REVIEW: Mitsubishi Padjero upgraded for 2015
  |  First Published: March 2015

Looking at some facts and figures the Pajero wagon has been around for a long, long time. Initially hailed as a game changer back in the mid ‘90s thanks to a suspension set up that saw a car like ride from a very capable 4WD, the Pajero was in many respects well ahead of competitors at that time.

Competitors could certainly go off road but were inclined to jar the fillings out of the back molars. Consensus among motoring journalists at the time was that the Pajero was so well received, simply because it combined a not overly large or small size with equally efficient on/off road performance, and high comfort levels.

As a ‘proper’ 4WD (low range capability has always been a significant feature of this iconic wagon) the Pajero surprised many with it’s capability.

Petrol engines were followed by diesel power plants, radical body shape changes also occurred over the years but the basic body shape of today has been around for several years now with nips and tucks designed to make what’s pretty good even better. Which is exactly what has occurred with the 2015 offering: enhancements, improvements, extra features and some significant price trimming. That’s what this year’s 7-seater, diesel powered Pajero is all about.

New external features

Looking externally and starting from the ground up, there’s 18” 12-spoke alloy wheels in the GLX, as reviewed while side steps are there to defend the lower body work against attacks from foreign objects when in serious off road mode.

Up front there’s a new grille and bumper design, while daylight LED running lights and fog lamps add some bling plus road presence up front. Not so evident during daylight hours but certain to be appreciated at night are new HID headlights (including washers) with auto levelling capability.

Chrome door handles plus door mirrors (with turn indicators) are also included as are a new rear dust deflector and a redesigned spare tyre cover.

A look inside

The Pajero’s interior featured seats, wheel, and drive selector knob with leather trim and a subtle brushed metal/matte grey dash being quite easy on the eye. Highlighting the dash area was the Pajero’s multi-information display featuring everything from altitude to trip computers and fuel consumption.

In conjunction with the 6” colour touch screen was an easy to use Sat Nav package as well as a reversing camera. The large screen also provided access to the vehicle’s audio system with it’s 6 speakers. Naturally, USB input plus IPod control was installed for user’s convenience along with Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming with voice control.

Climate air conditioning, electric functioning for windows and exterior mirrors were also part of the package. The majority of the more important vehicle controls such as the sound and phone systems as well as cruise control were located on the steering wheel in line with most of today’s vehicles.

Storage was in ample provision with ample nooks and crannies within the vehicle, plus an under floor tray right at the rear.

Seating was noteworthy. The 7-seater offered 60/40 split fold tumble down capability for second row seating, with complete tumble below the rear floor (or easy total removal) for the rear two person bench seat, which, along with other seating within the Pajero offered excellent head and leg room. I took the opportunity for a country run and by folding rear seating under the floor, tumbling down the second row of seating, I had a very useful load space of some 1429mm by 1028mm at my disposal.

On the Road

A 3.2L 16-valve common rail 4-cylinder intercooled turbo diesel moves the Pajero along with ease thanks to an output of 147kW of power and 441Nm of torque. Sound levels are greatly reduced within this year’s model thanks to extensive measures taken to reduce NVH levels.

Where once the Pajero’s diesel sounded very busy I noticed that it did not make much sound at all with just a little at start up and then with noise levels dropping as revs increased. Linked to a 5-speed auto gearbox the Pajero wagon offered seamless gear changes with the option of a little sports mode driving by moving the gear selector to the side and selecting gears manually with a bit of a fore/aft nudge on the selector.

In a mix of country and city driving, I scored a total fuel use of 10.2L/100km, not bad at all for a solid wagon with a kerb weight of 2.255 tonnes. The fuel tank capacity is 88L.

On highway runs, the 3.2L diesel proved very capable with overtaking very swiftly achieved, the 4-wheel independent suspension easily taking undulations and other road imperfections within it’s stride for utmost passenger comfort.

Off the Road

It’s in this latter mode that Pajero shines. Ample ground clearance along with excellent approach and departure angles ensure that the wagon can easily traverse many obstacles while both high and low range 4WD, along with a rear diff lock for the really tough going, ensure ample traction.

Of note is the fact that 4WD can be selected, on the fly, at speeds up to 100km/h.

In all, the Pajero is, and has always been, a very competent off road traveller with the ability to keep occupants insulated from exterior bumps and thumps thanks to the great suspension system.

Of interest to boat and camper trailer owners is a 750kg unbraked trailer and 3000kg braked trailer capacity, so towing up or down a beach, or cross country into a favourite bit of fresh water should be pretty easy.

Safety and summing up

The Pajero comes with a raft of safety features such as driver and passenger front and curtain air bags, EBD, ABS, Active Stability Control, Active Traction Control, and a reinforced body for extra impact safety.

Warranty is a 5 year 100,000km warranty and each Pajero comes with 4 years, 60,000km capped price servicing. From Nundah Mitsubishi, the new GLX is priced at $53,990.

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