To say that Australians are in love with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is a gross understatement. Need proof? The SUV has surpassed the 250,000 (250,857) cumulative sales mark in time for its 20th birthday in the land down under.
That’s an average of 12,500 units a year. The Prado was able to rack up some 100,000 sold units in its first 10 years alone. Since 2006, average Land Cruiser 100 sales have reached around 14,560 units a year, with a peak of 17,045 units in 2012. In fact, the Prado handily outsells the Land Cruiser 200, the LC70 and even the FJ Cruiser. The LC200, the LC70 and their predecessors account for some 688,178 units, while there are around 11,388 FJ Cruisers roaming Aussie roads.
So what makes the Prado such a hit among Australians? It must be the fine mix of rugged off-road capability and its comfort and refinement. While the Prado began life with a V6 gasoline motor, the model later received a 3.0-liter oil-burner, code-named 1KZ-TE. This was replaced with the more modern 1KD-fTV mill, as in the first-generation Fortuner. Last year, the Prado got the latest GD-series 2.8-liter engine.
As with most new cars, the Prado is equipped with such niceties as satellite navigation, rear cross-traffic alert, and a wealth of comfort and convenience features. And speaking of off-road capability, this SUV may be smaller than the full-size LC200, but it is no slouch when it comes to tackling the rough. It even has full-time four-wheel drive and a lockable center differential with two-speed transfer case to prove it.
In our market, the Prado is considered more of a luxury SUV, thanks in no small part to our somewhat twisted taxation structure.