What you need to know:
- The all-weather, all-terrain Toyota Prado TX will manouvre all kinds of roads. It will serve you well diligently, affording you lots of comfort
I drive a Toyota Prado TX Model 2001 but before it, I drove a Subaru Forester Cross Sport which somewhat looked too fancy and trendy for my age. I therefore, switched to the Prado because I also love big cars. On a lighter note, the name ‘Prado’ sounds good. My love for it stretches because it has high ground clearance and with it I can manage to move on bad roads, especially since I travel a lot up-country doing some community work. It is also comfortable, and a four wheel drive making it an all-weather ride. I also love the sunroof that allows more fresh air inside the car. However, it is not easy on fuel being 3000cc. Nonetheless, because it uses Diesel, the fuel budget has only jumped from Shs20,000 for a round trip to Shs30,000.
The pain is that while the car type has been on the Ugandan market for some time, its spare parts are quite expensive compared to the Subaru. In the case of service and maintenance, I spend Shs200,000 for half service (oil and oil filter) and that can carry the car for a month and a half. Full service is about Shs280,000 which includes brake fluid top-up. One may wonder at the cost but servicing a diesel car is more costly than that of a Petrol engine. I love big cars and the Prado TX is one of them. While it is not my dream car, at least it is a good vessel that can transport me to my dream car.
I bought this car after a friend shared about a car hire business where people loved the TX, especially for upcountry trips and areas where the roads were not good. I bought it from someone because it fitted my needs for tour and travel. Its big boot also enables me to carry luggage easily. While some complain about its fuel consumption, I am comfortable because it uses diesel which is cheaper. However, I faced a lot of issues with the ball joint suspension which happens when cars with high clearance make sharp tuns at high speed; the commonest problem with these cars. However, when well managed, one can drive it for ages because it is a resistant car. Given my kind of business, I always do service before beginning the journey and it is between Shs200,000 and Shs250,000. Spare parts are also costly and it has caused the market to get flooded with counterfeits.
My Prado Tx has a 3000cc engine and I use about Shs30,000 from my place on Salama Road to Kampala, every day. I believe this is manageable because my home is not very far from my work place. However, if I worked outside Kampala, I would have felt the pinch of the fuel prices. I bought this car because of its high ground clearance that enables me manoeuvre in all roads and in all weather conditions because it has full time four wheel drive. As far as its service and maintenance is concerned, when I am driving I pay so much attention to the sounds that the car makes. By the time I go to the garage for service, I already have an idea about what is wrong with the car and in this case, I am not cheated. Ignorance of some of these things makes mechanics take advantage and cheat car owners.