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Toyota Prado vs Toyota Fortuner vs Ford Everest vs Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2020 comparison review

think you need a hardcore family off-roader that can deal with craggy mountain climbs and smashing through mud holes but also the boring day-to-day stuff that we all have to deal with well we’ve got four of the most interesting players in the rugged SUV segment that’s right Matt these four diesel powered four-wheel drives all have seven seats but why does a little bit different to the others that’s because three of these SUVs are based on dual cab Utes and the other one is the legendary toyota prado the prado we’ve got here is the GXL model which is second up the model range and competes pretty close on price with the other vehicles here despite being positioned as a cut above and having permanent four-wheel drive it’s the most popular variant in the prado range which is why it’s here against it we’ve got three ute based SUVs all of them other range topping variants in their lineups because that’s what you asked for following our previous off-road SUV comparison test the Toyota Fortuner crusade is one of those models this is the highest spec version of the hilux based SUV and it’s recently been updated with new tech also here is the Ford Everest which we’ve got in top spec titanium trim with the Biturbo 2-liter engine and also with permanent four-wheel drive we’ve known it’s a good unit for a while but let’s see if it can live up to its price we’ll get to that in a second and finally we’ve got a carryover champ the mitsubishi pajero sport which has also scored a few updates for 2020 this time it’s the flagship exceed variant we’ve chosen because the other vehicles in this test are getting up there on price too the question is then do you go for the prado or one of the other ute based SUVs well in this test we’re going to go through a bunch of different day-to-day criteria practicality safety value for money fuel economy and also how they drive on road and how they drive off-road but that’ll be crafty’s job yeah and that’s gonna be a lot of fun Matt but before you have a go at us in the comments section make sure you read our full yarn on the CarsGuide website the link is in the description below and if you’re watching this on youtube hit like share it with your mates hit subscribe and that way you’ll stay up to date with all of our reviews first up we’ll consider what each of these SUVs costs there’s a bit of a spread when it comes to the pricing of these models we’ve got a lower grade Prado GXL up against the range-topping models of each of the other vehicles close to it on price is the Fortuna crusade it’s a bit smaller and has a smaller price tag as a result we’ll see if it can stack up in other ways soon the pajero sport exceed looks really strong value and it is it’s the most affordable of these vehicles and comes loaded with equipment and at the other end of the scale is the Ford Everest titanium it’s expensive in this company coming in more than 15 grand over the pajero sport but there’s a reason it cost that much check out the cars guides site for a comprehensive equipment breakdown across all of these models let’s take a look at the practicality on offer each of these large SUVs has seven seats but there are some marked differences when it comes to the usefulness and usability of each of these models we attempted to fit the same stuff in each of these models the cars guide pram and some suitcases you can read the full review for all the boot capacity figures but here’s a quick look at the back sides of each of these buses you can see for yourself that the fourtuners awkward side folding seats never allow you to use the full width of the boot well that’s in five seat guise anyway but the four tuners third row storage space is surprisingly accommodating fitting two of our cases and also the bulky cars guide pram with ease the prado gets smarter rear seats than the Fortuner and that means it’s boot space is a bit more usable on the whole well it is with five seats in play anyway in seven seat layout there’s not very much space behind the back row at all in fact it was the only one of these SUVs that couldn’t fit the cars guide pram in the boot in seven seat layout the Pajero Sport has a weird third row layout that means you have to flip the third row seat bases forward before you can lower the back seats other grades in the lineup only have five seats but if you get a 7 seater and you plan to use 7 seats often there’s enough space for a pram or a large suitcase but it is a touch narrow and the Everest like the Prado is neater with the third row stored it also has a low load in height and flat folding rear seats which in this spec are electrically adjustable it gets very clever packaging and the smarts of this car can’t be underestimated it can cope with either a small and mid-sized case or a large one in the third row and it fit the pram without much hassle at all it’s very clever indeed someone had to draw the short straw and be our third row tester here and this time it was Mitch it was Mitch last time as well about a year