Best Alternative to a Toyota Prado Kakadu/GXL with Sunroof?

Hi ozbargainers,

My parents have a 2006 Toyota Prado Grande and it is time to sell it and get a new "family car". They've gone to a dealer and asked for the 2021 Prado and are now thinking they need a Toyota Prado Kakadu as the family roadtrip car. (they have a separate daily car). I like the Prado base, but I don't want to get the Kakadu as it is geared as a true off roader and all that fancy suspension will just be used to drive over roundabouts.

What cars would you recommend to suit this job?
I've always liked the luxury SUV market, but unfortunately the Audi Q7, Range Rover, etc are too expensive for a car that will be used once a month. (and TBH that once a month drive is quite often just to charge the battery..)

Must be brand new or demo car
Must have automatic transmission, all wheel drive or 4WD (soft off-roading capabilities)
$90K limit including extras, but preferably cheaper as i don't want my retiree parents to waste money on depreciation.
Must have good storage capability- 4 people's worth of luggage without requiring to fold down 2nd row seats. moving the occasional bulky item by folding down 2nd row seats. (e.g small dining table, massage chair?)
Could have removable third row seats (but not necessary since no one in my family will host an 8yr old bday party within the next decade.)
Must have sunroof
Must have enough torque to comfortably drive on paved mountain roads and/or tow a trailer/boat and to accelerate and overtake slow cars on highways.
Must have sensors for reversing
Should have all the fancy tech that cars come with these days (apple carplay/android auto)
Should/Could have lane assist function + speed control that can pretty much make it self-driving on highways.

(sorry for the long post for a simpley question)

EDIT: Thanks for all the help. If anyone is invested in how the story progresses - I gave my parents my shortlist to go and test drive - Palisade, Pajero/Pajero Sport, Touarag, Prado and let them know the chip shortage is impacting car supply.


  • +4

    If they aren't going offroad, they definitely don't need a Prado. There are better, more up to date cars for the money. Right now is not a great time to buy a car, their current car is pretty old, so they should hold off for another 6 months or so until supply stabilises. For $90k they could get into a pretty loaded VW Tourag, which would be far comfier than a Prado, and have better on-road performance. They could probably also get into a 4 cylinder version of an X5 or GLE for that money, which will still be significantly more powerful and fuel efficient than a Prado.

    • Thanks for the recommendations. I've now read about the Touareg, X5 and GLE and liked the Touareg as it seemed like the value pick that ticked all the boxes… but adding the sunroof option on the website takes me >$100K :(

      • They'll negotiate. Pick up a demo or floorstock car.

      • -1

        They won't get 15 reliable years out of a Toerag, X5 or GLE.

        There must be something Japanese or Korean that has the size, comfort and luxury they want.

        • -2

          Korean luxury. OK. Good luck with that.

          • -1

            @DisabledUser100949: HAve you driven any of the latest model Kia or Hyundai SUVs? Suprisingly upmarket (as is the pricing).

            • @brad1-8tsi: Yes. Not upmarket. If you're coming from a Hyundai, maybe. But compared to a Mercedes as an example, it's not even close.

  • +1

    Tbh, its not the best time to be buying a car..
    If you guys can wait for another 6 months-year, market would ease up and bit. You’d be able to then, score a better deal on any given car…

    • god damn computer chips impacting everything!

  • Go have a look at a used Pajero or new Pajero Final Edition. I'm not sure how they compare with the newer Prado's but I chose a Pajero over the last gen Prado. Way more bang for buck, tonnes of room, very capable on and off road, mechanically reliable with less issues than the last gen Prado and it easily does most of the parameters you listed. I'm not sure about the lane assist etc though.

    • +1

      The interior of the Pajero is soooo dated!

      • That's true, but it's like $40k cheaper and capable.

        • +2

          But it doesn’t need to be capable.

          • @Euphemistic: I thought the Pajero wasn't capable of having all the tech such as EBD, Brake assist, etc?

            • @brad1-8tsi: Maybe not. I was alluding to the Pajero being capable for 4wd duties while the OPs description seems to suit a soft roader

              • @Euphemistic: I don't think he knows what he wants or what his parents need.

                Pajero is a great car for highway and very capable off-road but as much as I don't think many driver's aids are necessary (lane assist, etc), I really like Brake Assist and EBD as they have saved me a crash a couple of times.

  • +5

    too expensive for a car that will be used once a month. (and TBH that once a month drive is quite often just to charge the battery..)
    $90K limit including extras, but preferably cheaper as i don't want my retiree parents to waste money on depreciation.

    Am I the only one thinking that retirees buying a 90k car to use it a dozen times a year (to charge the battery) is…. erm… ????
    Gonna love selling their car for $50k in 3 years or so.

