‘You buy a Pajero because you want one. End of argument’
In light to moderate city traffic, the SUV returned around 8km/L. On the highway, it yielded 12.5-13km/L. These figures are in fact lower than those indicated on the trip computer. With about 603km covered during my long-term stint, I only had to fuel up once, with half a tank to spare when I handed the car back. Coupled to the engine is the INVECS-II five-speed automatic, which is smooth and contributes to efficiency, thanks to Optimum Shift Control that provides the ideal balance between power and efficiency.
While the Pajero is usually chauffeurdriven, it’s definitely fun behind the wheel, too, given its rally heritage. The hydraulic steering offers very good feel, with the right amount of firmness. Handling is sharp, thanks to the monocoque body and the coil springs via a front double-wishbone and rear multi-link suspension setup. Equally important is the ride—soft but not too pillowy. If you want to take the road less traveled, Super Select 4WD-II is one of the most capable four-wheel-drive systems in the business.
As an owner, I can attest to the Pajero’s positive ownership experience and bulletproof reliability. With regard to this latest model, there’s no reason to think it would be otherwise. The Pajero community is fairly large, and parts can be sourced from Mitsubishi-specific shops and online portals.
Here’s something to consider: The current chassis is now 16 years old, and the nameplate will eventually be killed. Will it make a comeback? No one knows for sure. Instead of developing a nextgeneration model, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will concentrate on the US market. On top of that, company CEO Osamu Masuko pointed out that they’re axing the model because developing a new chassis along with new engines and transmissions will be very expensive.
So, the question is: Why would you pick the Pajero over the latest crop of SUVs, particularly its ‘smaller’ Montero Sport sibling? The Pajero costs P2.770 million compared with the top-spec Montero Sport 4x4 GT at P2 million. The Monty features better tech: smallerdisplacement and more efficient MIVEC engine, eight-speed automatic, and push-start ignition, just to name a few, and perhaps better interior space, versus the Pajero’s aging engine, five gears, and a cramped third row.
There’s nothing the Montero Sport can’t do that the Pajero can. It has inherited its elder sibling’s off- and onroad capabilities, and it clearly makes more sense—cheaper, newer tech, more space. But the Pajero isn’t for those who want the latest technology. It’s for those who understand the iconic SUV, and appreciate the significance of the nameplate. You buy one because you want one. That last line alone sums up the argument.
Still unmistakably a Pajero, even with modern bits