ago when we did this test he was our third row gofer and while he may have grown as a man he hasn’t grown physically that much so he’s about the size of a larger child and that’s good for us to see which one was the least comfortable and which one was the most comfortable so Mitch over to you tell us which was less comfy so coming in at last is the Fortuna it had the roughest ride of the group and that just results in a very uncomfortable time to anyone stuck in the back the prado comes in at third has one of the best entry and exits but it is lacking a bit of headroom it’s a tight contest between the pajero sport and the Everest the Mitsubishi has the best Headroom of the group however setting up those third row seats is a bit finicky but if I had to spend a few hours in one of them it would be the Everest it has the most comfortable seats and the softer suspension okay so we’ve got an idea of the third row now we’ll take a look at second row space starting in the Prado our Prado is the GXL and that means it gets three zone climate control so you can set the temperature differently in the back to what you would in the front plus because our car has the premium pack it gets heated second row seats as well and the space is good for adults especially for Headroom and legroom the mesh map pockets are a bit silly and so are the center armrest cupholders but the sliding second row seat isn’t just like the front seat the rear of the Fortuner feels a bit narrow and the seat base is quite flat and anyone taller might feel a little cramped it still has a sliding second row to allow for space behind and there’s a 12-volt and 220 volt power point there are roof-mounted air vents and it also has shopping bag hooks on the backs of the front seats seat space in the second row of the pajero sport is a little tight for nice pace but Headroom is okay the issue with this one is it doesn’t have a sliding second row so this is it when it comes to space and the third row is rendered almost useless if you have child seats in the second row because the second row top tether points are in the rear ceiling there are dual USB ports and a power point to keep things charged the front seats don’t have hard backs but the materials are nice and the seats are comfy the Everest could be better for Headroom if you’re a tall adult but the knee room and toe room is very good there’s a sliding second row and it offers good practicality plus there are no hard finishes on the seat back so you might want to keep kids under control the seat is a bit flat but there’s a flip-down armrest a PowerPoint and a 12-volt plus there’s a third climate zone but no temperature display and it’s the only SUV here with top tether points in the third row all models here have ISOFIX child seat anchors and top tether points as well let’s take a look at some of the features up front in these family SUVs and we’ll start with the product the interior of the prado feels a lot wider it feels like there’s more real estate in here and that’s because there is there’s a lot more usability to the cabin than in the Fortuner for instance because you get the same sort of size of screen but you do get these hard buttons and dials on the side that allow you either control it’s kind of like one of those phones for old people with the big digit things so you can press it a bit easier it’s very easy to use and everything’s very logically laid out and this car also has a premium interior pack so it’s got heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats as well and that’s why it’s got perforated leather as well over the Fortuner and generally the layout of everything in here is very very intuitive you’ll get to know it very well and if you’ve never sat in a Prado before it’s not gonna take you by surprise because everything is just where it should be and the storage is good too you’ve got a good storage bin in front of the shifter here there’s also a pair of cup holders there’s a sort of weird l-shaped storage bin down here as well and the biggest center console bin of these ones and it’s also cooled so you could put muesli bars in there for instance the interior space of the Fortuner isn’t the best here the design does eat into the space a little bit these large I don’t know what you even call them they sort of stick out in front of the dashboard and it does mean that it feels like you’re a bit pushed back in your seat you’re also quite close to the person next to you because it’s quite a narrow cabin and there are some other shortfalls when it comes to the cabin as well there’s not much in the way of loose items storage down here you get a pair of cup holders and a smallish center bin but you do get a bit more extra space up here where you get a dual glovebox which can be pretty handy if you’ve got something that’ll fit in there like a bottle or a can of coke or something like that the dash design is okay there’s no digital speedo it’s the only one in this test that doesn’t have that technology that can be annoying if you are watching your speed if you drive in a state like Victoria for example where speed limits are very strict then that could be a bit of an issue also I’m not