Prado or LC200?

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 18:50
ThreadID: 111116 Views:6842 Replies:17 FollowUps:12
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I am trying to decide whether it is worth the extra $$$ to get an LC200 or go with a prado. Looking at going brand new (especially with the Prado) or 2011 or newer.

I am planning a trip next year, about 12mths doing the top end and the centre with the family (2 kids 6+8). We're planning on towing a conqueror UEV490 or an echo 4x4 Kavango (both about 2.3t loaded). I've driven both. The LC200 is much nicer to drive. The 6sp transmission is much better, and how nice is that that V8 engine!!!

I've compared the space difference. The cargo areas (sans seats) is 25% bigger in the 200 (1250 ltrs compared to 1000 in the Prado).

I like the idea of the extra grunt of the 200 pulling a trailer, especially in sand.

The problem is, for an extra $20k, will the extra space be needed and do I really need the extra grunt?
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Reply By: desray (WA - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:20

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:20
Yes go lc200 ... towing 2.3 tons easy trouble free, Prado will do it but struggle.
AnswerID: 545924

Reply By: Richard and jem - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:23

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:23
Gday Chris we looked at both cars as well in the end we went the 200 series for the room and power as we tow a track trailer topaz. There's nothing wrong with the Prado but with the wife and 2 boys it all come down to space. Good luck on your ddecision.
AnswerID: 545925

Reply By: Top End Az - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:49

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 19:49
Can't beat power and space. Especially towing a van with the family. The 3 ltr Prado is fine but a bit "10 years ago" and the LC will do it much easier.
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Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 20:50

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 20:50
Buy shares in Shell before you go.

Apparently they give a discount to shareholders...

Bill B

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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:06

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:06
Fuels efficiency is not that different. Prado listed as 8.5l/100km and the 200 as 10.3. I reckon once you start towing the difference would be even less.
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Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 06:57

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 06:57
I have a 200 and would buy one again in a heartbeat. But like all fuel figures the ones from Toyota are not a real world guide. I can't speak for the Prado but you can expect about the following in a 200.

10 - 11 on the freeway in stock form
13 - 14 overall all in the country if you add bull bars, suspension, tyres, bullbar etc etc
15 - 18 towing with your van or around town in peak hour ( with above stuff too)
32 - 33 crossing the Simpson while towing

I suspect the Prado will use 2 - 3 l/100km less but it won't put a smile on your face like the 200. I'll never forget one time going up a long steep freeway hill not too long after I got it ( 7 years ago). There was a GU 3.0 quite a way in front of me and we were sitting on 110. I had cruise control on. Somewhere around half way up the hill, the GU was down to about 85 or so with smoke billowing out of the exhaust. The 200 didn't even know it was towing 2 tons and was still doing 110 at the top.

One other point is that swing open doors like those on the Prado can interfer with the hitch and front of the trailer. Ask the trailer manufacturer if there are any issues with the rear door on the Prado. I am sure they will know.

2 other points.
1)Do not believe any "My brother has one and ....." stories, almost every one of these is wrong or relates to issues fixed in June 2009 ( for new and owned vehicles) Only listen to people who own one.

2)Join LCOOL. There are literally thousands of owners of both vehicles and tons of threads on fuel use, problems, even your question.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:17

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:17
I have a 2007 120Series D4D Prado. 4mm lift, bar, winch, storage system, BFG All Terrains. To follow up on Boobook's figures:

10s on the freeway in stock form (never could get the claimed 9.3)
13-14 overall in the country with the above fit-out
15-17 overall in the country as above, towing 2.2 tonne
19-20 towing in Snowies, Vic High Country

Have done a Simpson trip, heavily loaded but not towing but it was a long time ago and I cannot recall the fuel consumption. The vehicle performed magnificently in hot, dry sand. 1200 or whatever dunes and not one second attempt, not even Big Red. In fact, had to extract our tour leader's 100 Series a couple of times :-)


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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:18

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:18
I should add that you can reasonably expect slightly better than that with a 150 Series -= they've been tweaked a bit over the 120s.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:58

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:58
4mm lift??? Hardly worth the expense :-) Should be 45mm

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Reply By: Andrew - Touring4x4 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:00

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:00
LC200 will do it so much easier. Your call on whether the extra $20K makes a difference.
Will you sell it after the trip? If so, the price difference wont matter as much.
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:12

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:12
Yeah, I've thought of that. Still means a difference of about $5-7k if we own it for 2yrs. I also get the sense the 200s are holding their value better.
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Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:05

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:05
Take them both for a drive, it won't take much for you to make your mind up, there again if you don't want to spend the extra $$, don't take the 200 for a drive. LOL
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Follow Up By: Gaz@Midge Point. - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:43

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 21:43
Yep, agree with Steve, my Daughter and SIL have a 200 series, my wife and I have both driven it on the tracks in Gove and I am constantly being hounded to buy one.
Yes Dear I'd love one but....$$$

Mmmmmmmm, now where do we go next?