    • I've tried to persuade them to just buy second hand, but apparently the warranty of a near car is worth it to them :(

    • -3

      Sounds like Someone is more concerned about a reduction in inheritance than what the parents actually want. It’s their money (currently) let them get what THEY want. But none of this makes sense tbh.

  • +3

    New AWD kluger?

    • *Hybrid Grande

      But is 2T towing gonna be enough for them?

      • +1

        Based on our last 15years of usage, i don't think we've towed anything actually. I think the most probable use would be to tow a small trailer rental from bunnings. But knowing my parents, they will want the ability to tow a boat..

        • But that doesn't help us recommend stuff… There's a big difference between cars to to 1.5T and 3T…

        • +1

          Based on our last 15years of usage, i don't think we've towed anything actually.

          Is this for you or your parents?

  • +1

    Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander or Palisade

    • +1

      Thanks! I've now added Hyundai Palisade into my shortlist to compare with the Prado in more detail

  • Kruger.

  • +1

    Yeah buy next year… After prices have gone up again and supply is still an issue 😂

    • +3

      Spoken like a true car salesman.

      • +1

        Well did they go down this year?


        Why would prices magically drop? Since when is there ever a history of the prices dropping as new models come out?! Never. With each new model and facelift, RRPs have been increasing, and that's a fact.

        • The M3 dropped from $136k to $120k at one point, and people were negotiating them out the door for $100k. And next year the ability to negotiate will increase with supply.

          • -1

            @DisabledUser100949: Lol you have one model, I have the entire Toyota brand to reference for multiple years with multiple models and facelifts

            Only price decrease on RRP was Fortuner about a year after it was released.

            Everything else has only found its way up.

            Add another year, add newer models trying to pass the stricter 2020 ancap testing with more safety requirements and you get more expensive cars.

            • -2

              @spackbace: So I give you a specific answer to your specific question, and suddenly the answer isn't good enough? There are plenty of cars that have decreased their RRP. Tesla Model 3 is a notable one. You've given another example.

              And I'm not sure how ANCAP requirements increase the price of the car. Most decent cars are already equipped with active safety systems, so there isn't anything to add in.

              • -1


                And I'm not sure how ANCAP requirements increase the price of the car.

                You claim to know cars, yet don't know that? The new 2019/20 ancap and euro ncap tests got a lot stricter. Many models from pre-2018 would lack the safety features to obtain 5 stars. More safety features = more expensive car.

                If OP waits till there's model revisions to suit these new requirements, sure they'll get new features but at an added cost.

                So the whole "wait till stocks are plentiful" is a really narrow-minded view of the situation.

                But what would I know, I've only been selling them for years and have had to stay up to date with changing RRPs…

  • Keep teh car they have…. if they use it once a month theres absolutely zero point in upgrading

    Sunroof PITA. .hate the one in my car

    • Funny you mention the sunroof hate. The sunroof in the Prado stopped working, and not economical to get it fixed. Which is what instigated this whole exercise. I also suspect the leak from the sunroof in the old Prado will lead to rust in random places of the car.

      Maybe what we really want is to have transparent glass roof for additional light into the cabin.

    • +1

      Lol @ Sunroofs in cars.

      In-laws just had to have a car with a sunroof. Tried to talk them out of it. They ended up getting one without a blockout sunshade (only has see-through black shades)

      Now all they do is complain about how bright it is when they are driving, how hot it gets in the car, even with AC on full blast and it has been back 3 times for water leaks and other various won’t up open/close/wind noise issues.

      • Mine came with it… or I'd never get one..

  • Haval h9

    • +1

      This is why you shouldn't ask for car advice on ozbargain.

  • I picked up a 2020 SsangYong Rexton last year. Has been an amazing car. 3.5T towing, all the bells and whistles tech wise and heaps of space. Their ultimate line comes with a sun roof. South Korean built.

    I'm honestly surprised I don't see way more of them on the road.

    • It is great value for money. But wait till you need spare parts or a mechanic apart the dealership willing to work on it.

    • I'm honestly surprised I don't see way more of them on the road.

      Probably because they don't last long

    • I was doing a search to see if any Ozbargainers had / were thinking of a Rexton. Very keen on buying one for the Mrs to replace her ASX. Needed 7 seats, 4wd, towing capacity (smallish boat) with a decent warranty. Love the 7 yr unlimited KM warranty / roadside assistance. Only major concern I have is whether they will actually honour the warranty should Ssangyong go bust (appears they have come pretty close to it previously). You still happy with your vehicle @Brucey210? Any further thoughts / suggestions welcome

  • Rav4

  • Have a look at the Kia Sorento GT Line

  • Just remember, literally anything top spec will have better and more tech than a Toyota 4wd. You’re paying for the 4wd and associated engineering, not for a “premium” vehicle.

