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Toyota Prado vs GWM Tank 500: spec battle!


GWM’s new Tank 500 could be a cut-price adversary for the current Toyota Prado and the soon-arriving new generation

GWM’s relatively new Tank brand, with us since 2021, is already making waves throughout Australia with the Tank 300‘s arrival.

Next up in the family tree is likely to be the Tank 500, a larger Toyota Prado-sized SUV that should be more luxurious and better equipped, and in typical GWM fashion, competitively priced.

Let’s look at what the Tank 500 is likely to offer Australian buyers, and how it compares to Toyota’s Land Cruiser Prado. The latter’s been on our market since 2009 in fourth-generation 150 guise.

2017 Toyota Prado rear 3/4 shot static
The current Toyota Prado has been on sale in this generation since 2009

For this exercise, we will compare a high-spec Tank 500 with the flagship Prado Kakadu

Comparing prices 

Pricing for the current generation Toyota Prado starts from $62,830 before on-road costs for an entry-level GX model, but tops out as high as $87,468 (before on-road costs) for the flagship Kakadu variant.

2023 GWM Tank 500 front 3/4 on the road driving
The GWM Tank 500 could be a strong rival for the Prado

While pricing for the GWM Tank 500 has not yet been confirmed for the Australian market, Chasing Cars has previously speculated it could slightly undercut the Prado, potentially from around $70K-$80K before any on-road costs.

Standard specification back-to-back

As standard, we know from the GWM Tank China website that the Tank 500 comes with the following features as standard:

  • 14.6-inch centre touchscreen
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Front wireless charging
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Electric and massaging front seats
  • Roof racks
  • 19.0- or 20.0-inch alloy wheels  
  • Automatic electric tailgate
  • LED headlights and daytime running lights
  • High beam assist
2023 GWM Tank 500 tan interior shot
High-spec Tank 500s feature Nappa leather upholstery

The Toyota Prado Kakadu, meanwhile, is fitted with the following features as standard:

  • 9.0-inch centre touchscreen
  • 4.2-inch instrument cluster
  • 14-speaker JBL sound system
  • DAB radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Bi-LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Roof rails
  • Premium woodgrain steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated outer second row seats
  • Three-zone climate control

Both vehicles are similar when it comes to features, however the GWM Tank 500 offers more cutting edge digital screens and connectivity. 

Toyota Prado Kakadu 2022-6
The interior of the current Toyota Prado Kakadu

What powers these two beasts?

Beginning with the Toyota Prado, the Kakadu gets the same powertrain as the rest of the Prado range, a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 150kW/500Nm.

This engine is paired with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission powering a full-time four-wheel drive system. Toyota claims the average combined fuel economy is 7.0L/100km.

2023 GWM Tank 500 chassis and powertrain
Tank 500 features a powerhouse twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine

Meanwhile, the Tank 500 blows the Toyota Prado out of the water with a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 that produces much more power, rated at 260kW/500Nm.

The twin-turbo V6 in the Tank 500 also features a 48-volt mild-hybrid electric system, likely there to aid starting and to help charge the onboard battery.

Off-road characteristics detailed  

Toyota Prado 2021 sand dune
The Toyota Prado has a reputation for being a good steer off-road

The Toyota Prado Kakadu runs a full-time four-wheel drive system. It has a 30.4 degree approach angle, 23.5 degree departure angle and 21.1 degree breakover angle. Ground clearance is 220mm.

It features five speed crawl control, Toyota’s adaptive variable suspension system, multi-terrain select and a kinetic dynamic suspension system (KDSS).

On the Tank 500 side of the fence, the upcoming SUV has a 29.6 degree approach angle and a 24 degree departure angle, along with 224mm ground clearance.

2023 GWM Tank 500 poster
A Chinese poster of the upcoming Tank 500

The Tank 500 boasts a longer wheelbase than the Prado: 2850mm versus 2790mm.

For remote explorers, the Toyota Prado has a massive 150 litre petrol tank, whereas the Tank 500 has only an 80 litre effort. Offering a long-range fuel tank version for Australia would seem an obvious step.

How safe are the Prado and the Tank 500?

2023 GWM Tank 500 spotting Sydney CC side profile
We spotted the Tank 500 on the road here in Sydney

Standard safety on the Toyota Prado includes:

  • Toyota Safety Sense including:
  • Pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection
  • Lane departure alert with brake to steer function
  • Active cruise control
  • Road sign assist
  • Seven airbags
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera/monitor
Toyota Prado on hill climb 2022
The Toyota Prado is a solid choice either on-road or off

Standard safety on the Tank 500, in higher spec trim, includes:

  • Driver, side and curtain airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Emergency brake warning
  • Automatic fuel cut-off upon collision
  • Auto unlock upon collision
  • Cross traffic alert and cross traffic braking
  • Emergency lane keeping
  • Speed assist system
  • Lane centering
  • Lane departure warning
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Blind spot detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front and rear collision warning
  • Driver fatigue system

The Tank 500 has an extensive safety suite when compared to the current generation Toyota Prado. We can expect the new generation Prado to improve things.

Toyota Prado teaser
We have been teased with the outline of the next Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Final verdict: which spec is best?

Spec-for-spec, both large SUVs seem like capable everyday off-roaders, especially in high-spec form.

The next generation Prado, likely to debut late this year, will naturally move the game on significantly from the ageing current model.

Even so, we think the Tank 500 still comes out on top with its powerful twin-turbo V6 engine, high level of standard features and commendable standard safety assistance systems.

Lexus GX 550 2024 front 3/4 driving
The new Lexus GX gives us an idea of what to expect from the next Prado

But which GWM Tank 500 is likely to be sent to Australian shores?

On the Chinese configurator, there are several variants of Tank 500, including a Midrange and High-end configuration and an interestingly named ‘Black Samurai’ variant. 

We predict the GWM Tank 500 will come in a high-spec seven-seat grade with standard Nappa leather seats.

We look forward to seeing how the Tank 500 eventually shapes up for our market after the release of the Tank 300 SUV.