Mitsubishi's Pajero offroader needs no introduction. It's still a family favourite and a steady seller for Mitsubishi, even if it is a bit long in the tooth. And the Pajero still offers excellent value for money, if you're looking for a seven seat wagon with some real off road potential.
RANGE AND PRICE
Pajero comes in three flavours GLX, GLX-R, VRX and Exceed. All but the entry level GLX offers seven seats, with a third row that packs into the floor when not in use. Priced from $50,990, the Pajero comes as a diesel only these days. The VRX is priced from $63,990 and includes a five-speed auto with manual shift mode as standard. It's the one you want if you're not interested in wood or leather trim (overrated in our opinion).
The 3.2-litre turbo diesel produces 147kW of power at 3800 revs and 441Nm of torque at 2000 revs -- and has a 3-tonne tow capacity. It's a full-time four wheel drive system with a rear diff lock, but you can select two-wheel drive for day to day motoring which will deliver better fuel economy. With an 88-litre tank it is good for 9.0 litres/100km (we were getting 7.6 litres/100km).
The styling seems to have been toned down with flusher fitting flares. That's a good thing because it always seemed a little over the top. The VRX rides on 18 inch wheels with cruise, climate air with front and rear controls, automatic light and wipers, as well as heated front seats with power adjustment for both the driver and front passenger.
With six airbags and a full complement of safety systems the Pajero receives a full five stars for crash safety. It gets Active Stability Control (ASC), Active Traction Control (ATC) and Multi-mode Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). A reversing camera is also standard and the VRX adds rear parking sensors.
It's not as big or cumbersome as we remember, but it lacks the refinement of more recent competitors. Nor does it exude the premium feel that we associate with older models -- although it's not disappointing. For a big wagon it is suprisingly easy to navigate around town and can hold its own in traffic. The switch to diesel only is to be applauded, although some returning buyers might be disappointed.
In terms of offroad ability the Pajero is a medium duty wagon with 225mm of ground clearance and a wading depth of 700mm. VRX scores Mitsubishi's Multi Communication System (MMS) systems with a 7 inch touchscreen display and 3D navigation mapping with SD Card input. Bluetooth with audio streaming is standard and can be voice controlled. A separate trip computer above the touchscreen offers a compass, altimeter and barometer.
We've still got a soft spot for the Pajero. If you're looking for a seven seat wagon and want to go offroad you could do a lot worse (and end up paying a lot more too).
Mitsubishi Pajero VRX
Price: from $63,990
Warranty: 5-speed auto, 4WD
Engine: 3.2-litre 4-cylinder, 147kW/441Nm
Transmission: 5-speed auto, 4WD
Thirst: 9.0L/100Km, CO2 239g/km
Price: from $68,545 (4 TDV6)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo diesel, 155kW/520Nm
Transmission: 8-speed auto, 2-speed transfer, 4WD
Price: from $71,000 (Overland)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel, 184kW/570Nm
Transmission: 8-speed auto, 4WD
Price: from $55,990 (GX)
Engine: 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, 127kW/410Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 4WD