The fourth generation 2014 Toyota Prado is actually the most successful large SUV, the family Toyota LandCruiser, which is intended primarily for the Australian market, which is present there for over 17 years, with 200,000 copies sold puts in the best-selling SUV.
The SUV is almost as capable in heavy-duty off-road work as the LandCruiser 200 it complements. It can certainly do a lot more than the typical SUV role of carting kids and shopping in the mundane suburban commuting runs.
There’s plenty of variety within the Prado range with both five-door and three-door variants and petrol and diesel engines. The short wheelbase three-door is only offered with the diesel powerplant while the diesel five-door comes with the choice of five or seven seats in the entry-level GX model.
In 2014, Toyota Prado will be offered in 7 models: SX, ZR, GX, GXL, VX, Kakadu and Altitude Special Edition. These models will be on both the 3 and 5-door, and it triggers 4.0L WT-i V6 petrol engine and 3.0L turbo diesel engine (175hp and 410 Nm of torque). If we consider the fuel economy of diesel engines (8.5l/100km-28mpg), we realize that this is an extremely reasonable consumption for a 2500kg heavy vehicle. Its fuel consumption in off-road driving conditions does not exceed 10.5 l/100km-22.5mpg.
A limited edition variant called the Prado Altitude went on sale in May. Based on the GXL variant it added around $10,000 of features with a $5000 price surcharge. Production ceased at the end of June so you should hurry along to your local dealer if you want to grab one. Toyota Prado is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $210 per service.
The 2014 Toyota Prado is an excellent family vehicle with 7 seats that will make every family trip unforgettable experience. The interior is spacious as we would expect from a vehicle of these dimensions. The front seats are very comfortable and well designed, but legroom in the second row of seats deficit. The third row seat is ideal for children, but the real purpose of get, folding and turning in the cargo area. A small problem can be a system of opening the rear doors. It is open to the side, rather than up, which requires maneuvering behind the vehicle.
Some of the features that this SUV offers: 18-inch alloy wheels, pre-collision detection system (automatic brakes), down-hill assistance control, CRAWL control technology (as the cruise control works on individual wheels), five-star ANCAP safety rating, leather seats, 3-zone climate control, JBL audio system with 17 speakers, rear DVD entertainment system, satellite navigation, smart entry and start, radar cruise control, parking sensors, reverse camera.
Engine options are a 4.0-litre V6 petrol and 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel V6. Our review Prado had the diesel, which is a modern common-rail unit that puts out 127kW of power. Diesel torque of 410 Newton metres is available at a very useful band that runs from 1600 to 2800 rpm, so most drivers will have the torque at its peak most of the time.
The average owner of a vehicle like this isn’t looking for sporting dynamics. Ride comfort in the Prado is good and, despite its size, it’s easy to drive, with excellent outward visibility and a tight turning circle (for a large 4WD). Handling is nothing special, with the suspension leaning in the direction of providing a good ride.
Road grip and overall dynamics are fine for the typical buyers in this SUV market segment. Parking can be a problem until you get used to the bulk of the vehicle so people moving from cars to a big SUV may struggle at first although all but the GX variant now come with a reversing camera. Inside the Prado there’s excellent room all round with the rear seats able to slide back and forward. The third-row seats where fitted fold flat when they are not required to increase the already-good load area.
Off-road the suspension works brilliantly, virtually switching to a different mechanical mode to give much greater wheel travel. Complement that with advanced traction electronics, that are more and more complex as you pay extra for the high-end models, and the Prado upholds its reputation as being a real 4WD in a vehicle class that’s mainly occupied by pretenders.
GXL 4.0-litre petrol five-door wagon: $62,635 (automatic)
VX 4.0-litre petrol five-door wagon: $76,635 (automatic)
Kakadu 4.0-litre petrol five-door wagon: $90,135 (automatic)
GX 3.0-litre turbo-diesel five-door wagon: $55,990 (manual), $58,254 (automatic)
GXL 3.0-litre turbo-diesel five-door wagon: $61,135 (manual), $63,635 (automatic)
VX 3.0-litre turbo-diesel five-door wagon: $77,635 (automatic)
Kakadu 3.0-litre turbo-diesel five-door wagon: $91,135 (automatic)
SX 3.0-litre turbo-diesel three-door wagon: $56,090 (automatic)
ZR 3.0-litre turbo-diesel three-door wagon: $67,135 (automatic)