2019 Toyota Prado GXL 4WD Review

2019 Toyota Prado Road Test Review

It’s fitting to road test Toyota’s top selling Prado GXL on a long haul, outback trip from Sydney through White Cliffs, Broken Hill and points south including the stunning Mungo National Park.

This is Prado territory as evidenced by the number of them you pass out in the sticks. Total distance covered was around 4000km with plenty of dirt road driving, some 4×4 tracks and heaps of black top… with four peeps and their kit aboard.

As expected, the Prado excelled at everything we threw at it delivering luxury car comfort with a supple ride and easy loping high speed cruising on, gravel, dirt and tar roads. Bloody good if you ask me apart from the red dust that falls on you after opening the tailgate.

Prado recently underwent an upgrade with spare wheel relocation from the tailgate to underneath the floor. The side hung tailgate is now lighter and easier to use and there’s an opening glass hatch for added convenience.

GXL gained most in the update with plenty of kit from higher spec’ Prados that kind of makes them redundant unless you crave a million speakers and the full suite of advanced driver assist technology.

Prado GXL auto driven retails for $61,990 which represents great value when you consider equipment and capabilities.

My only complaint is range reduction due to the deletion of the 63-litre sub tank in favour of the new spare wheel location. You get 87 litres instead of 150.

2019 Toyota Prado GXL


I would call Prado distinctive but not handsome. It looks heaps better than before with new slimmer headlights and a big toothy grille but really, it’s a two box SUV built for practicality and comfort, not to be a sexy, low slung  beast.

It means you have generous room inside, don’t bang you head on the roof getting in and can chuck things in the back easily.

GXL features roof rails and side steps along with chunky looking alloy wheels.

It rides high at 220mm ground clearance which is a good thing when you’re out in the boonies on some rough rocky track.

The glass area is big providing excellent visibility from inside. There’s nothing to complain about style wise.

2019 Toyota Prado GXL


Inside is standard Toyota fare with a focus on the large centre stack with most controls and a decent size info screen on top. Four large square vents are set into the smooth dash and the driver’s pod is typical Toyota with two large dials dominating. I really like the extendable sun visors and large door handles with brushed alloy-look fascia. Attractive and functional wheel too.

The test model was optioned with a $3500 luxury pack that brings leather and heated/vented seats including the second row. Not really necessary.


Toyota is not silly by any stretch and as the GXL model accounts for the lion’s share of Prado sales, they made it more enticing last year with extra goodies like:

  • Hard wired satnav
  • Lighter tail gate with opening glass
  • 9-speaker audio
  • Toyota Link connectivity
  • Active cruise control
  • 3-zone climate control
  • Display audio phone streaming
  • Roof rails and side steps
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • 220v power outlet.

2019 Toyota Prado GXL

Drive and Engine

Power comes from a 2.8-litre turbo diesel four cylinder with balancer shafts and a VGT turbo (Variable Geometry.) It’s good for 130Kw and 450Nm sipping fuel at a claimed combined rate of 8.0-litres/100km

They fixed the particle filter issue this time around with a driver select burn-off button should you wish to pre-empt the vehicle.

A conventional 6-speed auto feeds drive constantly to all four wheels and there’s a Torsen rear diff’ for additional traction when needed.

The rear diff’ is a rigid axle (preferred for off road driving) and ride quality is soft. It floats along like there’s a cloud underneath you.

No sporty SUV, Prado has light steering and powerful light touch brakes to complement the soft ride.

Makes it a treat to ride in on rough roads.

That said, performance is good right off the mark but 2300kg is a fair old mass to shift.

Minimal noise enters the cabin from the engine or the tyres though hard acceleration generates some engine noise. It is a proper fourbie after all.


Five stars as expected but better now with additional advanced driver assistance tech such as collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, AEB and active cruise.

For towing (up to 2500kg) there’s trailer sway assist and of course a reverse camera. Pretty much all you need realistically.

Good Bits

  • Bulletproof
  • Goes anywhere
  • Resale/ Warranty

Not So Good Bits

  • Pessimistic driver assist features
  • Loses 63 litre sub tank
  • Difficult to achieve claimed fuel economy

2019 Toyota Prado GXL


Yep, get a Prado and you’ll probably not need to buy another vehicle for the next decade. They go and go and go. Wanna tour the country but can’t run to the $100k big ‘Cruiser?

Go for a Prado GXL… made in Japan a big plus.

Also Look At

Facts and Figures: 2019 Toyota Prado GXL auto

  • Engine: 2.8L four-cylinder turbo diesel producing 130kW/450Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $61,990 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

2019 Toyota Prado GXL Review


Yep, get a Prado and you’ll probably not need to buy another vehicle for the next decade. They go and go and go. Wanna tour the country but can’t run to the $100k big ‘Cruiser?

Go for a Prado GXL… made in Japan a big plus.

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