Mit­subishi Pa­jero

Mit­subishi Pa­jero GLS 3.2 Di-D The iconic SUV sticks to its orig­i­nal rea­son for be­ing

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents - Words by Ja­son dela Cruz Photography by Igor Mam­inta

They say first­hand knowl­edge is the best kind of knowl­edge. While not many of us have this priv­i­lege, I feel like I’m in a good po­si­tion to share what it’s like to be a Pa­jero owner. I own a Gen 1, and I’ve been happy with it ever since I ac­quired it from a friend 10 years ago. Main­te­nance is easy, parts are aplenty, and there’s a sense of dig­nity wher­ever I go with it, be­cause it’s one of the orig­i­nal SUVs—even be­fore the term was coined.

A brief his­tory: The name­plate cel­e­brates its 35th an­niver­sary next month. The five-door ver­sion fol­lowed a year af­ter, in 1983. It en­tered our mar­ket in 1987. At the time, the Pa­jero al­ready of­fered a sense of lux­ury, but it was ex­tremely ca­pa­ble if needed. Sen­tras, 16-valve Corol­las, and the ‘pagong’ Lancers were all the rage; if you could af­ford more lux­ury, the Galant and Ce­firo were the way to go. But the Pa­jero? It was some­thing else. My class­mate’s fam­ily had a beige one with brown stripes back when we were in fifth grade. And so my love af­fair with this SUV started. I had wanted one ever since.

The Pa­jero has stuck to the same for­mula for each gen­er­a­tion, man­ag­ing to avoid get­ting sucked into to the ‘cute-ute’ di­rec­tion just to at­tract a wider crowd. It has al­ready earned an im­por­tant sta­tus, with a rich Dakar Rally her­itage to match.

In my pos­ses­sion for three weeks is the lat­est ver­sion. The pro­file is still as dis­tinc­tive—even more re­mark­ably sim­i­lar parked be­side my Gen 1. Help­ing it keep up with the times are an up­dated bumper-in­te­grated chrome grille, HID head­lamps, LED day­time run­ning lamps, and a new set of 18in al­loys. At the rear, the spare tire cover with a rear fog­light looks very seam­less with the ex­te­rior de­sign. Fin­ish­ing the look are claddings and side steps. A large sun­roof, mean­while, makes the Pa­jero feel like the

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