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Old 5th August 2011, 10:32   #61
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
so here is where things stand as far as my choices go:

1. '08 Montero Automatic - nearly impossible to find. the one I found asking price too high for condition and kms done. (27lacs asking for 49,000km, interior well worn, steering is sticky and out of alignment)

2. '08 Montero manual - rare but available, asking prices around 21lacs for 45,000km vehicles, not driven yet so cannot comment on condition of vehicles in this price range.

3. new Fortuner manual trans if I am willing to wait 8 months 20 lacs

4. used Fortuner with manual trans and 15,000km if I don't want to wait, also 20 lacs

5. New Pajero SFX manual 20 lacs

6. used pajero SFX with 30,000km, 15 lacs

7. 2005 Prado automatic with 45,000 km 22 lacs

8. New Endeavour 3.0 4x4 AT 20 lacs.

hmmm.

well, I will try to test drive a lot of vehicles today and see what shakes out. Will post follow up comments


Recently I had heard from a friend who happens to deal in used cars, that the Fortuners sitting with Financiers are not finding many buyers nowadays. I can double check with him, if you do want a Fortuner. He also told me that the waiting time has drastically dropped. Recently a friend had booked a Fortuner but did not want to take it as he opted for a Sedan. His booking had matured in 3 months.

Do double check on the Delivery time.

Happy buying
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Old 5th August 2011, 10:34   #62
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Yes wait time is under 3 months now, checked with Galaxy last week only during TD.
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Old 5th August 2011, 17:03   #63
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

I just drove the endeavour. 3.0 AT and the pajero SFX. No drive in the Fortuner yet. the toyota dealer told me 3 times that she'd have someone call back but didn't and then on the 4th call she said that the schedule for the day is already made, test drives not possible till tomorrow. I called another dealer whose receptionist hung up on me after telling me to hold. A third dealer that I called yesterday had told me that their test driver scheduler would call. When he didn't and I called back, this person apologized and said they don't have a demo fortuner. A fourth dealer said their demo fortuner had gone to ambala and wasn't available right now. I am ready to strike the fortuner off the list for consideration but my dad tells me that the guy who services his accord has found a used fortuner for him. we'll check that one out, otherwise the fortuner is just about out of consideration.

Anyway, on to the test drives of the Endeavour and the Pajero.

the first impressions, respectively, were "american pick up truck" and "vintage japanese jeep".

I lived in the US for 18 years and it was nostalgic to drive the Endeavour. it has that classic american live axle pick up truck thing going for it. I first checked out the rear seat which was better than that of the montero I drove yesterday, then got in the driver's seat. The intial impression wasn't great because the interior looks cheap and down market, like a bargain basement product dressed up to look modern and chic in glossy brochures where the pictures can't convey any impression about quality and finesse. the design aesthetic and design aesthetic is kind of like the $99 stereos you see in walmart. the floor of the vehicle is quite high and the seats are low to the floor, which creates a car like seating posture with the feet up closer in vertical height to the hips but stretched further out forward than you might expect in a vehicle of this type. The bonnet skims just below driver's straight ahead line of view, instead of being well down. The overall impression is of being in a car thats been lifted 12 inches.

On the move, the engine and transmission are impressive. the chassis much less low. The engine is very impressive in that it is very nearly petrol like in its refinement and noise levels (though not the best petrols by any means) and has responsiveness to the throttle that is downright startling for a diesel. The floor mounted transmission lever has a nice feel to it and the transmission is very responsive in terms of kicking down without ever frustrating the driver. As such the vehicle's ability to move and respond the driver's throttle inputs is absolutely excellent. Its easy to drive this vehicle urgently, especially since it has not only a responsive engine and transmission but also a very responsive steering.

but moving on from there, things start to come apart very quickly. The Endeavour drives like an american plumber's van. THe american small commercial vehicle ethos places a high value on extremely inexpensive manufacture in vast quantities in extremely incompetent unionized factories and all that is expected is for the vehicle to last a long time and be safe to drive. Thats it. There is not the slightest grace in how the vehicle drives and steers. And the endeavour is just like that. Its soft suspension keeps the occupants from getting too uncomfortable from the the unruly motions of the wheels and axles, but the movement is too much and too uncontrolled, with the body sproinging around unnecessarily as the beam axle is felt to be wiggling and jiggling down there. Steering inputs produce the same kind of unnecessary indifferent and excessive sloppiness. Everything the vehicle does is accompanied with lots of excess uncontrolled and unncessary movement and sensation.

