The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is now offering more at the same price. Seven seats in the GLS and Exceed for the cost of five seats. Combined with the rugged SUV’s inclusions list, fuel economy and all-round capability, this is one challenge that is difficult to ignore.
We were in the Pajero Sport GLS for a week during which the rain gods were especially generous to Queensland. The GLS’s quite confidence and assuredness under foot was a comfort in dangerous driving conditions.
The Pajero Sport hides its ute roots rather well, the interior offering a softer design and a added creature comforts. Sure, some harder plastics and dials and buttons carry over, but generally the look and feel is much more considered.
The Pajero Sport is suitably fitted with its share of modern conveniences including proximity key with push button start, auto headlights and wipers, rear-view camera with parking sensors.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport features a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen that controls most of the infotainment functions. It is super easy to navigate although the graphics could be a touch better. You will have to access sat nav through Apple CarPlay using your phone. Bluetooth connectivity is good, the speakers work well enough and there are two USB inputs and a HDMI input in the centre console bin.
There’s digital radio, and touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The Pajero Sport is driven by a 2.4.-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which generates 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque. These figures are slightly short of some competitors but it doesn’t show too much in the Pajero Sport’s performance.
The engine is paired with an intuitive eight-speed automatic transmission. There are steering paddle shifters if you feel the need to stretch out the gears, but you don’t need to.
The Pajero Sport has a five-star ANCAP courtesy of seven airbags, electronic stability control, trailer sway control, hill-start and hill-descent control. You have to opt for the top-of-the-range Exceed if you want autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot assist and bird’s-eye-view parking cameras.
A higher seating position increases visibility while a steering wheel adjustable for both height and reach makes it easier to find that optimum driving position. Seats are comfortable and allow for wider shoulders but taller drivers may find their heads a bit closer to the cabin roof than anticipated.
The 60:40 second row offers its own comforts, more for the outboard seats than the person in the middle. Head is acceptable and leg room a bit more so but would have been better still if the second row was able to slide forward and back as it does in some competitors. There are two Isofix fittings on the outer seats and three top tether points.
Access to the third row is through a tumble and tuck of the second row seats. It is a bit tricky but the kids think it’s an adventure. The third row is very definitely more suitable for the little people.
There is great storage throughout the Pajero Sport with cup holders and doorbins, deep console bins and map pockets and for those in the third row, a under floor hidey hole if needed. There are side mounted air vents for the last two rows while front seat occupants can enjoy dual-zone climate control.
Controls are within easy reach, the leather-wrapped steering is nice in the hand and the cabin maintains a spacious feel. Instrumentation is simple but effective although a digital speedo wouldn’t go astray.
A rotary dial operates the multi-mode driving system and allows you to choose from 2WD and 4WD for the bitumen or high and low-speed 4WD for off-road forays.
The Pajero Sport offers an easy, fairly refined drive with a nice blend of power and sensibility. Given its real off-road capability it is not as compliant or gentle as those SUVs made for the bitumen but it is no ill-mannered beast either.
There is a fair bit of body lean if pushed hard through corners and lag low down in the range but this Pajero Sport has something about it.
It is confident and more fleet footed than its size suggests and the revised suspension with soft riding coils keeps the wallowing to a minimum. You can usher it through roundabouts and around shopping centre carparks and is quiet enough too that you can hold a conversation.
The Pajero Sport is more than adept on very ordinary secondary roads, accomplished in getting over ruts and irregularities with little trouble.
The spare is mounted under the wagon which means you don’t have to remove everything from the boot when changing a tyre.
The Pajero Sport is pretty economical too and we recorded 8.3L/100km during our week which is close enough to the official 8.0L/100km to not split hairs.
Mitsubishi offers a five-year/100,000km warranty with free roadside assist for that period. There is capped-price servicing for four years or 60,000km. Intervals are 12 months or 15,000km with the average cost at just over $520 per service.
The Pajero Sport makes great sense for those families that need the practicality of seven seats, may want to tow and will venture off-road. It is capable and confident and offers great value. The Pajero Sport is worth a look.
AT A GLANCE
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS pricing and specifications:
Price: from $48,500 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Output: 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, 4WD
Fuel consumption: 8.0L/100km (ADR Combined)
Warranty: Five years/100,000 kilometres
Safety Rating: Five Star ANCAP
What we liked:
Value for money
What we didn’t:
Best driver aids only in top model
Fiddly third row access