Pajero vs Pathfinder

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 at 21:17
ThreadID: 104003 Views:10454 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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Hi all. Wanting to hear from those of you who own or have owned a 2008 & onwards Mitsubishi Pajero or Nissan Pathfinder (Turbo Diesel) models with automatic transmission. Interested in the good, the bad and the ugly on these especially with regards to towing capabilities and costs of parts and serviciing and any known problems to look for. Not interested in slanging just want some honest comments so that I can make an informed decision on which is the better buy.
Dale & Leisa
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Reply By: stevie1947 - Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 at 21:53

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 at 21:53
Hi Leisa. I can only comment on the Pathfinder. I owned a 2008 diesel auto and loved it as a tow vehicle. It was very reliable and quiet good on fuel usage, around the 16 litre per 100 km towing my 2 ton van. I never had any issues with it in all of its 120,000km that I owned it. They are a capable off road vehicle and very comfortable to drive. Also they have plenty of room.
I have owned 3 Nissan 4x4's in my life and have only good things to say about them.
The only reason I sold it is that I update every 4 years and I now own a Mazda BT50 (just for a change) which is absolutely fantastic.
The Pathfinder is a great vehicle.
AnswerID: 516926

Reply By: Pathycop - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 02:12

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 02:12
Hi Leisa

I have had a Pathfinder ST-L TD since new in Dec 2007. The list of problems I have had is a big fat zero. Not one thing has gone wrong on the vehicle.

I have six kids and they don't treat it very well at all, but it shows no sign of their punishment at all.

Lovely car to tow with, economical, I get under 15 lt per 100 towing around 1700kg camper trailer. I travel at 90-95 mostly, but if I need to overtake, just put the foot down and she pulls a treat and passes easily even fully loaded.

I have had it serviced every 10k by the dealer. Cost is capped and around 300- 450 depending on which filters are being changed. There is a big service every 40k that costs around $1100.

I have replaced the tyres and windscreen wipers twice, that's it.

Wife likes it as it feels a drives more like a car rather than a small truck like Patrols and such

Loads of room inside and heaps of storage space and good seating options.

If I had one gripe, it would be that the suspension needs to be stiffer for towing. Still tossing up airbags or some OME springs and shocks for the back.

Hope that helps

Happy to answer any questions.

AnswerID: 516934

Reply By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 07:39

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 07:39
We have a NS Pajero 3.2l diesel Exceed and love it. We use it to tow our Jayco Penguin Outback (about 1.5tonne) which it does with ease. On a highway trip unloaded we usually get about 9.5l/100km. Towing consumption depends on the countryside (flat or hilly) and the wind, but anywhere between 13 and 15.5L/100km is the usual range. It's done 170,000km so far and nothing, yes nothing, has gone wrong or fallen off, in contrast to our previous vehicle, a Landrover. When we travel and stop in a caravan park, we generally find that about half the tow vehicles in the caravan park are diesel Pajeros!
AnswerID: 516937

Reply By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 09:52

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 09:52
I have a 2008 diesel NS Pajero, and it has been a great towing vehicle. We use it to tow our 2 tonne camper trailer, and my horse float which would be close to 2.5 tonne if I have 2 horses on. It could really benefit from having the rear suspension beefed up for towing because it does tend to sag when towing.
I had DPF issues with it for the first 6 months (which have been rectified now), which was a pain. Since then, there have been no issues.
It is a nice car to drive, and very capable off road.
I found the 18 inch wheels difficult (and expensive) to get AT tyres for, so I changed to 17 inch by getting OEM 17 inch steel rims. It may be easier to get 18 inch tyres now though.
A big frustration I have with it is that the spare wheel on the back hits the hitch when towing so the rear door doesn't open very far. There is a spare wheel lift kit (about $100) which lifts the spare by about an inch to help this problem. I haven't done it because I don't think it would help when towing the camper trailer because it has a treg hitch and I think I need more than an inch lift. We have a cargo barrier so the only way we can access stuff in the back is to unhitch to open the door. Very annoying.
Service costs are expensive. Usually over $600, about double for a major service. The low ash oil required is very expensive. Service intervals are every 15k though, I'm not sure what the pathfinder service interval is.
I agree with the above poster about the Pajero fuel economy when towing.
The NT Pajero has a 3 tonne towing capacity, but if you tow more than 2.5 tonne, the tow ball down weight is reduced from 250kg to 180kg, so be careful about that. The NS has a 2.5 tonne tow capacity with a 250kg towball down weight.
The Pajero is good value for money
Good luck with your decision,
AnswerID: 516952