This thing drives exactly like the Ford Explorer a saudi friend of my roomie in college used to have. awful.

I also got a bit of off roading in. There is highway construction site near my house that is inside a nalla and can be accessed by a dirt road that is littered with rocks, bricks and mud holes. the Endeavour made it to the end of this dirt track easily but bounced and boing-boinged and the steering and seat of the pants feel were not at all cooperative in helping me feel my way forward over the rough terrain.

on the whole, a crude and unsophisticated vehicle. Its off the list.

5 minutes after the endeavour guy left, the pajero guy showed up. Immediately, the impression was superb. I opened and shut a rear door. then the rear door. in both cases, immediately after the "made in detroit" feel of the Endeavour, the Pajero felt built with the solidity of a tank and the precision of a swiss watch.

From the driver's seat the Pajero disappoints by being short on room. not a lot of leg room, not a lot of foot room, not a lot of knee room, not a lot of elbow room. but adequate. its got the classic jeep seating posture, upright, high above the beltline of the vehicle, pedals close to the seat, wheel low to the knees. the design aesthetic is vintage 1989. A problem if you expert modernity, not an issue if you're interested in how the vehicle drives and not how stylish it looks inside or out. but definitely a very dated look and ergonomic layout.

on the move, the pajero impresses by immediately feeling very small and narrow. The engine feels torquey and the shifter has really excellent feel, firm, crisp, accurate shifts. the steering is geared slow but has good feel and accuracy. The slow speed ride is truly excellent with all the road imperfections, potholes etc beautifully snubbed. At speed, the ride does get bouncy but in a different way from the endeavor. The endeavour has exaggerated long period body movement. the pajero has rapid short period jittering over the road at high speed. The pajero rides better than a normal car at slow speeds and worse at high speeds.

The engine I found entirely adequate. the lack of power is felt in the fact that acceleration on the strong end of normal maxes out the engine in 1st and 2nd so that in normal use the car gives you what you want, but not effortlessly and not leaving anything much in reserve to give even more. But once in third the vehicle moves pretty healthily. It is entirely adequate to the speeds we can now expect in the north. Traffic has reduces cruising speeds to the sub 100km/h range with only occasional bursts past 110 possible (how nostalgic I feel about the time 10 yers ago when you could easily cruise for 140).

Still, while I was thinking that the power of the engine was more than adequate, it also occured to me that if the engine has to be worked hard, its going to guzzle gas.

Going down the road around town the pajero is very easy to drive because the sight lines out of the vehicle are superb, the steering is accurate, the shifter is excellent, the engine responsive, and the body is devoid of any excess motions (except the high speed bumpiness). It feels so tight, small, precise, kind of like the sports car of off roaders. It was a startling contrast to the expedition because virtually every motion and reaction of the pajero is deliberate, measured, and in exact and direct response your input. This feel of precision and control makes for a really impressive feeling vehicle.

then I took it onto that dirt track and almost bought the Pajero on the spot. Surely this thing was designed for military use, its that good. Its not about being able to reach remote places without getting stuck but about the sheer ease with which the pajero goes over rough terrain. It virtually GLIDES. It seems to treat rough conditions with the sort of relish that pianist might feel while getting down a Steinway Grand. The suspension seems to flex and wrap around the bad surface as if adapting to it like a glove while keeping the whole body out of contact with the ground. More than that, the steering and the seat of the pants communicate so clearly with the driver, its simply breathtaking. The path is so easy to pick. and once you pick the path, the pajero just FLOWS down that path as if doing a slow motion ballet. This is a heroic off roader, not because it can go places where others can't but because it it can go the same places with the ease, finesse, mastery, and grace of an artist. I am sorry to get so cheesy and sickly sweet in the description, but I was really very very impressed.

To test it further, I put it 4LLC, engaged reverse gear and released the clutch. It was amazing to see the pajero stroll up and out of the awful track in reverse with no input from me at all. no steering, no throttle. the no steering and in reverse part is especially impressive because the track was full of obstacles (piles of broken rock and deep mud puddles) that I had careful steered around in order to ensure the smoothest possible progress. going in reverse without steering input would be like not steering around obstacles that were unseen. I had no doubt that any 4x4 would make it out easily. What was impressive was that on the way out, the pajero just rolled out as if there was nothing there for it clamber over. the body rocked a bit, the steering jiggle a bit. I was tensed up to expect some difficulty, some need to provide steering input to help the vehicle as it went over obstacles I could not see, but no. it just sailed through. So so impressive! I've no doubt that any other 4x4 would have made it too. it was ease, nonchalance, the total control that amazed me. There is no question, the pajero has really incredible axle articulation and the steering geometry is designed to work with that.

