Pajero or Discovery 2 – Which one should I buy?

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someoneDigg thisShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr

Before I bought the Pajero, I spent hours trying to figure out which one would be the best for me, Landrover Discovery 2 (99-2004) or the Mitsubishi Pajero (2001-2006).

I read every possible forum and every possible review about them as well as hours of movies watching on youtube.

I had few concerns regarding each of them:

The Disco: Low build quality and low reliability + it might be a little too small for me (I need the big trunk for my work)

The Pajero: Off road capabilities and repairs cost.

After digging through the web and asking a lot of friends and dealers, I managed to write the conclusions as a “pros” and “cons”  list:

The Landrover Discovery 2 “Pros”:

  •  Off road capabilities, or, better say, optional  off road capabilities. Explanation: the disco 2 equipped with 2 solid axles and a full time 4wd + traction control which enhance the off road capabilities. (we will be back to that system in the “cons”…)
  • On road comfort – the discovery is one of the most comfortable SUVs around.
  • Relatively cheap parts
  • Wide forums support around the world.
  • ACE system – when it works – amazing on road.

Discovery 2 “cons”:

  • Low build quality. You can see that everywhere you look in the discovery, the interior plastics which tend to be broken, the leather seats which look awful after few years and it comes to the electric system that has a lot of issues. Windows which are not going up and down, broken door locks, switches that do not work, worn keys! that do not turn in the switch (never heard about something like that in any other car) horn buttons which jump out of the steering wheel and we can continue the list all day long… Bottom line, many discovery owners report unbelievable cost of repairs and very expensive maintenance.
  • Transfer is not lockable in most cases – unless the owner add an option to lock the central differential, it won’t be locked, meaning that you trust the traction control which has its own problems.
  • Lack of power comparing the Pajero 3.2.

 The Pajero “Pros”:

  • The Pajero considered as a very reliable SUV. You can see many engines with more than 400K km on the original engine and most users report 0 (zero) failures till 200K km.
  • Build quality – wherever you look in the Pajero, everything is built to last. leather seats, switches and it comes down to the mechanic side as well.

The Pajero “Cons”:

  • Off road capabilities are less than the discovery 2 (we are talking about original setup vs original setup, not upgrades cars), 4x IFS, very low if not using a 2″ lift kit.
  • Expensive parts

I checked few Discovery 2 before I started to look for a Pajero, I was pretty shocked to see the build quality effects: fuel tank covers that stay open since the spring that holds the cover jump out of its place right into the wheel fender and disappeared there, Engine hoods that are being opened in weird ways since the cable had been torn. Engines with metal notice due to the main pulley which was torn (there is a rubber there to dump the vibrations, the rubber is being torn and you have to replace the pulley – very expensive story). Engine oil leaks into the injector harness and ECU and ruin them, it is $2 cost O-ring to avoid that issue, but if you didn’t replace on time, you have to replace the ECU and harness. ABS module which goes crazy and lights like a x-mas tree (try Google for “discovery 3 amigos”), transmissions which stop working out of the blue and more and more stories. Many of them, I saw personally.

The ride quality on the Disco 2 which I checked was great, very comfortable, but, in few of them, there were wind noises from the back window – as the owner said, “yeah, it’s a rubber that should be fixed” and some plastic covers which seems to had better days…

On the other hand, Most of the Pajeros that I checked were in pretty good condition, I could choose by the colors and interior since there were no “huge” issues to fix or even minor ones…

After checking few of each kind, I decided that I prefer the Pajero. It is not that it has no issues, it is the day to day quality that I prefer.

Feel free to see our Pajero buying guide to learn about the Pajero’s issues.

Few words about the power train and drive of the both:

 The Landrover Discovery 2 has a full time 4×4 drive with a low gears range (3 states in the transfer: 4wd, N, 4WD low). In most of the years, it went out to the market without a central diff lock which together with the traction control failures caused the disco to stay with one driving wheel and 3 which do not move while it is in the mud or deep sand. Many people found solution to that issue and added the option to lock the central diff (in some cases, the original transfer has the ability to be locked, but LR people didn’t add the control for that, so the driver couldn’t use it). The Landrover traction control uses the ABS system to “lock” the wheel that lost traction, that might cause brakes over-heating.

The Mitsubishi Pajero is equipped with the new generation of the “Super Select” – 5 states transfer: 2wd, 4wd – road, 4wd locked (the central diff is locked) and 4wd LOW (and N, of course) that is much better than the Disco’s one. In addition to that, Most of the Pajeros (not all) are equipped with an original rear diff lock which is being called by many “the magic button” due to its valuable donation to the off road abilities of the Pajero.

 Few words about the engines:

The Discovery 2 has 2 engines: 2.5L TD5 diesel and 4.0 (some have the 4.6) petrol.

The TD5 is very economical engine, developed with BMW, it has few known issues:

  • Oil in the injectors harness – happens dues to bad O-rings ($2 cost – if you got it on time), may ruin the ECU and harness itself.
  • Engine Pulley – the rubber is being torn and the 2 parts of the pulley are being divided. Very expensive part.
  • Cooling system – “Sensitive”, leaking radiators and water pumps.
  • Oil cooler tends to break
  • ABS modulator that might do troubles, usually can be fixed in a DIY job.

The Pajero 3.2 Engine:

  • Known issue is the <a href="http://www.pajero atorvastatin”>upper timing guide that should be replaced

other than that, the engine is known to be pretty much bullet prof till 300-400K km.


Some reviews, remember, the reviews are on new cars, not 15 years old used ones 🙂






Share on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someoneDigg thisShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr
    • saar

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *