Mitsubishi gives its hardcore Pajero a well-deserved makeover
MITSUBISHI Motors South Africa has updated its iconic Pajero 4×4, with improved refinement and a mild facelift.
Implemented on both short- and long-wheelbase models, it will be the last upgrade on the current version, before it’s replaced by the fifth-generation Pajero, in around two years time.
A minor frontal redesign sees a grille and bumper restyle along with headlamps that are now equipped with LED daytime running lights, while other cosmetic enhancements include an upgrade from 17″ to 18″ alloy wheels, and a new spare-wheel cover. The headlamps have also been given an auto-dimming function that switches from high to low beam by itself, when encountering vehicles ahead.
An improvement to the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels sees the large SUV cruise along more quietly.
Comprising the SWB GLS, LWB GLS and the LWB GLS Exceed, all derivatives in the simplified three model Pajero range are powered by the existing 3.2-litre turbo Diesel engine which runs on 50ppm or 500ppm Diesel.
Burly outputs of 140kW and 441Nm moved the big SUV along with easy-overtaking zest, when I drove it at last weekend’s media launch held in Mpumalanga, and the five-speed automatic gearbox,
while not having as many gears as some modern new contenders, shifts smoothly and has a manual override functionality.
It’s been a couple of years since I last drove the Pajero but a jaunt through Mpumalanga’s forest offroad tracks reminded me how much of a hardcore trail-tackler it is. With its generous 235mm ground clearance and selectable all-wheel drive, low range and a rear diff lock, it was able to scamper up steep and rutted hills with the ease of a mountain goat.
The three-door SWB derivative is the bundu-basher’s first choice with its lofty approach and departure angles of 34.8° and 36. 7° respectively, but the longer five-door LWB’s 36.6° approach and 25° departure figures still give it plenty of offroading ability along with a family sized cabin.
The Super Select 4WD system also conveniently allows shifts from two- to four-wheel drive at speeds of up to l00km/h.
Our test vehicle achieved reasonably economical consumption of 9.6 litres per 100 km in mostly freeway driving, but my favourite feature of the long-wheelbase Pajero was the independent suspension’s bump-soaking ability, which whisked the vehicle over scarred and rocky dirt roads in impressive comfort. The eight-year-old vehicle’s age is showing somewhat in the fact that the steering column has height-adjustment only, not reach. Also showing metaphorical grey hairs, is the old-fashioned calculator-style digital display of the onboard computer.
For the rest, it’s a luxury-specced package and all Pajeros come with standard functions, like a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, voice control, cruise control, automatic climate control, and a radio/CD/MP3 touchscreen audio system with USB and Aux support.
Pajero 3.2 DI-D GLS SWB -R569900
Pajero 3.2 DI-D GLS LWB -R639900
Pajero 3.2 DI-D GLS LWB Exceed -R659900
Includes three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/100 000km maintenance plan, with service intervals every 10 000km.
Author Name: Denis Droppa
Publication: STAR and PTA News