The Most Popular Toyota Prado Upgrades and Add-ons to Increase Your Vehicle’s Value
The Toyota Prado has been a bestseller for over a quarter of a century, with over 300 000 units sold. The seven-seater vehicle has lured a range of potential buyers, from urbanites to families and off-roading enthusiasts, eager to make use of the available space, all-terrain credentials, and gutsy engines.
The car has topped the seven-seater category for well over a decade, outselling closest rivals by some margin. Toyota’s unbreakable reliability has a say here, as well as the sheer versatility of a car that’s master of all trades. Current models have seen price hikes (as with everything), but popularity hasn’t waned.
With close to 22000 Prados sold last year alone, Toyota is cashing in. And there has been a boon for aftermarket accessories retailers as well. The variety of different parts that add that little extra to an already well-rounded vehicle is huge. Buyers getting their Prado from dealers can splurge for OEM parts or accessories, or save some cash and go the aftermarket route.
There’s no lack of quality here, as all aftermarket Prado accessories and parts are tested independently and ADR-approved. You’ll find anything you need for older Prado variants as well, like the first 90 series released way back in 1996, to previous 120 series cars from the noughties.
The Best Aftermarket Accessories and Parts for Your Prado
Upping Space and Usability with Roof Racks
One of the selling points of big 4WD station wagons is the boot space. With 620 litres and the rear row folded, there’s ample room for a family of five. Get the second row down, and you’re looking at 1830 litres. Loading and unloading the car is made easier with separate flat tailgate variants (at no added cost), moving the full-sized spare under the car.
If you need more, then there’s the huge roofline. Roof racks let you carry all those goodies for longer trips to the beach or bush in style. You won’t be cramming gear in every little nook and cranny, nor get passengers inside uncomfortable. Plus, transporting larger items, like bikes or surfboards is safer, as it doesn’t obstruct visibility or get your spotless interior dirty.
Choosing roof racks isn’t rocket science. It all boils down to what you’ll be carrying and whether you need more functionality. Different styles and sizes help. Platform racks will be good for said sporting gear, larger luggage boxes and anything bulky. The racks consist of metal mesh designs that can take the weight of the cargo, and secure its place when on the move. Platforms also allow for quicker access to loaded gear, and this can be vital in various situations, like recovering a bogged-down Prado fast.
The longer roof line, means larger platforms, up to 2200mm long and 1250mm wide will provide all the space you need. For smaller items, like jerry cans, tools, spare wheels and a range of camping gear sold at dedicated 4×4 accessories online Australia stores, a better choice might be roof cages or baskets. These have rails along all sides and an added way to safeguard items from simply flying off the roof. The rails double as the foundation for camping accessories like awnings and screens.
Lastly, consider the hybrid design of the popular tradesman racks used on a growing number of utes. These have the front and rear rails removed for loading longer stuff, but the side rails can prove handy when pitching roof-top tents or for that extra shade from the sun with an attached awning.
Make sure that the rack is appropriate for your Prado roof in terms of mounting. Variants either fit to cross bars to factory mounting points in the roof line or come with mounting gear to attach to roof rails and channels. The latter variants are more common as they can better hold the bulk of larger racks.
In addition, look for racks that are lightweight, so as not to impede on the roof carrying capacity, but are still made of quality and durable materials. Aluminium is the go-to choice for most customers, as it stands up against bad weather and the scorching sun better than steel, is lighter, and also looks good.
Protecting Your Prado
With prices nearing six figures for the higher trims, protecting your investment is a must. Fit full-sized bull bars up front to protect the car from minor head-on collisions in city driving, or vital engine parts when off-road. Bull bars for the Prado come in different designs, with traditional triple hoops being the ultimate best sellers, as they shield more of the car, and can take a range of accessories.
Winch cradles help fit compatible electric winches in the bull bar body, and a range of lights and antennas help in low-visibility and when out of cellular range. The bar will also accommodate rated towing points to recover the car when you get stuck.
Go for thick gauge, coated steel bull bars for the best impact protection and weather resistance. Aftermarket options are way cheaper, just make sure they are approved and not knock-off imports.
