It’s just that many owners never explored those qualities. The Toyota Prado GX 5 seat wagon we are testing here, in some ways is an entry level 4WD aimed more at the real purpose, rather than a family run-around.
Priced from around $61,682 RDAP, the Prado GX auto is an affordable way to buy a genuine 4WD without many of the extras that are nice but not necessary to have.
Externally the Prado GX maintains the Prado family look. It runs on 265/65R17 tyres on 6spoke alloy rims. Recent upgrades has seen he bonnet acquire similar bonnet sculpturing to the LC200 series.
This actually assists visibility. There are some muscular wheel arch bulges and the whole lines actually look pretty good. It also has halogen headlights and colour coded bumpers
Inside the Prado GX there is adequate room for all passengers. The driver’s seat is relatively comfortable, even after a few hours at the wheel. It has manual adjustment and no lumbar adjustment. I personally dislike the fabric seat covers.
The steering wheel is comfortable and being height and reach adjustable, easy to manoeuvre to a good driving position. It doesn’t have a lot of controls on it, basically having the Bluetooth and audio controls.
One feature I really like, even though other reviewers dislike it, is the simple to use cruise control stalk, and on the manual it’s NOT adaptive, thanks Toyota. The auto ACC thankfully is easy to override.
The dash is clearly visible through the steering wheel with has two large and two small dials with a simple MFD in-between.
The central console and stack are well laid out, easy to use and simple. It hoses the 8 inch screen and audio system. There is a 9 speaker sound system.
The GX doesn’t get satellite navigation, but if Toyota got over their refusal to utilise Apple Car Play and Android Auto, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Rear passengers have a little restricted knee room but overall it is great for four and even five occupants. The almost flat footwell also provides more comfort for the middle passenger.
The rear seats will fold flat on a split arrangement to give a flexible boot area. While not cavernous it is more than adequate.
One thing to note is that overall visibility from the Prado is surprisingly good. Over bonnet view is improved, there are great internal and external mirrors and the rear camera is an essential safety feature on all cars.
The other great thing about the Prado is the rear mounted full size spare. No underbody slung spare that gets damaged and useless when you need it most.
Even though this is an entry level model it still has little features that are welcomed, such as
- illuminated vanity mirrors for both front occupants,
- rear AC vents,
- smart entry (which moves the steering wheel up out of the way while you get in) and
- smart start,
- 220-volt rear accessory socket,
- USB auxiliary input and iPod®9control,
- side mirror-mounted indicators,
- conversation mirror,
- power windows front and rear and
- UV-cut glass
- Electroluminescent combimeter with colour Multi Information Display (automatic only)
- Satellite Navigation[N1]with SUNATM[G7] traffic channel
- Reversing Camera
Drive and Engine
The Prado GX is now offered with the same diesel engine that sits in the Hilux and Fortuner vehicles.
It is a 2.8L, Four cylinder diesel that produces 130kW/450Nm. (auto version).
This runs through a six speed automatic transmission. This combination of low torque and well suited transmission means that for a relatively large 4WD the Prado is frugal with diesel using just 8.0L/100k ADR.
The auto GX will tow 3000kg. The Prado makes a pretty good tow vehicle both on and off road and the trailer sway control greatly assists the driver.
The Prado has constant four-wheel drive; two-speed transfer case with lockable centre Torsen LSD.
Off road the Prado is a more than capable performer. We have driven them, including the GX, on sand, firetrails, in the desert, on the farm, along tight4WD tracks, just about everywhere.
They simply don’t let you down and the reliability is awesome. The recent engine upgrades also help with towing, both on and off road. On road the Prado has good ride and handling for a 4WD, better than most
Safety is still a strong feature with the GX Prado with:
- seven airbags,
- rear view camera,
- trailer sway control,
- emergency brake signal,
- whiplash injury lessening front seats,
- vehicle stability control,
- active traction control (A-TRC),
- ABS with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA).
The automatic version adds:
- Toyota Safety Sense+ (automatic only) including pre-collision safety system with pedestrian detection,
- lane departure alert,
- automatic high beam,
- active cruise control (but easy to disable),
- hill-start assist control (HAC) and
- downhill assist control (DAC).
There is no blind spot monitoring, but the external rear view mirrors are a decent size and easy to electronically adjust to get the best view, that should negate the need for BSM.
- Value for money
- Standard features
- Towing & 4WD ability
Not so Good Bits:
- No Apple CarPlay®/Android® Auto
- No Sat Nav
- Fabric seats (prefer the vinyl)
So there it is. The Toyota Prado GX 5 seat 4WD wagon.
It could be the 4WD enthusiasts are looking for.
It is affordable, has genuine 4WD capability, can tow 3000kg, is economical, has an abundance of aftermarket accessories for it and has Toyota’s legendary reliability.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Toyota LC Prado GX 4WD
- Engine: 2.8L D4D 130kW/450Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed auto 4WD
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Japan
- Warranty: 3 yrs/100,000km
- Price: From $61,682 RDAP