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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Prado 120 KZ - Getting the best from fuel consumtion

    After having done maybe close to 10k km in my 2004 KZ powered 120 I will give some feedback which may come in handy to those wanting to get the best from fuel consumption in their heavy 4x4 SUV.

    5 tanks to date:

    1. 13.2l/100km 171l - Mostly City driving. Intercooler was still dirty.
    2. 11.3l/100km 228l - Trip to Margate and back
    3. 10.9l/100km 177l - Down to Knysna
    4. 11.1l/100km 137l - All along the coast from there fill up at Van Ryhnsdorp
    5. 10.5l/100km 183l - From there to Pta with 200 odd km in town again.

    Average 11.3 to date. Much better if I was sneaky and removed the 13.2

    She started getting a regular dose of 2so when I got her. Dont know it if had any effect but she seems to be happier on it. She also rides on Wrangler HP's. This must have an effect as well on the consumtion I am sure. I dont have a lead foot and have grown to rather enjoy the trip than trying to get there first.

    My conclusions:

    1. A vehicle as big as the prado (you only realise how big and wide it is when parked next to other vehicles) has the aerodynamics of a brick wall. Rather drive slower and enjoy the journey rather than trying to get their first. 110km/h is more than enough. Down wind (even a slight breeze) you will smile with better than 10km/l performance at 110-120km/h. When wind from the front be prepared to drop as low as 100km/h to get good consumption. Got this between Cpt and Langebaan when driving through a storm. Hectic westerly wind from the front.

    2. She eats the miles. The 120 must be one of the most comfortable vehicles I have ever had the privelage to drive. I drove 4.5k km in 7 days. Two of those days were spent visiting friends. So in all the distance driven was probably over 5 days. Never felt like I have had enough now of driving her. I feel the size inside and the general sound insulation must have the biggest part to play here.

    3. Momentum is key.
    a)When hitting an incline let the speed gradually drop so that you end up at say 95-100km/h at the top. You will find you will learn how much to press the pedal very quickly. You will find your consumption sits at say 12.3 when going up the hill rather than the 17-18 when trying to keep your speed.
    b)Dont have you foot on the loud pedal all they way. When you see a slow down in front or stop street use the momentum of the large car and the free wheeling of the autobox to coast there. You will be surprised how far this weight of vehicle actually freewheels due to enertia without loosing speed. Try it down hill. Even slight inclines and the torque convertor disengauges with the car just rolling as if no resistance.

    4. Check your pressure on the petrol pedal. Many times I have found that I can lift my foot and the current consumtion changes by almost 2l/100km without my speed being affected. Not sure why this is. Maybe more fuel gets added before the "timing changes". What I do know is that you half the time add more fuel that is nessesary for the speed. **Anyone knowing how the pump etc works can shed some light on this?"

    5. Driving at 110 does not affect your average speed as much. I got to George averaging 101km/h. This is whiles never hitting 120. You will find your average speed ratio much better at this speed. Driving at 130 you may find your average speed no more than 110 due to having to slow down and accelarate all the time avoiding trucks and cars.

    6. This thing has significant range. You only stop when your bladder cant handle it anymore .

    7. Dont be scared of 3rd gear (4speed). Drop her down and drive up the pass at 85-90km/h. Less fuel used and the engine/gearbox/egt will love you. Your wife as well as she will be able to enjoy the views.

    8. Dielsels are only underpowered outside of their powerband. I have (by accident) learned a technique when pulling away that leaves a smile on my dail and drops the traffic behind making use of the torque rather than riding the revs. Make sure the auto box changes when you want it to change. How do I do this? When I get to say 2800rpm I lift my foot slightly. This causes the box to change up. I put my foot down again and I sit smack bang in the torque again at 2000rpm with the prado surging forward. **Please note though. Point 8 does not save diesel **

    9. The cruise control is the enemy of good consumtion. It tries to keep the speed up hils and eats away at your tank as a result. It also brakes on downhills when you could be scoring on free momentum. The only time I got it close to what my right foot can manage was on perfectly smooth roads through the kalahari. I use the cruise control exclusively to relax my right leg for a few minutes when my leg gets tired. It espcially gets confused on uneven roads. It seems the car accelerates and brakes in close succession as it feels the car my be faster of slower than it should be when driving over bumps - easy 2l/100km diffs between it and your foot in this situation on a level road.

    All in all I am very happy. A bit more power would be great but dunno if I would be happy with the potential consumtion hit. From here a freeflow pipe and better intake must be the first steps I feel. A great vehicle with mile eating capabilities bar none. I have driven these distances in other vehicles before and always start to tire. The 120 feels like I might as well have been sitting in the lounge enjoying the virtual journey on DVD...

    ps: What I am doing with the current tank is to drive as if I am not trying to conserve juice. Not racing but rather just not paying attention to consumtion. Keeping my drving style without looking at consumtion. Will see what pops out.
    Last edited by JTK_CPT; 2013/12/02 at 12:13 PM.
    JT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default

    My 2000 Prado 95 KZ/TE gives me basically the same. I get between 8,5 to 9,5 km/liter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Eldoraigne
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quincy View Post
    My 2000 Prado 95 KZ/TE gives me basically the same. I get between 8,5 to 9,5 km/liter.
    thats good. Manual?
    JT

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