- Comfortable on the road...
- ... and excellent off it
- Spacious cabin in all rows
- Slower than a wet week
- Horizon is poor value
- More than 10 years old
The Toyota LandCruiser has been very popular in the 4×4 scene in Australia and in 1990 when the smaller and arguably more capable Landcruiser Prado entered the market, the name got even more popular. Ever since then it has been among the top sellers of 4x4s in the country and the current model is no exception. The 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado Kakadu Horizon we tested here is the top of the range limited edition model which may see it out of reach for some, but read on to find out if you should consider it.
Price & Specs: 7/10
The Prado is one of the more expensive vehicles in the segment and the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado Kakadu Horizon only adds to that. It starts at $89,590 plus on-road costs, which is just over $5,000 more expensive than the Kakadu model ($84,226 plus on roads) on which it is based – though entry level Prado models can be had for around $60k.
For your extra $5,000 over the Kakadu, you gain Horizon badging, a front bumper spoiler, a rear bumper step guard, rear bumper spats, chrome side mouldings with chrome exterior mirrors, illuminated front scuff plates and clear rear tail lamps. This is on top of the usual standard equipment of the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado Kakadu which includes seven seats, leather upholstery with heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel with an electronically adjustable steering column, 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone climate control, a JBL sound system, a sunroof, rear seat DVD player and power-folding third row seats.
Some of the things that you do miss out on in the specification of Prado we tested include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – though this has been added (along with more power and other features) for MY21. Features available on rivals but not the Prado include digital driver’s displays, panoramic sunroofs, heads-up displays, better sound systems, more storage features and so on.
There is the reasonable suite of standard safety kit in the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado Kakadu Horizon, including auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors with a 360-degree camera.
As with the rest of the Prado range, there are two no-cost options for the tailgate: flat as with our test car, or with a full size spare wheel, which adds a second fuel tank where the spare wheel would go to 150L in total.
Rivals to the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest and even the Haval H9. All of these offerings are cheaper and better equipped than the Prado.
Performance & Economy: 6/10
The 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado comes with a 130kW/450Nm 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. All models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. It also has a dual-transfer case and locking centre and rear differentials. A multi terrain system helps drivers choose which terrain they are on and sets up the vehicle accordingly and all of this means that the Prado is excellent off-road.
On the road, however, things are less impressive. Let’s not beat around the bush here: it just doesn’t have enough grunt – Toyota claims a 0-100km/h time of 17.6 seconds, which is bordering on dangerous and that’s with just one person in the car. What about when towing or a full load of kids? It’s also quite a loud unit, and the basic automatic transmission isn’t that intuitive by coasting when not accelerating or braking, which makes it feel even slower.
A V6 diesel with around 180kW/600Nm would suit the car far better as it would be punchier and yet also more economical – while we found the 8L/100km combined rating relatively easy to match, we think a larger and less stressed engine would be more frugal.
Ride & Handling: 7/10
As with most off-roaders, the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado feels quite relaxed and floaty on the road, the ride is soft and bumps don’t transfer too much into the cabin. While out on the open road, the floaty nature of the Prado makes it a very comfortable cruiser, you could travel for hours and not be uncomfortable – this is surely why so many people buy them.
The handling of the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado is as to be expected for a tall and top heavy 4×4: there’s a reasonable amount of body roll in corners and the car possesses little dynamic ability, though that’s really not the car’s mission in life. The steering is light, which is also to be expected for a big off-roader and the visibility isn’t amazing – thankfully it’s got big mirrors.
Interior & Practicality: 8/10
The interior of the Landcruiser Prado is a nice place to be, despite its age. The seats are soft and comfortable and offer a good amount of adjustment while the rear amenities are plentiful. The seating position is also decent for a tall off roader as you don’t feel too high up like you’re driving a bus. There’s a lot of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel too.
The infotainment system in the 2020 Toyota Landcruiser Prado is very dated – there are a lot of menus and sub menus to go through and the screen doesn’t offer the same graphics as say a Volkswagen Touareg. Another downside is that the model we tested doesn’t come equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – though the 2021 model does have both.
The quality of the interior is generally good apart from some hard plastics here and there – the ‘wood’ trim on the steering wheel is obviously not real. Despite its size, there isn’t a good amount of usable interior storage – small cup holders and shallow storage spots make it hard to place your phone or wallet. New features have been integrated poorly too – there are buttons everywhere in the cabin and that’s only gotten worse as new features have been added over the years.
It’s a spacious cabin through, with more than ample room in the second row and even the third row is more than comfortable for my six-foot frame. There are also ample air vents and the curtain airbags cover each row. The second row includes two more USB ports which should be standard across the range and even a roof-mounted DVD player to keep the kids happy.
The boot of the Prado with all seats including the third row in place is 104-litres – when the third row is stowed away there is 553-litres of usable cargo space and with the second row folded, there is a combined 974-litres of cargo space. This is not huge – a much smaller Skoda Karoq, for example, holds 1,810L with its seats folded. There is a 220V power socket in the boot though, which is great for mobile fridges.
Running Costs & Warranty: 6/10
All current Toyota products are covered by the brand’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty but no roadside assistance.
Servicing the Prado comes around every six months or 10,000km and at a cost of $260, which totals $520 per year for the first three years or 60,000km. Over five years, the cost of servicing the Prado costs $3,781 (or $756 per year), which is not cheap – the 80,000km service alone is $850.
2020 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Kakadu Horizon DiscoverAuto Rating: 6.8/10
The 2020 Toyota LandCruiser Prado has impressive off-road ability and has a strong reputation for reliability, quality and excellent resale value. Regardless of the model you choose, it’s not a cheap car to buy but this Kakadu Horizon is the most expensive (and the worst value) Prado – more affordable models are just as capable and can be had for up to around $30,000 less.
Stick to a more affordable model and the Prado’s qualities shine more – especially with the updated 2021 model with more grunt and smartphone integration. It would benefit significantly from a V6 diesel engine, a price cut and a modern interior but it’s otherwise comfortable, spacious, good quality and did we mention its amazing resale value?