SUV showdown: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vs Mitsubishi Pajero

By Botchi Santos

Hi, Botchi!

I have read most of your articles in Top Gear's website and none of it is about diesel-fed luxury sport-utility vehicles. I'd like to get your opinion on these SUVs:

Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 Di-D
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3.0 D-4D
Nissan Patrol Super Safari 3.0 Di

I hope you can rank them and I hope you can tell me about their advantages and disadvantages. I also hope you can tell me which vehicle is worth buying and which one is not.

Godspeed and thank you!


Hi, Patrick!

Wow, you got yourself a nice and yummy short list of SUVs!

At the top of the list is the Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 Di-D. It is hands-down my favorite SUV, second only to the Toyota Land Cruiser LC200 V8. The Mitsubishi Pajero is:

a.) roomy enough with a versatile interior
b.) able to handle both rough roads and moderate 4x4 trails very well
c.) able to handle tight and twisty mountain roads very well
d.) equipped with a suspension that is comfortable and offers very good body-control, and that can resist chassis pitching and yawing when you do emergency lane-changing maneuvers

I fell in love with the Mitsubishi Pajero so I bought one (actually, with the same body but not with the common-rail variant, just the direct injection diesel variant) and used it for a few years. The power was amazing! Fuel economy was amazing. I was able to max it to about 190kmh in the wet on Star Tollway and the Pajero felt absolutely rock-solid and stable all the way.

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is almost as good as the Pajero. I say almost because I haven't used one as extensively as the Pajero--only a few short test drives in other people's privately-owned Prados. From what I remember, it isn't as roomy and it has a slightly less desirable driving position compared to the Pajero. It is newer and has a much braver and bold look, which is amazing considering almost all Toyotas have that safe, generic and friendly look. It does have a multitude of electronic driving aids for off-roading like the hill-descent control and hill-ascent crawl control which might give it the edge on harder 4x4 off-road trails over the Pajero.

Both the Mitsubishi Pajero and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado have ABS-EBD brakes, traction and stability control and multiple airbags as standard.

In terms of power, the Mitsubishi Pajero has a slight edge because the bigger Mitsubishi 3.2 engine gives it slightly stronger mid-range power. The Mitsubishi Pajero also has a better and more responsive five-speed automatic transmission. But the Toyota Prado has better resale value. The Pajero's key problem here is that there is a multitude of Subic converted versions running around, which do tend to mess with the resale price of even original left-hand drive Pajeros.

The Nissan Safari? It is nowhere near the league of the Mitsubishi Pajero and the Toyota Land Cruiser based on performance, space, versatility, refinement and comfort. Rode one and got out after. 'Nuff said.

Take care and God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer editor

Lost in a sea of cars and not quite sure which one to get? Click here to email your car query so Botchi can help you pick the right vehicle!


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Filter comments by:
  • ninoy77 Jul 14 2010 @ 12:27pm
    go for mitsubishi pajero sir pat....its compartable and more spacious than toyota prado.....
  • noname Jul 14 2010 @ 01:39pm
    mitsubishi pajero thumbs up
  • sanvallota Jul 14 2010 @ 01:45pm
    Hey Botchi how bout the Nissan Royale?
  • fcang27 Jul 14 2010 @ 03:30pm
    how about the Jeep Commander!
  • Rommel0917 Jul 14 2010 @ 04:44pm
    Agree with the Mitsubishi Pajero, I have a 3.5 year old Pajero and did a 200 on it Star Toll, stability is great and it is quiet.
  • tgpfan Jul 14 2010 @ 05:22pm
    uu nga...sana dinagdag ung Jeep Commander sa listahan as an option, it's within the price range of the prado and pajero
  • TwinTurbo Jul 14 2010 @ 05:53pm
    BOTH are good SUVs! Had a Pajero before but would like to own a Prado.
  • Ads Jul 14 2010 @ 06:19pm
    Yeah what about the Jeep Commander 3.0 CRD which is only P3.15M compared to Toyota Land Cruiser Prado P3.495M-P3.595M and Mitsubishi Pajero Di-D P3.45M?
  • BOOGIECAT Jul 16 2010 @ 03:58pm
    Don't bother buying a Jeep Commander,that SUV is not that great at all,its cheap inside and its too cramped inside!The Pajero BK is the best lalo na may Rockford Fosgate sound system na sya!The Prado VX is also good in 6 Speed M/T guise..The Patrol Safari is the cheapest and practical kung tight ang budget mo!I owned one before and its a great SUV!
  • engr_kristian Jul 16 2010 @ 07:20pm
    PAJERO, no contest!!!!!
  • bruce Jul 18 2010 @ 12:16pm
    pajero is the best choice.. although, as mentioned by botchi, the problem is the resale value, but absolutely, the comfort is worth it..
  • HKB Jul 19 2010 @ 10:17am
    yes pajero is the best SUV i liked.
  • merc_shift Aug 30 2010 @ 03:14pm
    mga sir, which one is better toyota land cruiser 200 v8 or hummer h2?
  • dtkiko Mar 19 2011 @ 09:13pm
    Geeze, Botchi is serious about the Pajero over the much-better Prado? Haha!

    I will always choose the Toyota Prado (from 3-litre 1KZ-TE engine to 3-litre 1KD-FTV CRDi-VGT) anytime than the Mitsu Pajero (from the 2.5-litre Exceed to 2.8-litre Fieldmaster to the 3.2-litre Shogun).... I have driven all of them extensively on-and-off road. The Pajero ("wanker" in Spanish) doesn't even come close....

    The 2010 to 2011 Prado produces 172 ps and 410 to 420 Nm peak torque (in between year models) delivered from 1600 rpm to 2800 rpm compared to the 2010 Pajero's 165 ps and 373 Nm peak torque that starts at 2000 rpm ---- now, i don't know where Botchi took those numbers from when he stated that the "wanker" has more power!??

    Well, Botchi has always been partial with Mitsu's, no matter how MEDIOCRE they really are compared to the others that are better.... He even made a big fuss about the now VGT-equipped Monterosport and Strada just introduced lately this 1st quarter 2011 as if it is own Mitsubishi's own invention haha!....
    ....Well, come to think of it, the Toyota Prado was already diesel-CRDi with the variable-geometry turbocharger (VGT) since year 2000, the first intro of the 1KD-FTV engine....
    Last modified Mar 20 2011 @ 12:16am
  • mangabat1420 Sep 02 2011 @ 05:44pm
    bakit ung nissan patrol super safari? ano ang disadvantage nya?
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