Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2-litre 16-valve DI-DC review

Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2-litre 16-valve DI-DC

The evergreen “Pagy” has been with us a long time, winning the Dakar 12 times along the way. The fourth generation Pajero was launched in 2006, but is more of a revision of the third generation which was launched in 1999. It is tough, robust and can really go anywhere.

Mitsubishi Pajero SWB

The Pajero comes in two sizes. The first one we are reviewing is the smaller Short Wheel Base version with two doors. This makes it very wieldy, but access and the view from the back seats is an issue. The boot space is tiny. Think of it as the true successor of the WWII jeep. Just much more capable, better equipped and luxurious.

In 2015 the Pajero was updated with a new front fascia with a revised grille, LED daytime running lights and a new spare tyre cover as well as infotainment system. A thorough facelift which brought it up to date.

Pajero LWB leg-room is generous

The highlight of Pajero is the Super Select 4WD system, which means you can leave the Pajero in 4WD mode all the time if you wish. Activating the Pajero’s high-range four-wheel drive leaves the differential open so that the car can be driven on all surfaces. You can also select only the rear wheels, locked 4×4 high range or low range. The rear differential can be manually locked at the push of a button.

With 235mm of ground clearance, a 700mm wading depth, 36.6/25 degree approach/departure angles, and wheels with excellent articulation you get a virtually unstoppable machine. The front end features independent suspension with a double-wishbone coil spring and stabiliser bar. The rear features independent suspension with a multi-link coil spring arrangement with stabiliser bar.

You’d need to be doing something silly to get into trouble with the Pajero off-road, such is the system’s competence.

Pajero interior

The Pajero remains a favourite with caravanners and boaters with its 3000kg tow rating (with electric brakes, 750 kg unbraked), which is more than enough to tow a fair-sized van or boat for weekends away.

The interior is just right and is fully equipped. The dash has been upgraded and now offers a cluster above the infotainment system with a dot matrix display that incorporates the trip computer and four-wheel drive information. The speedometer and tachometer cluster features drivetrain information, along with the vehicle’s vital running status.

This Pajero is great for cruising and brilliant in sand, over rocks, whatever you throw it at.

For  R689 900 you get the car and a 5 year 100 000 km maintenance plan as well as a 3 year 100 000 km warranty. But:

Mitsubishi holiday promotion here.

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB

The normal or Long Wheel Base 4 door version is such a pleasure to go on tour with. You can throw anything at it, and it will just simply shrug it off. It is slightly old school, but in the best possible way.

The ground clearance is also 235mm, and the rest of the specs just like the SWB model.

The lights have been updated and it now has rear parking camera and sensors. The infotainment system has been brought up to date with inter alia Bluetooth and Handsfree Voice Control integrated into the Pajero’s multi-function steering wheel.

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB facelifted rear

I think the LWB  model is the one to get.

A completely new Pajero is expected later in 2018.

Get the latest prices here.

See review off-road in 2015.

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Mitsubishi Pajero review

Pajero-boesmanskloof-thumbMitsubishi Pajero LWB3.2 Di-DC GLS 4×4 Exceed (A/T) Diesel 

Mitsubishi have been building these Pajeros for long time now almost unchanged from the original. My brother-in-law has a 2005 model which has breezed through the Richtersveld, Kgaligadi, Kaokoveld and Delta and with which he is very happy. He drove the new model and thinks its the same as his. “Just as good!” he says. I think they have refined it a bit and made the small changes that owners asked for.

Most changes have been cosmetic, some for new safety standards. The dash is new, as is the sound/ display system to accommodate newfangled tech like USB and MP3. The rear door has changed quite a bit. Spare is now centred, the triangle etc housed behind a plastic panel and the door now has a gas strut to hold it open.

Otherwise its the original paj. The car many say Land Rover should have made the Defender station wagon. It can go anywhere, it is reliable and very comfortable.

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB in its element

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB in its element

Pajero is all about the ride and the journey. On highways she behaves like a big family saloon. You can cruise all day at the legal limit and never get tired. Acceleration is on tap and ready the moment you need to get a move on. The seats, steering position and finishes are all top drawer. It is in effect a luxury car which will take you to the edge of excitement.

Pajero-boesmanskloof-dash

Venture off the beaten track and she really comes into her element. The 4×4 and gear system is one of the best available. It is a tough versatile set up which allows you to adjust to your driving conditions without resorting to fancy fragile electronics. Fantastic. The automatic box coupled to this traction system is hard to beat.

The system is called Super Select 4wd and has 4 modes: 2H (2WD high range), 4H (4WD high range) like AWD, 4HLC (4WD with centre differential locked) and 4LLC (4WD LOW range with centre differential locked).

This vehicle is in a category above your normal 4×4 double cabs and derivatives like the Fortuner and Pajero Sport. Pajero matches and plays with the big boys.

You have 441Nm from 2000rpm and over a wide band, coupled with the 235mm ground clearance and good angles and very little will stop you.

Goodies to make travel more enjoyable include a Rockford Fosgate® Sound System with touch screen radio, climate control, cruise control, rear view camera, Multi-information Display (Compass, Barometer and Altimeter, Outside Temperature, Range to Empty and Average Fuel Consumption, Time and Date Display), full leather trim and so on.

It has removable 3rd row seats and heated front seats with electric control.

Outside equipment includes HID Headlamps with Automatic Levelling Function, Rear Park Distance Control, mudguards, fog lamps and more.

Safety features include ABS and EBS,  Active Stability and Traction Control, six airbags and keyless entry.

She tows up to 750kg with ease.

Mitsubishi 3.2 Di-DC GLS Exceed 4X4 A/T

Mitsubishi 3.2 Di-DC GLS Exceed 4X4 A/T

Summary

Seriously versatile and superbly capable, both offroad and onroad.

Best value for money in the family sized real 4×4 SUV niche.

The Pajero enjoys a deserved reputation of toughness and reliability.

We suggest you get the Exceed model.

A new Pajero is expected late in 2016.

Also look at Range Rover, MB Gelendewagen, Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol, Discovery, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.

Costs

The flagship 3.2 Di-DC GLS 4×4 Exceed (A/T) Diesel is R669 900 (as tested).

The workhorse 3.2 Di-DC GLS 4X4 A/T is  R649 900

3 Year/100,000km Manufacturer’s Warranty

5 Year/100,000km Maintenance Plan

Pajero-boesmanskloof-rear