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  1. #1
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    Default Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Over the years I have always been intrigued by the recommendations of a Pajero. Many were in jest but the owners were convinced that they are excellent vehicles and they have a staunch following. Often I would comment back but just in jest along with various forum members. All for a bit of fun, especially in a time where there is so much bickering about nonsense.

    So after selling the toy (Jimny) I was in search for another vehicle. Swambo and I had recently bought a trailer and after a few outings with it decided to go back to a single vehicle setup. The search started for a vehicle that would almost exclusively be used for camping trips. I will happily admit I have a problem and do not keep vehicles for long and tend to not buy the same vehicle or brand again. I have tried them all. So in short, I ended up looking at Pajeros. I found a 2015 Gen4, Swambo approved and a week later it arrived with us via a truck from the Cape.

    The transport company could only deliver to a dealership, so I was helped out by a mate at the local Toyota. On the 27km drive home that evening I thought the ride is not as planted as what I thought it would be and it seemed a bit jittery and harsh. It was a weird feeling to describe. I immediately thought the tyres must be over inflated. Got home and checked the tyre pressures, 2 bar all around. No worries I thought, I will have everything checked out at a suspension place. Off I went a few days later. Everything checked out. I then spoke to friends of my parents and went for a drive in their 2018 model. It drove in exactly the same manner. I then went and found another used Pajero locally and test drove it. It also drove exactly the same. It is not as planted and solid as I thought then and left it at that. As a filler and extra information, before this I was between a Gen 6 KB250 DC and Q7 daily. Maybe I was expecting too much?

    Going over the rest of the vehicle, there were a few issues with some buttons and small stuff that that was not as it was supposed to be. Now, I must give the dealer props, because I alerted them to the issues, they responded promptly and proceeded to do nothing. I then sorted out the switches etc. myself and life carried on.

    So after 10 months and just over 30 000km's I will give a little breakdown of what I think of a Pajero. The positives and the negatives for a vehicle used for camping and dirt travel.

    Engine and gearbox:
    On a positive note it does have decent power and its gearbox is very smooth. Negatives, it is a very agricultural engine.

    Ride and comfort:
    After a full suspension change and upgrade I am still not 100% happy with the handling. It has improved but it is still not as planted as what I would have expected. The biggest improvement has been on dirt roads. The on tar handling is what it was.

    Interior:
    The vehicle was previously a town car and had no noticeable rattles at all. A couple of trips later and it is what I expected. A rattle box. Like everywhere. Front to back and is a constant work to stop little rattles. Which is crazy when you think of what they cost new. The seats, well they are flat and not overly supportive. Swambo says it a good mark because of the seat heating. 1 Point for the Pajero there. The Rockford Fosgate sound system is brilliant for a standard sound system and the upgraded head unit with Car play etc. makes a big difference. It manages to drown out those rattles. Not really an option when on dirt in a nature reserve etc. It does however have one more cup holder than a 70 series. So that is a positive. The door cards can fit a piece of paper and a wallet.

    I haven't done any serious trails with the vehicle but have done a few smaller obstacles and due to its monocoque design and independent suspension front and rear there IS NOT much flex in the vehicle. It absolutely loves a wheel lift or 10. The low range should definitely be geared lower. There is also A LOT of tupperware all over the vehicle that is asking to be hurt. I haven't done that yet, but I have a feeling that might change after this weekend.

    So it is not great at trails, so let us look at overlanding with it. Space wise, eh, similar to most SUV's, nothing special. It's range is not particularly great due to tank size and fuel consumption of the 3.2. You also do not just fit a long range tank in a Pajero. So now you must carry jerry cans on the roof. RTT, awning and fuel up there... that starts getting very heavy for a roof load. So, in short, it isn't perfectly suited to this as well.

    So basically, after 10 months I am still trying to work out why a Pajero is so highly rated? The math ain't mathing in my little head.

    .................The sound system does not count as I am not in my early twenties anymore.

    Edit to Add: Maybe I must get a double cab bakkie again.
    Last edited by AfricainHD; 2024/02/22 at 03:14 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I have one question...do you like the car, agricultural engine notwithstanding?
    Last edited by Prof; 2024/02/22 at 03:16 PM.
    Robert van den Berg
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Mike - pro tip... You mention the wife likes the heated seats ?

    Switch her's on in summer when you take a drive... It will be very funny, but you may need to sleep outside for a day or two....
    Ian de Villiers

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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    I have one question...do you like the car, agricultural engine notwithstanding?
    No.

    Now pajero owners don't lynch me like ASPW.
    Mike


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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    Mike - pro tip... You mention the wife likes the heated seats ?

    Switch her's on in summer when you take a drive... It will be very funny, but you may need to sleep outside for a day or two....
    That's the most fun I've had in it 😃
    Mike


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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    Mike - pro tip... You mention the wife likes the heated seats ?