If I were buying for myself, I would have bought the pajero right there and then. I would say that if you are buying an off roader because you expect it to do well off road, this is THE one. if you're buying an off roader for on road use but only occasional off roading and are not looking for a master of off-roadery, then something less dated with a more modern, more spacious interior and more modern engine would be the trick.

the rear seat is still as lousy as I recall from my earlier test drive of the pajero. if my dad buys this, we'll have to look into getting one of the original spec non-flip-forward seats from an import.

the Pajero is an amazing vehicle.

_________________

Edit: As I was typing this post, the seller of the Montero I test drove earlier called. he said that the vehicle had had a bearing in the steering rack replaced and would I like to test drive it again. so I went and test drove it again. The steering problem was indeed fixed but I walked away disappointed now that I had just driven a new Pajero

I need to test drive another unit of the Montero. This one showed me that the only advantage the Montero had over the Pajero was that the interior design and layout, ergonomics, driver position, control layouts, etc are leagues ahead of the Pajero. but the handling is sluggish, there is a lot of brake dive, the response to the steering is sluggish and in general it felt like a big lumbering slow witted beast. It did not feel like a modern version of the pajero I had just driven (which would have been flat out awesome).

It is entirely possible that the vehicle was not in good condition so I will be test driving one or two more but right I am very curious to drive the fortuner. it may very well be that it has waiting lists precisely because all the other contenders are flawed or deficient in some way.

on that note, its funny. A toyota dealer called and offered me a test drive after an agent at the same dealer had told me earlier that they couldn't give me a test drive.

so tomorrow I drive a fortuner.

Last edited by Harbir : 5th August 2011 at 17:13.
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Old 5th August 2011, 21:23   #64
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Nice to hear Nice things about the Pajero. It has not got a fan following since many years for nothing !!

You seem to be taken in completely as I was..but do TD the Fortuner, and then take a call


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Old 6th August 2011, 01:25   #65
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Your Pajero and Endy TDs are very revealing and factual. Going by the amount of acceptance you have gotten with the Pajero, especially on the kind of conditions that you intend to use it, I m sure the the Fortuner will lag behind.

Which essentially means that you can hunt for a sparingly used Pajero SFX or buy a new one if the Fortuner doesn't impress you.

I would recommend a used example since it will have that 5 BHP of more power owing to its Euro-3 norms, will save you at least INR 500,000 in the bargain and most of all, have more than 80% of life left in it at that price point.

Nevertheless, waiting for your impressions on the Fortuner as well.
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Old 6th August 2011, 04:22   #66
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

As a recent owner of a new Pajero (now done 11K), I totally agree with your test drive impressions. The Pajero is like no other. Even after 10-20 years there is nothing on the road in this segment that beats it.

Everyday I drive it, everyday I feel good. Off-Road or On-Road, it simply is amazing. It may be old, but is so well sorted out that it beats the competition hands down. Everything is engineered to perfection, the gear shift, the steering, the brakes, the splendid 4x4, the puny but very effective fog lamps, the flat folding front seats, the list is endless. It even comes with a full tool set and an inspection lamp. For what's it worth even the Air Filter housing is steel and so is the Power Steering Fluid Bottle. Last time I saw a steel Air Filter was in a Fiat 1100.

Infact I like it the have kept it the same over the years, it gives a product time to mature to perfection. Unlike today when we see everything being pushed out to market too soon and then product recalls being announced. Worse the product is just pulled off the market to be replaced with a newer model with it's own set of issues. From Cell Phones to Cars, everything is in a vice like grip of this upgrade vicious cycle. Haven't seen or heard this sort a thing happening with a Pajero. It just keeps rolling.

I finally feel that I wont need to change my vehicle for a long time to come.

I have been driving it on the highway for a fair bit (almost 7K out of 11K) and haven't felt the engine to be under any strain even at high speeds. Sure it's comfort zone is around 100-120, but it goes well above that mark. I haven't experienced any fuel economy dip either. It has been returning a constant 9.6 Kmpl in local traffic with full time A/C even when I have pushed it hard.

I had booked a Fortuner but dropped it instantly when I first test drove it. Too much roll, bumpy ride and truck like feeling. Pajero is one sophisticated vehicle. Not a screw has come loose and not a drop of coolant has reduced since I bought it in April. Have been driving in peak summers and I was amazed at the second service. There was nothing, absolutely nothing out of shape. They took just 3 hours to service and deliver it back to me.

