New engine and transmission for Land Cruiser Prado 

It’s taken a while, but Toyota have replaced the 3.0 turbodiesel in the Prado with a newer motor, a 2.8L, still a four-cylinder and it will be available from about August 2015.   As you’d expect, the capacity is reduced but power and torque are up. 

 3.0 D4D2.8 D4DDifference
Power127 kW @ 3400 rpm130 kW+3kW


410Nm @ 1600 rpm


“from low speed to 2400rpm”


Gears man / auto

6 / 5

6 / 6

0 / 1

Efficiency man / auto

(ADR81/02 combined cycle)

8.8 / 8.5

7.9 / 8.0

10% / 6%

The engine’s weight has been reduced too.  The addition of a sixth gear for the automatic is well overdue.

Toyota tell us that “gearing of the transmissions is specifically designed to unleash the direct-injection common-rail turbo-diesel engine’s potential from just above idle, resulting in brisk acceleration at low to medium engine speeds.”  This is what you want for offroading and towing.

The new engine includes various features to comply with Euro 5 standards, not least a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
Toytoa also claim the new motor is smoother and quieter, particularly at idle.  Changes include a chain rather than belt drive, the introduction of a counterbalance shaft, refined component design and strict vibration management.


This engine update will help Prado stave off the sales competition from the Everest, but all it does is really move Prado to about 2010.   The likes of the Discovery and Territory have had six-speed autos since 2005, and the LC200 has had it since its release.  Many vehicles are now into 8 and even 9 auto ratios, excluding CVTs which just cheat. Even the utes get in on the act, with 7 speeds in the NP300 and eight in the Amarok.

Compared to the current unit, power is real-world the same, but as torque is up a bit drivers can expect a bit more grunt, especially with the sixth gear in the auto.  The figures probably mean the peak power figure is reached lower down the rev range than before, although Toyota haven’t given us that detail yet – if so, that’ll be good for driveability.  Still, figures of 127kW / 450Nm from a 2.8L turbodiesel are not particuarly impressive these days.  

We can also expect a more intelligent and efficient auto transmission as it’s newer, so the overall improvement might be more much noticeable than the modest torque increase would indicate.  An example is when the Defender Puma came out with a new engine – 90kW 360Nm 6 speed compared to the previous TD5’s 90kW 300Nm / 5 speed…the difference between the two was much more dramatic than you’d think, leading me to christen the car the “Defender Sport”.   The claimed refinement will also help sway buyers, especially since Toyota ask for a bit of coin if you want a Prado.  All up, a timely update minor for Prado –  and not a moment too soon.




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    1. Our Paul Murrell has been talking to Toyota about this and struggling to get a response. A mate of his had the same issue which prompted him to start digging. Hopefully we’ll be able to write more on this soon. Cheers Isaac

  1. Surely 6 speeds is enough? Why do you need 8 or 9 speeds in a 4WD? I drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 8 speeds and unless you were no flat ground it seemed to be always searching for another gear. 6 gears will be fine for the job – my 2006 Prado has only 4 speed auto and I manage off & on road just fine.

    1. It is possible to manage with a 3-speed unit, as the old-timers say! A good 7, 8, 9 speeder – and there are few – can outperform a 6 speed unit. It is true that a poorly calibrated 8-speed box won’t perform as well as a better calibrated 6, and same goes for 6 and 4 too. The engine has a bit to do with it too. However, overall there’s no question 8-speeds are the way to go for performance and efficiency.

  2. They will have to really convince me they have fixed the injector problems in writing after accusing me off puting water in.telling porkys will always catch you out! They will not admit they have a problem,by the way iv got a 2010 prado. I have also talked to toyota(nz) they wont admit to anything! ps i had the same problem with my 2006 prado they assured me it was fixed .But noooooo!

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