Ford Everest RWD 2017 review
Richard Berry road tests and reviews the new Ford Everest rear-wheel drive with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.
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Tim Robson road tests and reviews the new seven seat Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed SUV, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
The idea of a four-wheel drive (4WD) wagon dates back to the 1980s with brands like Toyota producing machines like the 4Runner. Mitsubishi, who brought out its Triton ute-based Challenger back in 2000, discontinued it in 2006, only to bring it back again in 2009.
The Challenger always was the Triton ute's softer, more conservative sibling, sporting a coil spring rear end, a hefty towing capacity and conservative, boxy styling that attracted an older group of owners keen to put the sharply-priced vehicle in front of a van or boat.
Reborn as the Pajero Sport in 2015, it uses the chassis and drivetrain from the latest Triton, but adds a bit of spice in key areas.
|Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2017: Exceed (4x4) 7 Seat|
|Engine Type||2.4L turbo|
While none of the current set of 4WD wagons can be labelled as classic beauties, the Pajero Sport really ramps up the 'unusual' angle.
A huge grille and long slashes of chrome trim on the nose highlight the bulging front guards and clamshell bonnet, while the side profile reflects the silhouette of the donor Triton ute.
The rear end, in particular, is possibly the most outlandish on sale today, and possibly across any vehicle in any category. Pumped guards and taillights that 'drip' down three-quarters of the Pajero Sport's rear end like melted treacle certainly raise eyebrows in the street.
As a practical, comfortable tourer, the Pajero Sport is a good companion.
The front end is much less confronting and translates well on the road, but that rear takes some getting used to. There is far too much chrome brightwork going on around the car for our liking, too.
The interior is a big step above the Triton, though, with soft, comfortable seats, a well designed dash and plenty of soft touch surfaces banishing any hints of commercial pick-up origins.
As a practical, comfortable tourer, the Pajero Sport is a good companion. Our top-spec Exceed tester misses out on very little, too.
It's now available as a seven seater in two of the three grades, with the base GLX missing out. However, you can no longer buy either the GLX or the top spec Exceed without the third row of seats, which might disappoint those prospective customers who will never need them.
Those two seats also take up room, although they do fold flat into the floor unlike some others. More than 140mm in length is lost in the cargo area over the five seater, and almost 30mm in height.
The 60/40 split fold second row can also be tumbled forward out of the way to add load space, though.
Accessing that third row isn't easy for bigger passengers, but little legs will clamber through the narrow aperture easily enough.
You'll find two ISOFIX mounts on the outside middle row seats, although it's not possible to set up baby seats on the third row (thanks to a lack of mounts). And if you're looking to take luggage AND seven people, you'll need to pack light or buy (or rent) a roof rack box.
The Pajero Sport's seats are comfortable, broad and supportive throughout.
The rear two rows get air delivered via a quartet of vents around the roof rails.
Two cupholders in the centre row armrest adds to a pair of cupholders in the front, and there are two more for the third row. Four bottle holders are located in each of the door pockets.
The Pajero Sport's seats are comfortable, broad and supportive throughout, though the driver's seat could drop a little lower on its rails. It's good to see a steering wheel on a 4WD that adjusts for both reach and height, too.
A deep centre console bin hides the USB ports, while Apple Carplay makes phone connection and media streaming easy. Android Auto is also installed, but it's nowhere near as polished as the Apple product yet.
It's worth noting there's no integrated satellite navigation, though, which means when you lose phone signal, you lose most of the functionality of the phone-based multimedia system – including maps.
Marks off, too, for a relatively flimsy sun visor arrangement that does little to shade the front side windows.
The range-topping Pajero Sport Exceed starts at $52,750 before on-road costs.
An electronic park brake, reversing camera, 18-inch rims, keyless entry, a four-mode 'Off-road Terrain Control System' and folding side mirrors are all standard on the Pajero Sport, as well as dual-zone climate control, a semi-leather interior, a rear locking diff and automatic headlights and wipers.
The top-spec Exceed also features blind-spot monitors, heated front seats and a 360-degree camera, along with automatic emergency braking and a mis-acceleration mitigation system able to detect and prevent unintended acceleration events by measuring whether both brake and throttle are applied, or by the rate at which the throttle is floored.
MY17 Pajero Sports have also score a master door lock/unlock switch for the drivers door switch panel, revised doors-open graphic in the instrument cluster and the cigarette lighter is now purely a 12V point.
The MY17 Exceed tested here now comes with active cruise control and for the anoraks out there, the display vehicle in the 360-degree monitor is now colour matched to the actual vehicle.
It's a sweet little engine that's very refined and economical, but it has a pretty large torque hole low in the rev range that can be annoying.
The Pajero Sport is very well set up for the rigors of medium to difficult off off-road work.
Mitsubishi's excellent 'Super Select 4WD II' system is standard, featuring a centre diff and rear locking diff.
The Pajero Sport prioritises comfort over load capacity, dumping the leaf-spring arrangement of the donor Triton for a three-link coil-sprung rear and double wishbone front suspension set-up.
Speaking of capacities, the Pajero Sport can tow up to 3100kg of braked trailer, which covers all but the most enormous boats and caravans, and 750kg unbraked.
Mitsubishi claims a fuel consumption figure of 8.0 litres per 100km on the combined fuel economy cycle. Over 350km we saw a dash-indicated fuel economy figure of 9.2L/100km.
The Pajero Sport is very well set up for the rigors of medium to difficult off off-road work, with plenty of room under the front and rear bumpers for traversing steep washouts and creek beds, and plenty of ground clearance to make it over obstacles on the trail.
A cruise control-linked hill descent system assists on the way down hills, too.
The Pajero Sport is a very accomplished medium-to-heavy duty off-roader thanks to its electronics and good basic chassis balance.
The suspension is soft and pliable, with a vague, non-centring steering feel and a sense of laziness on the highway, though its silence is deeply impressive.
The same soft tune helps a lot off sealed surfaces, though. The Pajero Sport is a very accomplished medium-to-heavy duty off-roader thanks to its electronics and good basic chassis balance.
5 years / 100,000 km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The Pajero Sport scores a maximum five stars from ANCAP, thanks to seven airbags and high levels of active and passive safety.
The range-topping Exceed gets everything, too, including auto emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, trailer sway detection, surround camera and more.
Mitsubishi's new car warranty is five-years/100,000km, with a five-year body perforation corrosion warranty, and a 12 month/unlimited km battery warranty running in parallel.
Service pricing is capped at $350 for the first service (15,000km/12 months), $450 for the second (30,000km/24 months), and $550 for the third (45,000km/36 months), meaning scheduled maintenance for the first three years or ownership won't go past $1350.
The Pajero Sport certainly looks unusual, but there's no doubt about its comfortable, practical and quiet performance on road and in the dirt.
Seven seaters are a matter of personal preference, and there are certainly compromises that need to be considered; the third-row seats themselves are tiny, they eat into load space and add weight to the car when not in use.
If you're looking for a rugged, easy to drive wagon with 4WD and towing capability, plus the ability to take a couple of extra young units on trips when the need arises, the Pajero Sport is one of the quietest and most refined of the current crop.
|Exceed (4x4) 7 Seat||2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$31,799 – 41,100||2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2017 Exceed (4x4) 7 Seat Pricing and Specs|
|GLS (4x4) 7 Seat||2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$29,990 – 39,888||2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2017 GLS (4x4) 7 Seat Pricing and Specs|
|GLX (4x4) 5 Seat||2.4L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$27,965 – 40,990||2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2017 GLX (4x4) 5 Seat Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||8|