SUV showdown: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vs Mitsubishi Pajero

More powerful and luxurious options
by Botchi Santos | Jul 14, 2010

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

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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.

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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.

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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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