really sold on this little bit of extra speaker stuff on top of the dashboard it kind of just gets in your peripheral vision and it’s not pretty either there are heated seats in this top spec model but it’s only one setting they’re either on or they’re off and you only get single zone climate control for the entire car and when it comes to the screen it’s a seven inch touchscreen system can be a little bit hard to get used to because there’s no volume knob it’s just touch buttons on the side and they’re not hard buttons like you get in the Prado either so it can take some learning plus there’s none of the latest smartphone connectivity in the way of apple carplay or Android auto so it’s pretty behind in that regard the interior of the pajero sport exceed has stepped up a bit in this latest iteration version the last one we had was pretty good but this one’s even better because it’s got a bigger screen with inbuilt sat-nav as well as apple carplay and android auto so you can pretty much choose which mapping system you get to use there’s also a nice big digital driver information screen with a big digital speedo so you can keep an eye on your pace and keep it under control there are some other elements which could be better storage for instance there’s a pair of cupholders a smallish center bin and a small cubby under the dash here and another sort of section down under the transmission but that’s a little bit useless so it’s not as good as it could be when it comes to storage but the presentation is really nice there’s lots of nice materials the leather on the seats feels really good and the seat comfort is really good as well plus the steering wheel feels nice in the hand and it’s also got paddle shifters so you can get sporty the interior of the Ford Everest titanium definitely feels more upmarket than its competitors because it’s more expensive and it feels it as well it doesn’t quite have the same width of cabin as the prado does but it definitely feels substantial in here there’s some really nice design cues including this painted finish across the dashboard which even spells out that you’re in an Everest and not a ranger in case you were confused but otherwise there are some Ranger elements in here you’ve got the same sort of media screen with the same controls underneath but we did have a few issues with the screens reactiveness and its speed when it came to touch response can be a little bit slow to load but there’s a nice digital driver information set up in front of you with the digital speedo there’s also decent storage a pair of cupholders a bit of a storage bin down here as well and a reasonably sized center console bin the seats are really comfy they’re heated in this spec as well and because you’re getting the top spec model you’re also getting a huge panoramic roof which is quite nice these family-focused suvs a rugged and practical sure but safety is a crucial consideration here’s a rundown of the safety equipment on each of these particular variants all of these models have a reversing camera but only the Mitsubishi has a surround view 360 degree camera the Mitsubishi and Ford also have front and rear parking sensors where the others make do with rear sensors only all four have seven airbags including drivers near coverage and third row airbag protection – which is good for family buyers plus all of these models have auto emergency braking but not all aeb is created equal the Mitsubishi system only works to detect vehicles with a Ford and both Toyota’s have pedestrian detection and the Fortuner even has daytime cyclist recognition but while all of them have lane departure warning only the Ford can actively steer you back into your lane and both ford and Mitsubishi have blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert which both the Toyotas miss out on the ANCAP ratings are all the same despite being tested almost a decade apart you can read more details about the safety of each of these models at the cars guide site you might be wondering which one of these models has the most power and torque well it’s the one with the smallest engine capacity of the lot that’s right the ford Everest titanium comes with a 2 liter Biturbo four-cylinder engine but it punches quite a bit harder for power and torque than its competitors as you can see on your screen it also has the most years but all four vehicles here are automatic and have four-wheel drive but as we mentioned earlier the prado and Everest both have permanent four-wheel drive while the others have selectable four-wheel drive for this test we went for an urban driving loop and also a highway driving loop in each of these four SUVs to see which one coped with roundabouts traffic light speed humps and also twisty roads and mixed surfaces and it wasn’t just me driving each of these cars by myself we had someone in each of the three rows of these four SUVs to give you an idea of which struck the best balance in a mix of driving situations and here’s what we found the Toyota Fortuner ranked last for on-road driving the suspension is best described as unpleasant with a fierce ride compared to the other SUVs here it was especially bad on