Patrol vs Prado stock vs aftermarket

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 07:40
ThreadID: 67996 Views:3202 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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I'm currently trying to decide between a new Patrol ST-L and a Prado GXL. Admittedly, most of the time it will be used on the black top, but we want to do things like the high country, tour WA, the Canning etc etc, some of it towing upto 2.5T. I've read a number of forums here about Prado and Patrol, so not looking to rehash those arguments as such (unless something significant has changed). I think either would suit my needs well.

Its probably more a question of what should I get as a stock add on, or as an aftermarket addon/change? Someone asked about suspension yesterday, and there was also a comment about tyres. What else should be considered as maybe not quite par when it comes to stock parts going off road? Or what stock addons should seriously be considered? Yes, I'm new to this, but don't want to make find later that I should've done this and not that....

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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 09:45

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 09:45

Both good vehicles. You talking brand new?

Patrol Diesel Good Bad

Engine fuel consumption Old technology
Towing 2500kg's
Suspension Tough off road Not so smooth
Interior well sorted/bit small Looking dated
Transmission Best Diffs 4 speed auto

Prado Diesel Good Bad

Engine New Tech/fuel -----
Towing 3000kg
Suspension Great on road IFS
Interior looks good roomie
Transmission 5 speed Auto & manual

Minimum requirements,
Front end protection (bull bar)
New AT's tyres or 2nd set for off road.
Minimum 2 " lift
2nd battery
UHF Radio

AnswerID: 360300

Reply By: timglobal - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 10:50

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 10:50
Hey Straydingo.
Tony has put some useful info together above. In terms of actual choice, you have two very different vehicles technically, here.

If you're new to this, the best aftermarket addon is training - for you *and* your co-pilot. Makes sticky recoveries easier when you aren't holding an impromptu lesson for your helpers.

The Patrol is a part-time 4WD, live axle, ladder chassis, LSD, battle-tank. It may not be the prettiest inside, but it's functional, capable and MASSIVE. It's very lifted already and its wading depths and articulation stock are great. It has also got a lot of mods available due to its popularity. Stock off the forecourt is OK to tour with in all honesty. Maybe just replace the Bridgestones depending on your destination.

The Prado is a teeny bit "softer" (The Landcruiser being the equal to the Patrol) with permanent 4WD, IFS, ladder chassis, LSD, electronicy TC bits to help it over the rough bits. It may be prettier inside and more refined in the drivetrain, but its a lot shorter in the wheelbase which can reduce apparent stability and means less overall space.

Due to a long technical legacy, the GU has more range of extras, but either can be easily upgraded. Most basic one is a set of AT or even MTs for the rough stuff. A bar if you must, but it'll make a Prado sag without suspension changes. Snorkel seems de-rigeur in many places, but not absolutely essential. Rest is personal requirements like CBs, fridges, etc.

Your choice will likely come down to how much stuff you carry in your car as the Patrol simply has much more space inside. In fact you can sleep in the back, which is unpleasant in the Prado. The other benefit of this long Patrol wheelbase is less pitch / roll but you may never notice or care.

If it was my money, I'd buy the Patrol. You wouldn't be making any kind of mistake buying the Prado though.
AnswerID: 360309

Reply By: Straydingo - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 12:40

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 12:40
A couple of fantastic replies already. Thank you.

Training. Yes an absolute given. Which does raise a new question for me. Recommendations? I've always liked DECA but can be pricey, but also had KTA in Waverley suggested. Any other good training providers (melbourne)

Things like a suspension lift, would I ask the manufacturer/dealer to do that as they fit a bar, or go to someone who knows what they're doing?

Are products like ARB bars and racks, or Hayman Reese hitches any better than dealer supplied?

AnswerID: 360328

Reply By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 15:05

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 15:05
Think about joining a club. The Toyota Landcruiser club for eg has a great training program and they run good trips. Talk to some of the specialist 4 wd mechanics like ATOC in Belgrave South about suspension etc. You'll find Aaron very helpful. Number is 9754 2751.


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AnswerID: 360345

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:42

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:42
+1 for joining a club....IMHO, money well worth spending!


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Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 17:21

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 17:21
Hi Stray

While you don't really say what type - you should consider the 4800 patrol , its probably the only car available new that requires no aftermarket stuff, and hidden costs.

Being significantly more stable, with longer wheelbase , lower C of G and with more power and torque , particularly down low than the Prado petrol it makes a better tow car by far.

While both the diesels can tow , they are to slow to be safe with a 2.5T load for me , and the Patrol diesel is short on brakes as well.
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:44

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:44

As you know I am a big fan of the 4.8 Patrol and as a tow vehicle it leaves small diesels for dead. 2.5 tonnes behind a diesel Prado sounds like a nightmare to me.

But, one of the questions was the ability to do the CSR. The Prado diesel with its 180 litre fuel capacity would be ideal for this. Would the big Datsun get to fuel drop points without the need to carry jerries?



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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 22:05

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 22:05
Good question Jim , actually I am thinking about that one myself and its clearly the strong point of that Prado.
The csr is a rare one and as my brother in law did it it a porsche carrying 11 jerries across the back seat so I guess it might be inconvient but I'd put up with the extra jerries for that event.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:46

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:46
While you don't specify whether you are looking at diesel or petrol, I would suggest that if you're looking for a petrol, then Robin's advice above is worth considering.... the 4800 Patrol is a mighty unit. If it's a diesel you're after, then do a search here on EO for the well documented dramas surrounding the 3.0L Patrol. That should convince you to buy a diesel Prado.


AnswerID: 360396

Follow Up By: Straydingo - Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 19:58

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 19:58
Yes I forgot to say Diesel is planned.
Auto Prado - namely cos I understand traction control and Stability control isn't available on the petrol unit, otherwise manual Patrol.
Diesel Patrol also has an extra 30 litre tank that the petrol unit doesn't.

BTW, I meant ST Patrol, not ST-L in the initial thread.
FollowupID: 628198

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 16:31

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 16:31
Yes this is the perenial question. Both vehicles are capable and I believe meet your towing requirements. They will both do what you want. The same type of issues surround modifications. Genuine parts are often widely available, very specialised components will likely have to come from the nearest city. Some after market stuff is better than stock. Alterations are usually compromises. If you lift your vehicle it is usually a little less stable. Lifts are common in Victoria, usually for use in the high country. I guess you make the modifications to suit what you want to do. Mods tend to be quite expensive as well. It is pretty easy to spend $10,000 on a new vehicle. Some issues like shocks tend to relate to how hard and long you drive. If you are going to fly over rough roads for long periods then a bigger set of shocks may well be for you. I must admit I tend to drive relatively slowly and stop often so standard shocks on a 79 series have done me well. They have been down the CSR, accross the Simpson and Anne Beadell, all around Alice, Googs track and any number of other places. Keep in mind that very few people really extend the capabilities of there 4wd.

AnswerID: 360547

Reply By: Straydingo - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 16:37

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 16:37
Thanks all for some great replies. I appreciate the help

AnswerID: 361286

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