Published on February 2nd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Toyota Prado GX Used SUV Review
Known for its ability to just about go anywhere, the 1990’s Toyota Prado GX has been a contractor favorite for years even after the market got flooded with luxury SUVs. With the launch of the Toyota Fortuner, many used Prados entered the used car market as owners upgraded. Many Prado owners are die hard Toyota fans and they will only move up to another Toyota. This alone is a true testament to the brand and its loyal following.
The Land Cruiser Prado was Toyota’s 1996 entrant to the Malaysian four-wheel drive market to compete with the Mitsubishi Pajero, Isuzu Trooper, Jeep Cherokee and the Land Rover Discovery. It replaced the previous Land cruiser II model, which was developed from the light commercial Hi-Lux pickup and was never a serious SUV contender in the market.
The Prado is powered by a 2.7 litre four-cylinder engine, and the grey imported Prado TZ with a 3.0 liter diesel engine. A number of special editions were available along the way (only thru grey importers) and generally offered enhanced equipment levels and some cosmetic touches at an attractive price, making them worth looking out for in used car lots.
Behind the wheel there is nothing out of the ordinary with a fairly conventional dash and control layout for the driver. Performance is good, having adequate torque and power as well as being quiet and smooth. Passenger space in the Prado is one of its strengths incorporating a “big inside, small outside” concept. Seating for seven people is possible with the fold up seats in the cargo area. However, these rear seats are really only suitable for children, due to difficult access and limited leg and headspace.
Fuel consumption of heavy 4WD vehicles is rarely a strong point, especially around the city, and this is certainly true of the Prado. Naturally, other running costs such as tyres and maintenance are also relatively high. Remember when buying a 4WD vehicle for urban used only, the running costs will be higher than a conventional car as firstly you are running more gears for the 4WD system, then there is the added weight of the 4WD system, and then the rolling resistance is more due to heavier curb weight and wider tyres. Then the vehicle is tall and un-aerodynamic. 4WD tyres are also more expensive. All this additional features that you will end up not using in your day to day commute will end up in higher running costs for what additional benefit please? You decide.
Beware of uneven tyre wear and also under body damage from off-road work, as these probably indicate a vehicle that has had a hard life. Have a good look before confirming your purchase. Prado’s are a favorite with contractors, miners, plantation bosses and timber businessmen, so it is quite possible that they have taken a beating. Most used car dealers will trade them in cheap and then clean and touch-up the cars to fool potential buyers.
Priced today from RM22,000. Yes it is manual, but it has a light clutch and easy maintenance. Toyota build quality with 7 seats this could also be the family vehicle. As a lifestyle vehicle it provide room for bikes in the rear with seats folded and plenty of space when needed. Cash purchase and easy to find parts. Plenty on sale right now. Check underneath and check under carpets for rust and caked mud which could mean offroad use.