One of Australia’s best-selling four-wheel-drive wagons is about to get a horsepower boost, additional safety aids and Apple Car Play across the lineup, but the six-speed manual is dead.
The Toyota Prado is set to get the same horsepower boost as the Toyota HiLux ute – and will benefit from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as additional advanced safety aids – as part of the ongoing changes to from August production in Australian showrooms the following months.
However, the sweeping changes will see the manual versions of the Toyota Prado GX and GXL shades dying, switching to an all-automatic range for the first time in Australia\’s 24-year nameplate history.
CarAdvice understands that dealers have been informed that the Toyota Prado\’s 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel will benefit from a power increase from its current output of 130 kW / 450 Nm to 150 kW / 500 Nm and will be paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.
This is the same power upgrade planned for the Toyota HiLux and Toyota Fortuner renovations scheduled for later this month or early August.
It’s unclear whether or when other vehicles in the Toyota lineup with the 2.8-liter engine – the Toyota Hiace van and the Toyota Granvia passenger transport vehicle – will adopt the same power upgrade.
Adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto results in loss of CD player and auxiliary audio jack.
The autonomous emergency braking system introduced on automatic models two years ago will benefit from pedestrian detection at night and cyclist detection during the day, while lane-keeping technology “steering brake” and speed sign recognition will be added to the safety suite.
High-end models will receive paddle shifters on the steering wheels, according to confidential information shared with dealers.
Meanwhile, the GX model favored by rental fleets and mining companies will continue to be available in five- or seven-seat versions.
And the GXL, VX and Kakadu grades will continue to be available with the option of a flat tailgate or a tailgate with a spare tire mounted at the rear (which brings with it an additional long-range fuel tank of 63 liters).
The Toyota Prado saw a 16% increase in sales in June, buyers who exited the new car market in April and May returned to showrooms as coronavirus lockouts eased.
Anecdotal comments from dealer sources indicate that many Australians buy a four-wheel drive vehicle because they plan to vacation at home in anticipation of long international travel restrictions.