Often dotingly recognized as Australia’s preferred large sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Toyota Landcruiser Prado continues to remain massively popular in the country.
It is touted as the vehicle of choice for exotic locations; from the African savanna, all the way to the Australian bush country; easily tackling these region’s remote often unrelenting terrains.
While its current generation – which marked its arrival in the country’s SUV scene in 2009 – may not quite offer the most in terms of what many people would want in their SUV of choice, the Toyota Landcruiser Prado still holds the mantle as one full-size four-wheel-drive vehicle that gives its owner value for their money.
It may not be the most powerful vehicle in the range, neither does it offer the most of technology in it; while still not coming cheap either, it still does have great returns over other SUVs since its rugged simplicity and ease in servicing heightens the confidence of its driver.
To start with, the Toyota Landcruiser Prado offers seating for seven, it has genuine off-road ability and a single robust upgraded 2.8-litre turbo-diesel-charged four-cylinder engine, which produces a 150kW and 500Nm of torque; qualities that separate it from similar others.
These qualities, in essence, put a sharp contrast between the Toyota Landcruiser Prado and others similar such as the Kluger.
So what more does this SUV have for you when you acquire it?
This front-engine four-wheel-drive SUV has a ladder frame chassis, two-speed transfer boxes and rear beam axles.
Its turbo-charged engine is hitched to either a six-speed manual or automatic, it is a fulltime four-wheel-drive whose lockable Torsen centre differential is standard.
Coming in the GX, GXL, VX and the Kakadu variants, one is also able to choose between the SUV’s rare two-door and the more common four-door versions.
Toyota, the SUV’s manufacturer, quotes a zero to 62 mph time of 12.7 seconds on the Landcruiser Prado, making the SUV a quick vehicle; which in the same scope also packs a 3,000kg braked towing capacity enabling one to haul along all they need for an adventure!
The turbo-charged diesel engine of the Toyota Landcruiser Prado also gives more than enough power to travel just about anywhere with self-assurance.
This factor is enhanced by the incorporation of advanced safety features such as the Toyota Safety Sense to help one stay out of harm’s way while on the off-roads.
The pre-collision safety system fitted in the SUV also alerts the driver when a frontal collision is likely with an obstacle, other vehicles or pedestrians and if a likelihood of a crash is detected the vehicle assists in applying brake pressure – and even braking autonomously –to help prevent accidents.
Its reverse-view camera and the panoramic view monitor – for the VX and the Kakadu –makes reversing easier as well as a convenient bird’s eye view around the vehicle.
A near-similar SUV to the Toyota Landcruiser Prado is the Ford Everest, which is also called the Ford Endeavour in the Indian market. It was developed largely for the Asia-Pacific region.
The Ford Everest comes in a choice of two diesel engines that can also seat up to seven and offers the option of full-time, dual-range, and four wheel drive.
It is based on the Ranger ute and is the first such vehicle designed and developed in Australia.
That said, the Everest is comfortable on all roads, capable of the off roads in 4WD, has a broad suite of active safety features including autonomous emergency braking systems and its rear-wheel-drive variants are available.
It is also a tech capable SUV. It has excellent smartphone integration systems and an 8.0-inch central touchscreen for controlling multimedia and cabin functions. Such functions include satellite navigation, a ten-speaker audio system with AM/FM and digital radio, CD, AUX, iPod, US inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, and voice control through Ford’s SYNC3 multimedia system with support for Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
It also has a rear-view mirror which helps one to see behind their vehicle when reversing and rear parking sensors that tell the driver how close they are to obstacles, as well as power-folding external mirrors.
The Everest’s cruise control is operated from buttons on the steering wheel, and it has trailer sway control too!
The Everest nonetheless isn’t offered with a manual gearbox or a petrol engine while the legroom in the third-row seats isn’t quite ample especially for bigger passengers.
All that said, the current versions of the Toyota Landcruiser Prado SUV are sold in approximately 170 markets globally! Read more on Toyota Prado review.