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Upgraded Toyota Prado adds power but loses manual

Toyota gives Prado the same 150kW/500Nm mill as HiLux and Fortuner

25 Aug 2020


THE long-rumoured upgrade of the venerable Toyota Prado has come to fruition with the Japanese brand gifting its most popular large SUV similar upgrades to the newly facelifted HiLux and Fortuner siblings, those being more power, more standard equipment and more safety gear.


The extensive upgrades do come at a cost however, with the entry-level GX lifting in price by a hefty $5750 to $59,840 plus on-roads thanks to the omission of the six-speed manual transmission.


Above the GX, the GXL has risen $2850 to $66,540, the third-tier VX is up $2390 to $76,380 and the flagship Kakadu now starts from $87,030 (+$2804).


Power in all Prado variants still comes courtesy of a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder mill – the same one that motivates the previously mentioned HiLux and Fortuner duo.


As a result, power and torque have jumped by 20kW and 50Nm respectively to 150kW at 3400Nm and 500Nm between 1600-2800rpm.


The extra grunt comes courtesy of a new water-cooled, heavy-duty ball-bearing turbocharger with a newly developed variable nozzle vane mechanism, while cooling and efficiency have both been stepped up thanks to “optimised pistons and piston rings, changes to the cylinder block and head, higher fuel-injection flow rate and the adoption of high-performance materials for the exhaust manifold”.


As before, drive is sent permanently to all-four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with a low-range transfer case.


Despite the power bump, fuel consumption has marginally improved, down to 7.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle (-0.1L/100km) while CO2 emissions are rated at 209g per kilometre.


Maximum braked towing capacity also holds firm at 3000kg.


Inside the cabin, a new-generation multimedia system is standard across the range, offering a new 9.0-inch touchscreen display (up from 8.0-inches), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an enhanced voice recognition system.


Rain sensing wipers have also been added across the range while a number of key features contained within the Toyota Safety Sense system have been upgraded.


For starters, the autonomous emergency braking system has been expanded to now detect cyclists in daylight and pedestrians at night (previously only in the day) while the lane departure warning system can now brake one side of the vehicle to help the driver remain in their desired lane.


Road-sign assist with speed sign recognition also joins the package with the new function able to reset the Prado’s cruise control setting.


Unlike the extensively reskinned HiLux and Fortuner, the Prado has not been given a styling makeover to match its update with the only visual change being the addition of a new colour to the paint palette – ‘Espresso Brown’.


According to Toyota Australia sales and marketing vice-president Sean Hanley, the updates to the Prado ensure it will remain one of Australia's most appealing SUVs, especially as more people begin exploring Australia following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.


“Australians have long appreciated both the strong off-road and on-road capability, comfort and space that LandCruiser Prado offers for extended family adventures beyond the sealed highways,” he said.


“With added performance, improved safety and enhanced connectivity, Australians will be able to explore this country in even greater comfort, knowing they will be kept safe and entertained at every stage of the journey,” he said.


Standard equipment carried over on the base-model GX includes 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, keyless smart entry and ignition, air-conditioning and a reversing camera while third row seats are available as an optional extra.


The GXL meanwhile comes with the third row included as standard, along with side steps, roof rails, three-zone climate control, bi-LED headlamps, LED foglamps, LED daylight running lamps and rear parking sensors.


For an extra $3470, GXL owners can add the leather-accented upholstery, ventilated, heated and power-operated front seats and heated second-row seats from the more luxury-oriented VX.


The second-tier variant also adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a 14-speaker JBL premium sound system, DAB+ digital radio, dusk-sensing headlights, panoramic and multi-terrain monitors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.


At the top of the Prado tree, the Kakadu boasts all of the same kit as the VX, as well as paddle shifters, moonroof, adaptive variable suspension, self-levelling rear air suspension, rear-seat entertainment, crawl control and multi-terrain select off-road aids.


The Prado has had things largely its own way so far this year, with Toyota shifting 9411 units through the first seven months of this year, enough to make it the best-selling sub-$70,000 large SUV with an 18.8 per cent segment share.


2020 Toyota Prado pricing*

GX (a) $59,840
GXL (a) $66,540
VX (a) $76,380
Kakadu (a) $87,030

*Excludes on-road costs

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