One of Australia’s top-selling four-wheel-drive wagons is about to get a power boost, extra safety aids and Apple Car Play across the range, but the six-speed manual is dead. 
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The Toyota Prado is poised to get the same power boost as the Toyota HiLux ute – and will gain Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and additional advanced safety aids – as part of rolling changes from August production due in Australian showrooms the following months.

However, the sweeping changes will spell the death of manual versions of the Toyota Prado GX and GXL grades, switching to an automatic-only line-up for the first time in the nameplate’s 24-year history in Australia.

CarAdvice understands dealers have been informed the Toyota Prado’s 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder will get a power boost from its current output of 130kW/450Nm to 150kW/500Nm and be matched exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission.

It is the same power upgrade due in the Toyota HiLux and Toyota Fortuner facelifts expected later this month or early August.

It is unclear if or when the other vehicles in the Toyota line-up with the 2.8-litre engine – the Toyota Hiace van and Toyota Granvia people mover – will adopt the same power upgrade.

With the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes the loss of the CD player and auxiliary audio socket.

The autonomous emergency braking system introduced on automatic models two years ago will gain pedestrian detection at night and cyclist detection during the day, while “brake to steer” lane-keeping technology, and speed sign recognition will be added to the safety suite.

Top grade models will gain paddle shifters on the steering wheels, according to confidential information shared with dealers.

Meanwhile, the GX model favoured by rental fleets and mining companies will continue to be available as a five- or seven-seater.

And the GXL, VX and Kakadu grades will continue to be available with the option of a flat tailgate or one with a spare tyre mounted on the rear (which brings with it a supplementary 63-litre long-range fuel tank).

The Toyota Prado enjoyed a 16 per cent sales surge in June as buyers who left the new-car market in April and May returned to showrooms as coronavirus lockdowns eased.

Anecdotal feedback from dealer sources say many Australians are buying a four-wheel-drives because they plan to holiday at home in anticipation of lengthy international travel restrictions.