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.

The recent addition of a third row of seats has finally brought it into contention with a number of other competitors, too, including the Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner and Isuzu M-UX.