Mitsubishi Pajero is the best-selling car in the Middle East?

Mitsubishi Pajero is the best-selling car in the Middle East?

Yesterday, we received a press release from Mitsubishi’s UAE dealer, with the title “Al Habtoor Motors celebrates Pajero being the No. 1 car in the Middle East.” On further prodding their people to clarify, we were told it is the best-selling car around. The Mitsubishi Pajero?

The press release doesn’t go into too much detail either. “Mitsubishi Pajero has in the last three decades has placed itself to the top slot in the highly competitive Middle East market. The legendary off road supremo continues to capture the hearts of driver’s seeking the real off road adventure thrills.”

After that, the story diverts towards their “best Japanese value in the UAE” offer with installments starting at Dhs 525 with the ‘Mitsubishi Solutions’ plan, as part of celebrations on the Pajero’s success. Customers can also benefit from free one-year insurance, free service, free 3M Paint Protection and a 5-year warranty.

While we agree that the Mitsubishi Pajero is a sales success here as the default alternative to the Toyota Prado, whether is has somehow become the top-selling car in the entire Middle East is a completely different story. Last we heard, the top-selling car in the UAE was the Toyota Corolla.

For the latest GCC specs and prices, visit the Mitsubishi Pajero buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. Toyota Prado is selling at 170K dhs whereas you get the same features in a Pajero & can save about 30k !!

    But still, I’d choose Prado over Pajero!! :p

  2. Agreed, The Prado might overshadow the Pajero in several ways, But Habtoor owes it success to their lowest pricing strategy albeit losing out to poor customer service and horrid after sales service!

    & Yes, i own a Pajero 2010!

    • Author

      Our Vivek owns a 2010 Pajero too, while we own a Galant GTS. The Galant is the only car in our 4-car fleet that we don’t service at the dealer, due to their ridiculous prices and even “better” service. We only went once.

  3. best selling Mitsubishi in the middle east is what they meant i guess.

  4. The Pajero is a Sales Success coz of its cheap price.. The Prado definitely overshadows the Pajero.
    You cannot compare with the Patrol though… Its in a different Category than the Prado.

  5. I like Pajero but i suggest Mitsubishi to upgrade powertrains engine & transmission they are quite outdated now…

  6. Most of the people here have no clue about cars. When they shop for an SUV they check out Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi showrooms and many of them end up buying the Pajero. Why? Cos it’s cheaper and it’s just as big as the others. Can’t beat that thinking!
    It’s the same with the prople who buy Corolla just because its a Toyota and it ‘doesnt break’.

  7. For safety the prado is better than the pajero, you can check the crash test, but I don’t really like the prado.

    My opinion I prefer the Mazda CX-9 but It’s not the best for desert.

    If you want cheap SUV you can go for Hyundi Santa fe and Kia mohave and of course the hyundai is better.

  8. The problem here is that the dealers look at people and the region as gold mine and they want to suck the last drop of it, look at Toyota, why they dont bring the Venza here? they have nothing here in their line up to compete with crossovers like Murano, new pathfinder, Acadia or many other cars and all their “big cars” offerings are dedicated for off roading while not offering good ride quality with their body on frame structure, they need some unibody car like the Venza to compete but they dont bring it here because it will hit their own best seller “Prado” before even competing with other brands while not all prado buyers want to have off road capable car

    • You can see the same thinking with Toyota in regards to Camry. They don’t bring the V6 version so they can sell some Aurion and Avalon, however they don’t sell many at all. I hardly see any on the roads.

      BTW, Prado starts at around 120k dhs, for the 2.7 version and that is one of the best SUV deals on the market if you don’t go offroad. There are many versions. 170dhs is top specs TXL, V6.

    • @ Mitch

      You are right that Prado starts at 120K but even if I’m not off roading I want some amenities in the car, the 2.7 prado comes without any equipment or even decent power, it is stone age car, if I have few kids and want a car in this range I would consider Murano, Acadia, new pathfinder, Explorer, and many other cars

    • My friend, if you want some aminities and want to get a Murano you got to be ready to spend 150k dhs plus. That’s 25k dhs more at least. For 2000 dhs you get dvd system with 2 screens in your Prado from yellow hat. It’s a matter of choice.

    • Because Toyota knows body on frame structure is cheap, and it can still sell good, so no need to bring costy unibody.

  9. Guys, the Prado has 2 models in 2.7 ltr engines – 2 door and 4 door. They DONT have the following –
    CD Changer, Sunroof, Cruise Control and if im not mistaken – Leather seats too! Thats a LOT of your basic features missing! No yellow hat can fix them :p

    Meanwhile, you do get a basic 4 Ltr V6 option for 160K but thats again with a rear mounted spare tyre & a few less features!

    I strongly believe that the Prado is OVERPRICED, but then again, its DEFINATELY selling BETTER than the Pajero. 🙂

    • The whole toyota is strongly overpriced here.