Last but not least, it still sells upwards of 150 Units a month, apparently it sold 180 in July. I think that says more about it then anything else.
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Old 6th August 2011, 11:20   #67
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
As a recent owner of a new Pajero (now done 11K), I totally agree with your test drive impressions. The Pajero is like no other. Even after 10-20 years there is nothing on the road in this segment that beats it.

Everyday I drive it, everyday I feel good. Off-Road or On-Road, it simply is amazing. It may be old, but is so well sorted out that it beats the competition hands down. Everything is engineered to perfection, the gear shift, the steering, the brakes, the splendid 4x4, the puny but very effective fog lamps, the flat folding front seats, the list is endless. It even comes with a full tool set and an inspection lamp. For what's it worth even the Air Filter housing is steel and so is the Power Steering Fluid Bottle. Last time I saw a steel Air Filter was in a Fiat 1100.

Infact I like it the have kept it the same over the years, it gives a product time to mature to perfection. Unlike today when we see everything being pushed out to market too soon and then product recalls being announced. Worse the product is just pulled off the market to be replaced with a newer model with it's own set of issues. From Cell Phones to Cars, everything is in a vice like grip of this upgrade vicious cycle. Haven't seen or heard this sort a thing happening with a Pajero. It just keeps rolling.

I finally feel that I wont need to change my vehicle for a long time to come.

I have been driving it on the highway for a fair bit (almost 7K out of 11K) and haven't felt the engine to be under any strain even at high speeds. Sure it's comfort zone is around 100-120, but it goes well above that mark. I haven't experienced any fuel economy dip either. It has been returning a constant 9.6 Kmpl in local traffic with full time A/C even when I have pushed it hard.

I had booked a Fortuner but dropped it instantly when I first test drove it. Too much roll, bumpy ride and truck like feeling. Pajero is one sophisticated vehicle. Not a screw has come loose and not a drop of coolant has reduced since I bought it in April. Have been driving in peak summers and I was amazed at the second service. There was nothing, absolutely nothing out of shape. They took just 3 hours to service and deliver it back to me.

Last but not least, it still sells upwards of 150 Units a month, apparently it sold 180 in July. I think that says more about it then anything else.



Wow Traveler

Your passion of the Pajero oozes out of this post. I recall that you had chosen the Pajero after a fair amount of research when you first bought it, and I can see you are totally loving it.

I concur with your observations - I think those who go in for the Pajero do so with enough thought and being fully aware the it is a "low tech", "old design", etc etc etc.

In my opinion given the choice I would change 2 things in it. One would be the dual tone color & the other a more powerful / fuel efficient engine

The styling I think is evergreen & perfect. Way to go Pajero !!




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Old 6th August 2011, 13:10   #68
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
on that note, its funny. A toyota dealer called and offered me a test drive after an agent at the same dealer had told me earlier that they couldn't give me a test drive.

so tomorrow I drive a fortuner.

hahaha! No test drive. the lack of professionalism continues to amaze and delight me.

The Fortuner is almost certainly off the list. My dad still wants to look at the used one his service man found, but its going to have to be spectacular to have a chance now. I don't like begging car companies to let me buy their product.
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Old 6th August 2011, 16:01   #69
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

More test drives.

1. Montero Automatic 170PS with 40,000km. This one was much much better than the one I drove previously. It wasn't all that pleasurable to drive in absolute terms but its steering, engine, shock absorbers, and brakes were all much better than those of the one I drove previously. It did leave me ambiguous though. In absolute terms its not a great vehicle to drive. I mean just driving around town isn't fun or pleasurable. its got a nice modern interior and a ton of space but the general impression is that its a painless and decently comfortable transport all the times that you are not making it work hard off road. its great size requires it to be threaded carefully in traffic which is some work and causes you to drive slowly. I didn't drive it in rough conditions, but on the whole it didn't scream "buy me!".

2. A new 200PS Montero Automatic. this was both much better than the above but also not that different. The big difference was in the steering. it spins very sweetly and has a smooth light well oiled feel that has become the norm for modern vehicles. The steering is light, sharp and tight. The engine was also impressive not in terms of outright power but in being substantially more refined with much better NVH characteristics. But the overall impression of great girth requiring slow and deliberate driving in Indian traffic remained.

This last point is something I have noticed in all three monteros. I am wondering if it isn't a matter of the automatic transmission. threading the vehicle with a manual gearbox gets a direct response but the automatic loses microresponsiveness as you try to use the throttle to thread through traffic.

