What is it: 

This is the top-of-the-range Toyota Prado Kakadu with a refrigerated centre console and a heap of other luxuries so you can go “glamping”.

With a new Toyota Prado around the corner, we bid farewell to the biggest-selling generation to wear the Prado name.

And come to grips with why this generation became such a favourite among four-wheel-drive families.


The current Toyota Prado range stretches from $62,830 to $87,468 plus on-road costs.

There are currently four model grades – GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu. 

We tested the top-of-the-range Kakadu “flat back”, which lacks a tailgate-mounted spare tyre.

A tailgate-mounted spare tyre and long-range fuel tank are no-cost options (the under-slung spare wheel on the “flat back” variants occupies the space the extra fuel tank would be located).

Toyota Prado variants with the spare tyre mounted on the tailgate have an 87-litre main tank and a 63-litre sub tank.

However, this option appears to not be available with the new Prado due later this year. 


Under the bonnet is a 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder (150kW/500Nm).

This upgrade arrived in mid-2020 when the engine gained 20kW and 50Nm to hit the current 150kW/500Nm peak output.

It’s the same engine fitted to the Toyota HiLux ute.


Six-speed automatic transmission with high and low range four-wheel-drive.

0 to 100km/h (as tested):

The Toyota Prado Kakadu did the 0 to 100km/h dash in 10.6 seconds, which is respectable for a big family four-wheel-drive (and 0.3 quicker than a Toyota HiLux ute in case you’re wondering).

As an aside, the smaller and lighter Toyota Fortuner 4WD with the same engine does 0 to 100km/h in 9.9 seconds. We’ll bring you that road test soon.

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

The Toyota Prado Kakadu (running 265/55/19 Dunlop GrandTrek AT30 all-terrain tyres) pulled up from 100km/h in an emergency stop in 43.1 metres.

This is average for this type of vehicle (most double-cab utes pull up in 42 to 44 metres) but worth noting the Prado takes a few more metres to come to a stop than your average hatchback or city SUV.

Good points:

Roomy cabin and cargo hold.

Super comfortable driving position with a commanding view of the road ahead (and around the vehicle).

User-friendly cabin controls, and plenty of life’s luxuries to pamper you in the daily grind or off the beaten track.

Extendable sun visors are great at blocking side glare on sunrise or sunset.

The rear window opens upwards at the press of a button, so you don’t need to open the whole tailgate to throw a beach towel in the back.

Luxury appointments include heated and cooled leather seats, sunroof, chilled centre console, DVD screen in the roof to keep the kids happy – and headphones to keep the kids quiet.

Incredible off-road ability should you want to get your shoes dirty.

Fair fuel economy for this type of vehicle (10.6L/100km on test) means the 87-litre tank can deliver up to 800km or 900km of driving range in ideal conditions when unladen.

Bad points:

The infotainment screen and instrument cluster have everything you need, but other vehicles have larger, higher resolution displays.

This type of vehicle requires a little patience on wet roads.

They’re tall and lanky and they’re on off-road tyres, so they don’t grip in roundabouts like small hatchbacks do.

Take it especially easy in slippery conditions.

What the haters say:

Who needs a vehicle like this?

What the haters don’t understand:

Toyota Prado buyers are people who want to be comfortable and largely self-sufficient when making the big trek on family holidays.

And who want the flexibility to explore should the opportunity arise to get off the beaten track.

Should you buy one?

Absolutely. The Toyota Prado is a dependable and reliable four-wheel-drive wagon, whether you’re using it on the school run or to get lost.

Also consider:

Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu MU-X. Both of these are smaller than the Toyota Prado but are more affordable and almost as capable.