2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Kakadu towing critique

In 2017, the Toyota Prado was the major-advertising significant SUV in Australia, with nearly 16,000 acquiring new residences. Its off-roading abilities are legendary. The Prado sits comfortably in the LandCruiser spouse and children, and that badge by itself leaves 4WD tracks in a quivering mess. However, most are purchased basically as a car to drop off or choose up the little ones at college.

We seem to have a unusual fascination with big 4WDs in Australia, although, they rarely tackle far more than a dirt road and the occasional h2o crossing that I could handle in a Toyota Corolla, and under no circumstances genuinely fulfil their true contacting.

That mentioned, the other calling of the Toyota Prado is its recognition as an outstanding tow vehicle. With the limitless demand to hit the open street, caravan in tow, it sits on the first rung underneath the LandCruiser and Patrol when everyone is searching for an effective, big tow car or truck. It is also much more reasonably priced than a LandCruiser, at least.

For 2018, Toyota established about generating some modifications. Among all those a new bonnet, revised headlights and new bumpers to enhance off-highway solution and departure angles. Not that mounting a gutter outside the house a college was ever an situation. Importantly, Toyota also amplified towing capability from 2500kg to 3000kg.

It achieved this by keeping the very same 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel motor, but revised the electric power prepare European calibration. It now looks much smoother and improved at picking out the proper equipment in the 6-velocity computerized gearbox adjustments Toyota is naturally not able to make to guide variants, which retain the 2500kg towing optimum of the preceding model.

Toyota has also improved the motor cooling to cope with the additional pounds and worry. This now attracts it level with competitors this kind of as the Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero Activity, Holden Trailblazer and Isuzu MU-X.

My possess experience with a Prado ended only lately, obtaining driven extensively in a 2008 model up and down the coastline with boat in tow. On to start with impressions, this newer design is considerably smoother and additional composed.


The Prado on paper is able to tow very a large load. For reference, a Northbank 760HT or a Jayco 25ft Silverline Off Street caravan is within just the restrictions, presented you have an electric brake controller equipped inside of the cabin of the car.

We resolved to go for substantially less. We included a 19-foot boat, just one we have made use of just before for towing opinions, and one we are for that reason acquainted with. This boat weighs 1950kg and has a downball bodyweight of 190kg. It is just one whole tonne below the boundaries put on the auto.

The vehicle alone is relaxed with a good driving position, where you can see the entrance corners of the auto and a prolonged way in advance. In the Kakadu, the seat is electronically adjustable and established substantial in the cabin. When you are towing a load, this is not only handy but also an important basic safety factor. It usually takes a minor for a longer period to end the car or truck with the extra pounds, so becoming capable to see even more ahead gives you far more time to act.

The facet mirrors lengthen out from the sides of the car, providing a fantastic check out of the trailer. They are huge plenty of to negate the necessity for extended mirrors on some caravans. You are greatest to judge how relaxed you really feel with the eyesight, but you can absolutely increase prolonged mirrors to the auto if you come to feel it needed. The regular mirrors also tilt downwards when reversing, which aids you to see gutters and driveways.

The steering in the car is light, and at moments there is a absence of sense with a trailer on the again. The car or truck does go exactly where you level it, but smooth motion of the wheel will produce the greatest command underway. It also has a fantastic turning circle, which indicates the vehicle and trailer are straightforward to manoeuvre into situation in a restricted caravan park. Combined with a lock-to-lock that only usually takes 3 whole turns of the wheel, even if you get on your own into trouble, you can swiftly recuperate.

I have read through some issues about laggy throttle reaction, but individually, in all problems tested, the engine response was excellent. The energy shipping on the freeway is as you would assume when you place the foot down. In parking circumstances, the response is fast and you can make small calculated actions of the trailer.

With all these functions and a torquey engine, towing in suburban parts is quick for the Prado or any of the other four-cylinder possibilities. But, it is the open up highway in which the constraints of the four-cylinder system turn out to be obvious. These engines basically never have the electrical power demanded when hills arrive into enjoy.

Try to remember, we have been towing two tonnes, effectively under the restrict assigned to the SUV. In this scenario, the Toyota Prado was not able to retain velocity up a hill and dropped to 80–90km/h. Everything heavier and we may possibly have been down to 60km/h. I found myself leaning ahead in the seat in a futile attempt to get some extra ahead go.

This signifies a unsafe predicament as streams of other automobiles and impatient drivers endeavor to pass a big and prolonged slower motor vehicle, frequently on roadways that are just unsafe. I am still to satisfy anyone who is happy to sit guiding a slow car or truck and trailer.

The new motor mapping has absolutely completed the job and it will preserve plugging away. It does this in a substantially neater, quieter and smarter way than the outdated motor, with significantly considerably less gear shifting on the downhill slopes you will definitely deal with, and engine braking from the 2.8-litre 4-cylinder electric power pack is exceptional. The vehicle doesn’t operate away from you, even when staying pushed by a trailer.

In spite of the deficiency of energy up hills, the auto is extremely secure and normally takes the body weight flawlessly with small to no sag and therefore no ensuing deficiency of suspension array. You can surely truly feel the bodyweight, not so much all over suburban streets where by speeds rarely exceed 70km/h, but absolutely on the freeway. There was some tugging observed on the tow ball on undulating streets.

We towed in Eco method, and I hugely question any one is likely to be belting all over towing in Sport manner. For the two days prior to the tow test, I registered 11.8 litres for every 100 kilometres in a blend of Sydney peak-hour visitors. Our tow loop associated suburban streets in Sydney and then up the Pacific Highway to the Central Coastline. The gasoline use crept up with a boat on the back and settled about 14.7L/100km, which is quite fantastic taking into consideration that other 4-cylinder platforms we have towed with have been up in close proximity to 17 litres.

There is no doubt the Toyota Prado Kakadu is an outstanding tow automobile. It’s at ease and capable, to a level. I’d fortunately own 1 to tow a smaller boat or off-highway camper trailer. Toyota has completed miracles with the motor management update and the resulting 3000kg utmost braked trailer towing ability. But if I was touring Australia and doing large kilometres, I wouldn’t head out with anyplace around that hanging off the again. Remember, this car by yourself weighs 2455kg.

Looking at the LandCruiser is driven by a V8 twin-turbo diesel, I cannot assistance but assume the Prado could at the very least do with a six-cylinder solitary-turbo diesel motor, as the upcoming step down, and go away the 4 to the Fortuner and HiLux. That would make it even improved than it by now is.

Toyota Prado – Numbers that subject

RRP: $84,990
Possibilities Equipped: Tow bar
Motor: 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
Power/Torque: 130kW/450Nm
Transmission: Six-velocity automobile
Towing Capability: 3000kg (braked)
Optimum Tow Ball Excess weight: 270kg

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Extra: Everything Toyota