Prado TX 00-03 v Outback MY04/5

Submitted: Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 21:41
ThreadID: 85727 Views:2437 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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My ol' 89 LN106 Lux is getting long in the tooth (330K) as much as I love its unbreakable-ness Im looking for something a little more refined, and a little bit 21st Century. The leaf srpings all round are getting to my weary back and the commercial rego cost is a killer I dont want to sustain.
I know their absolute chalk n cheese, but I'm torn between the serious luxury and comfort of the Outback, all specced up and terribly reliable - meaning I'll have to seriously think twice about which track I take, and the Prado TX diesel (00 - 03), which provides some decent offroad spec and is probably closer to what I have now.
To be honest, I don't exercise the Hilux like I used to - somewhat over the 'lets see whats up this rutted track' of my youth and most places I venture to these days can probably be travelled in a Commodore. In fact I very often travel "offroad"and think to myself "I could do this in a Commodore, with care"
I'd certainly miss the Hilux capability to pretty much go wherever I like when I want to, but I just don't exercise that option much anymore. My only other interest lies in a Forester, but they just seem so... I don't know....boring. Japanese Volkswagens.
Given the price of fuel the Prado makes me squirm a little, I get around 11L/100 from the 'lux and don't want to raise the bar unless it's a worthy investment. I don't tow anything.
Anyone got reasonable comments on the merits of my choices?
Should I still consider a Forester?
Hows the 3.0L diesel longevity in the Prado?, will I get 400K from it (like my 'lux feels like its going to get to with no problem at all)?

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Reply By: mikehzz - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 23:34

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 23:34
I had an 04 3litre Outback and it was a good car. It chewed through a few tyres and the economy wasn't great, about 11 l/100 km. It was pretty ordinary off road. I traded it on a Freelander 2 diesel, a much better car in every way in my opinion. It drives and handles every bit as good as the Outback did and its also tops off road. No regrets after 95k kms, mine's been everywhere including into the Simpson. About $40k second hand with low kms. Don't confuse them with the old Freelander nightmare, no real issues with the Freelander 2. Mike
AnswerID: 451736

Follow Up By: roger ramjet - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:17

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:17
Thanks Mike,

Appreciate your thoughts on the outback.
I don't think I'll be getting the 3L outback - its premium fuel too. May as well buy a V8 !
I did think about tyre wear - AWD and all, but its the same for the Prado? and the tyres are twice the price.
As for Landys....well I actually tried to buy a Disco for the missus (despite everyone else saying she was crazy) - who put me right off? - the car dealers themselves !! - they wont even stock them, too much trouble. Apparently Landrover wont even take a trade in on their own vehicles after 5 years ( I dont kjnow how true this is....)


Anyone else? Or are you all still too busy laughing "Outback?...whats he doing on Exploroz?" lol
FollowupID: 724358

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:35

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:35
Yes no worries :-). Hey tyres for the Outback weren't cheap at all, I forget the size but mine were on 17" rims and cost a bomb. Its not about how much rubber but how many people are using them. If there are a lot around then the price drops. A friend bought a 2nd hand early model Prado but went petrol because the diesel was gutless. He likes the car and gets 12-13 if he's gentle. The long range tanks are handy and you can drop one out and put lpg on I think?
FollowupID: 724360

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:49

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:49
I forgot to add, I have a Jeep and a Land Rover :-) I've never owned either brand before and wanted to experience them first hand to see if the legends are true. Life becomes a bit boring if you know you are going to make it home don't you think? Reliability is for pussies :-)
FollowupID: 724362

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 13:46

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 13:46
One issue with the 3lttd is cracked heads. Kimba 10 on this site babied his and it still cost him I think $3750 when it went.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 724402

Follow Up By: roger ramjet - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 17:59

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 17:59
Thanks Mike,

Didn't think about the 17" on the Outback - no different to the Prado wheels really.
I looked at the Outbacks (100's of them on ACT roads) on the way home tonight and am beginning to think - too small.
Mind you Prado not much bigger, just higher.....

