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Pajero GLX Five-Speed Diesel
  |  First Published: December 2002



THE PAJERO diesel auto GLX is a four-wheel-drive that’s both affordable and very practical. While the five-speed auto wagon doesn’t have quite the number of luxury specs as the GLS and Exceed top-of-line models do, it still has numerous features that make it very enjoyable to drive.

Features that I found really appealing included the optional tiptronic selector for the auto unit, cruise control, a limited slip differential for serious off-road driving, and the trademark car-like Pajero ride mated to the ultra-frugal, but powerful, 3.2-litre diesel engine. Combined with an interior package that provides a lot of creature comforts, it all serves to make the GLX a good option if you’re after a larger wagon to carry the family around the city and also to take you up the beach or well into the bush.

LAYOUT

Comfort is a priority in the Pajero’s design. Passengers are well catered for thanks to a very roomy interior with ample leg room and insulation from outside jolts and jars. Driver and passenger sit on comfortable cloth seats, and the air-conditioning system includes rear seat heating.

Other features include power windows, driver's air bag, timed interior lights, lots of neat storage compartments and dual glove boxes and centre consoles that hold a lot of personal items. The GLX also features a security-coded radio and CD player. All things considered, the equipment levels in the GLX aren’t that far below the top models.

On the exterior the GLX has some differences, and the first really noticeable one is the absence of side mouldings and side steps. These aren’t essential items, but side steps do tend to fend off material thrown up by the wheels (steel instead of alloys) when travelling off road.

The Pajero DiD (as Mitsubishi refers to it) is very much a driver's car. The 3.2 litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine is a willing performer and turns out 121kW of power at 3800rpm plus 373Nm of torque at 2000rpm. You just select 'D' for drive and the Pajero willingly performs any reasonable task you ask of it, and all the while it returns fuel consumption figures that are just brilliant. With a tall fifth gear, the engine turns over at around 2000rpm at 100km/h while using about 11 litres of diesel fuel per 100km.

The test vehicle was equipped with a tow bar, so I hitched up my 4.8-metre fibreglass Gale Force centre console and used the Pajero on a couple of fishing trips. The Pajero made easy work of towing my boat, and I recommend the diesel as a towing unit for boats up to six metres long (on a properly set up trailer).

TEST DRIVE

The test vehicle was fitted with the optional 'Smart Logic' Invecs-II five-speed automatic gearbox. With the Invecs-II system, an on-board computer quickly works out your unique driving style and adapts gear shift timing to minimise torque fluctuation to provide better acceleration.

The other feature of this great unit is its ability to drop down or shift up a gear simply by tipping the gear selector to the side while in Drive. This feature provided instant up or down shifts with the selected gear indicated on the dash instrument panel. I mainly used the instant down shifts in traffic or while towing, and found the Invecs-II system invaluable. It’s a 'must have' option for my money.

As a capable and strong seven-seater, the Pajero is well set up. When the rear seat is being used there’s still some luggage room in the rear cargo space, and I liked the way that passengers can manage to move around the side of the small rear seat as well, making for easier entry and exit for children who love sitting in those areas.

In all, the automatic diesel-powered Pajero GLX is a remarkably easy vehicle to drive in traffic, on the open road, and when you’re roughing it. The great power and torque on command makes it a very capable four-wheel-drive to take on the beach, and it would be a breeze to tow a boat or campervan along the east coast of Fraser Island with the Pajero. The car’s performance is such that it's easy to forget that there’s a diesel engine under the bonnet!

The Pajero GLX five-speed auto diesel NP is priced from approx. $53,290, and the manual is priced from around $50,290 (prices exclude govt and on-road costs).

1) The Pajero GLX diesel made easy work of towing the author’s fibreglass boat.

2) With the rear seat set up (it folds down when not required) there’s still room for cargo in the rear.

3) The dash layout of the Pajero GLX auto was very easy to use, and the select-at-a-touch gear shift system was a brilliant option that made a good vehicle even better.

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