipment grades: GX, GXL, VX and top-shelf Kakadu. GX is the only five-door model to be offered as a dedicated five-seater though is also available with a seven-seat option at cost.

All models are available with petrol and diesel engines though the choice of a manual gearbox is not offered on the range topping VX and Kakadu models.

Strong horizontal and vertical reference points divide the controls in to four zones: display, climate control, audio and 4WD, while larger apetures on both front and rear doors allow easier entry and egress.

Three-door Prado can accommodate up to 1.43m3 of cargo with the rear-seats stowed. On all new Prado models' third-row seats are now stowed beneath the floor (previously housed vertically in the outboard cargo area).

Power windows, power mirrors, electric seat adjustment, leather upholstery, seat heaters, electrically operated rear folding seats, tilt/slide glass sunroof, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps (with HID and AFS on upper-spec models) are also offered depending the on model grade.

Varying levels of audio and entertainment systems are also availed across the range.

The images are relayed either split or in whole to the 4.2-inch centre screen for a complete view of just what's happening outside. In using the cameras yesterday I found them most helpful when avoiding rocks or when cresting steep hills when usually all you can see is bonnet and sky.

All Prado models now include seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver's knee), ESC, all-terrain Traction Control, ABS with EBA and EBD.

Prado's body-on-frame (ladder chassis) construction ensures longevity in off-road conditions while proving a stable platform for the heavily revised long-travel, all-coil suspension arrangement.

On-road Prado is flat, confident and offers a ride far smoother and more quiet than expected from an SUV with such impressive off-road capabilities. Cruising is comfortable and Prado capable from a performance perspective, though perhaps not quite as sharp as AWD Kluger.

Of special note, the three-door model is surprisingly confident and settled on-road, two traits not usually associated with short-wheelbase offerings. Add this to the three-door's very impressive off-road abilities (video to follow) and it's no surprise the more compact Prado is bound to prove popular with buyers keen to find a true multi-purpose SUV.

Prado now offers a choice of 3.0-litre four-cylinder, turbo-diesel and 4.0-litre V6 petrol engines which are both available with a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission is an is electronically controlled unit with two modes, normal and second gear start, and a lock-up torque converter.

Managing 127kW of power at 3400rpm, the four-cylinder unit features new variable nozzle injectors and a front-mount intercooler (replacing the previous model's top-mounted unit) to not only deliver better performance, but also drive down fuel consumption, which is now as low as 8.3L/100km (combined) on three-door automatic variants. Five-door fuel economy figures start at just 8.5L/100km (combined) for the manual and 8.8L/100km (combined) for the automatic.

"The advantage of turbo-diesel LandCruiser Prado is that it is built to Toyota's off-road standrds," says Toyota senior executive director for sales and marketing, Mr Dave Buttner.

Turbo-diesel Prado offers a generous 410Nm of torque, available from 1,600 - 2,800rpm, that sees capable acceleration and low down pulling power offered right from the get go. CO2 output is now down to just 225g/km.

Diesel Prado also offers up to 3,000kg braked towing capacity.

"LandCruiser Prado is a standout as a rugged sports vehicle, given its ability to tow a variety of sporting equipment," says Toyota senior executive director for sales and marketing, Mr Dave Buttner.

"Equally, it is a perfect vehicle for a couple to travel Australia. It has substantial luggage capacity within the vehicle and the ability to tow a caravan.

"As a rugged four-wheel drive it can match the best of off-roaders. It is aruguable that all of its competitors in the three-door segment would truly qualify as medium ruggeds.

"Because of its shorter wheelbase and less rear overhang, in some circumstances it may even outperform the five-door version."

Also delivering 9Nm more torque, for a new total of 381Nm at 4,400rpm, the petrol offering provides ample performance both on- and off-road though seems to lack that extra low-down grunt found so happily in Prado's turbo-diesel sibling.

Petrol Prado offers up to 2,500kg braked towing capacity.

Specifications (Diesel):

  • Engine: 2,982cc DOHC four-cylinder (16 valve)
  • Power: 127kW @ 3,400rpm
  • Torque: 410Nm @ 1,600 - 2,800rpm
  • Induction: Direct-Injection Common-Rail & Turbocharged
  • Transmission: Six-speed (Man) / Five-speed (Auto)
  • Transfer Case: Two-speed with lockable centre Torsen LSD
  • Driven Wheels: All
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • CO2 Emissions: 225g/km
  • Fuel Consumption: 8.3L (3-door) / 8.8L - 9.2L (5-door)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 87L (Main) / 63L (Sub: 5-door only)
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • ANCAP Rating: TBC
  • Airbags: Front, Side, Curtain & Driver's Knee
  • Safety: ESC with Traction Control
  • Spare Wheel: Full-size Alloy
  • Suspension: Wishbone (F) / Multi-link (R)
  • Cargo Capacity: TBC
  • Tow Capacity: 3,000kg (3-door) / 2,500kg (5-door)
  • Turning Circle: 10.4m (3-door) / 11.6m (5-door)
  • Warranty: Three-Year / 100,000km
  • Weight: 2,095 - 2,145kg (3-door) / 2,205 - 2,435kg (5-door)
  • Wheels: Alloy

Specifications (Petrol):
  • Engine: 3,956cc DOHC six-cylinder (24 valve)
  • Power: 202kW @ 5,600rpm
  • Torque: 381Nm @ 4,400rpm
  • Induction: Electronic sequential port injection
  • Transmission: Six-speed (Man) / Five-speed (Auto)
  • Transfer Case: Two-speed with lockable centre Torsen LSD
  • Driven Wheels: All
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • CO2 Emissions: 271g/km
  • Fuel Consumption: 11.5L (Man) / 13.0L (Auto)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 87L (Main) / 63L (Sub)
  • Fuel Type: 91RON Unleaded Petrol
  • ANCAP Rating: TBC
  • Airbags: Front, Side, Curtain & Driver's Knee
  • Safety: ESC with Traction Control
  • Spare Wheel: Full-size Alloy
  • Suspension: Wishbone (F) / Multi-link (R)
  • Cargo Capacity: TBC
  • Tow Capacity: 2,500kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 11.6m
  • Warranty: Three-Year / 100,000km
  • Weight: 2,240 - 2,355kg (Tare)
  • Wheels: Alloy

Dimensions (5-door / 3-door):
  • Length (mm): 4,930 / 4,485
  • Width (mm): 1,885 / 1,885
  • Height (mm): 1,890 / 1,875
  • Wheelbase (mm): 2,790 / 2,455
  • Front Track (mm): 1,605 / 1,585
  • Rear Track (mm): 1,605 / 1,585
  • Ground Clearance (mm): 220 / 210
  • Approach Angle (degrees): 32 / 32
  • Departure Angle (degrees): 25 / 26
  • Break-over Angle (degrees): 22 / 25
  • Wading Depth (mm): 700 / 700
  • Drag Co-effiecient (Cd): 0.35 / 0.35

Photos and footage courtesy of Toyota Australia.