Update improves Toyota Prado GXL value and new 2.8 litre diesel brings much needed refinement.
Full Toyota Prado Review below…
Toyota has given its ever-popular mid-size Prado 4×4 a facelift, with the biggest change an all-new 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine, that replaces the dated 3.0 litre unit. The mid-spec Prado GXL we’re testing here also gains standard satellite navigation as part of the upgrade.
The Toyota Prado GXL with the six-speed automatic is priced from $62,990 plus on road costs.
What we like:
- New diesel quieter and smoother than old 3.0 unit
- Acceptable fuel economy
- Sat nav a welcome addition to Prado GXL
- Off-road ability
Not so much:
- Diesel may be more hushed and refined but the Prado still feels underpowered
- GXL specification mediocre value for money
- Can still be cumbersome around town
On The Road
The basics of the Toyota Prado GXL are much the same as the Toyota Prado Kakadu we tested a while back: seven seats, a ladder frame chassis, the promise of genuine off-road ability with Toyota quality.
The GXL version sits somewhere in the middle of the range in terms of price and equipment, which is a little underwhelming for the money. Yes, there is tri-zone climate control, cruise control, reversing camera and that new satellite navigation system.
However, it misses out on basics such as automatic headlights, wipers and front parking sensors – rear are standard – which would be helpful on a car which will be predominately brought by families for school run duties and where there are schools, there is more often than not tight parking.
That said the cabin is still a capacious and accommodating space, with soft, supportive seats, ample room for five adults and space for two children in the third row of seats.
At $62,990, the Prado GXL isn’t a value for money package. Our pick of the Toyota Prado range would be the Toyota Prado VX, which is around $10,000 more than the GXL and $10,000 less than the Kakadu, but you get goodies such as a more luxurious leather bound interior, LED head and tail lamps, front parking sensors and more attractive alloys, all features that matter when it comes to sale time.
On the road the new diesel adds a great deal more driveability and liveability to the Prado package. It’s smoother and quieter than its 3.0 litre predecessor and there was noticeably less noise and fewer vibrations filtering through to the cabin. Further, power delivery seemed to be more linear and broader than the old motor.
However, although the new engine is much easier to live with on a day to day basis, the Prado diesel still feels slightly underpowered, although it does make 40Nm more torque than the old 3.0 litre engine which produced 127kW @ 3400rpm and 410Nm @ 1600-2800rpm and the new engine develops 130kW @ 3400rpm and 450Nm @ 1600-2400rpm which’ll be handy when towing a caravan, horse float or tackling steep inclines or mud off-road.
Speaking of off-roading, the Prado GXL has an electronically switchable 4×4 system with high and low settings to help you get out of the rough stuff.
Average fuel economy on test was around 10.5 litres on a combined cycle, a touch more than Toyota’s claimed 8 litres per 100 kilometres.