    Switch her's on in summer when you take a drive... It will be very funny, but you may need to sleep outside for a day or two....
    It never gets old, I do it every chance I get...

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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by AfricainHD View Post
    No.

    Now pajero owners don't lynch me like ASPW.
    Mike - I'll be up in your valley in mid-March.

    I'll buy you a few beers. You explain SS[nn] to me.... Deal ?
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    Mike - I'll be up in your valley in mid-March.

    I'll buy you a few beers. You explain SS[nn] to me.... Deal ?
    Deal
    Mike


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  16. #9
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I thought the answer was: AMAROK

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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I bought a petrol because of the agricultural feeling of the diesel and thought it was better value. Also the SWB added character.

    Mine felt pretty planted so no complaints there.

    It really doesnít do anything fantastically bit does most things well. Lock it in 1st when going off-road and the traction control responds better. A throttle controller also remedied the lazy response. Its got the articulation of a skateboard but still gets the job done

    I had a custom fuel tank made as the small tank in swb coupled with thirsty 3.8 wasnít a great combination. it managed over 1000km if I nurses it.

    They are however very well built mechanically and despite the rattles they last a very long time. I think the value proposition coupled with the great reliability is what wins most over. An unpretentious and honest 4x4 in my books.

    The rattles drove me crazy on gravel roads and takes away from what I believe to be great gravel manners. I did lots of little fixes to stop rattles but feels like I could never get it 100%

    After mine was written off I test drove a few LWB diesels but didnít enjoy them nearly as much as the petrol shorty.

    Now in an FJ cruiser I can attest to the better paint quality and rust protection on the Mitsu. Also preferred the gearbox with triptronic.

    I prefer the Prado over the LWB Pajero, but as the SWB goes the Pajero was probably the most stable of the bunch Jimny/Defender 90/Jeeps felt jittery compared. Im sure the new defender 90 however would be tops.
    Pieter Greyling
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I think the main reason is they are known for reliability.
    Its much like a hilux..Not the best out there but you know what you get and you get in ,turn the key and go and it ticks along without fuss
    Its got decent boot space compared to the bakkie based suvs and if driven normally actually give decent consumption for such a big car
    Its not the most refined on a dirt road and does have jitters but i have been in a 200 cruizer that also felt not as sure footed as i thought it would be.
    The engine and gearbox are decent for the type of car but not as good as the likes of the discoveries or jeeps.
    Its just a good ol no fuss vehicle..I agree with everything you said about it too.
    Before i bought my new sport I thought of looking at a 2016 because i still like them a lot but after driving both back to back it just cant compete with the new model vehicles anymore in all aspects virtually.Does not make it bad,just old.

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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by pjf110 View Post
    I bought a petrol because of the agricultural feeling of the diesel and thought it was better value. Also the SWB added character.

    Mine felt pretty planted so no complaints there.

    It really doesnít do anything fantastically bit does most things well. Lock it in 1st when going off-road and the traction control responds better. A throttle controller also remedied the lazy response. Its got the articulation of a skateboard but still gets the job done

    I had a custom fuel tank made as the small tank in swb coupled with thirsty 3.8 wasnít a great combination. it managed over 1000km if I nurses it.

    They are however very well built mechanically and despite the rattles they last a very long time. I think the value proposition coupled with the great reliability is what wins most over. An unpretentious and honest 4x4 in my books.

    The rattles drove me crazy on gravel roads and takes away from what I believe to be great gravel manners. I did lots of little fixes to stop rattles but feels like I could never get it 100%

    After mine was written off I test drove a few LWB diesels but didnít enjoy them nearly as much as the petrol shorty.

    Now in an FJ cruiser I can attest to the better paint quality and rust protection on the Mitsu. Also preferred the gearbox with triptronic.

    I prefer the Prado over the LWB Pajero, but as the SWB goes the Pajero was probably the most stable of the bunch Jimny/Defender 90/Jeeps felt jittery compared. Im sure the new defender 90 however would be tops.

    Thanks for a well rounded answer.

    SWB petrol I am sure is a completely different vehicle, and yes that new defender 90 must be lovely. it does basically have the claimed golden wheel base
    Mike


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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I dunno.

    Part of what irks me is the blanket recommendation of "get a second hand Pajero" whenever one wants vehicle advice on this forum. It's probably also the reason (there are others, including how beautifully Pajero owners react when I do so - especially specific folk with manicured hands) that I enjoy poking fun about Super Select (whatever variant) because it seems to be punted as the most awesome thing alive - despite the fact that it's probably a little trite. I actually do understand it. I also understand the benefits SS offers over my system, but I've never worried about that much. Apart from some positives in terms of SS, I've never had shortcomings with the way my truck's workings in similar situations. More on that later**. The rest of the transfer / running gear works pretty much the same. If I get told once more that "it is because you can switch between xyz whilst you are driving" I am going to puke. That has been around forever.

