1997 Toyota Prado GX 2.8 diesel from Fiji Islands


One of the best SUVs around, the LJ95 Prado 2.8 diesel..


Rear axle broke - cheap fix, as Toyota parts are readily available.

Stereo - Factory stereo died out, so I purchased an Alpine USB unit.

Injector nozzles changed at 100,000km interval.

Timing belt, seals and water pump changed at 100,000km (part of maintenance schedule for the vehicle).

General Comments:

I was at first hesitant to buy a clunky and noisy underpowered variant of the Prado, having owned a powerful TX variant a few years before purchasing this vehicle. However I am glad I made the purchase, as the vehicle has never let me down in any situation.

Fuel economy may be second to none for a vehicle its size. The vehicle has 2 diesel tanks, switchable with a switch from inside the cabin.

Though the gear ratios are close, and the vehicle tops out at around 135km/ph at maximum revs on 5th gear, the point to be noted is that it was never meant for speed in the first place.

On the flats, the 2.8 normal aspirated diesel runs pretty well, and it's capable enough to bully the 2.5 turbo diesel Hyundai Terracan, but going uphill, don't expect to overtake anything all of a sudden.

The suspension on the vehicle is very tough. I still have all the factory bushings, ball joints and springs in place... Changed the shock absorbers as the rear ones had leaked oil.. Seeing the amount of potholes we have here in Fiji, I am very very pleased at how the car has held up.

The interior is built solid with no nonsense electronics, the sunroof is a pretty good addition to the vehicle... the seats have all held up, and there is no sign of wear anywhere, despite me being over 100kg...

I have driven the car to my heart's content, and since I cannot part ways with it, I guess now a turbo has to be bolted on and a boost compensator fitted to the fuel pump.

Overall, this is one of the best vehicles if you are after a good, reliable and economical SUV for our pathetic Fiji roads...

If I can get a brand new LJ95 Prado, I would buy it in a heartbeat... and yes it will still have to be a manual transmission, but probably this time a 10 seater unit with normal winder windows, and I would keep my current GX with electric windows and 7 seater capacity as my prestige ride, even though it's not a prestige, but a rough ride...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2011

16th Aug 2014, 19:48

Good buy mate.

I own a similar spec LJ95. What I was wondering, any idea what gearbox comes with it? Is it an R150F ?

2004 Toyota Prado VX 4.0 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Well built, reliable, tough as nails


Nothing thus far.

General Comments:

Magnificently built 4WD.

Super reliable.

Looks good.

Comfortable and a very long touring range with the 180 litre fuel capacity.

A heavy car, so it isn't very fuel efficient, particularly in the petrol version.

Drives like a 4WD. Not a car for the driving enthusiasts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2010

2005 Toyota Prado VX 4.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Great family wagon with genuine offroad and towing ability



General Comments:

Purchased this vehicle as a safe family car, and as a tow vehicle for a medium sized boat.

The third row of seats gives the ability to carry up to 8 occupants.

Would have opted for the D4D diesel engine, but these versions commanded a large price premium that I didn't feel was justified for my needs. The 4 litre petrol (1GR-FE) is however an impressively strong powerplant, and I get around 13 litres per 100 km in mixed driving.

Feels solid on the road, and is a good touring vehicle. It does need to be driven cautiously on winding roads, bearing in mind it doesn't have car-type suspension and is high off the ground.

Tows brilliantly - in fact a bit too well, I got a speeding ticket the first time I towed the boat with it.

Disappointing stereo for a vehicle that costs this much new.

Should also come with parking sensors as standard, because rear visibility is poor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2009

23rd Feb 2011, 17:31

We have a 05 VX V6 too. We are very impressed with the vehicle, and I know what you mean about speeding in it, it's very easy. Our Prado was optioned with parking sensors when new (only 2), but still found it hard to park, so we had a rear camera fitted, which is great, and so handy when reversing with trailers etc.

29th Feb 2012, 04:53

Hi there.

I am struggling to make a decision between a Prado and a Fortuner:

2005 Prado 4.0 V6, Auto, 150 000km for R249 000.


2007 Fortuner 4.0 V6, manual, 85000km for R217 000.

They are both 4x4.

Which one will be the best buy???

Please reply urgently to martin@flagprop.co.za

23rd Dec 2013, 03:37

I will say buy the Prado.

10th Dec 2016, 13:19

I bought both.

A Toyota Fortuner in 2011 and a Toyota Prado in 2016.

Same 2.7 VVTI engine.

The Fortuner has more basic truck suspension. The Prado feels more "posh" and "big limousine" like on the road.

Both are fun. One costs more than the other. Fuel consumption is about the same.