If you are looking at a large SUV with off road capabilities, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a strong contender. Launched in 2015, the Pajero Sport is a more comfortable and friendlier alternative to the larger Pajero bush-basher. It now offers third-row seats as a no-cost option for the higher spec GLS and Exceed variants.
Facing strong competition from rivals Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest, both also available in seven-seat configuration, Mitsubishi has kept pricing intact for the Pajero Sport line-up. The GLX range-opener is priced from $45,000, while the mid-spec GLS comes in at $48,500. At the top of the range, the Exceed model tested here carries a sticker of $52,750. All prices are before on-road costs.
Borrowing its 4×4 platform from the Mitsubishi Triton and the same 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, the Pajero Sport is a family SUV that is just at home around town as it is off-road.
Upon first impressions we notice the Pajero Sport is a big vehicle, however Mitsubishi has styled it attractively with the signature ‘dynamic shield’ and it looks sleek and stylish. Towards the rear we see a more unusual design with the teardrop like taillights, yet it remains clean and tidy. Overall Mitsubishi has managed to designed it well to keep it from looking like a bulky 4×4.
The side step is a much welcomed addition throughout all Pajero Sport models as stepping inside we have a nice and high driving position fitted with comfortable leather seats all-round (GLS and up) and with the front seats heated (Exceed and up). Controls have been kept simple with a clean instrument cluster while the centre console is on the bulkier side, featuring a 7-inch entertainment system equipped with Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls could easily be one of our favorite design features as it was a breeze to operate. Being a tall vehicle, we noticed it’s headroom is plenty for all occupants. The second row of seats will seat three adults, though it is quite a bit of a squeeze. In the Exceed model we tested, we found it has the potential to accommodate seven adults whilst capable of folding the third row of seats flat into the floor to maximise cargo space. Although if a 7-seater is not part of your requirements, unfortunately only the GLX model comes as a 5-seater.
While the 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel is the only engine option available in the Pajero Sport range, it’s power output of 133kW and 430Nm of torque is more than capable and up to the standard of a modern diesel engine. What’s also impressive is its fuel consumption is claimed at 8.0L/100km. Although during our tests, the fuel consumption was 9.5L/100km which is still satisfactory for a large SUV weighing over 2 tons.
The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission (a rarity in this segment) with paddle shifters which we found it shifted through the gears extremely well, feeling responsive and refined. You can definitely feel the car is big and has some body roll around urban areas, but out in the open roads is where it feels at home with its soft but assuring suspension. What’s quite striking is even with a small engine the Pajero Sport packs a towing capacity at the higher end of the scale, at 3,100kg.
With a gentle brake pedal with a moderate amount of travel, the brakes feel progressive. What we found worth noticing is the forward collision mitigation (Exceed model only) which alerts the driver if there is a danger of a collision and automatically applies brakes to avoid impact.
Taken off the beaten track, the Pajero Sport proves it’s up to the task and will happily negotiate some of the harshest terrains. The Super Select all-wheel-drive running gear with low-range provides immense grip while the independent coil spring suspension mellows out unsettled terrain.
Similar to other SUV’s in its class, the Pajero Sport also has a terrain selection button, providing on the fly adjustment to stability control mapping through different driving modes including gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock.
As we inspect the Pajero Sport for build quality, inside we have high quality leather interior trim, with panels well aligned with minimal gaps. We did find the silver accents around the centre console are easily scratched though.
In terms of standard features, the range is comprehensively equipped. The base GLX comes well equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch touch screen entertainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, 8 speed automatic transmission, side step, LED headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps, LED tail lamps, fog lights, emergency brake assist and active stability and traction control.
Moving up to the mid-range GLS gains an additional row of seats to make it a 7-seater, rear differential lock, leather seats, automatic sensing headlights and a curtain airbag that extends all the way through the length of the cabin.
The top grade Exceed tested here packs in a number of safety equipment including 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, forward collision monitor and front heated seats. What we find missing, even in the top-spec Exceed model, is the lack of an integrated satellite navigation system as we are forced to rely on our mobile phone or external GPS navigation unit.
Design and Comfort: 8.0/10
Performance and Handling: 8.5/10
Equipment and Features: 8.0/10
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a great value all-rounder for the adventurous who have a need to carry a large family in comfort and safety.
With a high towing capacity and a long list of standard features, the Pajero Sport is a viable choice if you’re in the market for an all purpose SUV.
- 4×4 capabilities
- Towing Capacity
- Good value
- No 5-seater option for base GLX model
- No built-in satellite navigation
2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Pricing and Specification
|Pricing (Excluding on-road costs):||GLS 2.4L Turbo Diesel (5-seater) – $45,000
GLX 2.4L Turbo Diesel (7-seater) – $48,500
Exceed 2.4L Turbo Diesel (7-seater) – $52,750 (as tested)
|Warranty:||5-year / 100,000 km|
|Country of Origin:||Japan; Manufactured in Thailand|
|Service Intervals:||12 months/15,000km|
|Engine:||Turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel:
133kW @ 3,500rpm, 430Nm @ 2,500rpm
|Drivetrain:||4×4 Dual Range|
|Power-to-weight Ratio (W/kg):||65.3|
|Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):||Claimed: 8.0
|Fuel Capacity (L):||68|
|Safety:||ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, emergency stop signal function, active stability control, active traction control, hill descent control, blind spot warning system, ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system, forward collision mitigation, 360-degree camera, reverse camera and sensors, adaptive cruise control, rain sensing wipers, 7 SRS airbags, full length curtain airbag, trailer stability assist|
|Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:||4,785/1,815/1,805/2,800|
|Boot space (L):||131 – 1,488|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||2,045 – 2,105|
|Towing Capacity (kg):||Braked: 3,100kg
|Entertainment:||7-inch touch screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, HDMI input, 2x USB input, DAB radio, 8 speakers|