Prado vs Pajero -The eternal question

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 16:18
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Which one for value and reliability? I currently have a 120 series but am considering ungrading in the next 12-18 mths looking ahead to a lot more time spent touring and less time in front of this screen. Quite happy with the Prado but the new Paj has me thinking. $$ wise, the Paj seems to have a lot more included as standard in the GLS model than Toyota has in the Prado GXL. For example, to get extra air bags, traction control etc is an option in the Prado while it is standard in the GLS Pajero. The main deficiency in the Paj is the piddling fuel tank which means the extra cost of an aftermarket fuel tank.

An interesting note on the Prado options is that you can't (apparently) fit a cargo barrier if you get a model fitted with curtain air bags. Seems stupid but thats what the brochure says.

Re 4WD ability durability, I would have said the Prado was better but reports from people suggest they have a problem with cracks in the engine bay if treated harshly. Not sure about any problems in the Pajero.

Any comments feedback from people welcome especially re cost of after market fueltans on Pajero, compatability of curtain airbags and cargo barriers on Prado and durability of Pajero's on outback roads, ie any systemic problems in the current series.


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Reply By: marq - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 17:21

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 17:21
Prado suffers from cracks and breaking the front diff. You will also have to improve the front/rear tow points.

Depends on the extra's you are going to fit as well...

Not sure about the Prado but the Pajero is very limited (ie 65kg actual load while travelling) on the roof.

It's up to you - you have to test drive both and be happy with your choice.

Pajero's are ok - I have been around AU (simpson/cape york/savannahway/grr) in an NP auto diesel (modified - oversize tyres and lift).
It's like the fridges - engel vs waeco. I decided to purchase the Australian made Evakool instead - 2 years later - very happy with it.
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Reply By: RobAck - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 18:33

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 18:33
You can get a curtain airbag compatible cargo barrier for 120 Prado. Milford's have been supplying one for the market for over a year.

Apart from that it boils down to a needs analysis. What do you use the vehicel for and how often. If the Pajero gives you all the Prado does at a lower total cost of ownership then the decision is easy. Don't forget to add the cost of a long range fuel tank into the price of any Pajero!

Why the concern on power? Both offer more than enough and if you want more then chip it.

Cracks on the LHF guard we have seen. One actually! I reckon this is an urban myth that has grown somewhat out of hand. Fact is what we deal with nothing else. We have around 50 clients with 120 Prado. They all use them hard but not a problem with any of them.

Now let me add another item for consideration. Prado 120 is heading towards the end of its model cycle and I suggest you don't make a decision this year as I would not be surprised to see a new Prado appear late in 2009 or early in 2010


AnswerID: 345884

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:15

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:15
Pajero Curtain Airbags only cover the first and second row seats, so a Cargo Barrier will not affect airbag deployment.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:15

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:15
Do you user for vehicle for what it was made for or is it a Toorak Tractor?? Have you had problems with your 120 series cracking??
If you are a dedicated long distance outback traveller, what is the most important factor that will determine how far you can go without taking extra fuel??

A couple of years back while heading into the Simpson, we had unreal rain at Marree. The local boys in brown (yes, the blue is trade for khaki in rural SA), said that the road was not shut yet, but to get as far north as you can. Those that have travelled this great track will know just how long it usually takes to get from Marree to Mungarannie - it took us 8 hours. The first thing that was turned off on one of the Pajeros was their traction control for the mud. The next thing that could have been sold at any price was fuel. In low range and heavy mud, your fuel consumption will go through the roof.

All modern vehicle will have their downfalls, but I have owned 4 Pajeros over the last 17 years and the first thing that had to be replaced was the very small fuel tank for any serious outback trips.
What do I own now?? a 120 series Prado, and we love it. This year our outback trip in the Gibson Desert Area of WA will see 1300 kilometres between fuel stops. All of those fancy bells and whistles are great for the average dirt road, but out there in the tough stuff, the 180 litre fuel tanks wins hands down.

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AnswerID: 345898

Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:57

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 20:57
The new Paj has upgraded power plant.

147 Kilowatts and 450 odd Newton Metres of torque, pull stumps out of ground with that!
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Reply By: Savvas - Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 07:36

Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 07:36
If the Paj plus long range tank is still cheaper than the Prado, then I think it's an easy choice.
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Reply By: takenbyaliens (QLD member) - Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 13:54

Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 13:54
I've just had an LRA tank added to my Paj. 85 L when full so 175L all up. $1550 fitted TJM.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin R (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 17:59

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 17:59
I can only speak for Prados but as I am now on my second (120 D4D) I can speak from experience.

Prado No 1. 2002 90 serries 3Lt turbo diesel GXL. Travelled 180,000 klm over 6 yrs. Apart from servicing, only repair was front diff bearing at 150,000k. Only replaced pads at 140,000 and still had original clutch. The cream on the pie was that I sold it for $25,000.

Prado no 2: 2008 D4D GXL. Has currently travelled 25,000k including 4000k off road central oz trip. No warranty claims at all so far (touch wood)

The only real weakness with Prados is that the front suspension needs beefing up when you hang bull bars, winches, dual batteries etc out the front. We have a group of Prado owners here in Cairns who use them extensively off road in tough conditions. We have seen no guard cracking or for that matter any real problems with the vehicle.


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Reply By: MidgeWA - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 15:42

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 15:42
I'm in the same boat, currently have a D4D Prado and looking at getting another. Saw the improvements to the Paj and again considered it as an alternative, even though we love the Prado. Went for a drive today in the new Paj and won't be getting one. Compared to the Prado, I think the Paj still feels less powerful, noisier and to me just doesn't feel like the build quality is there. I'm not against pajero's, I had one for the last vehicle and loved it, but I'm not so impressed with the newer ones. Drive it yourself and see what you think.

As suggested there is a new Prado coming in the next year or so, but I think I'm gonna go with the current model seeing it's tried and tested and who knows what the new one will be like or how they will be priced.

As for resale on the Prado, that will be affected by the new model, but I reckon it would still be on a par with buying a new model Pajero. So I think I'll replace my Prado with another.
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