I like your SoH - I might buy a Lada Niva and try and take it down the CSR :-)

still confused...might just buy another bloody Hilux. lol


FollowupID: 724421

Reply By: Allfour4x4 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 18:53

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 18:53
G'day Rich! I'd be having a drive of a TD Prado, only way you'll get to know. I reckon you'll find it a better unit than the 2.8 one. Will it do 400,000k's.......will any of the current diesels? Guess we'll have to wait and see the final results.
I've only owned 2.4D slugs and a current 2.7 petrol Hilux and I'd prefer to drive the TD Prado over those ANY DAY, for both power characteristics / drive-ability and comfort.
There has been some issues of cracked heads reported but there are a hell of a lot never had problems including ours (2000 model)
AnswerID: 451806

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:55

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:55
Hi there Allfour, just out of curiosity is yours a manual prado ?? Seems the head issue is more common on the auto prado then the manual for some reason, although looking at the hilux forum there has been quit a few go on there to and they didnt come in auto turbo diesel, ?? ..............
FollowupID: 724463

Follow Up By: Allfour4x4 - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 21:33

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 21:33
Yes, ours is auto.
Actually I've never heard of any explanation of how the problem even comes about not that I've particularly looked for one. lol.
FollowupID: 724555

Reply By: StormyKnight - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 20:37

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 20:37
I have a 2001 GXL TD Prado Auto 205,000km ....& I drive an X-Trail for work so bare with me will I explain a few differences between the we are using the X-Trail as being closer to the Outback/Forester.

On the road the X-Trail wins hands down. Stability, acceleration, braking but the Prado is acceptable on a longer drive if you consider the drive as the start of your trip & not your destination. It takes more time, you feel the road more. But it will be better than your Hilux in terms of comfort but not as 'good' as the suburu's.

If you need to load up a roofrack, again the Prado will take longer & you will require more planing when overtaking.

Empty in the Prado I have gotten 10.4l/100km & on the freeway 11.4l/100km. Average is around 12, but remember that the Prado's have 2 fuel tanks totalling 150 odd L. The X-Trail is around 9.2l/100km (more than a commodore), the suburu's should be less than 9l/100km I would have thought.

Offroad, you will be limited by the accessories you can fit, your tyre choices will be more limited than the Prado, snorkels for dust etc. Can you get light truck tyres for a suburu? Is that important?

For me it comes down to priorities. Do you look at a track & say if it rains can i get out & it can be a simple as the grassed area of a football oval, to a heavily rutted track out west to a stretch of black clay in the high country. Perhaps a tree is down across the road, can you drive around it?

I've only fitted BFG MT's to my Prado & a snorkel. Between these two items I have improved its offroad performance perhaps by 50%. The tyres also last 100,000km even when driven 99% of the time on tar.

Rich, you may need to work out how much you would save in a year by choosing one vehicle over another, this perhaps will give you a better indication of how much that is a factor or not. In addition, you don't want to have a medium size 4WD if a soft roader will do.

I started with an '85 HJ60 & yes I took it everywhere it would go & some places it didn't. The Prado is not a match for articulation & traction but is miles ahead on the bitumen roads...

I hope I haven't confused you more...I may have rambled a bit....

AnswerID: 451813

Follow Up By: roger ramjet - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 16:20

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 16:20
Thanks Stormy,

appreciate your valid comparisons, I've invested a littel thought into the lifecycle cost of ownership - but as we all know, if you want it, you justify it, as long as you can afford it!
I think fuel is going to hit $2/ltr in the next 12-18 months so that does play a fair part in my considerations.
Im also tossing up pulling my biodiesel reactor out of the shed again - thus the keenness on diesel, the lux ran really well on it I just couldnt find the time anymore to make it.

