2024 Toyota Prado vs LandCruiser 300 Series: SPEC BATTLE!

What are the differences between these two large frame-based off-roaders?

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Toyota unveiled the 2024 LandCruiser Prado 250 Series (as it will be known in Australia) on August 2, 2023 – we investigate how it measures up against its big brother.

The new off-roader is based on the brand’s TNGA-F underpinnings shared with the ‘full-size’ 300 Series Cruiser and Lexus GX. Those reading in other parts of the world may be a little confused – in the United States, there is now only one LandCruiser, the 250 Series that we call the Prado.

Owing to the Prado’s continued sales success (it was the ninth best-seller in July 2023 despite its 14-year vintage), Toyota continues to serve us Aussies with its complete large SUV suite, from squishy family-friendly Kluger, and Fortuner affordable off-roader to the flagship LandCruiser 4x4s.

This article addresses all the differences between the ‘skim’ 250 Series Prado and the ‘full-fat’ V6 LandCruiser 300 Series. Let’s dive into the differences…

Mind the data gap

With the Prado’s Australian release set for mid-2024, not all details are confirmed for our local examples. Additional information, such as gross vehicle mass, payload, and final towing capacities will be added as we draw closer to the Prado’s local release.

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The 300 Series LandCruiser is the larger of this pair, though its wheelbase was unchanged from its 200 Series predecessor.

With the new 250 Series Prado adopting the same GA-F underpinnings as the 300 Series, the gap between jumbo and junior has closed significantly – the pair share identical wheelbases.

The 250 Series moves its spare tyre under the floor with no on-the-door option. It’s 95mm longer than the old Prado and the same interval wider, as well as 10mm taller and riding on a 60mm longer wheelbase.

Toyota's bigger LandCruiser also boasts better off-road credentials, with an extra 24mm ground clearance and preferable approach/departure angles.

DimensionLandcruiser Prado 250 SeriesLandCruiser 300 Series (Sahara)
Ground clearance221mm245mm
Approach/departure angles31/22º32/25º

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Chassis and towing

The Prado moves to the new GA-F ladder frame platform introduced with the 300 Series.

Its 50 per cent more rigid frame promises to increase the Prado's overall stiffness by 30 per cent compared to the old 150 Series that was launched in November 2009, aiding ride, handling, and response.

The Prado also scores a new button-controlled front sway-bar disconnect feature (different to the old hydraulically-operated KDSS) that allows greater articulation for the double wishbone independent front axle. A four-link solid rear axle remains at the back.

This is a very similar setup to the 300 Series, which also has a double-wishbone front and solid rear axle. The 300 Series' E-KDSS (on GR Sport variants) is also electronically controlled, but not by the driver. Instead, software calculates when sway bars need to be disconnected.

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The 250 Series LandCruiser Prado adopts the same electronic power steering hardware as the 300 Series LandCruiser for a lighter feel and more immediate response than the 150's hydraulic rack.

The new LandCruiser 300 Series is certified to tow a load up to 3500kg with trailer brakes installed. An unbraked trailer maxes out at 750kg. Depending on the variant, the 300 Series LandCruiser’s payload fluctuates between 650kg (VX/Sahara/GR Sport) to 785kg (GX).

Toyota’s 250 Series Prado diesel has not been certified for Australia yet, and therefore we do not have final towing figures. Europe's diesel-powered Prado promises a braked towing capacity of 3500kg – a 500kg improvement on the 150 Series and enough to match the 300.

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Under the bonnet of Aussie Prados will be the familiar ‘1GD’ 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder producing 150kW/500Nm, though like the HiLux, it will be boosted with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech.

In Australia, the new Prado moves from its old sturdy six-speed automatic to an eight-speed Aisin unit.

In North America, the Prado employs a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol hybrid that produces 243kW and 630Nm. This limits towing capacity to around 2700kg – not ideal for Australia's demands, so it's off the cards for now.

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It is a little unfortunate the Prado isn’t equipped with a turbo V6, or hybrid petrol, to give it a leg up on rivals such as the torquey Ford Everest, and further differentiate it from the Fortuner/HiLux.

The LandCruiser 300 Series, though, does get the big motor. A 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 effortlessly churns out 227kW and generates 700Nm between 1600-2600rpm. With a 10-speed torque converter auto onboard, the tractable 300 Series retains on-paper supremacy over the junior Prado.

SpecificationsLandcruiser Prado 250 SeriesLandCruiser 300 Series (Sahara)
Engine2.8L turbo-diesel four-cyl mild-hybrid3.3L twin-turbo diesel V6
Transmission8spd automatic10spd automatic
Claimed fuel useTBC8.9L/100km
Kerb WeightTBC2630kg
Towing Capacity (braked)3500kg*3500kg

*According to European specifications

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Interior and cabin design

Inside, the 250 Series Prado and 300 Series LandCruiser have similar features and technology.

Blocky squoval cabin design details, integrated twin screens, and Toyota’s signature automatic gear-shift feature in both.

Choosing either the 250 Series or 300 Series means you can have five- or seven-seats, variant dependent. Various trim levels of Prado will be offered, with exact grades to be determined next year.

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Pricing for the new Prado is yet to be confirmed, but given it shares similar levels of engine performance with the outgoing 150 Series, a GX entry-grade could start at around $70,000.

In the United States, the Prado is tipped to start at around US$55,000, equivalent to AU$83,000 putting it in close proximity with the 300 Series. North America won't get fleet-focused GX models at launch, but they may feature in Australia.

If a flagship Prado tips into the $90-100K range, Toyota may be able to minimise overlap with the ‘big Cruiser’, which kicks off at $94,301 before on-road costs for the GX and runs up to $143,101 for the flagship Zahara ZX.

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