Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – When a one tonne dual cab ute just doesn’t cut it, there’s always the option of a ute-based SUV.
Plenty of manufacturers have them such as Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Mitsu’ just revamped its Triton-ute-based Pajero Sport (GLS driven) with a new exterior look and additional user friendly features inside including more storage options, soft touch surfaces and a digital dash.
It gained extra advanced safety kit into the bargain.
The park brake now activates automatically and there’s a gesture control tailgate down the back.
A comprehensive app system operates Sport’s centre console that you can migrate to your phone for remote control.
Minor changes have been made to the 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine for efficiency gains. Engineers altered the combustion chamber shape, the fuel injection system and changed the compression ratio to 15.5:1.
Pajero Sport has full 4WD capability and uses Mitsubishi’s clever Super Select II 4WD that allows drive system changes at speeds up to 100kmh along with full time 4WD and high and low range together with a locking differential.
A “terrain select” dial provides Gravel, Snow, Sand and Rock options.
This “new” Paj Sport is an evolution of version 1 sharing pretty much the same chassis and running gear. The body is the same with a new face and rear styling and there is more tech and additional features inside. All for minimal change to pricing.
Thank goodness they shortened the rear tail lights. The previous rear look was almost a deal breaker for me…
I have no opinion one way or the other about the chunky frontal styling apart from noting it looks exactly like the Triton ute and smaller Outlander but I really approve of the modestly revised tail lights which used to look like something from the brush of surrealist artist Salvador Dali starting high on the tailgate and “melting” down to the bumper.
It’s all subjective really, some people probably love the old tail lights…
Overall, Paj Sport is a large vehicle that rides high and has a purposeful, chunky look to its flanks. They fitted new 18-inch alloys to this version that reduces wheel arch clearance making the new Sport look a little lower. The GLS ($52,490) has plenty of chrome on the front and splashes of it from there back. I like it, nothing like chrome to light up a car’s appearance.
There’s a kick up in the waistline behind the rear doors to increase Sport’s bulk at the back. Quite effective when you look at it in isolation.
Inside is standard Mitsu’ looking like the Outlander in many areas. That’s not a criticism as it all works, is easy on the eye and has a quality feel especially in the leather upholstered GLS model driven.
This one has 7-seats with the rear pew folding flat into the floor to create a decent load space.
There’s plenty of room inside for 7 and additional soft feel panels impart a luxury ambience.
It has a complex wheel arrangement with numerous controls and switches integrated into the spokes as well as paddle shifters behind.
The gesture tailgate is handy as is the app control system with remote function. It means you can talk to your car from a distance to make it do certain things or provide information.
The climate control system is effective right down to the rear pews while access is relatively easy through large doors.
Paj Sport GLS is only a step from the top of the range and truth be known, is all you need in terms of a luxury medium/large SUV.
Among the standard features list is;
- Power tailgate
- Premium audio
- 7-seats with leather
- 4 off-road modes
- App driven control system
- 18-inch alloys
- LED tail lights
- Digital dash
Drive and Engine
It’s the same engine as in Triton – a 2.4-litre, turbo diesel four pot with MIVEC variable valve timing and lift and a variable geometry turbo (VGT). The latter two features optimise efficiency allowing the smallish capacity engine to kick out some 133kW and 430Nm – plenty to push its 2.0-tonne plus bulk with some shove and deliver acceptable fuel efficiency. On test I saw 8.5-litres/100km, not far shy of the claimed combined rate of 8.0.
It lakes a bit to get going from a standstill but once underway the Paj Sport clips along nicely with minimal fuss, noise or effort. You can maintain a highway cruise easily with barely 2000rpm showing on the tacho.
Having an 8-speed auto allows Paj Sport to stay easily on the boil while aiding fuel economy. It slips down a cog imperceptibly as needed then flicks back up again once the desired speed is achieved. This makes it a good towing vehicle pulling a couple of tonnes with ease and not too heavy on fuel.
It’s a tall vehicle with softish suspension which tends to allow more body roll that I would like. On the other side of the coin, the soft springs mean Paj Sport rolls over bumps without feeling them. It also has benefits off road. The steering is light and the brakes bite hard.
I took a different Paj Sport on a long highway cruise and it came up trumps in terms of comfort minimising driver fatigue and fuel consumption with four aboard. You just waft along with the cruise on. Where’s that auto pilot button….
Five stars here, this time augmented with additional advanced driver assist features. You now get; lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, radar cruise control and lane change assist among its safety related kit. That’s not forgetting autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and park assist.
You can turn some off if it annoys but generally, all systems are user friendly apart from the radar cruise which is too pessimistic in my opinion and it takes too long to re-engage when a car in front gets out of the way or accelerates. Guess they set it up for shy drivers.
- Big, affordable genuine 4×4
- Impressive towing capability
Not So Good Bits
- Soft suspension
- Radar cruise too slow to re-set
- Could do with more off the line grunt
Paj Sport has plenty of capable competition like Isuzu MU-X, Toyota Fortuner but the Mitsu’ has affordability on its side. There’s a vast dealer network to give you confidence. It goes well, is safe and comfortable and looks better this time around as well as having improved safety kit.
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Facts and Figures: 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS 7
- Engine: 2.4L four-cylinder turbo diesel producing 133kW/430Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Thailand
- Price: from $52,490 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS 7
Paj Sport has plenty of capable competition like Isuzu MU-X, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest but the Mitsu’ has affordability on its side. There’s a vast dealer network to give you confidence. It goes well, is safe and comfortable and looks better this time around as well as having improved safety kit.