FollowupID: 724510

Reply By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:41

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:41
Hi Rich, I have owned a LN106 sold it with 300thou on it and never missed a beat, best reliable vehicle I have ever owned. Gutless ? yes, good off road in the rough stuff, and i mean rough ??yes brilliant and the best low range transfer I have had as well, but at then end of the day I know where your coming from, we sold ours mainly due to wanting more power and comfort, We then bought a V6 97 prado grande, worst thing I did was convert to LPG so sold it due to safety reasons (was a great car otherwise) due to the LPG and bought a 01 turbo Diesel Grande, had 103 k on it when the head cracked, serviced by the book and always ran genuine, coolant,filters etc never had any after market filters etc fitted even genuine wiper blades. Is it common ?? from what I have read, yes. They dont just blow a gasket they crack the heads which are non servicable and anyone that tell you it can be repaired properly for under 3g is kidding them selves unless your a mechanic and do the work yourself. The manuals are heaps better then the auto to drive in terms of making use of the turbo motor. Round town I was using roughly 14L per 100, long runs (freeway) roughly 11's will crack the tens if you sit on 90k. If its a hot steamy rainy day it would climb to 13's on the freeway (they dont like humdity)I found mine to be gutless to most turbo diesel engines before and after the head went (no difference) Would I buy another prado with a 1kz diesel in it ?? no, the D4D in the 120 series (06 upwards) yes totally different design. As mentioned in the above post the V6 3.4 in the 90 series (96 to 03) is not to bad on fuel. Round town yes around the 15's the best I ever got on the freeway was 12.2L per 100 but this was sitting on the set speed limits 110k etc loaded. I have gone back to petrol prado 120 series with the 4L motor, If i had another 10g to spend I would have got D4D but didnt want to borrow. The petrol in these are a pearler, similiar fuel figures to the old V6 round town and about to go away so will get some true figures for freeway running when I get home but Im expecting around the 11,s as many others get, but I dont haave any mods on it yet only bullbar. I think you will miss the height and ground clearance your used to with purchasing a subi and those days you might just look at a track or want to go over some thing and not been able to do it will possibly have you thinking ""I should have got some thing with more clearance and off road ability"" maybe not but some thing you really need to think about before outlaying your hard earned $$...........
AnswerID: 451834

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:51

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 23:51
Forgot to mention my old lux is coming up for 400 thou and the only thing he's had to do is a gearbox overhaul, Ill bet not many of the modern turbo diesels will get that with out some thing going wrong..........................Ive seen for myself some earlier shape prado petrols coming upto 400 thou and still going strong. Personally I think petrol these days will do just as many klms as late model diesels. Do some home work and price the filters and tings for the petrol over the diesels (and the 1KZ needs doing every 5k), then dont forget on the cheap day for petrol (which seems to be saturdays here in Sydney at the moment) I have seen diesel averaging 1.50/1.55 per litre and petrol (unleaded not E10 crap) for 1.33/1.35 here in Penrith................Think of the change you will have if buying a petrol over the purchase price of the diesel, leaves a lot of coin for other things.........
FollowupID: 724462

Follow Up By: roger ramjet - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 16:31

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 16:31
Thanks Kimba
Dont we love the LN106 - thats why Ive still got it - it really is unbreakable, I gave away my NRMA membership years ago cause it just keeps going so confidently.
I read your post on cracked head. Food for thought - I''ll ask my diesel mechanic mate this weekend and see how loudly he scoffs about Prados - mind you he scoffs about anything that's not a Cruiser.
Prado is a concern - having had the lux so long I just can't imagine driving a car where something might actually break !! That would be a shock.

Thanks for the fuel figures folks - that will play a big part in my final decisions - I don't like paying for the stuff anytime*. (see my post above re: biodiesel - I make high quality clean stuff btw, just takes a bit of time)

* As a quick off-topic aside I spoke to a bloke last week and his mate runs a Woolies servo - they get about 7c margin per litre. I thought that was interesting - when I worked at a service station way back in the late 80's my manager used to bemoan the paltry 1.5 - 2c / litre margin. Sounds like those Wooliers servos are doing ok :-)

Appreciate all these thoughts....maybe I'll save a bit longer for a Cruiser ! lol

FollowupID: 724511

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