    • No my friend, Prado it is not overpriced. Prado with 3.0 diesel engine (190CP) starts at 260.000dhs in any country in Europe. Here in UAE, we get Prado cheaper than anywhere else in the world.
      The problem we have here is the dealer that decides what options you get and they dont offer much ‘cos they sell the car anyway. PPL buy it ‘cos its reliable and a good car overall.

    • if thats the case, Mitch, no car is overpriced down here; cost all these models cost much more in Europe. Buddy, we say the Prado is overpriced in relation to the competition it faces from its less-priced competitors. Apart from the NVH levels, fuel efficiency, and a strong body-on-frame chassis, I dont find a reason to buy the Prado over the Pajero! Prado is definitely a nice vehicle, and has no known reliability issues so far; but the price point is steep in comparison to the strong competition the Pajero offers.

    • @hellboy

      What competition? We established Prado is o better car alltogether than Pajero. In fact, is a better car alltogether than most of its competitors, and Im saying this after I did a lenghty, thourough quest when shopping for this car. Does it come at a price? It does, for sure. Who’s willing to pay/can afford it, will get it. Who can’t or wants to save some money won’t, but you won’t get the comfy ride, built quality, reliability and strong off-road car that Prado is. As I said its a matter of choice and priorities.

      Fuel efficiency? come up with some figures. Which car is better from its competitors?

    • @Mitch: strong body-on-frame chassis (which is an advantage off-road), comfy ride (the NVH levels I was talking of), fuel efficiency numbers, a strong engine, are all points which even I agree with you. Built quality, I am not sure. I have heard both negative and positive comments about that. The couple of garages I go to have had 2010 Prados due to cracked dashboards!! All the while, I have friends with Prados whose interior remains in tact except for a few minor squeaks. So I wont comment on that.

      for 168-170k that I pay, I do expect a better interior and more features; atleast extensive soft-touch materials rather than the hard plastics, better fabric materials on seats, and a rear diff-lock by default. Thats all what it needs besides slightly better styling cues, and I would be more than happy to dump all my money into the Prado rather than going for a Pajero!

  10. Is it just me? or should the post be renamed to : Why the Prado can trump the Pajero?

  11. I personally feel Toyota is a lot more of comfort from the brand when you compare to Mitsubishi. Comfort solely on the ease to use the car. Right from the moment you start the ignition to the first grip on the steering wheel, you can feel the difference.

    Other noteable difference is again the noise. I say this on my experience, owning a Pajero ’06 and when i compare to my current Prado ’12, 2.7L. Now not most of you all might like the 2.7, i believe its serving me really good, with space and on the fact that i use it daily for my work and personal commutation. About it lagging in power, that doesn’t matter to me on the highways and at the long traffic jams as it gives me a very good return on fuel. and neither does the off roading play an important requirement cos i use them only 2 times in a year, the two Eid Holidays 🙂 I agree that Toyota’s are over priced in this region due to their demand. and each added feature is costed at an addition of 2k dhs.

    My Prado is the basic of the 4 door, and it was bought at 140k dhs. The full option was priced at 146k dhs (parking sensors and 9 speakers) which i found not a worth at investing in.

    • compare it to the Pajero ’08 and later, not the older one! The new Pajero itself is leaps and bounds better than the older ’06 Pajero, in terms of quality, NVH levels and performance.

      not to say that ur 2.7 Prado is a shitbag..refinement and comfort levels are definitely higher than the Pajero…however, for the price I pay, I believe the Pajero is a better deal anyday. For that 140k you paid for a barebones basic 2.7L Prado, I can get a top-spec 3.8L Pajero boasting every creature comfort I can possibly get for the price; add to it more engine power..

    • If you think the power is enough for that is good, but please, move out of the left lane for God sake, and i have an advice for all drivers here, Emirates Road for example is 6 lanes, so that means if you want to drive 80km/h then it doesnt mean taking the second lane from the left, go to the 4th because the left lane is for 140, second 120-130, third 100-120 and the 4th is 80-100, i wish if i can write down this in all languages

    • @Samer

      LOL who told you that a 2.7L car runs at 80km/hr??

    • But most the drivers driving it at 80-100 km/h on 2nd lane or some on 1st lane itself. This habit of driving is more common in following cars.
      1. Prado
      2. Pajero
      3. Land Cruser V6
      4. Cheverlot Trucks

      This is what I observe while staying on road for at least 3-4 hours daily.

  12. The question remains… if the fully loaded version of the brand new pajero is selling at around 140K, why would anyone buy a prado that lacks basic features for an extra 30K?

    Is it the respect you get on the road?
    is it the local purchasing culture in the GCC that prefers Toyota over any other brand?
    Is it because Pajero gives you the typical expat look, and people don’t want that?

  13. Abdul Rahman,

    Over the years, Pajero has earned a name as typical expat indian (more specifically south indian) vehicle in UAE. Though being south indian, I dont want to buy a Pajero even if I get 25k less than Prado or Pilot !

