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The Mercury Cars Guide : August 22nd 2009
20— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, August 22, 2009 Battle of the Toyota titans People ask which is the best,aPrado or Pajero?Nowthey are asking, almost as often, whether they shouldbuyaPrado ora dual-cab HiLux. Fraser Stronach pits Toyota’s4WDwagonsagainst each other. port. I T’S no secret that dual-cab utes have become an alternative to conventional 4WD wagons for those looking for family trans- Prado and HiLux are the biggest- selling vehicles in their respective classes so it’s not surprising that the wagon versus dual-cab ute question most often revolves around these two. For the purpose of this comparison exercise,wehave chosen the popular turbo-diesel models (in automatic guise) rather than theV6petrols.The Prado is a mid-specGXLmodel while the HiLux is a top spec SR5, the nearest equivalent to the Prado GXL in terms of equipment given that Toyota doesn’t offer (not yet, anyway) luxuries like leather, sat-nav or safety kit like electronic stability and traction control in a ’Lux. At these spec levels the Prado asks $61,040 (plus on-road costs) while the HiLux is $53,980. Add $2500 for a genuine Toyota or aftermarket canopy to bring the ute up to the storage functionality of the wagon and you are looking at a difference of less than $5000. One may be a ute and the other a wagon, but Prado and HiLux share much in common as far as suspension, safety and engines go. But there are differences, and important ones at that. The HiLux’s rear axle is sprung and located by traditional leaf springs while the Prado’s rear axle is sprung via coils and located by four trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Just as significant is the fact that the HiLux uses old- V school part-time 4WD while the Prado has full-time4WDviaatorquesensing centre differential. The HiLux’s engine is also in a lower state of tune than that of the Prado. While both make similar maximum power (126kW for the HiLux and 127kW for the Prado), the Prado has a highermaximumtorque output (410Nm versus 343Nm). This extra torque translates to more power right through the rev range with the HiLux only coming close to matching the Prado in the higher reaches. The Prado also has the added advantage of a five-speed automatic while the HiLux has to make do with the four-speed auto that was used in the Prado before the five-speeder was introduced. With considerably more power just about everywhere and the benefit of its five-speed auto the Prado has the wood on the HiLux for performance. But the difference is not as much as you might think, as the HiLux is some 300kg lighter than the Prado. What’s more noticeable than the actual performance difference is the fact that the Prado feels more relaxed and effortless than the HiLux, which seems to work harder to achieve less. Much of this comes down to the two gearboxes. The Prado’s five-speeder is ‘‘smarter’’ and more decisive than the HiLux’s four-speeder and it shifts more quickly and more smoothly. For its part the HiLux’s box shuffles between the gears moreand slurs the changes and doesn’t feel as effective in getting the most out of the engine. Both HiLux and Prado have an PURPOSE-BUILT:We put the 2009 Toyota Prada 4WD SUV wagon, left, to the test against 2009 Toyota Hilux dual cab ute, right. Pictures: OVERLANDER MAGAZINE. ADR fuel figure of 9.3 litres/100km, which suggests the Prado’s more powerful and sophisticated powertrain makes up for the HiLux’s weight advantage. Ourtest figures fromadrivingmix that included a fair proportion of offroad work saw the HiLux consume 11.9 litres/100km while the Prado was slightly thirstier at 12.8 litres/ 100km. The Prado continues to win the battle off road. While a standardGXL Prado doesn’t have the advantage of the traction control that’s standard on top-spec models and optional other automatic Prados (including the GXL), it does have a couple of advantages over the HiLux. Most importantly its rear axle has more travel than the HiLux but it also benefits from lower gearing. But more significant than these advantages is the fact that the Prado is far more comfortable off-road than the HiLux, at leastwhenthe HiLuxis lightly loaded. With the extra weight of a canopy and/or gear in the tray the HiLux’s ride would be more forgiving but, unladen, or even lightly loaded, the ride is hard. That’s just a fact of life with a ute. Aside from the fact that the Prado seats eight while the HiLux seats five, the wagon does have other advantages over the ute. The Prado’s front seats are far more comfortable and the rear seat more accommodating than the HiLux’s in terms of leg, shoulder and hip room. The Prado also has lap-sash seat belts for all eight passengers while the HiLux’s rear centre seat is fitted with a laponly belt. verdict For HiLux and Prado to be on equal footing in this contest, the HiLux needs its engine to be updated to DRIVE AWAY NO MORE TO PAY! $8.00 per day† $8.25 per day† Only 31,000km 1.4 litre automatic, six airbags, 6 disc CD, alloys. Stock No. 321713 08 NISSAN Micra City $15, 490 DRIVE AWAY 1.8 litre automatic, dual airbags, ABS, reef blue. Stock No. 321767 $15, †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%. 990 DRIVE AWAY 08 NISSAN Tiida Hatch CVT automatic, 1.3 litre petrol/electric, six airbags. Stock No. 321636 07 HONDA Civic Hybrid $23, 990 DRIVE AWAY $13.00 per day† www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services Hobart 1a Brisbane Street, Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Glenorchy 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 Prado specs, its four-speed ’box replaced by the Prado’s five-speeder, full-time 4WD instead of part-time, and a properly located coil-sprung rear axle. Some people may tell you that you need leaf springs to carry weight but this simply isn’t true, especially with the relatively light loads you’re likely to carry in the small tray of a dualcab. There are of course times when onlya ute will suit your needs. That’s a given that you can’t argue with. But if you’re thinking of a dual-cab ute as a family transport and recreational weekend vehicle rather than a load-carrying device, you would be far better off with a wagon like a Prado. Read more great 4WD and offroading news in the latest edition of Overlander magazine out now
August 15th 2009
August 29th 2009