Toyota is unquestionably the crown prince of 4×4 SUVs in Australia. Toyota is the brand of choice for the large majority of Australians when it applies to off-road automobiles. That is not an interpretation; it is a fact.
But what if you could learn the hidden mystery behind off-road driving?
Toyota’s proper off-road models
What’s intriguing about Toyota’s proper off-road models is that they’re not only functional but also beneficial. For many, the brand’s large SUVs are an inspiring purchase. Almost everything bearing the LandCruiser badge comes with a set of values; it simply needs to be tough, dependable, and adaptable.
Although the littlest LandCruiser is originally known as the LandCruiser Prado, many other investors and followers respond to the vehicle as to the Prado. The LandCruiser name is still used to identify the larger 200 Series wagons.
The Prado doesn’t need to be promoted; it’s Australia’s biggest and best SUV right now. Instead of simply leaving it at that and following the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado has been strengthened with extra devices at a lower cost. Prices have dropped from $600 to $1200, depending on the product.
Toyota sent us the introduction GX and the mid-spec GXL for testing. The seven-seat GXL is the model with the most features that cater to family buyers.
Bi-LED headlamps, daytime jogging lamps, LED fog lights, security glass, roof rails, slides, seven chairs, a redesigned steering wheel, and three-zone temperature controls are all standard on the GXL trim level. Regardless of the additional equipment in the GXL, the GX is now well-appointed and offers a very superior product.
The latest model automatic Prado is difficult to overlook, with the GX receiving 17-inch alloy wheels. On the outside, it does not appear to be a range opener, with only the non-body different colored mirrors and handrails revealing the match.
The GX and GXL Prado prices are beginning at $53,490 and $59,990, respectively (before on-roads) and are indeed available with a manual transmission. Our recommendation is to bypass the manual shifters in favor of the instant variants, which command a $3000 markup. This may appear to be a bit pricey at first glimpse, but there is more to consider. The pre-collision safety system (PCS) with automated emergency braking and car driver detection, effective cruise control (ACC), lane-keeping alert, and vehicle high beam is now common practice on all LandCruiser Prado inbuilt models. Previously, the best protective gear was reserved for the much more expensive VX and Kakadu models – well played, Toyota.
The six-speed automatic gearbox adds 450Nm of revs and a braked payload capacity of 3000kg, which is a convenient 30Nm and 500kg more than that of the manual transmission. Automatic GXL designs get a rear subframe lock as well. The GX can be leased to seven seats for an additional $2550, whereas the GXL can go a very less fancy with a higher price interior pack that adds cowhide trim, ventilation systems, and power-operated front seats, and warmed front and second-row seats for $3500.
The external design improvements for 2018 are aimed at promoting Prado’s drivability. The new bonnet has been shaped in the central core to improve decreasing visibility, and the fenders have indeed been updated to help drivers identify the vehicle’s extremities. A new bumper with broad vertical slats and cooling vacancies is also included.
Off-road quality has also been considered; the reduced corners of the front and fender flares have been revised and now kick upwards to improve maneuvering in the serious stuff. The halogen headlights have been redesigned, with the main beams placed inboard to prevent damage from impediments when driving off-road.
The updated Prado has seen the most changes from the inside; the control room design continues to remain with the constructed center stack, but the polish is noticeably better. Even before we drove the Prado the year before, we were critical of the interior. Things are much better now. The digital instrument screen has grown in size but now involves satellite navigation. The device cluster has also been revised with a color driver information display that is much easier to read. It is indeed simple to see why the Prado is a common family vehicle; the second row is extremely spacious and offers a healthy atmosphere.
The third-row seats fold plain into the boot floor, which is a nice touch. To keep the auxiliary gas tank, the extra wheel is still mounted on the tailgate, which means it opens out rather than lifting.
We came across the rear cargo blind whilst still inspecting the rear of the Prado; it’s a very awkward arrangement that is far too tricky to be considered family-friendly.