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Used car review Mitsubishi Pajero 2006-2008

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    With its monocoque construction the Pajero was tight and taut and was quite car-like to drive.

Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the used Mitsubishi Pajero 06-08: its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when buying it.

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

 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 4 comments

  • I have a 2008 NS manual 3.2 Turbo diesel 5-door. It's no sports car, corners like a waterbed, can't take a hi-lift jack (monocoque construction) and is noisy. If these are turnoffs buy a German 4wd and stick to skiing and sailboarding. NS fuel consumption is great (11.1 towing 750kg). It will climb anything and handles slippery stuff well. I'm old fashioned and like the manual, but the modern autos are better if you're gentle on the accelerator and get a cooler for towing. It's very comfortable and well appointed, so the girls like it.

    Barmy Bill of Brizvegas Posted on 24 January 2014 10:44pm
  • i own one not that imperessed with fuel when pulling a 2ton , vAN ABOUT 19L/100 KLMS. lOTS OF ROAD NOISE , NOISE FROM AXLES I THINK AND NOISE SHRILL SQUEAL FROM MAYBE THE TURBE. information NOISES FROM MITUBISHI AND FORD IN TWEED HEADS , NON COMMITTAL NO ONE KNOWS ANY THING . cOMPUTER PROBLEMS HAS CAUSED ME TO GO INTO LIMP HOME MODE ON 3 OCCASIONS , SAY I USED WRONG OIL AND CAUSED DIRTY CARBON TO BLOCK SENSORS .bull I USE TOP QUALITY PENTOIL FOR THIS CAR $54 FOR 6 LITRES AND IT USES 10LITRES A SERVICE. sO NOT IMPRESSED BERNY My current Problem is how to remove the front Cig Lighter to repair a fuse behind the lighter input fused by using a portable air pump to inflate tyres . Although a fuse in the line this ridiculous fuse link is extremely difficult to get at

    BERNIE BODELL of Tweed Heads Posted on 23 October 2013 6:29pm
  • Check out other caravan and 4x4 touring forums to see a very positive reputation on the towing performance of the diesel Pajero. Albeit it does have a lower towing capacity of 2.5T vs 3T of the Pathfinder so it does depend on what you are towing but the auto DiD has great fuel economy under load - many people reporting 13-15L/100km.

    Bec Johnson of Burpengary Posted on 11 October 2011 1:46pm
  • Hi, was reading your review on the Pajero and gave me some useful insite. Im in the process on deciding between 2 models, the Pajero or the Nissan pathfinder to tow around a horse float with 1-2 horses travelling at a time. But i also want to be able to drive and park them easily, the Pajero seems more lifestly driving friendly but the Pathfinder has a higher tow rating. Not sure which one would be best suited as you said towing your carvan with the Pajero struggled and i thought it would be a good towing vechicle???

    Sarah Mansfield of Melbourne, vic Posted on 06 May 2011 10:26pm
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