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:18

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:18
Hi Leanne,
Re the DPF issues, we've had the DPF delete pipe fitted which not only cures those limp-home problems, but means that you don't need to use the very expensive low ash oil for servicing.
We don't have the spare wheel lifted, and even though we have a Trigg hitch (very similar to the Treg), the spare tyre clears the hitch by about 50mm. We do have a Hayman-Reese Weight Distribution Hitch which has solved the sag problem when towing. The WDH is height adjustable, and it is correctly adjusted for the higher Outback trailer, so I'm not sure that spare wheel interference is always a problem, although the fact that you can get a lift kit suggests it is a problem in some circumstances.
Hope this helps, Leisa.
Cheers, Keir
FollowupID: 796463

Follow Up By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 12:22

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 12:22
Hi Keir,
Was your DPF delete pipe fitted by a dealer? If not, where did you get it - I am going to look into getting one too.
I am also going to get a weight distribution hitch, so it will be great if it helps the sag problem.
Thank for your info!
FollowupID: 796466

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 13:19

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 13:19
Hi Leanne - got the DPF delete pipe from Robert at Chipit Tuning (do a search on internet). He sent us the DPF delete pipe and an EGR blanking plate and it was fitted here (Canberra) by the local auto servicing place. It looked easy to do but I was working that week so paid someone else to do it - he'd apparently fitted quite a few to Pajeros. Pays for itself in 3 oil changes. The EGR blanking plate can cause the occasional problem with the ECU and the solution is to drill it out a small hole in the plate to allow a small amount of EGR. We had to drop the car back for a half hour job for the blanking plate hole to be enlarged slightly, and haven't had an issue since. I suspect the back window gets dirtier more quickly, but I haven't noticed any black .

The EGR blanking plate means the engine oil gets less dirty and the inlet manifold doesn't get choked with dirt from the recirculated exhaust gas.
Cheers, Keir
FollowupID: 796468

Follow Up By: SDG - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 14:53

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 14:53
What is DPF, and what are the issues? I have the 2006 version, but I think it is the same motor.
FollowupID: 796475

Follow Up By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 15:49

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 15:49
DPF is the diesel particulate filter. It causes the intake manifold to clog up, and the car goes into limp mode and won't go over 40km/h. The problem has now (or should have) been rectified in affected vehicles. If you haven't had a problem I suspect you never will.
FollowupID: 796481

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 16:29

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 16:29
SDG - I think you probably have an NP, which I don't think has a DPF
FollowupID: 796485

Follow Up By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 17:39

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 17:39
Forgot to mention a couple of things I like about the Pajero.
I like the way the 3rd row of seats folds under the floor, leaving heaps of cargo space. It is also very easy to remove these seats if desired, leaving more under floor space.
I have the auto, which has the tip-tronic allowing you to drive it like a manual. I find this really useful for towing when I don't go higher than 4th gear, and also when 4 wheel driving when I want the vehicle to stay in a particular gear eg when going downhill I have much better control of the speed in manual - in auto it wants to run on and change up gears. I hope this makes sense.
FollowupID: 796488

Follow Up By: dazza62 - Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 at 17:08

Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 at 17:08
This may also solve your hitch problems.

Works for us on our NS Pajero and TVan.

