As I mentioned recently, I just bought the farm (so to speak): 10 acres complete with large fixer-upper house and massively overgrown garden. This means I need a junk hauler (and once the property’s under control, racecar hauler).

I’ve settled on either a early 2000s Mitsubishi Pajero V60 (aka Shogun) or a late 90s Toyota Landcruiser Prado J90 (aka Colorado in the UK: I don’t think the US got it, except maybe as a Lexus).

Criteria that got me there were:

  • SUV not truck, because I need to be able to keep stuff secure and dry inside for a few days, and trucks with canopies are a PITA to load/unload vs an SUV’s tailgate and side doors. Plus it’d be nice to have occasional people-mover capability. Anything dirty I’ll throw on a trailer.
  • As cavernous an interior as I can get.
  • At least 2 tons braked towing capacity and enough power to actually pull that without embarrassing itself
  • Nothing LHD, because I live in NZ (so everyone about to tell me to buy an American SUV can forget it - all we get here is Jeeps, Explorers, and about 2 years of Blazers)
  • Gas not diesel, because it’ll only do a couple of thousand miles a year and diesels are a lot more expensive here and generally have much higher miles.
  • Auto, because my wife will need to drive it at times, and while she can drive stick she’s not going to be comfortable doing so in something this size.
  • 4WD for soft-roading and the ability to pull the odd stump, but doesn’t need serious offroad capability: most of my property that’s not the driveway is too steep for any on-road-sensible vehicle anyway.
  • Acceptable on-road behaviour: it’ll do the occasional 50 mile commute and the roads round the new place are fast and curvy.
  • Modern enough to have at least the basic safety stuff like airbags and ABS: I like living
  • Reliable (given age and mileage): it’s to help me work on projects, not BE a project.

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The Pajero and the Prado (both in 3.5l-ish V6 LWB version) are the only things that made it through that filter at a price I want to pay.

All other things being equal, it’d be a no-brainer: 90s Toyota FTW. BUT...

  • For similar money I’ll get a Pajero that’s 5 years younger and has 50k miles less on the clock than the Prado
  • Whatever it says on the badge, a Prado’s not an actual outlast-the-cockroaches Landcruiser, it’s a medium duty unibody SUV.
  • Ads for Prados in my price range tend to have a big list of “just replaced” items. And what gets replaced isn’t too consistent from car to car. Which makes me think that at 20 years & 150k miles they’re generally approaching their use-by date. I suspect, given their rep, Toyotas are more likely to be bought by people who’ll give them a beating, too

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I haven’t actually looked at either yet, so the decision may be made as soon as I drive a couple. But assuming they both pass the sniff test, does anyone with experience of both have any guidance to give? What say you, Oppo?