2024 Toyota Prado review: an icon reborn and reinvigorated

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We put the Toyota LandCruiser Prado’s legendary durability and off-road prowess to the test, exploring how this latest model lives up to its 70-year heritage of reliability and versatility.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado driven for the first time

The Toyota Prado, with its storied 70-year heritage, continues to set benchmarks for off-road capability, reliability, and all-round performance.

Known globally for its ruggedness and ability to tackle the harshest conditions, from conflict zones to the most unforgiving terrains like the Nullarbor Desert and Arctic expanses, the Prado’s reputation precedes it. 

Our latest adventure in the Scottish Highlands with a nearly production-ready prototype of the new Toyota Prado offered a unique opportunity to test the vehicle’s mettle in conditions that are challenging, yet less perilous than its usual stomping grounds.

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Interior & overall dimensions

The interior of the 2024 Toyota Prado strikes a perfect balance between functionality and luxury. 

Durable yet elegant materials create an inviting cabin space that remains rattle-free, even in the most demanding off-road conditions. 

Practicality is a key strength, with ample space for passengers and a generous 620-litre boot capacity, expandable with optional third-row seating, ensuring that the Prado meets the needs of families and adventurers alike.

Despite being perceived as a more compact variant within the global Land Cruiser family (it’s known elsewhere as the Land Cruiser 250), the Toyota Prado is undeniably substantial. It measures nearly five metres in length and weighs over 2300kg – dimensions that underscore its presence and durability. 

Powertrain & mechanical package

Powering every Australian-delivered 2024 Toyota Prado is a 150kW/500Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota says this combination, shared with the Hilux and adapted for various Toyota commercial models across international markets, has been finely tuned for improved power delivery and refinement. 

Though still in prototype form and without final performance figures, early estimates suggest a 0-100 km/h time of around nine seconds, with top speeds of up to 170km/h, depending on wheel size. Our testing phase, which included challenging off-road conditions, saw an average fuel consumption of approximately 9.4 L/100 km. 

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When compared to the power figures of the Defender’s 220kW/650Nm six-cylinder diesel, the Prado might seem underpowered on paper. However, it distinguishes itself with remarkable low-end responsiveness and minimal turbo lag, ensuring that the vehicle feels lively and capable in a variety of driving conditions. 

The transmission plays a significant role in this dynamic, offering quick, accurate shifts that help maintain the engine’s efficiency across different terrains. Likewise, the permanent four-wheel-drive system, central and rear differential locks, and a dual-range transfer case highlight the Prado’s emphasis on off-road excellence.

And while it will never entirely escape its agricultural nature, the refinement of the powertrain extends to improved noise reduction for a quieter ride compared to its implementation in the HiLux – and thus enhancing overall driving comfort. 

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The new 2024 Toyota Prado’s chassis is a testament to Toyota’s engineering prowess, featuring a redesigned ladder frame with a body-on-frame construction that significantly improves handling and durability. The incorporation of an electric power steering system contributes to a smoother steering response, particularly over rough terrain. 

The suspension system, comprising a coil-spring setup with double-wishbone front and a solid four-link rear axle, is designed to offer a balance between ruggedness and ride comfort. 

In Australia, the entry GXL will come equipped with a standard passive suspension system, but adaptive dampers will feature from VX upwards – although the Altitude model swaps that out for a stabiliser disconnect mechanism for “an extra 10 percent of wheel articulation to help maximise traction on uneven surfaces”. 

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On the road

Around town and on highways, the Prado still prioritises its off-road heritage, with steering and suspension settings that lean more towards rugged terrain capabilities. 

This focus may compromise comfort at lower speeds, especially in comparison to vehicles like the air-sprung Defender.

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However, the 2024 Toyota Prado excels in visibility and manoeuvrability, offering a driving experience that balances refinement with responsiveness. Sport mode further enhances the vehicle’s on-road dynamics, providing a more engaging and enjoyable drive. 

The braking system, robust and reliable, ensures that the Prado’s considerable mass is managed effectively, instilling confidence in a variety of driving scenarios.

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Off road

Moving to the unsealed and treacherous part of our launch program, the Prado’s legendary capabilities are fully realised. 

Our test route through the Scottish Highlands’ challenging terrain showcased the vehicle’s exceptional traction and agility.

Steep, muddy inclines and deep water crossings were navigated with ease, without the need for engaging the locking differentials or anti-roll bar disconnect, a testament to the Prado’s inherent off-road prowess.

VERDICT

Put simply, the Toyota Prado’s appeal lies not only in its legendary reliability but also in its newly enhanced desirability. 

While it may not offer the on-road refinement or raw power of some competitors, its unmatched ability to traverse challenging terrains with ease positions the Prado as a top choice for those seeking a vehicle that is as dependable as it is capable.

Jordan Katsianis & Auto Daily

MORE: Toyota Australia announcement for Prado’s mid-2024 launch

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado specs

Model:Toyota Land Cruiser 250 VX-L
Price from:TBC (Current model starts from $62,830)
Engine:2.0-litre, 4cyl turbo diesel
Power/torque:150kW/500Nm
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:8-9 seconds (est)
Economy/CO2:TBC
Size (L/W/H):4925/1980/1935mm
On sale in Australia:Q3 2024

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We put the Toyota Prado's legendary durability and off-road prowess to the test, exploring how this latest model lives up to its 70-year heritage of reliability and versatility.2024 Toyota Prado review: an icon reborn and reinvigorated