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Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 23:06

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 23:06
hi chris G12
i haven't owned either but i owned a petrol 5 .9ltr 360 cu inch v8 jeep with rambler eng and have done the big lap plus a lot more my jeep averaged 12mpg or 23l/100km's on the big lap and we sat on 100ks an hr for most of the trip as towing was effortless for the big v8 rambler i still have the fuel book as proof of this
i've towed 3 vans from 26ft triple axle 18ft tandem and 16ft single we towed the 18 and 26 with the v8 and the 18 and 16 with smaller navara and mazda 4cyl 4x4 the difference in power is quiet noticable
pulling 2.3 t with the prado it will be working all the way and it will use at least ??16l/100km's
but towing the same weight with the the big v8 LC you will have to look in the rear view mirror to see if the van is still there and i;d predict it will be more frugall on fuel than the prado working hard will use as much fuel or more on a windy hilly days as the LC
which under all conditions will just be loping along with ease up hill and down dale it will also run cooler on hot days
the extra $20G i know is a stumbling block
but if you can afford it i know what i would do and you can never have too much space inside your vehicle when traveling its a lot less hassles with easy access to everything
hope this imfo is of use but in the end it your call the LC will also be easier to drive with that weight behind it but the prado will be a daily driving job if you get what i mean
cheers barry
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Reply By: Simon C - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 02:21

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 02:21
Re fuel economy with the LC200...10.2 is wish full. I just did a round trip Brisbane to Tara (approx 650 k)...just me and 100 kg of parts 1 way...and returned 12.2 L per 100 for the whole trip. speed limits all the way.
AnswerID: 545940

Follow Up By: PeteS - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 04:38

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 04:38
Hi Simon,
I could get 10.5 however that changed once I had my lift done, added winch/bullbar, replaced my tyres with a larger rolling diameter and added a roof rack. Best I can do now is 13 to 13.5 however that is for a 3.4tonne vehicle with full tool kit and rear drawers.

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Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:55

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:55
Hi, We were in the same boat as you. Money money money money. We bought a second hand Prado 150 series with 60,000kms on the clock. If the LC200 and Prado were the same price I would have preferred the LC of course because of more grunt and more space. We tow 2.4t caravan and it does it easily on flat road at 100kmh with an average of 14litres per 100km and on those hills where there are overtaking lanes you hear it kick down a gear to still hold 100kmh but those killer hills we are off of cruise and down to 70-80kmh just because I down want to hurt that little engine. The big back door does interfere with the towing hitch on every one of our trailers so we can only half open when towing. I am not unhappy and I love our Prado.
AnswerID: 545941

Reply By: Geepeem - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:57

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:57
Hi Chris,

To allow a safety margin when towing go for the 200series. With the Prado you are towing to 92% of its capacity while with the 200 series you are towing at 66% of its braked tow capacity. The braked tow capacity of a vehicle is the maximum it can tow under ideal conditions…i.e. not at all times. I choose to never tow a van greater than 80% of my vehicle's tow capacity (that is a self imposed limit). This policy was justified on one occasion when we had to brake harshly from close to 100kph to a halt due to a cow and calf on the road after coming around a sweeping curve. Its good to have that margin of safety in your tow weight. There have been many van roll overs and jack knifes recently…5 that I have witnessed or read about in past few months.
For your family's safety go with the 200series. Its 6 speed auto if also a bonus .You will regret it. Regardless of $$s or anything else safety is the most important criteria as far as I am concerned.
AnswerID: 545942

Follow Up By: Geepeem - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:59

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 07:59
should be NOT regret it…lol
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Reply By: cookie1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:49

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:49
I have the 200GX, paid 70K in 2012 and tow a boat, you seriously do not know it is on the back.

They are quite thirsty from new, about 23L/100 but that is what I was getting in my last 3.0L Patrol regularly. It is now down to 13L/100 with 35" tyres, winch roof rack etc etc.