course chip roads feeling choppy and unpleasant no matter which row you were sitting in its steering was decently responsive and nicely weighted though with good feel through the wheel for the driver and its engine was eager – it’s one of the lightest of these four SUVs and certainly felt zestier in its response the 6-speed auto was effective at lower speeds but could be a bit fussy at highway pace especially in undulating terrain it was noisier than its rivals with more vibrations and harshness evident but it this way the Fortuner was the one we all wanted to get out of most they weren’t as many complaints in the Prado which is wider than its rivals and feels more planted as a result the wider track gives it a more sure-footed feel on all surfaces at all speeds and in combination with its permanent four-wheel drive system this is a very confident feeling vehicle its steering is slower than the Fortuna though and it can feel a bit bigger when you’re trying to negotiate tight streets the engine doesn’t feel nearly as punchy in the prado as it does in the Fortuna – with the same power and torque outputs we’d described progress as more leisurely in the Prado because it weighs a couple hundred kilos more than the Fortuna it was considerably more refined than its stablemate and was a lot more agreeable for our testers in on-road driving conditions the mitsubishi pajero sport was also nicely refined and mostly pleasant in day-to-day driving its ride can be a little bit jittery over some surfaces but for the most part our testers found the suspension to be mostly well sorted for the driver there’s nicely weighted steering that offers good response and feel and it has the tightest turning circle of these four SUVs – so it could be very city friendly its engines quiet but the response isn’t as urgent it doesn’t feel slow at all but it’s not eager to jump away from a standstill even so the 8-speed Auto is smooth and smart and the pajero sport was largely very good across the board but it wasn’t the best in this test the winner for our on-road section in this comparison test is the Ford Everest titanium it’s the most enjoyable the most comfortable the most livable and the most relaxing of these four SUVs to drive part of that comes down to the fact that it’s got light and accurate steering that is very trustworthy it’s not tedious like some of the other SUVs in this test and it never feels like a chore to drive and that’s also down to the suspension comfort and control it never feels like it’s too choppy and too bouncy it does have bigger wheels than some of the lower models in the range so the ride is impacted just a little bit by those bigger wheels but it’s never to the point where you think it’s uncomfortable and it’s never unsettled either other things that we really liked about the Everest titanium is the level of refinement there’s not too much noise from the engine and that’s a good thing there’s not too much road noise or too much wind noise either and that engine well it’s a 2 liter Biturbo four-cylinder and it easily has the most pulling power of these 4 SUVs it feels more urgent and while the transmission does have a lot of gears to play with there’s 10 speeds it does a good job of harnessing the power even if there is a little bit of chopping and changing at lower speeds when you think it probably could just hold on to a gear and keep moving some people will hate the engines stop-start system but thankfully there is a button to turn it off if it annoys you but generally on the whole this is such an impressive vehicle because it does everything you expect it doesn’t offend you and as family transport when you’re just driving around town or if you’re on the highway it shows why it’s our winner of the on-road part of this test [Applause] all of these vehicles have proven for drive systems as well as decent ground clearance will travel and off-road measures for vehicles that aren’t intended to be hardcore off-roaders for all of those details are much more read the full comparison at the cars guide site we wanted to see how these four drive wagons compare when it comes to tackling the rough stuff so we drove them all in the same terrain in the same conditions back-to-back to get an idea of how they all handled themselves our set-piece Hill Climb is at the outer limits of what a showroom standard for drive wagon could be reasonably expected to cope with and to their credit all of these vehicles successfully tackled it each vehicles full complement of off-road weaponry low range gearing diff locks the whole lot was needed to draw the full length of this hill here’s how our off-road testing panned out the Fortuner in the pajero sport are evenly matched and are at the back of this pack neither of them are particularly bad at anything but they’re never as composed as the Everest or the Prado the Fortuner was a real surprise in that it seemed to handle these tougher tracks better than it recently handled less severe conditions there’s ample low-end torque and the fourtuners mechanicals are all fine but it does feel low and long and there was a bit of sidestep grinding and belly scraping through the deeper sharply angled