Pajero Sport is a smooth, sweet drive
CHALLENGER is not that bad a name for a “fourbie” SUV but Mitsubishi has walked away from it with the latest version of its “tin top” Triton.
They plumped Pajero Sport, which channels good name in this country.
This one ushers an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission across the three model line-up, GLX, GLS and Exceed priced from $45,000 for entry model. All get paddle shift, too, a rearview camera, hill descent control, trailer stability, start assist emergency stop signal.
Power comes from the Triton 2.4-litre turbo diesel four cylinder with 133kW/430Nm outputs — about average for class but with an eight-speed transmission underpinning whole plot, Pajero Sport is a sweet drive good performance and super smooth running.
The engine features MIVEC variable cam timing (unusual on a diesel) an efficient variable geometry turbo (VGT), as well as close mounted diesel particle filter to cut emissions.
Mitsubishi re-engineered the rear suspension with a more supple coil spring setup, along sundry location arms and live axle. This pays dividends off road, where live axle its rigid diff lifts the vehicle out of holes.
From mid spec GLS you get a locking diff, while range topping Exceed scores more again. The lockups are activated by dial on the centre console.
Mitsubishi has added its version of terrain response (Terrain Control) to the new Pajero Sport with all getting dial-up calibrations
suit sand, gravel, snow and mud, as well as rocks in low ranges.
So, is a fairly tough off-road customer to that end, has plenty of appeal this country for certain type buyer.
It rides on ladder chassis and uses coils suspension all around. Ground clearance is ample at around 220mm, while wading depth is 750mm.
It capable of towing 3100kg and with the eight-speeder auto, that undertaking is relatively easy.
Not forgetting 4x4 drive, which mirrors that in Pajero offering 2WD high, 4WD high, 4WD low with partial lockup and range everything locked.
It’s a handsome beast featuring Mitsubishi’s new front styling called ``Dynamic Shield” that will flow through to other models in the range. The rear is striking with large vertical tail lights and a kicked-up
section pronounced rear roof pillars.
Inside matches outside for style though soft touch surfaces are at a minimum and there’s a fair bit of old school mock brushed aluminium fascia. Looks good though. Five seats provided with third row available later on.
Cool kit includes a reverse camera across the board parking guides and sensors, smartphone Link Display Audio system that runs on apps, keyless entry start, a decent eight speaker audio system from the base model, touch screen controller, electric parking brake and multi function wheel,
Up the range you will find a few driver assist functions as well as leather upholstery. Exceed tops out at $52,750 — a lot less than Ford’s Everest competitor.
Pajero Sport is much better device the previous Challenger, which was crap.
The offers up a supple and comfortable ride from its all coil spring suspension but strong sway bars hold it fairly flat in turns.
steering is light has reasonably good turning circle. Noise vibration at an absolute minimum any time and the car seems to float along in a comfy cocoon — on sealed roads.
Off road it’s impressive, virtually unstoppable. The long travel suspension maintains comfortable ride even on rutted roads and the big Pajero Sport has plenty of suspension articulation to get over large obstacles. Engine performance is adequate, a touch tardy off line perhaps but otherwise good, as is fuel economy rated at about the 8.0litres/100km mark.
Capable of tackling mud, sand, snow, rocks and gravel, Pajero Sport makes light work offroading. This type vehicle is now the go-to choice if you are planning
trip around Australia can’t run to a ‘Cruiser or Prado.
Impressive. Not as sporty a drive as some (Everest) but more comfortable and possibly superior off road for towing.