If you get the 200, do yourself a favour and buy a Scangauge so that you can monitor your current fuel usage - that helps with the right foot as they do like to roar, OK I liked to hear it roar :)

AnswerID: 545945

Reply By: Member - Wombatx8 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:43

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:43
I moved from a 120 Series Prado to to 200GXL for towing a caravan. 200 Series is so much better in room and power, no longer feel mentally tired after a long drive because of the comfort of knowing that I have power and capacity in reserve

Fuel economy is improving as the engine beds in. I also use the Scangauge, great for checking on consumption and also the temperature of the auto gearbox.

Go the 200 if you can find one at your price.
AnswerID: 545950

Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:26

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:26
We are a family of 4. In our travels, space has always been a struggle, in a Prado sized car. Boys had to have stuff at their feet, between them on the seats, one trip even had a net under the roof above their heads for soft stuff like pillows. Every time we stopped, our fellow travellers in LC's and Patrol's got out relatively comfortably, opened the back and took out their morning tea/aternoon tea. We got out cramped, when opening the back it was so packed that it was actually difficult to get to what you wanted without upsetting the whole apple cart. The bigger cars just had it so much easier.
We upgraded to the LC and it is sooo much more comfortable. Just having extra elbow space makes the kids happier. Having the space at the back so that you don't have to cram the gear in makes everything easier to get to.
We then upgraded to a Van. Towing is a breeze. With towing, things like power to overtake becomes a safety issue as well. You don't want to struggle when having to overtake a truck.

Also in one of your replies above you indicated that you may lose $5k to $8k on the deal when it comes time to resell. That kind of money is small compared to safe and comfortable travel specially the likes of what you are planning.
AnswerID: 545952

Reply By: Chris G12 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:29

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:29
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think the safety angle and the easier, less stressful driving are both compelling arguments. I'm also worried about sand driving when towing and the importance of momentum. I think I'm going to have to do the numbers to try gets 200.
AnswerID: 545953

Reply By: OBJ - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:53

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 11:53
I tend to approach these decisions a little differently ...

If you buy the Prado, you will always wonder if the LC200 would have been the better choice.
If you buy the LC200 you won't be looking backwards wondering if you should have bought the Prado.

I'd go the LC200, because it will do everything you want it to do, whereas the Prado will do ALMOST everything you want it to do.

The important thing is that you will enjoy driving the LC200.

As I often tell people who talk about their fuel consumption on the road .. if you can't afford the fuel, it's better to stay at home.

Your call ...

AnswerID: 545956

Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:47

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:47
Or drive slower and have a look around, and enjoy the scenery. :-)
FollowupID: 833630

Reply By: DiscoTourer - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 14:43

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 14:43
The 200 is a world apart from the Prado. Much better car than the Prado. If you are easily pleased the Prado will be adequate.

I chose the 200 (2011) over the two....but changed 3 1/2 years ago.

On our last longish trip, being 6 weeks to Tassie, our Kavango was 1698 fully loaded. UEV 490 is heavier. Prado will tow both just fine, but 200 easier though with higher fuel consumption.
AnswerID: 545968

Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 22:10

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 22:10
Thanks. I realise I've been double counting the weight of everything that's in addition to the kavango. I was estimating 1800kg all up and at some point added the weight of gear again. So, I think it's more like your 1700kg we'll be towing.
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Reply By: Steve - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 17:57

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 17:57
I'm sure the LC does the job with less effort especially towing but we have had a 120 series for 6 years with 2x 6ft+ teen boys and a dog, towing 2.2 tonne. More room in the back than a 150 too. All with ease and 90% of the time, used around town, leaves the LC for dead. (used to have a 100 series) Fantastic turning circle and so easy to park. Not exactly lacking torque, (same as 150 motor) chipped to just under 500 nm and a 180 litre fuel tank but depends how much torque you really need. You might need a bit more room as the UEV/Echo doesn't have as much as a full van and maybe that's where the difference lies. Having said that, we rarely need to use the roof rack except for collecting firewood. 20 grand is a lot when there are options that'll do the job for less - depends on how important the 20 grand is, I suppose.
AnswerID: 546032

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 19:24

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 19:24

To me you sound like one of the minority of people who would actually utilise what the 200 offers over the Prado. I see so many people shelling out for a 200 over a mid sized 4WD when they rarely utilise the extra space and towing capacity or additional off road capability.

To me it really comes down to your estimate of how much the 200 will depreciate V the Prado after your 12 months travel. Fuel costs are insignificant compared to depreciation. Interest rates on that $20k difference in purchase price is only about $1k

Buy the 200 (if you can afford the extra), and reassess it when you finish your travels (meaning probably sell it and then buy a Prado when your extensive travelling has finished).

Mark (happy Pajero owner who for my circumstances can never justify a big LC)
AnswerID: 546037

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