Used car review Mitsubishi Pajero 2006-2008

Herald Sun ·

15 April 2011

Used car review Mitsubishi Pajero 2006-2008
With its monocoque construction the Pajero was tight and taut and was quite car-like to drive.

Mitsubishi's Pajero has long been a favourite of the offroad set and the NS maintained its traditional appeal. Not quite as big as the acknowledged heavyweights in the class it delivered toughness and reliability in a value-for-money 4WD package.

MODEL WATCH

Mitsubishi offered three models in the NS range when launched. The line-up opened with the GLX, and moved up through the VR-X to the range-topping Exceed. The five-door wagon body had seating for seven in a flexible foldaway arrangement that made it suitable for most uses. It was particularly popular with the grey nomad set that appreciated its 2.5-tonne towing capacity.

With its monocoque construction the Pajero was tight and taut and was quite car-like to drive. It handled well on sealed and unsealed roads, was smooth and quiet and rode comfortably on all road surfaces.

Two engines were available. The petrol option was a 3.8-litre double-overhead camshaft V6 that put out 184 kW at 6000 rpm and 329 Nm at 2750 rpm; the alternative option was a 3.2-litre direct injection turbo-diesel four that put out 118 kW at 3800 rpm and 381 Nm at 2000 rpm.  Both could be had with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed auto, which boasted a manual shifting option. Final drive was then through all four wheels.

With high and low range four-wheel drive with diff-lock, and hill-start assistance on the manual the Pajero was a competent offroader. All models were well equipped, the base GLX came with auto air, cruise, CD sound, roof racks, alarm and 17-inch alloy wheels, the range-topping Exceed had leather trim, heated power front seats, fog lamps and 18-inch alloy wheels.

IN THE SHOP

The big Pajero is generally a well-built and reliable wagon with few problems. Left-side exhaust manifolds are known to crack and oil consumption climbs with kays. Mechanics report that worn valve stem oil seals generally cause the high oil consumption.

Pajeros are often bought for their towing capacity and used for that purpose, which means hard work hauling heavy loads, so look for a service record to show maintenance has been kept up. Also look for signs of being used in heavy offroad work. Check for damage to underbody, fittings, suspension, and scratched and dented body panels.

IN A CRASH

The Pajero was given a commendable ANCAP rating of four stars, thanks to its array of dual front, head and side airbags on top of ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce optimisation and stability control.

UNDER THE PUMP

Being a big, heavy four-wheel drive wagon the Pajero is no fuel miser. Mitsubishi claimed the V6 petrol would average 13.7 L/100 km, the turbo-diesel four 9.5-10.5 L/100 km.

IN THE SHOP

The big Pajero is generally a well-built and reliable wagon with few problems. Left-side exhaust manifolds are known to crack and oil consumption climbs with kays. Mechanics report that worn valve stem oil seals generally cause the high oil consumption.

Pajeros are often bought for their towing capacity and used for that purpose, which means hard work hauling heavy loads, so look for a service record to show maintenance has been kept up. Also look for signs of being used in heavy offroad work. Check for damage to underbody, fittings, suspension, and scratched and dented body panels.

IN A CRASH

The Pajero was given a commendable ANCAP rating of four stars, thanks to its array of dual front, head and side airbags on top of ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce optimisation and stability control.

UNDER THE PUMP

Being a big, heavy four-wheel drive wagon the Pajero is no fuel miser. Mitsubishi claimed the V6 petrol would average 13.7 L/100 km, the turbo-diesel four 9.5-10.5 L/100 km.

I OWNED ONE

Grey nomad Geoff Bayliss found his V6 petrol Pajero Exceed struggled to tow his caravan weighing around 2.5 tonnes when loaded and   recently sold it in favour of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that could tow up to 3.5 tonnes.

Towing aside Geoff says the Pajero was smooth and comfortable to drive and rated it highly, but after 176,000 km was using oil when towing and the left-hand exhaust manifold was on the way out for the second time. Resale was also a problem he says.

"It was just like a car to drive, handled well, and the Exceed had all the gear, but I needed something that could more easily handle my   towing needs."

MITSUBISHI PAJERO

Price new: $49,490 to $70,590
Engine: 3.8-litre V6 petrol, 184 kW/329 Nm; 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, 125 kW/358 Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 5-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Economy: 13.7 L/100 km (V6); 9.5-10.5 L/100 km (diesel)
Body: 5-door wagon Variants: GLX, VR-X, Exceed
Safety: 4-star ANCAP (Exceed)
EXPECT TO PAY $28,000-$36,000 for the GLX; $31,000-$42,000 for the VR-X; $39,000-  $53,500 for the Exceed.
VERDICT Competent, easy driving and reliable four-wheel drive family wagon 3.5 stars PROS Car-like driveability, off-road ability, build quality CONS Large size, fuel economy, high-kay oil usage.
PRICE $28,000-plus

ALSO CONSIDER

TOYOTA PRADO - 2006-2009 Civilised on road, strong off with punchy V6 petrol and efficient   diesel engines with Toyota ruggedness and reliability. Good resale.   Pay $24,000-$62,000. 3.5 stars
NISSAN PATHFINDER - 2006-2009 Solid performer with punchy petrol V6, small diesel is economical if   lacking highway performance of rivals. Flexible interior, easy-to-use   all-mode 4WD system and 3-tonne towing capacity make Pathfinder attractive option. Pay $23,000-$43,500. 3 stars
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE - 2006-2009 Much improved on-road dynamics to go with renowned offroad capability, together with improved build quality and choice of V6,   thirsty V8 and economical turbo-diesel engines. Pay $23,000-$47,000. 3 stars

 

Written by

Graham Smith

Published 15 April 2011

Published In

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