You are here:

Mitsubishi Pajero takes it to the establishment


THE MITSUBISHI Pajero Sport received a makeover along with a new engine late last year. We had the opportunity to take the 4x4 version on an off-road course where it impressed us with its ability, but since the 4x2 variants of the full-size SUVs make up 70% of the sales in this segment, we decided to take a 4x2 Pajero Sport for a week to see if it offered a better value package.

Underneath the 4x2, the Pajero Sport makes use of a 2.5-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine with 131kW and 350Nm, which emits a lovely whistle once the turbo has spooled. The unit performs well, but when coupled with the relatively old five-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, it does exhibit a fair amount of turbo lag. The steering also feels quite heavy due to the chunky off-road tyres, meaning that quick manoeuvres such as pulling out of a junction in an urban environment become increasingly difficult. 

On the open road, it becomes a far better driving experience with very little wind noise and the well-judged damping irons out bumps. Driving the Sport around, I gathered the sense that this is an extremely robust machine that is sure to last a lifetime. The mechanics may be relatively old, but at the same time they have been proven to last, which is what you ultimately want in a lifestyle vehicle: longevity.

The manufacturer claims an average fuel consumption of 8.5 litres/100km, but I could only muster 10.2 litres/100km, which when you consider the 70-litre fuel tank, still gives it a good range. The 4x2 is no slouch off-road either, granted you cannot climb or descend overly mountainous or slippery terrain as well as in the 4x4 model, but for mild off-roading, the 205mm ground clearance and grippy tyres cope just fine.

The interior is capacious to say the least. In many seven-seater vehicles, the final row is never meant for anyone from outside the shire. In the Sport, however, there is enough space for two average-sized adults with some semblance of a boot still visible. Should you keep the third-row seats down, there is 1 149 litres of luggage space. The faux-carbon-fibre appearance of some of the trim seems to work well with the rest of the cabin’s design, which includes black leather seats, a multi-function steering wheel with cruise control and audio controls.

The touch-screen Mitsubishi Link system is something I struggled to get working. For instance, I initially could not get my phone to pair to the system. When I eventually got it working, it proved intuitive and easy to work, but at that stage I would imagine anyone would have felt the frustration.

Pricing is key in any market, but especially when you are competing against the well-established Chevrolet Trailblazer and industry stalwart Toyota Fortuner. The Toyota is priced at R447 200 for the 3.0-litre 4x2 auto diesel and the Chevrolet at R451 800 for the 2.8-litre 4x2 diesel.

The Pajero Sport 4x2 comes in at R419 900 and is covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 5-year/90 000km service plan. That makes it a very good value proposition considering the generous standard specification and rugged appeal. I would still go for the 4x4 variant for its sheer ability and relatively small premium of R35 000 though.

Article written by Sean Nurse
You have an opportunity to be the first by writing a comment about this article. Ask a question or share your opinion!
Notify me via email when someone comments or replies
- Enter security code