Toyota Prado - pros & cons

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 02:20
ThreadID: 20059 Views:16830 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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Hi All.

I am new to the 4wd scene and am currently considering purchasing a 2nd hand Toyata Prado (2000-2001 model) but would like to find out more information about them before I buy one.

The vehicle I buy will be predominately used around town but I am keen to get on the beach and explore the many wonderful places in South East Quensland I am often told about.

Can people submit information about what sort of fuel economy I can expect from a Prado including petrol vs diesel. And is extra outlay for a diesel, worth it considering that this vehicle will be mainly used around town

What are the service costs like on such a vehicle? diesel vs petrol?

And is there anything in particular I should be looking out for when inspecting Prado's before I purchase?

Anyo ther relavent info would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 06:57

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 06:57
for town use petrol is the go: lower emissions, better drivability.
For beach work the Prado diesel is a bit underpowered compared with the petrol and other diesels for that matter.
So if you really must get a Prado the petrol would be my choice.
AnswerID: 96387

Follow Up By: Member - big bo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:39

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:39
C'Mon Boony,
My Prado Diesel outperforms my mates Nissan 3 litre diesel every time on any type of sand, have you owned a prado diesel before, what do you base your comments on, don't forget to let your tyres down, even though I rarely have to.
You will surely stir the Prado diesel owners up. Next you will be telling all that the Terracan is a great truck.
What next.
FollowupID: 355131

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 11:40

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 11:40
Pretty Gutsie, a Disco owner commenting on a Prado TD performance.

I've pitted my Td against the likes of Patrol TDs and Landcruiser TDs, and I've been very place they have including sand work and dune climbs.

I've taken on a sand hill that took a V6 petrol Prado 3 attempts to master. I was up there first time.

FollowupID: 355150

Follow Up By: Member - Russell S - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:23

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:23
Yeah! How would you know? :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:47

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:47
I do a lot of sand driving as a 4wdtrainer. Prado owners should all be happy - their vehicles both diesel and petrol handle the sand better than many of the big boys.
FollowupID: 355296

Reply By: djr - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 10:29

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 10:29
I currently own a 2002 td prado which I am more than happy with. Having ownwed it since new It has performed faultlessly over the three years. Fuel economy from the diesel is usually around the 12l/100ks which is about 1200/1400 ks out of both tanks. They are a bit soft in the front end but nothing that cant be fixed. They are a good cruising car with plenty of overtaking power and plenty of room in the back. The front tyres tend to wear a bit but regular rotations can help this. I am still on the original set of grand treks(55000 ks) but they are very close to needing replacement. The diesel might be dearer to start but they hol their value a lot better. You need to do 5000 k services which is bit of as pain, the intermediate sevices(oil and filter change) cost a bit less than a $100, the other sevices between 200 and 400 dollars. Good luck in finding your new charriot as the diesels are a bit thin on the ground which is a good sign that people are keeping them and happy.
AnswerID: 96415

Reply By: Member - Kevin R (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 11:49

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 11:49

I also have 2002 TD. I've now done 105000 k including Darwin via the Gulf. The only weakness I have found is that the front end sags if you have bar,winch and dual batteries. This was solved completly by fitting OME suspension upgrade. Also solved the front tyre scrubbing problem. Good luck

AnswerID: 96428

Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 15:38

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 15:38
Hi Boony

I have a 2001 TD Prado, bought second hand at 35,000Klm, as a straight city car. Now up to 85,000 and I have fitted gear to it for camping etc. First 4wd I have ever owned and from a driving point of view found it great - extra vision, more control and greater load space. This is true for any of the mid to larger 4wd's and not just the Prado.

A Prado advantage is that it is not as big as the Landcruiser or Patrol - if you are not needing the bigger size (trying to be diplomatic and avoid heaps of "counter" posts LOL). I have driven both the larger vehicles and ride, handling etc all top notch but definitely feel a bigger vehicle.

Agree with other posts on servicing the diesel every 5K. But if you are handy at all you can probably do the small servcices yourself. Watch the Oil filter if you do as there is a trick to it. My mechanic certainly thinks the Prado's are a go anywhere vehicle. We have done some recreational 4wding so far, including a lot of black top driving to get to a jump off point. We have 3 children 9,11 and 13 and they cope fine in the back wih the travel.

The only thing I can say against them, is that the range of aftermarket accessories re body specific is limited, eg bull bars, rear bars and radio options (in terms of dash mount). Otherwise go for it!


AnswerID: 96464

Reply By: Member - Russell S - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:31

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:31
I had a petrol prado but only because the diesels weren't out yet in 97. Petrol or diesel they are a very good option for a midsized 4wd, but I would prefer the diesel every time. My two brothers both have the diesel auto version (one GXL and one TX) and they both swear by them. I did all sorts of mods to mine, so could talk about that if you want, but the main thing is that they will perform well as a road car if you want, but can also be customised to make a very capable off road vehicle too.
I had mine for 7 years and 160,000 km and it had no real vices. The suspension is a bit soggy standard and the tyres too narrow on the RV6, but both easily fixed.

What to look for? I didn't read the other posts.... I would look for the usual things - evidence of accidents, evidence of sand/salt driving (a lot of people don't care for their truck adequately on the beach), oil leaks in the drive train, movement or leaking oil in the steering rack, noise/whine in the gearbox/diff, major maintenance up to date (timing belt etc), and crawl under every inch to see what off road work it's had. Front drive shaft boots and steering rack boots can get cuts or holes in them.

Good luck with it.
AnswerID: 96515

Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:17

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:17
Go the petrol, the extra 3-4lt per 100km wont brake the bank when you do half the services, pay less for it, and have the extra grunt as well.

BTW, I have a 3.0 tdi 2002 TX prado, and Im about to go to the V6.
AnswerID: 96556

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:51

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:51
For the use you describe, go the V6.

If you want to do the bigger desert trips, go the diesel.

Running costs overall are identical.

Both great vehicles.

I have a mate who's just bought a traytop LandCruiser and has a pristine 2002 VX Grande Prado (V6) to sell in Adelaide - Think he wants about $40k and its got all the extras.

AnswerID: 96598

Reply By: Member - Meggs - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 15:10

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 15:10
I am interested in the latest Prado but I have waited to see if other manufactures bring out 17in wheels. The tyres are not common and I would expect they would be expensive. For an urban 4x4 they might be OK but out in the bush tyre replacement would be problem. I can't comment on the model you are interested in as to what size wheels they have.
AnswerID: 96659

Reply By: B0XER - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:41

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:41
Hi Boony,

I also am very new to the 4WD arena after almost losing my licence in a sports car (sold it). I went with the TD as I have a boat to tow as well and the torque off the bottom is much better on the TD and economy is much better - I get 12l/100kms consistently around town and towing the boat (1800kgs) every second to third weekend. Highway is better again. Mate with the V6 sees about 16-17l/100kms around town
Oil changes are more regular, but do the intermediate ones yourself - its easy as compared to modern Jap sports cars ;)

As others have said though - either vehicle is a great vehicle - I drove Jeeps, Pajeros and Discos as a comparison (I was only looking for a mid size - otherwise a Patrol or 100series would have been on the list) And the Prado was the best drive hands down. Jeep Grand had the best motor though - but man its a real 'shake 'n' bake' on the road - that ad they used to run with it shaking like a dog to get the mud off was very apt.
The pajero was a rough ride and no wheel travel in the front (Prado is not much better mind) Plus most examples I looked at (second hand) were rusting in the arse, which didn't instill much confidence

Hope that helps
AnswerID: 98769

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