Toyota’s Prado remains a stand-out in the SUV sector. But is a new diesel engine enough to keep it ahead of the pack?
Despite a small (227cc) reduction in capacity over the 3.0 litre (IKD-FTV) turbo-diesel it replaces, the new 2.8-litre turbo-diesel 1GD four-cylinder engine boasts improvements in performance, fuel economy and NVH levels.
It really is very hard now to discern it from a similarly-sized petrol engine, the new’un even revs out like some broadly similar petrol four cylinders. NOT like the beautiful 4.0 litre V6 which is a (worthwhile if rather thirsty) option. But impressive (the new diesel) in its smooth, quiet operation all the same.
New Prado will be available here in four different spec levels, three (the range opening GX, mid-range VX and flagship VX Limited) getting the new diesel engine and the VX petrol variant continuing with the aforementioned normally-aspirated 4.0-litre V6 engine.
All four models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift and All Wheel Drive (AWD) transmission. High and low ratios with engagement via a dial on the centre console carries over from the outgoing model, with power fed to the front and rear axles via a Torsen limited slip centre differential.
Safety features include driver and passenger front, driver’s knee, front seat side and front, rear and third row curtain shield airbags, ISO fixing points and tether anchors for child restraints, emergency locking retractor seat belts and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS).
Combined with ventilated disc anti-lock brakes, Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC) across the range, the Prado has a five star ANCAP safety rating.
Prices start at $78,490 for the GX 2.8 diesel and go to $88,490 for the VX diesel and $89,490 for the VX petrol models and $99,000 for the VX Ltd diesel.
To read the full story in the November 2015 issue of NZ4WD go to Zinio.com (on sale October 19) or purchase your own hard copy at the Adrenalin store.