    • thats a bias based on your ego dude! I have seen many South Indians suffering from these low self-esteem issues. Its like, if most South Indians own a Prado, then I dont want it coz it feels cheap to own what my community owns. That was actually the case with the previous gen Prado, btw. I am a south Indian too.

      If you are a true car lover, such things should not matter in judging a vehicle.

  14. Don’t know about the others but I’ll tell a few reasons why I chose Prado over Pajero.

    1. Ride quality. Prado felt to handle better and less noise as well.
    2. Quality of the interior. Prado might have less aminities but Pajero’s interior felt cheaper to me. I didnt like the silver dials at all.
    3. Mits didn’t change the shape of Pajero for a long time. Looks ok but I prefered a new shape.
    4. Buying a new Pajero meant that I have to service at the dealer for the next 5 yrs. I had a Lancer before so I knew exactly what to expect. Didn’t want to go back to them.
    5. Based on my research Prado is better off-road and since I was buying a 4×4 I had in plan to spend some time in the desert.

    Last but not least I could afford the Prado. At the and of the day its a matter of choice, there’s nothing wrong in buying the Pajero or any other car.

    • @ Mitch – Agree with you..

      One of my Friend has a 2011 Pajero (now just 1 year old)… When I sat in his Pajero & closed the door.. the sound was like the door would fall crashing down anytime… The build quality I feel in a Prado is much better than the Pajero…
      Apart from that the Pajero sounds like a Truck..

      Finally its a matter of Personal choice & Budget.. I could afford the Prado & my friend choose the Pajero because he had limited budget..

    • @Mitch: agree with you on all points except for point no.2. On a closer inspection, you will find the Mitsu’s interior to be of better quality. 🙂

      @Pankaj: I never felt like the door in the Pajero would come down crashing..hehe :P…in fact, it sounds more solid to me, roughly like the American vehicles and unlike the Fortuners and Prados, where it feels a lot light.

  15. What about the toyota fotuner ’12?

  16. You are all taking the discussion to another direction which started to sound racist, I’m Arab man and i dont care if the majority of this or that car is owned by specific nationality or not, when I criticize or praise a car then it depends on its performance, value, relaibility and other things, I have some generalized ideas about some cars like Prado owners usually buy them as investment not as transportation means and you find them driving slow and carefully so as not to harm the car and keep its “divine” resale value up and not to burn too much fuel because they cannot afford the car in first place but as i said it is an investment, another general idea that i have is that those driving civic and I’m sorry to say that and hope not to offend anybody, but they are stupid because it is stupidly overpriced here if I’m shopping for civic I would go and buy accord from honda itself or any other better car

    • Wonderin why you negative comments for this post of yours; coz it actually made sense! Probably some Honda fanboy I believe, who just bought a brand new Civic yesterday and got offended 😛

  17. ^^^^ i meant, that negative score!

  18. In the U.A.E, it is very common to class people based on their ethnic background. So it is pointless to even compare expacts with locals. All i want to say is “All that gliters is not Gold”. Good to compare cars than classes. My opinion pajero seriously needs to update their paltform and add more power and for UAE get some customer retention and service skills to an existing work force. Parado’s are hot cakes because of its reliability, economy and second hand value. I would luv to see the new pajero and mazda 6 in GCC soon. Thanks.

  19. Mostly expats who buys Pajero and prado

  20. Pajero 3.5 2012 for 126k fully loaded which is good price with the features they are offering.


    • The pajero is at a great price point for ppl looking for a large family vehicle with minimal offloading. Prado can be of value to ppl who offroad once in a month or others who think Toyota will fetch better resale value even if the market is flooded with Toyota’s and rate of depreciation applies to all vehicles.

  21. there was a time Pajero YE 2000-1995 model were better than the camparative prado… but not any more.

    technically the prado v6 is superior to the Pajero in every respect. Also the long life cycle costs of a prado is lower than a pajero by a mile…

  22. We own two Pajero in our family a 2006 model and 2010 model.

    We sent the 2006 Pajero for maintenance and the dealer said that it should cost us between 9000 to 12000 Dhs. The car runs fine but it requires few parts in the suspension system, timing belt,filters, AC maintenance,brake pads, etc…

    The pajeor is a mighty car with very good value for money,but you better drive it until you finish the warranty after that you better sell it as used spare parts…….

  23. I am planning for FJ CRUISER. Please suggest on the common issues. I need comment only from People who use the vehicle not from a person who sees and says bla bla.

  24. i am planning of purchasing a new 4×4 suv which one do you guuz prefer,,,,,,,,,,,,,the prado 2013 (mid or base model) or pajero 2013(top model) ……………….also please give the reasons for your opinion.

  25. The full options Pajero is now available at around aed 120 k,, compared to the AED 160 K for the prado. Pajero offers best value for money inn this class.

  26. Its 120 K indeed as of Feb 2015.

  27. I am planning to go for the 2015 pajero 3.8 full options version with the rockford music system etc here in Muscat and have been quoted Omr 15900. Is it that expensive in the uae?

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