Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
6
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Mitsubishi changes the name but not the intent with version three of its cheaper off-roader.

This is Mitsubishi's third crack at delivering a cheaper heavy- duty off-roader.

The original Challenger missed out on a diesel model while the second car to carry that name was a bit rough and ready, although it had an enormous boot.

Mitsubishi has changed the name — the Challenger is now the Pajero Sport — and the approach. The new model is still based on the Triton utility but is a much classier effort, with a price tag to match.

Design

The Sport remains a five-door, five-seater, which limits its appeal to families. Both its biggest rivals, Ford's Everest and Toyota's Fortuner, are available with seven seats.

The Sport variants, GLX, GLS and top-line Exceed, are priced from $45,000, $48,500 and $52,750. The Pajero starts at $53,990.

Sport models look pretty much the same, with 18-inch alloys, engine and transmissions in common — just the interior trim and features vary.

The cabin layout is good but the large classy looking touchscreen is somewhat redundant without a mobile phone

There are large gear-change paddles fixed to the steering column just like a Ferrari — so there's no need to go chasing them around the wheel. A small visual display indicates which wheels are engaged.

About town

It's a large vehicle that stands tall, so getting in and out could be an issue. Fortunately the provision of side steps and grab handles for each of the doors makes access easier.

The front seats are heated and both have power adjustment. Rear passengers have plenty of legroom although the centre position looks better suited to small adults or children.

To keep the kids entertained, the Exceed comes with a rear drop down DVD screen, with two sets of headphones. The designers have cleverly kept it clear of the rear view mirror.

A smallish rear window and rising, upswept side windows make vision a challenge at times. But a 360-degree view camera and rear parking sensors help to compensate when manoeuvring.

A small green tree in the centre display keeps track of whether you are being good and driving economically. We'd happily swap it for a digital speedo.

The Pajero Sport has a high centre of gravity and because of this it tends to lean and push the nose wide in corners

The cabin layout is good but the large classy looking touchscreen is somewhat redundant without a mobile phone, because you don't get satellite navigation — not even in the Exceed.

The idea is to connect a "compatible" smartphone via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to mirror your phone's screen. The key word is compatible because you need the latest operating system and the phone has to be connected by cable — Bluetooth won't cut it.

Satisfy these requirements and you get to use Google Maps. Sounds good in theory but it's messy in execution, making life more difficult than it needs to be, not to mention the lack of warnings for school zones and speed cameras.

Holden has taken a similar approach with its cars — but its top-liners come with stand-alone navigation.

On the road

The ride is firm and jiggly, more like an old school 4WD than a modern family SUV. More like a ute, in fact — it is based on one, even though the rear suspension has been re-engineered.

Lower grade utes with smaller wheels and chunkier tyres could deliver a better ride than our Exceed.

The 2.4-litre turbo diesel is the same as that in the Triton, delivering 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque, the latter from 2500rpm. The big difference is that the Pajero Sport comes with an eight-speed auto instead of five and is standard across the range.

Its part-time AWD sends drive default to the rear wheels.

The otherwise stiff suspension comes into its own as the wagon scrapes and crawls over treacherous terrain.

The Pajero Sport has a high centre of gravity and because of this it tends to lean and push the nose wide in corners if you push too hard.

There's some turbo lag from the diesel but the gear changes are generally smooth once you're up and running. The steering is disappointingly vague and subject to backlash on rough roads.

Off road it's a different story where Sport demonstrates a high level of capability.

With 218mm of ground clearance, low-range gearing, centre diff lock in the GLS and rear diff lock with the Exceed and four drive modes, it's ready to tackle the rough stuff.

High or low-range is selected via a large rotary knob between the seats, with buttons for drive mode and hill descent control.

The otherwise stiff suspension comes into its own as the wagon scrapes and crawls over treacherous terrain. The Sport can tow a 3100kg braked load, which puts it in front of its competitors.

Verdict

A big step forward from the previous Challenger but more expensive too. If you're planning to go bush then it's not a bad choice but there are smoother options if you intend to spend most of your time around town.

What it's got

Leather trim, dual-zone climate control, seven airbags and 18-inch alloys. Auto lights, wipers and mirror. LED headlights and daytime running lights. Multi-view camera. Rear parking sensors. Auto emergency braking, blind spot warning. Digital radio and rear DVD for the kids.

What it hasn't

4WD isn't full-time. Entry GLX and mid-grade GLS lack the more sophisticated safety gear.

Ownership

Fixed price servicing costs $1510 for first three years. Service intervals 12 months/15,000km and there is 12 months' roadside assist. Better than average warranty of five years/100,000km.

 

Would you choose a Pajero Sport over a Fortuner? Let us know in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport pricing and spec info.

Pricing guides

$32,000
Based on 175 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$22,536
Highest Price
$39,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Exceed (4x4) 2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $28,000 – 37,070 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2016 Exceed (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Exceed (4x4) 7 Seat 2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $26,800 – 35,530 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2016 Exceed (4x4) 7 Seat Pricing and Specs
GLS (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $25,700 – 34,100 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2016 GLS (4X4) Pricing and Specs
GLS (4x4) 7 Seat 2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $25,700 – 34,100 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2016 GLS (4x4) 7 Seat Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6