Should I Buy the Mitsubishi Pajero or Toyota Prado?

Mitsubishi Pajero

Mitsubishi Pajero


I am trying to decide between a Pajero and a Prado: from what I have seen the Pajero has more power and torque and better equipment and longer warranty than the Prado but the Prado with its ladder frame chassis would appear better for towing ( planning on getting a van up to 2000kg) plus what seems to be a good reputation.

Mention a Pajero to a Prado owner and the comments are very scathing.

We will be going off road in national parks but no hard core stuff,.

Thank you for your assistance enjoy your radio segments on 2UE in Sydney.

Toyota Prado

Toyota Prado


Can you explain why you presume a ladder frame chassis would better for towing? It’s certainly not always better for rigidity. Unitary construction (like Pajero) is excellent. Purists don't like it, but they are generally uneducated wombats who don't like change (even change that happened 20 years ago and is now mundane.) I’ve got a degree in mechanical engineering and I’m just not seeing it your way on the ladder-frame front - unitary construction has the potential to deliver the same (or better) rigidity with less mass (and the Pajero certainly is lighter than the Prado, spec-for-spec).

Basically it depends upon the execution in either case - good ladder frame and good unitary construction will both deliver adequate structural performance, and good unitary construction will deliver it with less weight. It’s impossible to make credible blanket observations like that. There’s no evidence whatsoever to support that 'blanket' conclusion that 'ladder frame tows better'.

In fact, if that were the case, perhaps someone could offer up an explanation as to why the Pajero has a 3000kg maximum tow capacity and the Prado’s is 2500kg… (According to specs on Redbook - see below)


GXL diesel auto

Price: $61,219 (RRP)
Safety: five-star
Manufactured: Japan
Warranty: 3yr/100,000km
Seats: seven
Engine: 3.0-litre diesel 4cyl
Power: 127kW @ 3400rpm
Torque: 410Nm @ 1600-2800rpm
Fuel: diesel
Economy: 8.8L/100km
Length: 4.93m
Width: 1.885m
Height: 1.89m
Kerb weight: 2320kg
Towing: 2500kg
Tyres: 265/65R17 on 7.5-inch alloy
Full-sized alloy spare wheel & tyre


6-speaker audio
Multi-zone climate air con
Reversing camera
Proximity key with pushbutton start
NO: GPS sat-nav
NO: HID headlamps

GLS diesel auto

Price: $58,990 (RRP)
Safety: five-star
Manufactured: Japan
Warranty: 5yr/100,000km
Seats: seven
Engine: 3.2-litre diesel 4cyl
Power: 147kW @ 3800rpm
Torque: 441Nm @ 2000rpm
Fuel: diesel
Economy: 9.0L/100km
Length: 4.90m
Width: 1.875m
Height: 1.90m
Kerb weight: 2255kg
Towing: 3000kg
Tyres: 265/60R18 on 7.5-inch alloy
Full-sized alloy spare wheel & tyre


6-speaker audio
Dual-zone climate air con
Reversing camera
NO: Proximity key with pushbutton start
GPS sat-nav
HID headlamps

Pajero offers slightly more performance (not much more) and slightly less tare mass. The vehicles are within 30mm of each other in every major dimension. The specifications are very similar - they are structured as direct competitors.

Regarding your comment about asking Prado owners about Pajero: Prado owners want to justify their purchase - it’s that simple. I can understand that. But why would you ask a Prado owner for a review of the Pajero? A) They haven’t owned one, and B) they don’t want to entertain the possibility they made a wrong call, or that there is at least another vehicle out there that is as good, and better in many objective respects.


Depending on model, Pajero is also going to save you a lot of money, potentially. (Pajero: $51k-$66k, rrp, versus Prado $56k-$92k, rrp).

Warranty with the Pajero is substantially better: an extra two years, and all five years with roadside assist. Prado is straight 3yr/100,000km with no roadside assist. Perversely though, the warranty on most Mitsubishis in Australia is capped at 130,000km, but Mitsubishi has taken the decision to reduce the warranty cap to 100,000km on ASX, MY15 Mirage, MY15 Pajero, MY15 Lancer, plus electric and hybrid vehicles.

Towing capacity with brakes is a significant point of difference - 3000kg for the Pajero and 2500kg for the Prado. You will note, however, that in the fine print Mitsubishi recommends a weight distribution hitch for towball downloads exceeding 135kg. Toyota says this, enigmatically: "Towing capacity subject to regulatory requirements, towbar design, vehicle design and towing equipment limitations. Ask your Dealer for details of Toyota genuine towbar capacity and availability." Which could mean anything...

Both the Toyota Prado and the Mitsubishi Pajero do the job - but if your “planning on getting a van up to 2000kg” means a van with a tare weight 2000kg I’d be leaning heavily towards the Pajero because if you put more than 500kg of payload in the 2000kg tare weight van, you’ll be overloaded in the Prado and almost half a tonne underweight in the Pajero.

Objectively, it’s looking good for the Pajero.