ruts but that was the case for all of these four wheel drives now the Fortuner is a harsh riding four-wheel drive in general so getting to and from your favorite off-roading spot could be pretty punishing but it is very effective in low speed low range off-roading it almost always wins but it wins ugly it’s lighter and narrower than the rest of this pack and the pajero sport is more easily unsettle than the others through very severe and deep ruts but it’s also among the easiest here to position right where you want it on the track because visibility is so good and the pajero sport feels really dialed into the terrain another bonus is the fact that it’s off-road modes and super select – two four wheeldrive system are supremely effective and it’s a set up I’ve praised in other reviews the sports engine and auto combination are good with plenty of usable torque and a transmission that’s never scrambling for the sweet spot the pajero sport didn’t have as much wheel articulation as the others and during one big drop into a deep rut it was pronounced back in lift we get a hell of a fright put it that way hill descent control is not as abrupt as it is in the prado but not as smooth as it is in the Everest the pajero sport is capable of doing everything the others can do but it and the Fortuner simply do it all with a gruff edge next up is the Everest which is generally smooth and perhaps because of that it tends to yield a driving experience that while fuss-free feels a bit removed from the terrain you’re on having said that there is a lot to like about the Everest steering it’s super light but it doesn’t quite have the direct feel of the Prada the Everests’ 2 litre four-cylinder bi turbo diesel engine and 10 speed Auto are a very agreeable matchup and just at home powering the forward on terrain like this as it is cruising city and suburban streets its hill descent control system is one of the best of this bunch delivering a controlled and sustain momentum and it’s never abrupt or harsh the Everest sometimes does feel it’s bulk on tighter points along bush tracks and it does take concentrated driving to keep it out of mischief the Everest is very impressive at many aspects of four-wheel driving but never quite as comfortably capable as our off-road winner the Prada has the second lowest climbed ground clearance of this bunch but that’s never an issue because in the Prado it’s easier to always place the wheels right where you want them it feels like the best ready to go four-wheel drive here it has less torque than the Everest but the Prado feels like it consistently gets all of its 450 Newton meters to the dirt and it always has a real active driver direct sense to it the 2.8 four-cylinder turbo diesel engine is a gutsy unit and rarely stressed in the pro days clever 6-speed auto is a good effective fit here steering is light and precise and the prado never feels like a cumbersome vehicle it really does feel easy to steer around in the bush and its suspension that you always assume is so Road focused is also really adaptable at low speeds on the real lumpy bumpy stuff add to that makes plenty of wheel travel a solid off-road traction control system and an all-round touring friendly setup and you have a great for drive that even though it’s feeling a bit old is more than capable of heavy off-road duties the prado is one of the few standard for drives you can drive straight out of the showroom and up a steep and rugged dirt track in the bush without any doubts about its ability to get you to the top during our testing both on road and off we kept a tally of the fuel use of each of these vehicles now here you’ll see the official claimed combined consumption that’s what each of the manufacturers reckons these SUVs should use in day-to-day driving and here’s what we saw in our real-world testing we took these figures at the pump and it was across on-road off-road highway urban the whole gamut so make up your own mind and see which one you think did the best out of these four after a couple of days of intense testing across a mix of different scenarios we’ve come up with a winner in this comparison test on the on-road side of things it was the Ford Everest which impressed us most because it was comfortable composed and very practical as well but off-road it was a bit of a different story crafty mate it was very very close and these four are all very capable off-roaders but for me the Prado a just pips in mate it’s just a little bit better and everything at high and low speeds high range low range four-wheel driving it’s just a tiny bit better so we’ve got two different winners in the two different sections but what about the rankings overall well here’s that information if you want to know how we got to those rankings read the full comparison at the cars guide website and if you’re watching on youtube you’ll find the link in the description below and if you are watching still on youtube hit the like button share this video with your friends and also subscribe and hit the bell notification icon so you can stay up to date with all our latest videos and comparison tests

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