Toyota Prado GXL Tow Test
The Prado is a jack of all trades and covers off family hauling, touring and towing duties well.
If you’re in the market for a large, seven-seat SUV, there is an abundance of choice these days – from the Isuzu MU-X to the Ford Everest and, of course, the perennial favourite, the Toyota Prado.
We tested the Prado GXL with optional automatic transmission ($59,990 as a manual, or $61,990 for the auto) which, together with the Altitude limited edition, takes 75 per cent of Prado sales. There’s also the entry-level GX ($52,990), upper mid-spec VX ($73,990) and top-shelf Kakadu ($84,490). All prices do not include on-road costs.
New for the GXL grade is satellite navigation, and the rest of the spec sheet reads as a fair, if not exactly generous, list.
Standard equipment highlights include seven seats, Bluetooth phone and audio, three-zone climate-control, rear parking sensors, alarm, side steps, privacy glass, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors and 17in alloy wheels.
You need to step up into the Prado’s cabin but the side steps and grab handles make that easy enough. Once installed in the driver’s seat, you have that commanding view of the road that SUV owners love, plus an excellent view of the simple instrument and control panel. It’s one of Toyota’s strengths – the simple, clear and logical placement and labelling of instruments and controls – and the Prado is no different there.
The front seats have good side and under-thigh support, while the second and third row cushions are relatively flat. This is good thing, particularly for the second row, if you need to fit child seats. This flatness makes it easier to mount the child seat flush against the Prado’s bench, which, in turn, makes for a more securely fitted seat.
The third row seats are a sub-teen hang out only; there’s little leg room and the seats are close to the floor. The side-swing rear door is old school, as is the rear door-mounted spare wheel. Both make life a bit more difficult, with the heavy door difficult to open on cambered roadsides and the spare is a challenge to remove or replace due to its heaviness and the mounting’s height.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Prado is a jack of all trades and it covers off family hauling, touring and towing duties well. The only shame is that in the upgrade to the 2.8L towing performance has not really improved much. It’s also a pity the towing capacity was not improved.
Toyota Prado GXL Specs
Weights and measures
- Length 4930mm
- Width 1885mm
- Height 1845mm
- Wheelbase 2790mm
- Ground clearance 220mm
- Kerb mass 2315kg
- Gross Vehicle Mass 2990kg
- Gross Combined Mass 5370kg
- Towing capacity unbraked/braked 750kg/2500kg
- Towball (max) 250kg
- Towbar; brake controller
- Fuel capacity 150L
- Suspension Independent, upper and lower wishbones, coils springs (front); five-link live axle, coil springs (rear)
- Brakes Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear)
- Wheels 17in alloy
- Warranty Three years/100,000km
- Roof load 80kg
The full test appears in Caravan World #551 May 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!