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