Under the Metal of the 2017 Mitsubishi Pajero
December 5, 2016
This is the 2017 Mitsubishi Pajero. It’s the 4x4 nameplate that’s been trekking around Australia since 1983, and to this day it’s still a very strong performer in more ways than one despite convincing competition over the years.
In terms of the model range, the Pajero comes in GLX, GLS, and the range topping Exceed. Prices start from just $49,990, with all models coming standard with a seven-seat capacity.
Under the bonnet of the Pajero sits a common rail direct injection, 3.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. Peak power of 141kW comes in at 3800rpm, while a gutsy 441Nm is delivered at just 2000rpm.
Making good use of the Euro 5 compliant 3.2-litre motor is a heavy-duty part-time four-wheel drive system that features four different modes as well as a rear diff lock.
Mated to the engine is a five-speed automatic that is as happy to cruise around town as it is working to get you through the bush. More specifically it’s a smooth, smart-thinking five-speed automatic gearbox.
New for the 17MY Pajero is a revised final drive gear ratio. It’s now 3.692 instead of the previously installed 3.917.
Step inside the Pajero and you’ll straight away notice overly-generous head and leg room for up to seven occupants, with handy interchangeable seating arrangements to match your everyday carrying needs.
Third row seats are easily stowed under the cargo floor to create a wide, flat storage space. The second row seats can also be folded down to provide space for nearly anything you want to bring along for the ride.
Sitting proudly in the middle of the Pajero’s dash is a seven-inch touchscreen, which can access your phone’s compatible apps and get directions, make calls, send and receive messages as well as play music via your smartphone.
To make sure you can keep your eyes on the road, you can initiate voice command controls or use the buttons located on the steering wheel.
Featured in the Pajero Exceed is a powerful, 12-speaker, Rockford Acoustic Design sound system that provides a serious punch. Connectivity comes in the way of a HDMI and two USB inputs, along with AM, FM and digital radio.
Handy for when you get adventurous, the centre screen sitting above the seven-inch display lets you see current elevation, ambient atmospheric pressure, fuel economy and current temperature readouts. All of the readouts are stored in a trip computer for the life of your journey, which is handy should you want to refer to previous parts of your trip.
Other standout features in the Exceed include soft leather seat facings that are ergonomically designed, heated power front seats, silver and leather gearshift knob and tachometer detailing, as well as soft dash panel, door trims and rich materials, all adding a feeling of luxury and comfort to the big SUV.
Automatic climate control with rear seat controls allow passengers from the second row seats to set both airflow speed and temperature for the rear section, providing a more comfortable ride for everyone. Electric sunroof with slide and tilt on Exceed models is also a nice touch to better enjoy the great outdoors.
The exterior of the Pajero features smart appointments such as body-coloured bumpers, lots of chrome trimmings, auto-levelling dusk-sensing HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry and chrome heated door mirrors that clear fog.
There’s also 12-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels and approach lights when you walk up to the car give the Pajero some real 21st-century appeal. While the factory-fitted roof rails, aggressively-styled front and rear bumpers, door panels, side steps, and full colour-coded spare wheel cover at the rear also provide the Pajero with some strong visual impact.
The Pajero feels at home on the open road. While it’s no small SUV, the steering feels responsive and informative, and the suspension is compliant over bumps. No nasty surprises are sent through the steering wheel, with the Pajero remaining composed when pushed – which is great for an SUV which has a great amount of suspension travel.
In terms of on-road performance, the large capacity turbo diesel engine pulls like a train, even from low down in the rev range, and the five-speed automatic shifts gears smoothly and intuitively without fuss. The engine and gearbox feel well matched – you get the feeling this is a robust 4x4 that will just about drive forever.
Thanks to its 88-litre fuel tank and fuel consumption of 9.1L/100km for the combined cycle, doing a non-stop run from Sydney to Melbourne is more than feasible. It also helps for long bush trips, meaning you don’t have to carry extra fuel.
There are many benefits of owning a Pajero, not least the unprecedented combination of all-terrain control and luxury sedan comfort that the intelligent combination of a lightweight and highly rigid monocoque body with built in ladder frame delivers.
Pajero’s rally-proven front double wishbone and multi-link rear suspensions use coil springs and stabiliser bars to ensure each wheel moves independently of the pair on the opposite side of the axle. The result is impressive road handling and great stability at highway speeds and around town. The confidence out on the open road gives you great peace of mind.
Inside the cabin you’ll find no less than six airbags, including driver and front passenger airbags, as well as side and curtain airbags to protect against side-on collision, inflating from the side of the seat to protect the torso and from the roof lining to protect the head.
Other safety features include a reverse camera as standard across the range which helps when it comes to parking or backing into tight spots, and on the GLS and Exceed, reverse sensors that warn you if you’re getting too close to objects behind you.
The Pajero isn’t troubled by much off road, which is in part thanks to its cleverly designed Super Select II4WD system. For when you’re on the go, Super Select II lets you shift between 2H, 4H and 4HLC modes at speeds of up to 100km/h.
The Pajero’s front end sports a 36.6-degree approach angle, while the rear features a 25-degree depart angle. The ramp breakover angle is 22.5 degrees; more than enough to clear some loose scrub in the bush and make your way down a beaten track.
Whether you select high- or low-range four-wheel drive mode, the Pajero uses all four wheels to motor over and through rough terrain, creek beds, or rocky hills. While you’re navigating over rough terrain the steering and brakes respond well to your every input, allowing you to confidently proceed forward. This is an SUV that allows even the most inexperienced off-roader to feel confident when tackling unsealed roads and terrain.
Peace of mind is what we all look for when spending our hard-earned money. To tackle that, Mitsubishi offers its ‘Diamond Advantage’. What this consists of is a five-year/100,000km new car warranty, capped price servicing, and roadside assist.
The Pajero has real world off road ability, comfort, space, and does so in a neatly styled package that offers elements of luxury and refinement. What the Pajero represents in terms of value is amazing. It really is hard to find a better all-rounder for the money.