    Even a Haval h6 will cope with mountain roads just fine. Actually, suggest them that or a h9. Pretty sure it has a sunroof and costs half your budget!

    Sounds like a good 12-18 month old q7 would fit the bill.

  • +1

    Ford Everest Titanium is a true ladder chassis 4WD (ie Prado rival) and has a sunroof. Currently listed at $73k driveway. Agree with what the others have said about whether they actually need a 4WD though - the market has come a long way since they bought their Prado.

    Worth mentioning that most modern diesels are generally DPF equipped and don't like short drives around town - the earlier 150 series Prado diesels were notorious for this.

    • They don’t need a 4wd with a ladder frame.

      • They dont need a 4wd…

      • Don't disagree with you - I've never understood the bitumen bandits who buy 4WDs and don't get them offroad or tow - but if you are looking at a Prado it is a logical competitor.

    • -1

      73k is too much for something as underpowered as an Everest. 150kw doesn't cut it these days, especially in a car that big.

      • Completely agree with you, but what are your options if you want a late model 4WD? Obviously there's a Landcruiser or a Patrol, but both are very large cars, and the new 300 series is meant to be bloody expensive. I wouldn't feel comfortable buying a VW, Jeep or Landrover for the long term. So that basically just leaves you with the Prado and the ute-derived wagons, which are all underpowered diesels.

        • VWs are a different market, they can't go offroad. Jeep at this price range are pretty reliable (Pentastar/diesel/Hemi, ZF8, GLE chassis), and all are powerful, but they are old and about to be replaced. I think the new model will probably be more expensive. Not sure you can get a Land Rover that can actually go offroad at this price range, Defender would be the closest, but that's much bigger, and probably base is about $90k on the road. But you're right, both those cars have decent power compared to the Ford. I can't actually think of anything with decent power in the category, you're right.

          • @DisabledUser100949:

            VWs are a different market, they can't go offroad.

            It’s all relative. The VWs can go off-road, just the tame stuff though. They aren’t designed for rock crawling but will likely be able to handle a lot of fire roads, a bit of mud and a bit of beach work. Same with the lesser land rovers.

            Would you buy one to tackle Fraser Island or the Gibb river Rd? Nope. Can you get to a lot of places a 2wd won’t? Yep. Like everything, use it within its limits.

            If you want a real 4wd for tough off road conditions your options are limited - for a reason. The market is also limited. Most drivers prefer comfort over all our ability and will make concessions for a vehicle that isn’t the most capable.

            • @Euphemistic: VWs don't have low range or locking diffs. You can't go much past a wet field without those.

              • +1

                @DisabledUser100949: Rubbish. A 4wd without lockers will go a lot of places. Been there, done that, muddy trails, creek crossings, rock crawling up and down. Lockers would be better but I haven’t needed them yet.

                Low range is good, but again, it is not necessary unless you are rock crawling especially in an automatic. Most of the time my 4wd ute is in high range. 1st gear is low enough for all but the steepest climbs and rockiest gardens.

                Like I said, you can go plenty of places off road in them, but of course not everywhere - as long as you know the limitations. The likes of VW are capable enough for someone whose is more likely to avoid a track so they don’t scratch the vehicle.

                • @Euphemistic: I agree, VW is capable enough for the OP. But it's not a proper 4wd without low range and at least a centre diff.

                  Most of the time we all use high range, but when you need low range, you need it.

        • which are all underpowered diesels

          Serious question. At a caravan park last week, seems the towing vehicle of choice nowadays is a dual cab ute or their wagon based cousin.

          So what makes them underpowered exactly? Why are people towing with them if they are underpowered? Underpowered in which driving circumstances?

          • @Peter Enis:

            So what makes them underpowered exactly? Why are people towing with them if they are underpowered? Underpowered in which driving circumstances?

            Your average 4WD has similar straight line performance to your average runabout (e.g. Hyundai i30). This means that they're generally adequate, but do fall short in, say, highway overtaking or when loaded up with a 2.5 ton caravan (or both).

            Diesels have traditionally been popular for towing as they are more relaxed (more torque at a lower rpm means you don't need to ring the guts out of them when cruising) and use significantly less fuel. Even if you could buy a new petrol 4WD, I think most people who tow would take the performance loss and choose the diesel.

          • @Peter Enis:

            So what makes them underpowered exactly?

            Nothing. They have adequate power for day to day usage. They aren’t race cars. With the worse handling and extra weight having more power just gets you into trouble quicker.

            Towing 2.5t is going to dampen the performance of any vehicle. Current 4wd utes can do it OK. All the utes I’ve driven have sufficient power to overtake given their handling constraints.

  • I suggest OP stops telling his parents what to do with THIER car…Seriously as if they are going to listen to "Junior"

    • I don't think anyone likes being told what to do with their money by others. Getting opinions/recommendations on the other hand is useful.

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