    Weirdly (and I know I am not comparing apples with apples here), I took a drive with the LF's ASX down to Bloem a month or so ago. It's a great car. It has seat warmers, so I obviously invoked what I refer to as "standard joke#1" when driving the Mitsu and switched the seat warmers on. The LF's exasperation was awesome. The sad part for me was the lack of support in terms of the seats. Although I don't try to sit and drive for a gazillion kilometres at a time, my back was buggered 30 minutes out of Bloem. And again on the way back. I can easily drive my truck the entire day. But horses for courses. I've never driven a Pajero, so I cannot comment on that.

    Why they are so popular, I have no idea. Guess they're lighter on fuel than some other vehicles. I guess they are well-priced on the second hand market. I'm impressed with their service centre here at Menlyn (when the ASX gets services). Otherwise, they sort of leave me cold. I am impressed with them - I've taken friends of mine with zero experience in a Paj sport on a mini river trip. My "BIL" (I am not married - dis nou die LF's se swaer) drives on. Other friends of mine drive them. They're OK - probably not something I would buy. Also not a vehicle I know a hell of a lot about. Do the newer models still have a proper axle at the back or is it all independant ? I dunno. Not something I'd buy, for me. Not something I judge massively either.

    Weirdly enough, I think I've "wheeled" with more Pajeros than Cruisers. So possibly a lesson there too somewhere.

    Just my 2C. Pajero owners: please do not ASPW me.

    ** Edit: The more on that I forgot. I think the entire concept of SS, and why it does not bother me that much, is whatever traction you have is pointless if you cannot keep your wheels on the ground. Most arguments I've seen for SS (apart from apparently being able to switch between 4x2 and 4x4 whilst running) seem to punt this as one of the few benefits in terms of that system. I think a 90 year old granny possibly has more flex than a Paj.
    Last edited by iandvl; 2024/02/22 at 04:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    I tend to agree with you 100%. As an ex-owner of 3 Pajero's. my gen 3 SWB Petrol was amazing. My gen 4 3,8 Petrol SWB Was amazing as well. My 2015 Gen4 I sold within a year. It was exactly as you mentioned. Rattled. Heavy on fuel, about 1l/100 difference to the 3.8. And the diesel just didn't do it for me. This also all happened after shortly after getting the vehicle and taking it on a long gravel road for its maiden voyage. The excitement wore off very quickly. I still think the older models were more "solid" in a sense. Especially the Gen3.

    Not to take away from Pajero's. They are great value for money, and really good offroad if you know how to drive with the TC. Especially the SWB.
    Current: 2019 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD

    Ex: 2015 Pajero LWB Di-Dc Exceed (SOLD) Rattle mobile
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    Ex: 2011 Mazda 3 MPS (sadly Sold)
    Ex: 2004 3.5 v6 SWB Pajero (SOLD)
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by AfricainHD View Post
    Over the years I have always been intrigued by the recommendations of a Pajero. Many were in jest but the owners were convinced that they are excellent vehicles and they have a staunch following. Often I would comment back but just in jest along with various forum members. All for a bit of fun, especially in a time where there is so much bickering about nonsense.

    So after selling the toy (Jimny) I was in search for another vehicle. Swambo and I had recently bought a trailer and after a few outings with it decided to go back to a single vehicle setup. The search started for a vehicle that would almost exclusively be used for camping trips. I will happily admit I have a problem and do not keep vehicles for long and tend to not buy the same vehicle or brand again. I have tried them all. So in short, I ended up looking at Pajeros. I found a 2015 Gen4, Swambo approved and a week later it arrived with us via a truck from the Cape.

    The transport company could only deliver to a dealership, so I was helped out by a mate at the local Toyota. On the 27km drive home that evening I thought the ride is not as planted as what I thought it would be and it seemed a bit jittery and harsh. It was a weird feeling to describe. I immediately thought the tyres must be over inflated. Got home and checked the tyre pressures, 2 bar all around. No worries I thought, I will have everything checked out at a suspension place. Off I went a few days later. Everything checked out. I then spoke to friends of my parents and went for a drive in their 2018 model. It drove in exactly the same manner. I then went and found another used Pajero locally and test drove it. It also drove exactly the same. It is not as planted and solid as I thought then and left it at that. As a filler and extra information, before this I was between a Gen 6 KB250 DC and Q7 daily. Maybe I was expecting too much?

    Going over the rest of the vehicle, there were a few issues with some buttons and small stuff that that was not as it was supposed to be. Now, I must give the dealer props, because I alerted them to the issues, they responded promptly and proceeded to do nothing. I then sorted out the switches etc. myself and life carried on.

