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Toyota’s rugged yet refined LandCruiser Prado has topped 250,000 sales in Australia almost exactly 20 years after the first model was introduced here in 1996.

Prado celebrates its 20th local anniversary this month after passing the quarter-of-a-million sales landmark last month.

Cumulative sales for Prado have now reached 250,857 vehicles, making Australia the fifth biggest market in the world for this vehicle.

Only two other SUVs – both of which are Toyota vehicles – have posted more sales in this country: LandCruiser wagon and RAV4.

Prado has been the best-selling vehicle against its direct competitors in 13 years and runner-up six times. It has been the yearly top-seller among all SUVs on five occasions.

It remains Australia’s best-selling large SUV so far this year with the Toyota Kluger in second place.

Prado’s success has lifted total sales of the “Cruiser” family in Australia beyond 950,000 vehicles along with almost 700,000 examples of the LandCruiser 70 and 200 Series and their predecessors.

Toyota is Australia’s leading SUV brand with sales rising 8.6 per cent so far this year to 31,754 vehicles – a lead of more than 9,000 sales over any other brand.

Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the success of Prado over 20 years reflected the appeal of its spacious interior, car-like luxury and off-road prowess.

“Prado excels at being tough, comfortable and reliable – above all, it is capable of handling everything from regular family duties to long-distance travel over rugged terrain,” Mr Cramb said.

An upgrade to the Prado range last year brought gains to performance, ease of driving, efficiency and cabin quietness.

Employing Toyota’s latest GD series turbo-diesel engine, the Prado offers up to 450Nm of torque while delivering impressive fuel efficiency^. It offers a theoretical driving range of more than 1875km around town and more than 2100km on the highway with the 150-litre fuel-tank capacity.

The revamped Prado is also available with a V6 petrol engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission with first-for-Toyota technology that monitors acceleration and other driving conditions to determine the most effective use of high-speed gears.

Volume-selling GXL variants gained satellite navigation while the range-topping Kakadu added rear cross-traffic alert*, which is designed to warn of approaching traffic when reversing from a parking space.

Prado is an accomplished off-roader with its constant full-time four-wheel drive system and lockable Torsen centre differential with two-speed transfer case.

More popular than ever
Prado has grown in popularity over the years. It took just over 10 years to reach 100,000 sales and only seven more years to double the tally.

Over its life, Prado has averaged 12,500 sales per year. In the past decade (2006-2015), the selling rate has been even higher at an average of more than 14,560 a year.

Prado achieved a record tally of 17,045 sales in 2012. Last year’s sales of 15,255 vehicles were higher than the individual sales of more than 30 automotive companies.

While Prado was originally powered by petrol engines, the demand is now heavily skewed towards turbo-diesel.

Prado received its first turbo-diesel powerplant in 2000 – a 3.0-litre four-cylinder designated 1KZ-TE. An improved 1KD-FTV engine was introduced in late 2006 and was superseded last year by the high-torque 2.8-litre 2GD-FTV.

Overall, Toyota dealers have sold more than 156,000 diesel variants and 94,000 in petrol guise.

Since the start of 2007, customers have overwhelmingly opted for diesel over petrol at an overall rate of better than seven to one.

Every new LandCruiser Prado is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $220 per service#.

Sales Figures

LandCruiser 200, 70 and predecessors 688,178
LandCruiser Prado 250,857
FJ Cruiser 11,388
TOTAL 950,423