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Toyota Land Cruiser Prado GXL diesel manual 2016 review: top 5 reasons to buy


The Toyota LandCruiser Prado has earned a reputation for being both an extremely capable and reliable off-road vehicle with a high level of comfort and refinement that it can be used for the daily commute or school run.

The Prado is part of the LandCruiser family and sits below the larger 200 Series which begins at $76,500. The Prado range starts at $52,990 for the turbo-diesel manual GX five seater and extends up to the $83,490 petrol automatic.

The diesel-powered $59,990 Prado GXL with the manual gearbox sits in the middle of the range and here are the top five reasons to buy it.

#1 Great off road capability

This generation Prado was developed through 450,000km of testing in Australia – designed to withstand our extreme climate and terrain.

The ladder frame chassis and full time full-time four wheel drive system makes the Prado an incredibly capable off-roader.

# Reliability

The Prado is the Corolla of the bush – just drive down the main street of one of an Outback town and you’ll see how popular this vehicle is. The Prado’s reputation as a reliable vehicle has been earned by serving those whose lives depend on a making it from A to B in remote areas. It all comes down to Toyota's famous focus on solid engineering and excellent build quality.

It’s not just about the bullet-proof engineering either, the interior needs to hold up to the abuse wear and tear our lives put on them – from fence fixing in the bush to soccer practice runs.

#3 Good looks

The Prado can hold its own in the looks department when parked alongside posher SUVs. It’s a tough off-roader that’s not out of place in a leafy suburb thanks to its stylish design. There’s the stately grille, the muscular wheel arches, high placed taillights and familiar pare wheel on the rear door.

#4 Practical cabin

The Prado’s cabin is cavernous, comfortable with a high level of functionality. There’s plenty of head and legroom, in the first and second rows, while the third row is good too. Those third row seats fold flat when not in use – and this is a feature we really like in that you’re left with a clear 742-litres of cargo space.

#5 New diesel engine

In 2015 the Prado was updated with a new generation 2.8-litre four cylinder turbodiesel engine. Smaller than the unit it replaced but with a higher output the engine has an output of 130kW of power and 420 Nm of torque.

Smooth, quiet and efficient the new engine drinks 7.9L/100km with the six-speed manual gearbox.

Drawbacks

It sounds like the Prado GXL is perfect, but there’s a few things we reckon could be improved – starting at the back. That tailgate is heavy and is side hinged, and this can make loading or unloading gear difficult on hills. Those third row seats, too aren’t big enough for adults and only suitable for kids.

You'll find anything Prado-related at our Prado-hub here.

More: See all Toyota SUVs here.

Related: Check out our buying guide for seven-seater SUVs here.

Plus: Find all off-road SUVs here.

Would you choose a Prado or go for one of the new-seven seat SUVs such as a Fortuner and save some money?

Click here to see more 2016 Toyota LandCruiser Prado pricing and spec info.

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