Drop Hitch
FollowupID: 796556

Follow Up By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 at 18:07

Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 at 18:07
Thanks Dazza,
I'll check that out.
FollowupID: 796559

Reply By: NTVRX - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:40

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:40
Hi Leisa, I have had our 2009 NT VRX auto diesel Pajero since new. No problems with it. I tow a 2.7 tonne van & the Pajero does it easily averaging 17.7 litres per 100 cruising on 90 to 95K/pH. I recommend the auto diesel as a touring & towing vehicle. I have owned a Patrol & Landcruiser & this vehicle is the best I have ever had. Regarding the spare wheel on the rear door & it hitting the tow coupling (Caravan) I had the spare wheel lifted (Kit supplied by dealer who installed same without charge) I fitted Old Man Emu suspension with King springs all round & load sharing or progressive rate in the rear. I also have a 60 ltr aux tank & polyairs fitted. I fitted a "Hitchmaster" tow hitch......magic!! We have been travelling OZ for awhile now and I always look at other vehicles,what people are towing & generally (as you do) talk to people in wayside stops,servos & camping areas and the main thing regarding vehicles which stands out is the number of Pajeros towing vans.....they are, some people must like them. The next favorite are the twin cab utes....I have seen only two Pathfinders!! Years ago there were Patrols seemed everyone had a Nissan they are scarce in my opinion. I just spoke to the bloke next to me in caravan park & he told me he had a diesel Pathfinder & towed his 2.3 tonne van....he got rid of it....heavy on fuel (diesel) & kept changing up & down on the auto when he didn't want it to....he currently has a BT 50 Mazda & gets great fuel economy with plenty of power. Hope this helps. Rob
AnswerID: 516960

Reply By: Meridith D - Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 16:33

Friday, Aug 23, 2013 at 16:33
We have owned our 2011 ST Pathfinder since new. We use it to tow our Jayco OB Eagle, which would probably weigh about 1400kg. You wouldn't even know it was there. We can get under 10l/100km even when towing if we stick under 100kph. We usually have roofracks on with kayak racks, but took them off the other day and got 7l/100km up the highway - pretty impressive!

Downsides: We are about to put in air bags cos it has a small amount of sag when towing. Also, the gearbox is a bit hesitant to drop down a gear when needed, tries to labour in the higher gear.

Upsides: Rides really well, comfy, stacks of room, quiet to drive.

We love our Pathfinder and would be hard presses to finder a better vehicle for the money :-)
AnswerID: 516986

Reply By: Member - Steve & Cecily W (QLD - Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 at 14:31

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 at 14:31
Hi Dale and Leisa,
We have a 2010 series4 Pathfinder and are very happy with it. We have done 90k klm so far with approximately 55-60k klm towing our 2000kg van. We did add air-bags to the rear suspension. We've had no complaints whatsoever, its very comfortable, easy to drive, has done some really rough stuff in The Kimberley and elsewhere. Its been up to Fraser Isl as well as other beaches.
If I could improve it it would have long range tanks. We especially like the rear lift-up tailgate and are really impressed with its ability to keep the dust out.
If you're contemplating a new one, I'd be quick about it as I'm told the new model won't have low range nor will it have a proper chassis.
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AnswerID: 517214

Follow Up By: Leisa1770 - Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 at 21:11

Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 at 21:11
Thanks for your comments. Although we have owned Pajeros in the past and love them as an off road vehicle, the Pathfinder appeals to us for that one reason you have mentioned...the lift up tailgate which is particularly important as we will be towing either a horsefloat or van and will want to access the back without having to unhitch.
Will be happy to buy a second hand vehicle but will watch and wait for one that has been very well maintained. New prices on all 4WDs are rediculous.
Thanks again!
FollowupID: 796836

Follow Up By: Member - Steve & Cecily W (QLD - Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 at 09:58

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 at 09:58
Could I suggest you look for a series 4 (post 0710) as they have an upgraded motor with a noticeable increase in power and torque. Makes life much easier for towing etc.
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FollowupID: 796861

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