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Mitsubishi Pajero's long-term Australian future in doubt as Japan launches "Final Edition"

The Pajero Final Edition is now on sale in Japan.

Mitsubishi has signalled the end of the current-generation Pajero, which has begun its exit from its Japanese homeland with a limited-run "Final Edition" now on sale.

Commemorating the end of the line for the brand’s large SUV in its home market, the current Pajero has been on sale since 1998, marking it as one of the oldest "new" cars available.

A 2005 facelift brought new exterior styling and features, and it has earned new standard equipment such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the years since, but the car’s mechanicals have remained largely unchanged.

Just 700 units of the Pajero Final Edition will be made available in Japan, which scores black or cream leather upholstery, a sunroof, a set of bespoke decals and a Citizen watch for the owner, which will feature the same serial number as the car it’s purchased with. 

The Pajero Final Edition includes a numbered Citizen watch. The Pajero Final Edition includes a numbered Citizen watch.

The Final Edition uses the same 141kW/441Nm 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine matched to a five-speed automatic transmission that both Japanese and Australian models are delivered with. 

Yet despite the Final Edition going on sale in Japan, Mitsubishi Australia has stated that the Pajero will continue as normal locally, with no immediate end in local sales planned. Local spokesperson Jessica Eastick also told CarsGuide that there are “no changes for the Pajero in Australia.”

“The Final Edition is a Japan-only specification,” said Ms. Eastick.

That said, is understood there is no current plan for a new-generation Pajero from Mitsubishi, which throws the model's long-term Australian future into some doubt. 

If another model is produced, it’s expected to be based on the Nissan Patrol because of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance that began in 2016. A new Patrol has been confirmed to be in development, and is expected to be on sale sometime after 2020.

The Pajero Final Edition also includes unique exterior touches. The Pajero Final Edition also includes unique exterior touches.

Pajero sales peaked at 8490 units in 2002, and by 2007 had slowed only to 7031. In recent times, sales of the car had slowed more however and in 2018, sales slowed by 20.9 per cent to 3279 units. In 2019, sales have bounced back slightly by 21.2 per cent to 1069 units so far. 

Should the Pajero fight on in Australia? Or is it time to show it the door? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.