The Best Toyota Land Cruiser Prado To Import

Jun 25, 2019

Land Cruiser Prados

People enquire about importing Toyota Land Cruisers on a daily basis because it is one of the most popular cars that people want to drive in Kenya. It’s both practical from a size point of view, available in 5 seats and 7 seats, and it has great off roading capabilities. Being a Toyota the perception is that they are built to last and the parts are readily available when compared to other European brands. This article compares the differences between the Toyota Prado models available across the world to help you to understand the best country to import yours from.

Landcruiser Models from the UK

Since we started exporting cars to Kenya in 2009, the preference from the UK has often been for a diesel car. This is because the comparable cars from Japan were always available as the 2.7L petrol engine and the 4L petrol engine.

From 2012, the Landcruiser as it is known in the UK is available as an LC3, LC4, LC5 and Invincible. The LC5 and Invincible being more or less the same. We find that the LC4 is the most popular model as it’s the first model that has seven seats and leather as standard which is more desirable for families as the leather gives durability and the seven seats provides flexibility for larger families.

High Demand from UK Equals Low Supply

Unfortunately due to the popularity of these vehicles in Africa and the weak British pound, the Toyota Landcruiser Prados became very sought after and increasingly expensive. The prices have climbed over the years and now you would struggle to find a 2012 Landcruiser on a UK forecourt for under £23,000; which for a seven year old car is expensive. Obviously, there is then shipping and duties to pay on top of that when you import it to Kenya. Not surprisingly the number of UK diesel Landcruisers that have been exported has declined as people have sought more cost-effective alternatives.  This has often led to clients buying a petrol Landcruiser from Japan or considering other markets which have become more competitive versus the UK cars.

2013 Landcruiser Facelift

In late 2013 the Landcruiser had a facelift and the teardrop lights were introduced. This gave the car a fresher look versus the previous model. Shortly afterwards the UK diesel engine was changed to a 2.8L diesel rather than a 3L diesel. All of the UK diesel engines are turbo charged and have a huge amount of power and incredible torque when you compare them directly to the non-turbo charged Japanese equivalent petrol engines.

UK, Japan or Australia?

When a client comes to us looking for a Toyota Prado, we regularly look across three different markets to assess which is going to be the best market to buy from; the UK, Japan and Australia all come under consideration. Both the UK and Australia have always had the diesel engine for all of their Landcruisers. With Australia, the names of the cars slightly differ. The top of the range Landcruiser is the Kakadu and the tier down from that is the VX. The VX is the most comparable with the UK LC4. If you compare Australia to the UK from 2012 there are more Landcruisers available from Australia, so the prices are slightly better than the UK prices. The lack of contacts and difficult time zones have deterred people from sourcing their cars from Australia, but we highly recommend it as the cost saving is worthwhile for the right engine.

The UK prices are so high it is not unusual to be able to buy a 2015 Landcruiser from Japan for the same price as a 2012 diesel Landcruiser from the UK. The import duties to Kenya are also lower for a Japanese Landcruiser due to the KRA using different duty lines on their CRSP for UK cars and Japanese cars. So there’s a double benefit when considering the total budget.

In Japan the 2.8L Landcruiser came out in 2015 and the new model came on in late 2017 for 2018 and that again had another facelift. The cars available are the TX: a 5 seater with cloth and the TXL with leather. Neither of these cars have a sunroof as standard but it is quite common to find cars with the sunroof option added. None of these Prados have the panoramic sunroof yet unlike the European manufactured cars. The Japanese don’t seem to have caught onto the big open sky trend that is so popular with European cars. Instead, they stick with the more traditional sunroof.

When a client is considering a 2012 diesel Prado, it’s helpful to point out that for just a little more money they can have a 2015 petrol from Japan. We find that many people are very happy to import the the TX or the TXL and accept the lower powered engine with cloth if they are using the car as a family run around in the city. The higher powered engines are favoured by people who are needing the car to be doing a lot of driving out of town and potentially on rough terrain in varied weather conditions.

So to recap, if you want a Prado we will be able to find you a quality entry level model from 4.1M Ksh. This will buy you a 2012 Prado TX 2.7L (duty paid). At the upper end of the scale, we have recently been pricing the new shape 2018 Toyota Prado TXL diesel and they were coming in at 8.1M KSh with around 20,000 KMs (duty paid). All of the cars we are referring to are a good grade from Japan (grade 4 or above) or grade 5 for a 2018. If you are keen to import yourself a Prado within these budgets, then contact the team and we look forward to finding and importing a top quality Toyota Prado for you.

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