TOYOTA has dressed up its top of the range Prado SUV with the launch of the Kakadu Horizon limited edition, featuring a number of exterior styling enhancements to give it a more elegant look.
Based on the regular Prado Kakadu, it scores a front bumper splitter/spoiler, and spats for the rear bumper, chrome side mouldings and mirror covers, a metallic-pearl paint finish, clear rear combination lights and an exclusive Horizon badge.
The new metallic-pearl paint of our review car is something worth mentioning. It’s known as Blueish Ageha, and is spectacular. In the sun is really where this colour pops and shows off it’s undertones of a dark blue/black/turquoise base.
Inside, it gains two rear USB charging outlets and illuminated front scuff plates. As the premium variant in the range, the seven-seat Prado Kakadu also features a high level of creature comforts including three-zone climate control.
There’s also beige or black leather-accented heated and ventilated power front seats, and an electrically adjustable steering column. The third row folding seat is powered too, and there’s a JBL audio system and a rear DVD entertainment system.
The Kakadu Horizon still misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but that should be rectified in the 2021 model range. Toyota has really jammed a lot of tech and creature comforts in though.
It’s just a shame that it still sports a lazy under powered paperweight under the hood, with the same 2.8-litre four cylinder from the popular Hilux and Fortuner, producing 130kW of power and a healthy 450Nm of torque.
It’s married to a six speed automatic transmission, with Toyota stating there’s a power upgrade coming later this year for this engine range, but we’re told it’s a minimal upgrade.
A vehicle of this size really needs to see over 200kW at the wheels, not the flywheel. This would take the Prado to bigger and better heights. It’s really what it deserves. The engine is still louder than it should be for a vehicle of this price too.
From the driver’s seat you can really hear the engine compressing the fuel into power, and it really sounds like an old tractor. On the outside of the car, the noise, especially under acceleration, is disturbingly bad.
Toyota, if you’re listening, please take a look at your European competitors and how they’ve managed to quieten diesel engines, the neighbour eight houses down, shouldn’t hear it every time we start it and drive off.
The six speed automatic does its job without any fuss though, working away smoothly in the background. It does feel a little like it’s lugging the engine in normal drive mode, and Sport mode takes it too far the other way.
The result is a gravelly, high revving soundtrack. The only real solution is to row the auto’s manual gate, but surely that misses the point. All this on-road tom foolery translates oddly, to a good experience off road.
Like the Prado’s dynamics, the engine can walk its way across obstacles at low speed, and offer a quick jab of extra power when required. It feels much more at home in this setting, where it’s a solid performer.
The Kakadu Horizon has five selectable drive modes which allow the driver to switch between Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Comfort and Normal feel virtually identical. Likewise, Sport and Sport+ are much the same thing.
This Prado came with an 87-litre main fuel tank, but misses out on the 63-litre sub-tank, due to the selection of tailgate (we’ll get to that in a minute), but you should see around 850-900 odd kilometres out of a single fuel load at 9.2-litres/100km.
As with all Prado vehicles, bar the entry level GX, the Kakadu Horizon is also offered with a choice of a standard tailgate with a spare wheel mount or a flat tailgate that moves the spare underneath (removing the extra fuel tank).
The latter incorporates an independently-opening glass hatch. The 3,000kg braked towing capacity remains, thanks to the previous face-lift. The Kakadu Horizion comes complete with standard dual-range four-wheel drive system, crawl control and multi-terrain select.
It also features adaptive variable suspension and rear air suspension, providing the power and capability to get to the furthest reaches of the country in supreme comfort, and is fitted with an extensive suite of Toyota Safety Sense items to keep you safe.
These include lane departure alert, automatic high-beam for optimum night-time visibility, active cruise control and pre-collision safety system (PCS), together with blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
In an odd sort of way, the Horizon feels like a farewell edition (much like the Horizon offering in the LandCruiser 200 Series). We’re kind of hoping it’s the pathway to an exciting new, more refined model, based on the 300 Series LandCruiser.
Let’s be honest, the 150 Series Prado has been a round for awhile now; 11 years to be exact, and it’s had more face lifts than Pamela Anderson has had, well, you know.
The 2020 Toyota Prado Kakadu Horizon limited edition is priced from $89,590 plus on-roads.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Toyota Prado Kakadu Horizon, contact your local Toyota dealer.