Also Check: The New Toyota Crown 2023 Wants to Reinvent Sedans
Many Prados won’t see the red soils of the Outback, so a nudge bar, either in aluminium or steel helps protect the front in the parking lot or in heavy traffic. Compared to full-on bull bars, nudge bars are lighter, don’t require the removal of the front bumper, need less work in installation, and are roughly half the price. They can handle some light trails, but can’t take additions, like bash plates and brush bars to keep the underbody and side panels clear of flying rocks and debris.
Other additions prove handy in a range of driving conditions. Some other protective Prado aftermarket accessories are side steps or running boards. These parts shield the length of the car between the wheel arches and help with the higher ground clearance when getting in and out of the car.
Side steps too come in different designs, like square and tapered-edge, have rubberised non-slip sections, and are made either of aluminium or steel. They fit easily, being bolted onto the chassis in fixed mounting points.
Some inexpensive add-ons to consider here are weathershields. They allow you to keep windows open and fresh air in regardless of weather, bonnet protectors that do what they say on the lid, that is keep the bonnet and windshield in one piece and free from scratches or dents, and reinforced plastic headlight protectors to keep visibility intact and your lights in factory condition.
The low-gearing, suspension ripped straight out of the Landcruiser, high ground clearance and meaty output from the torquey diesel means the Prado is a champ off-road. A few minor additions here can mean better performance when faced with the typical off-road obstacles. Snorkels for one are a 4WD accessory most dedicated off-roaders can’t do without. They clean and cool incoming air, so let the engine breathe. And also keep it clear of water when crossing rivers and streams. Pair this with an uprated air filter and a modified turbo-back exhaust and you’ll get all the grunt needed to get you over larger boulders or deeper ruts.
If the already able suspension isn’t enough in terms of height, dampening and wheel articulation, revised suspension parts, like uprated springs and shocks will help in tougher settings. Prado owners can also opt for complete suspension upgrades, like airbag systems that control individual wheel height independently, and lower or lift the car according to the road. Or go for traditional body and suspension lift kits to be able to fit bigger off-roading tyres and get the car a bit higher off the ground. Both suspension types work better off-road (but are overkill on city streets), so consider how often you’ll be hitting the bush.
Also Check: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Specs, Price, MPG & Features
No trip off-road is safe without the right recovery gear. Winches are a must to get the heavy Prado out of troubled waters, something you can do alone or with the help of a mate, as well as shackles, snatch straps and towing hitches all tied to a rated set of tow points at the front and back. Consider a hi-lift jack if you get wheels way down in the mud, or recovery boards and tracks in different lengths to help with traction in looser soil. Accessories like shovels, base plates, track leashes and the like make recovering your Prado easier and faster and are cheap to buy.
Electrics and Tech
The current Prado has all the safety tech and driver aids any driver could want. And this is even in the lowest GX trim. Older 120 and 90-series cars can do with dash cams up front and rear reversing cameras to keep paintwork intact in parking lots and when backing up.
Other electrics, like brake controllers, help when towing heavier trailers and caravans, and this the Prado does exceptionally, with the controllers making towing smoother and safer. And if you’re worried about theft, or want to record the ins and outs of those longer trips on the road, get a GPS tracker to know where your car is at all times.
Accessories that keep the interior clean, like seat covers and floor mats should be high up on anyone’s shopping list. Keep stains, spills and burns clear of the factory cloth with seat covers optioned in neoprene, canvas or polyester. All are hardwearing, with neoprene offering better breathability, while also being waterproof. Canvas is more durable and holds its own when off-road, and polyester covers are cheap and easy to maintain. Get matching mats in the same materials for a neat look inside.
Organising odd bits and ends in the boot is done with quality, rubber cargo liners and fabric nets. They protect the car floor and prevent rattles or objects from learning to fly. Boot dividers get things in order, and if you’re carrying heavier items, like tools or equipment, consider placing them in boot drawers.
What to Look for
Aftermarket accessories and parts sold in Australia must be independently tested and ADR approved to meet strict safety requirements. Parts also need to be compatible with the car and different trims, and this is where cheaper imports often fail. The choice of materials might not be a deal-breaker, but don’t overlook quality build, especially in things like roof racks, suspension parts or recovery gear. Any damage here will have serious consequences when you least expect it. Finally, set your budget, and leave some breathing space for wants over needs, as your Prado deserves the best.