    So after 10 months and just over 30 000km's I will give a little breakdown of what I think of a Pajero. The positives and the negatives for a vehicle used for camping and dirt travel.

    Engine and gearbox:
    On a positive note it does have decent power and its gearbox is very smooth. Negatives, it is a very agricultural engine.

    Ride and comfort:
    After a full suspension change and upgrade I am still not 100% happy with the handling. It has improved but it is still not as planted as what I would have expected. The biggest improvement has been on dirt roads. The on tar handling is what it was.

    Interior:
    The vehicle was previously a town car and had no noticeable rattles at all. A couple of trips later and it is what I expected. A rattle box. Like everywhere. Front to back and is a constant work to stop little rattles. Which is crazy when you think of what they cost new. The seats, well they are flat and not overly supportive. Swambo says it a good mark because of the seat heating. 1 Point for the Pajero there. The Rockford Fosgate sound system is brilliant for a standard sound system and the upgraded head unit with Car play etc. makes a big difference. It manages to drown out those rattles. Not really an option when on dirt in a nature reserve etc. It does however have one more cup holder than a 70 series. So that is a positive. The door cards can fit a piece of paper and a wallet.

    I haven't done any serious trails with the vehicle but have done a few smaller obstacles and due to its monocoque design and independent suspension front and rear there IS NOT much flex in the vehicle. It absolutely loves a wheel lift or 10. The low range should definitely be geared lower. There is also A LOT of tupperware all over the vehicle that is asking to be hurt. I haven't done that yet, but I have a feeling that might change after this weekend.

    So it is not great at trails, so let us look at overlanding with it. Space wise, eh, similar to most SUV's, nothing special. It's range is not particularly great due to tank size and fuel consumption of the 3.2. You also do not just fit a long range tank in a Pajero. So now you must carry jerry cans on the roof. RTT, awning and fuel up there... that starts getting very heavy for a roof load. So, in short, it isn't perfectly suited to this as well.

    So basically, after 10 months I am still trying to work out why a Pajero is so highly rated? The math ain't mathing in my little head.

    .................The sound system does not count as I am not in my early twenties anymore.

    Edit to Add: Maybe I must get a double cab bakkie again.
    Did you test drive the vehicle before buying it?

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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Your problem is the Q7. People don't believe it but once you get used to that... The Japanese offerings will struggle. So one would expect the Q7 to do better on road, but it actually ends up encroaching on the "proper 4x4" territory quite far, especially when you don't push the 4x4 limits.

    I have experience with a variety of Pajeros (LWB, SWB, sport, various generations), and I am sure they are good vehicles, I was just never blown away by any of them. Really underwhelming actually.

    I guess the SS is a nice feature, gives one more options than the avarage bakkie based SUV/4x4, but to my mind there really isn't much reason to not use AWD if you have it, the fuel saving is minor, so I would permanently leave it in 4x4 full time if I had one.

    Just a comment on a previous poster compairing road/gravel manners with solid axle equiped vehicles, there really is no expectation that the solid axle vehicle (especially a SWB) would be better on road. At least they have far superior off road performance going for them. I would also say that the Pajero's I have driven weren't better on road than what my WJ Jeep was, but that could be perception.


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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teryos View Post
    Did you test drive the vehicle before buying it?
    No I did not. I never do, and I've thought about it after, but a test drive of a Pajero around town as you do would not have stopped me buying the vehicle.

    I am just relaying my experience over the last while. I only thought of posting this after seeing two recommendations of Pajeros on two different threads in the last day.

    Just food for thought really.
    Mike


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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander View Post
    <snip>Just a comment on a previous poster compairing road/gravel manners with solid axle equiped vehicles, there really is no expectation that the solid axle vehicle (especially a SWB) would be better on road.</snip>
    I presume you're referring to my post. I never said a live axle vehicle would be better on road. I was comparing seats / seating position.

    Edit: Actually that would probably mean that it is better on road too.
    Last edited by iandvl; 2024/02/22 at 04:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    People like reliable no matter how ### it drives. Think Toyota.
    Last edited by WillieJimny; 2024/02/22 at 04:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is a Pajero so highly rated on this forum?

    Maybe it doesn't bring a smile to your face (unlike my situation), but if maintained correctly it's highly unlikely to make you cry. It's the relative mechanical simplicity, sterling reliability, all-round ability and peace of mind motoring that does it for me. It's the perfect car to keep for a long time with minimal expense or down time. As for the low range not being low enough, I've never felt that yet I've climbed some slopes successfully that were downright scary. Dare I say it, the perfect 4x4/overlander/daily for poorer folk... Or those that don't give a damn about image.
    2001 Gen 3 Pajero swb 3.2 Di-D

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