Prado or Pajero?





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  1. #1
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    Default Prado or Pajero?

    Hi guys.

    I'm looking to buy a decent second-hand 4x4 as an upgrade from the current AWD RAV4 (and to stop SWAMBO from nagging me to NOT go off the tar with the RAV). I have come across 2 possible options, the first (and cheaper) option is a 2003 GDI Pajero, 3.5L Auto, petrol (with AT tyres, roof rack and rtt) with 157k on the clock. The second is a 1999 Prado, 3.4L Auto, petrol (with AT tyres, roof rack with 2xjerry can holder and gas bottle holder, snorkel, OME suspension and lift, snorkel, ARB bull bar, front bash plate, spotlights and custom awing with 142k on the clock.

    I'm in Botswana and the asking price for the Pajero is P65k (which is about R87k) and asking price for Prado is P80k (about R107k). While for the Pajero I've heard and read a mixed bag of impressions/experiences/comments, but most are leaning towards the negative, especially concerning fuel consumption, cost of parts (at least in Botswana) and the likely possibility of the engine packing up and/or the (expensive) fuel-pump going bust.

    As for the Prado, I can't really say I've heard much negative about it apart from the high-ish fuel consumption. Both vehicles are Japanese imports (which is normal in Botswana) and both are overland-ready (the Prado more so than the Pajero). It seems to me that the Prado is the ideal vehicle for what we need (to travel, explore and be in the bush when possible), it's reliable, it's spacious and this one in particular comes with all the bells and whistles needed for overlanding.

    I spoke to the owners of both vehicles. The Pajero was driven by two ladies who bought the car less then 2 years ago and have travelled to numerous places around Botswana and have never had a problem with it (so far). The owner of the Prado is an overlanding/camping fanatic who has owned the car for 3 years and while he has taken it offroad on a number of ocassions, it seems that he loves the car and has taken very good care of it and done services every 10k/km. (Both parties are selling as they are moving back to SA.)

    I drove both (albeit for a short while) and both seem relatively comfortable and nice to drive. The price difference is notable and I'd like some feedback regarding this model of Prado and especially this very one (with all the add-ons) to warrant paying the extra 15k.

    Any tips/suggestions/experiences/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jovan

    1999 Toyota Prado TZ, 3.4L, V6, petrol, auto

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Both are generally very reliable; the Pajero will need a cambelt change at 180 000 km that is quite expensive. Pajero Di-D's have a timing chain.
    2001 Gen 3 Pajero swb 3.2 Di-D

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Which one tickles your fancy more? By the sounds of it the Toyota. For your extra P15k you are getting a bunch of accessories thrown in, so the price gap narrows (if you need those items for the Pajero).

    Given that you have concerns about reliability and sourcing parts in Bots, I would try and see if the Prado owner is willing to negotiate and take it from there.

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Both are very reliable.

    but if it was my money i'd buy the Prado without thinking twice.
    parts for the Pajero seem to become more and more problematic.
    I've had some bad experiences with Mitsubishi.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobH View Post
    Which one tickles your fancy more? By the sounds of it the Toyota. For your extra P15k you are getting a bunch of accessories thrown in, so the price gap narrows (if you need those items for the Pajero).

    Given that you have concerns about reliability and sourcing parts in Bots, I would try and see if the Prado owner is willing to negotiate and take it from there.
    Hi Rob. The Prado does tickle my fancy a bit more. When we were looking for our first compact SUV over a year ago it was a debate between the RAV4 and the Pajero Shogun IO. Even though the small Pajero had a low-range gearbox, the RAV won purely because it was a Toyota (which means not as expensive to repair, more reliable, spares easily available etc etc). So my inclination is towards the Prado for similar reasons, but the price gap is my only concern.

    Having said that, the Prado does come with a whole assortment of extras that, when added up, probably cost more than the P15k difference.

    And regarding sourcing parts in Botswana, for Toyotas that's not a problem, as every town, village, street-corner has Toyota parts for sale. Expensive and availability of parts for the Pajero is what troubles me (as well as the reliability issues).

    1999 Toyota Prado TZ, 3.4L, V6, petrol, auto

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jovan Djokic View Post
    Expensive and availability of parts for the Pajero is what troubles me (as well as the reliability issues).
    I didn't mean to imply that the Pajero was unreliable, it isn't. Fact is you will be buying a near 20 year old vehicle and it doesn't matter what you buy you will have some sort of age-related issues. As you pointed out, if you can get parts easier and cheaper for a certain brand then it makes sense to stick with that.

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobH View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that the Pajero was unreliable, it isn't. Fact is you will be buying a near 20 year old vehicle and it doesn't matter what you buy you will have some sort of age-related issues. As you pointed out, if you can get parts easier and cheaper for a certain brand then it makes sense to stick with that.
    Yeah, there are probably just as many people out there with no bad experiences with a Pajero as the ones with bad experiences. I guess that will be inevitable with any vehicle. But yes, getting parts for Toyotas is cheaper and more possible than for the Pajero, at least here... and as you pointed out, both vehicles are relatively old, so when something does go wrong, it will be easier on my wallet if I choose the one that won't hurt as much

    1999 Toyota Prado TZ, 3.4L, V6, petrol, auto

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Google prado piston melt problem and re think reliable.
    Silence is golden
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by ON-RNR View Post
    Google prado piston melt problem and re think reliable.
    This is for the 3.0 D4D engine and certainly not for the engine in the vehicle he has in mind.