The mitsubishi dealer has a customer buying a new montero and looking to sell an '08 manual. I'll go check that out and see how i feel.

3. I also drove another Pajero. It felt like a sports car compared to the Montero. or rather the Montero felt like I was driving a house compared to the pajero. The Pajero is so much more agile and responsive in traffic and thus so much more fun to drive. but its obviously very underpowered relative to the Montero. I found myself going flat out in 1st and 2nd gears just keeping up with traffic. the ride is pretty unsettled compared to the Montero with a lot of body movement and the ergonomics are primitive. COmpared to the Montero the seating posture is from the stone age and really cramped. the rear seat is laughably deformed. but the Pajero manual is much more responsive and manueverable in Indian traffic than the automatic montero.

Right now its looking like its going to come down to between a new Pajero and a used manual montero that I still haven't drive. We'll see how that goes.

Edit: the Pajero's sound system looks like a nightmare to operate. its down near the feet and virtually impossible to operate without taking your eyes off the road for many seconds at a time. what madness. looks like you memorize a few essential buttons that you can operate with a glance and thats it

Edit#2: I really need to find a solution for the rear seat of the Pajero before we buy it. replace with a non split/flip seat from an import pajero? get a new rear seat custom made? who from?

Last edited by Harbir : 6th August 2011 at 16:26.
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Old 6th August 2011, 17:22   #70
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Also, when is the Pajero Sport expected? I don't see it costing more than the fortuner, which makes me think that Pajero is going to get cheaper (if it is not discontinued) which may mean that buying now will be a money losing proposition
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Old 6th August 2011, 18:17   #71
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

The Pajero Sport is slated to come in around 25L at the least, ex-showroom



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Old 6th August 2011, 21:17   #72
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

They really feel confident they can take on the fortuner with a 25% higher price? wow.
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Old 6th August 2011, 21:58   #73
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

@Harbir: Since you are happy with the Pajero 2.8. Try to find a good used vehicle. The Pajero is good value at about 15 Lakhs. I just feel that it is way to over priced at 21 Lakhs.

If HM puts a better engine in the Pajero, I would pick it any day over the Fortuner. However, I drive fast and 108 bhp on a Two Ton truck with full time 4x4 doesn't just cut it for me.
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Old 6th August 2011, 22:20   #74
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

I know speed. I drove and raced a Lotus. in a vehicle for off roading I expect superlative off roading above all else. if its engine is too weak for that purpose, then its not good enough. if its adequate for street use but brilliant off road, thats the vehicle for me.

at any rate, I have decided against the fortuner. I expect a certain degree of professionalism that has been sorely lacking in the toyota dealers and no amount of excellence in the vehicle and no amount of mass approval will make me overlook my ego and my expectation of professionalism and courtesy from the merchant.

I will never ever inconvenience myself to give custom to a merchant.

Toyota is welcome to sell its fortuners to the people who line up to suck its dealers' toes. That won't be me.

EDIT: I am not saying that people who have bought fortuners did this with Toyota's dealers. Only that the 5 dealers I have interacted with have made me feel like I will have to if I want to buy a Fortuner. No thanks.

On that note, I have been deeply impressed by the professionalism and courtesy of both the mitsubishi dealers and their sales staff that i have dealt with. They and their staff have both been amazingly professional and courteous, especially the dealer in chandigarh that has really gone out of its way to cater to my whims to the extent of letting me test drive their owner's vehicle that is not for sale and of which type they cannot procure for me. top marks. Their professionalism and courtesy plus their impressive product means they will almost certainly get my family's custom.

my only dilemma is that I have had two mitsubishi dealers treat me really well but I must pick one from whom to buy the vehicle.

given my experience with the unprofessionalism and lack of courtsey that i have experienced from all the toyota dealers I have called, I do not expect to be buying a Toyota of any kind at any time in the foreseeable future.

Last edited by Harbir : 6th August 2011 at 22:48.
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Old 7th August 2011, 10:57   #75
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

I must say that the Pajero is suited to your requirement, like 4X4 addict said it makes a whole lot of sense at the 15L price point. But if you intend to keep the vehicle for a long time, it may be OK to buy a new one. Though if I were in your shoes I'd buy a low mileage Pajero at around 15L

As for your experience with the TOYOTA dealers. I am a little surprised. Though since the success of Fortuner, they do feel kind of "superior", but I have never really found them to be discourteous to the extent that you mentioned.

Looking forward to your final conclusion & purchase !!





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