Toyota Landcruiser Prado Kakadu
Most recent sales figures show Toyota’s highly popular Prado continues to dominate in the large SUV segment.
In 2017 Toyota refreshed looks inside and out with subtle cosmetic changes and deleted the slow-selling petrol V6 models.
A combination of standard equipment enhancements, added safety features on all versions and price reductions ranging from $600-$1200 (model dependent) have improved value across the range. In the case of the top specification Kakadu, it’s now $1121 cheaper.
Its pre-collision safety system with AEB is ‘smarter’, now capable of detecting impact risks with pedestrians as well as vehicles. Lane departure warning and auto high-beam are new features too.
The previous Kakadu’s camera-based multi-terrain monitor now also offers drivers the ability to check for approaching vehicles at ‘blind’ intersections and is re-named panoramic view monitor on the updated model.
Also new on Kakadu is a drive mode select system with five modes (Eco, Comfort, normal, Sport, Sport+) to enable drivers to set their preferred powertrain, chassis and air-conditioning modes.
The engine has decent low-down torque, with its maximum output of 450Nm available from 1600rpm.
However, it’s not that keen to rev, and with nearly 2.5 tonnes of SUV to spur into action, on-road acceleration feels a touch leisurely.
Off-road though, the engine feels quite strong and tractable. And Prado’s solid off-road abilities are aided by features such as crawl-control, height-adjustable rear air suspension, an idle-up system, rear diff-lock, and five-mode Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) to optimise traction and progress according to terrain types. In low range, there’s excellent engine braking to allow controlled crawling down steep descents.
The spacious Prado offers the versatility of seven seats as standard on all bar the entry GX, where it’s optional.
There’s not a lot of the normally generous cargo space left with row three in use, though at the flick of a switch it can be easily folded away into the floor when not required.
Third-row seats are better suited to children or limited use by adults. Rear passengers can be kept entertained on long trips courtesy of the Blu-Ray entertainment system with wireless headphones and remote.
Storage space is good and includes a large refrigerated cool-box in the centre console.
ENGINE: 2.8-litre, direct-injection turbo-diesel 4-cyl
ANCAP SAFETY RATING: ★★★★★
TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 211
FOR: Off-road ability, price reductions, practicality, seven seats.
AGAINST: Leisurely on road acceleration, cargo space with third-row in use, handling.