Going off the beaten track is a great pastime for many. Ever longed to head up that side road, just look over the farthest sand dune, take a drive up forest hill, or just want to get the boat out on the water? One of the best vehicles for this sort of job description would have to be the brand new Toyota Prado. What I like about the Prado 3dr is that you can take this machine over some very rough goat track country and turn it around on a fifty-cent piece – if the way forward is even a bit much for this clever 4×4. The wheelbase is a little smaller than the 5dr version, making it just that little bit less likely to bottom out on a crest.
Seating position and room in the front of the Toyota Prado 3dr is superb. If you are only taking one or two people out for the day, then the 3dr is perfect. Occasional five-seater duties are ok for the Prado 3dr. However, it only makes sense, if you require heaps of space, that you opt for the bigger 5dr Prado Wagon to swallow volumes of luggage and people. For two people who just want to venture into the great unknown, all you need to do in the Toyota Prado 3dr is flip the rear seats forward and you’ll have yourself the perfect space for carrying heaps of camping gear, food and overnight essentials. Going anywhere in the Prado 3dr is its strong point.
Two Toyota Prado 3dr versions are available: the SX and the ZR. Powered by the same 3.0-litre, Turbo-Diesel engine that boasts 127 kW of power and a hefty 410 Nm from as low as 1600 rpm, this is a very capable, rugged 4×4 that coasts over the tarmac and tames the wild. What you’ll find the Prado ZR has over the SX is a few extra luxury features – if you need them. Things like a premium 12-speaker audio system that includes a 3.5 mm input for portable audio players, a USB input for some iPod+/USB memory sticks, the Smart Entry and Start function, a cooler box, a satellite navigation system and radar cruise control are found in the ZR model. Really, though. Unless you like the sound of these things, the cheaper Prado SX has everything you’ll ever.
So, both the new Toyota Prado 3dr versions have their diesel power dished up through a forced induction, intercooled turbo system. And for a vehicle that weighs over two tonnes, the remarkable combined fuel consumption figure of 8.3 litres/100 km is worth crowing about. All in all, the Toyota Prado 3dr is wider than it is tall. Length is 4485 mm. Driven through all four wheels, the Prado 3dr has full-time 4WD. Any 4WD hub engagement that needs to be made is done automatically. The five-speed automatic gearbox is very smooth, while a limited slip-differential in the centre is a standard feature. If you find yourself in the pooh, Toyota have equipped the Prado with a differential lock mechanism that equates to some very tenacious grip off-road. Travel and pitch for the suspension set-up is excellent. In fact, the front suspension is independent, with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers and a ball-joint mounted anti-roll bar. A rigid live axle, five-link system with upper and lower link trailing arms, a Panhard rod, coil springs, gas dampers and a ball-joint mounted anti-roll bar completes the rear suspension layout.
On the smooth stuff, the Prado sits sweetly on the road, with a slight roll in the corners at speed. The high driving position is superb and safe, while the ride comfort is top notch. Emergency stops are taken care of with a four-wheel disc brake system that is linked to anti-skid brakes, electronic brake distribution, and a brake assist system for the big stops. Traction control and vehicle stability control come as standard features.
You may not have quite the dimensions of the Prado 5dr, however Toyota has ensured that the Prado 3dr versions come with a large glovebox, a sunglass holder, a floor console, pocket storage space behind the front seats, big door pockets, beverage holders and bottle holders for the front and rear passengers. Park up and enjoy the scenery, and your Prado 3dr keeps watch with a powerful alarm and central locking system.
The current Toyota Prado 3dr models include:
For any more information on the Toyota Prado 3dr or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Toyota dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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