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Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Kakadu 2014 review

Craig Duff road tests and reviews the Toyota LandCruiser Prado Kakadu, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The steering wheel twists in my hands and I'm cursing the woodgrain-style finish as the Toyota Prado lurches from one serous rut to the next. I'm appreciating the grab rails, mounted on the windscreen pillars - purely for balance - and the fact the pretty Prado exterior and luxurious interior is based around a hugely competent chassis.


At face value, buying a $92,000 four-wheel-drive Toyota doesn't make sense. Front up to a decent hill climb - with ruts and exposed rocks from previous go-anywhere drivers - and the proposition becomes far more appealing.

On the inside it's all pleasure, from the heated seats to the digital audio and rear-mounted DVD player with wireless headsets. The switches and toggles mounted on the dash fascia assert the serious credibility underpinning the contemporary interior, which came courtesy of an upgrade late last year.\


Diff-locks, a crawl function, adjustable ride height, rear air suspension and dual-range four-wheel drive make this a fully equipped off-roader.

Be serious about buying a Prado, though. Unless you want to mix bush-bashing with urban activities, there are more amenable SUVs on the market.

Think Volkswagen Touareg, Volvo XC90 and base-model Audi Q7 as more urban-biased four-wheel-drives that can still manage off-road duties. This side of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, none is as convincing as a true crossover vehicle capable of doing it hard.

The Jeep makes ground in its lower price and comparable dirt track ability; it doesn't do the DVD entertainment trick and spare parts aren't as accessible inland of the back of Bourke as they are for the Toyota.

This tough Toyota and its bigger 200 Series LandCruiser sibling have built an enviable reputation as the machines of choice for tackling the Outback.

The Prado remains the second-best-selling SUV in the country despite a drivetrain that is almost an antique - the new 2.2-litre diesel in the Mazda3 has marginally more power and torque than the Prado's venerable 3.0-litre and the Grand Cherokee diesel is massively ahead in both areas. Toyota's persisting in pairing it with a five-speed auto does the Prado no favours either.


Yet the Prado is a righteously solid vehicle. The build quality is felt over every bump and there's no hesitation in pointing it at conditions that will freak the driver out before the Toyota begins to concede ground.

Around town suppleness is the signature trait. That dampens corner turn-in and steering feel and means the big four-wheel drive will roll when pressed through the turns. It also means passengers in the second row of seats (the fold-down third row pews are best left to the littlies) won't cop much jostling.

The side-hinged rear door is needed to mount the spare wheel but requires some forethought when parking at the shops or in the garage. It's the concession buyers make, forgoing the underfloor cradle for long-range capacity - the twin fuel tanks take a mammoth 150L.


An oldie but a goodie, the Prado is a time-tested workhorse with great technology let down by an ageing heart.

It still remains the vehicle of choice for those heading to remote locations by virtue of the availability of parts and the durability of the drivetrain.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

ALTITUDE (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP SEQ AUTO $37,999 – 53,999 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2014 ALTITUDE (4x4) Pricing and Specs
GX (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $36,492 – 36,995 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2014 GX (4x4) Pricing and Specs
GXL (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $33,977 – 45,500 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2014 GXL (4x4) Pricing and Specs
KAKADU (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP SEQ AUTO $39,920 – 62,916 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2014 KAKADU (4x4) Pricing and Specs