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by ON-RNR View Post
    Google prado piston melt problem and re think reliable.
    Op 'n 3.4 petrol? Asseblief!
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by ON-RNR View Post
    Google prado piston melt problem and re think reliable.
    Ek weet nou nie regtig hoe om mooi te antwoord nie

    Kom ons probeer maar die een: jy het die verkeerde Prado model met 'n hele paar jaar.

    @ Jovan, you answered your own question in post no 5. Botswana = Toyota. Although I do believe the older petrol Pajero's are also very reliable.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2016/09/14 at 07:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    The only issue I have (personal view), is pricing. The Pajero needs to be halve the Prado for similar model. As priced in rest of world due to the (very) old design. Just think about the Citi Golf pricing of not long ago.

    As example full spec Pajero sells for less than Rav4 around here.

    Please only personal view point. Both vehicles are nice to use and very capable.

  16. #13
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    While both are fine cars, I can only speak for the Prado. You get a great deal of car for that money, capable, reliable, comfortable and power to spare.

    I just love my Prado!


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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Whilst a big Pajero fan, the Prado sounds like a good deal, especially if it has been tried and tested in the bush with the extra's. As has been said though it's a 17 year old vehicle and will need some TLC to ensure the reliability.

    A petrol model with less than 150 000 on the clock would have me all excited for sure
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

    2004 Gen 3. 3.8i petrol V6 (PAJTU)
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    I have a Mitsubishi Chariot GDI (same engine just smaller) and also the same Prado. In about 6 years, I have done a fair bit to the Mitsi engine. Common problems are the EGR gets dirty (erratic idle and high fuel usage) and dirty throttle body and intake (poor fuel economy). The engine is reliable and pretty good long term. It apparently has a tendency to sludge up because of the GDI characteristics so regular oil changes are a must and use better oil.

    With the Prado, reliable, solid.For 15 k, I would go with the Prado. I have had to change the steering rack bushes (some good internet vids for that).Personally, if they are in similar condition, go for the Prado.

    Main thing is to check both vehicles thoroughly yourself and with a mechanic. A good Pajero is better than a bad Prado !

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Quote Originally Posted by Family_Dog View Post
    While both are fine cars, I can only speak for the Prado. You get a great deal of car for that money, capable, reliable, comfortable and power to spare. I just love my Prado!-F_D
    I 2nd above opinion, love my Prado, all it needs are good shocks and good tyres and it becomes a very capable comfortable overlander.

    2002 Prado 3.4L V6
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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    My brother in law has the Pajero and I've got the Prado.
    He is very jealous

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Thanks for the helpful input guys! It would seem that the overall consensus is to go for the Prado. And I feel more at ease (for some reason) when thinking about getting the Prado over the Pajero.

    Think I'll go have a look at the Prado again tomorrow, inspect it a bit closer, take it for another spin and then make a decision.

    I just had a look at a 1998 Prado that was selling for almost half the price (P45k) and had 235k on the clock (3.0 diesel, auto) and was curious as to why it was so cheap. A few glances around the inside and outside of the car as well as in the engine bay explained everything. Dings, cracks, dents, on both outside and inside, not to mention it was in an accident and the panel beaters did a ### job of repairing it (the right side of the body, as seen from inside the engine bay looks like it was mangled by an elephant and then someone tried to iron it flat with a clothes iron.... oh, and there was a large crack inside the bay as well...)

    So yeah, all fingers point to the 1999 Prado being an ideal and good value-for-money choice. This weekend's viewing will be the decider. Pix will be posted here if the deal goes through!

    Thanks again to everyone for their input!

    Jovan.

    1999 Toyota Prado TZ, 3.4L, V6, petrol, auto

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    Im a huge Pajero fan... but in your case, Id buy that Prado without even thinking! If that is true mileage, its a no brainer for me... even though I drive a Pajero presently...!

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    Default Re: Prado or Pajero?

    It depends what you plan to do with the vehicle, but you should try to avoid comparing apples with pears.

    After some years on Prado I would call it a nice vehicle, but it is an offroad vehicle LIGHT only.
    The frame and rear suspension are not really designed for real heavy offroad.
    The vehicle equipped with a tow bar tends to touch ground frequently when offroad. The coil spring design is quite soft.
    The permanent 4x4 is nice for road holding, but not really a benefit due to lacking genuine diff lock.
    The automatic gearbox is a dream and protects from gear change mistakes.

    But it is worlds away from the RAV4, latter can only be considered to be a SUV.

    To what I see, I feel the Pajero is more sturdy and better suited for heavy offroad. Depending on model.
    Last edited by Hajo; 2016/09/19 at 10:28 AM.
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