Mitsubishi is predicting a 25% slump in sales for the current period, pretty much within the same bracket as most others. In order to mitigate these tough times, the company is on the offence pushing into a raft of product updates by their standards as well as some entirely new product in the next year. For the Pajero Sport in particular, the timing is good.
The Pajero Sport makes a splash just before a new Toyota Fortuner will break cover in just a few months’ time. Of course, the Fortuner is the car that the Pajero Sport is likely trying to upstage and a mid-life update is just the thing that will help. The update, as far as those go focuses on some key areas where the Pajero Sport was previously lacking, bringing into a space where its either class-leading now or at the very least, on par.
Let’s start with what is not updated and that is the 2.4-litre MIVEC, intercooled turbodiesel engine. This, as well as the 8-speed automatic transmission remains as before. 133kW of power on tap with 430Nm of torque from 2,500rpm. It’s a good engine achieving a good balance of on-road usability and performance as well as off-road, loading and towing utility but it has a 2,7-ton towing capacity, slightly less than its direct competition.
The updates start from the exterior. You’ll see them immediately from the front with a revised nose, grille and headlight design. Mitsubishi calls it the Dynamic Shield design and it’s a face that you’ll draw similarities from the new ASX and the upcoming facelifted Mitsubishi Outlander too. The headlights and taillights are revised designs and feature LED tech now. There’s a set of new 18-inch alloy boots and all in, the car update makes the car a little more modern, perhaps a bit too much chrome abounds but hey, it’s a large and imposing profile.
Step aboard and the cabin shines through with a quite a few updates, these seemingly more the talking points. First up there’s more leather and that’s never a bad thing. Perhaps noting previous gripes of the lack of soft touch surfaces in the previous gen model, the Pajero Sport now adds touches of leather to the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and around the central gear shifter and panel.
The driver’s display is now replaced with an 8-inch panel with improved graphics and configurations. The infotainment system next to that is also an 8-inch touchscreen unit that allows easy connectivity including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. More importantly there are two USB ports in front and 2 at the rear.
Safety equipment carries some repectable credentials with 7 airbags, ISOFIX, a reinforced body frame and the full plethora electronic aids in terms of braking and traction control. 4 x 4 nuts will note an improved Super Select II system that allows for easy engagement of driving modes off the beaten track. You’ll surely need them with 30 degree approach angles and Hill Descent Control and 24 degree departure angles.
There are 3 derivatives in the new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport range: The 4 x 2 followed by the 4 x 4 and then the flagship model the Exceed model is the high spec 4x4 auto. All of the Pajero Sport models come well equipped with a number of standard features but new on the Exceed model is a nifty remote control application that makes use of your mobile device to control certain functions on the car. You can remotely lock and unlock your vehicle for example, set your pre-journey climate control, open the tailgate or turn on your headlights. It’s becoming a thing once again and Mitsubishi’s the first to offer it among its competitors. The Exceed also features an electric tailgate with ‘kick’ function as well as a sunroof.
Overall, the aesthetic make-up has changed and there’s a few added niceties in terms of tech and comfort features. They altogether create a more appealing product that will suit the current crop of Mitsubishi customers. Pricing is also competitive at this level and in this current economy so hats off to Mitsubishi SA for achieving this.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is available to order from R609 996 and in addition to the new updates and the new flagship model being added to the range, the core is still a robust, efficient and quality value proposition for those looking for honest quality machinery.
These cars and their 4x4 systems in particular are highly rated and what you have in the Pajero Sport, is that same rated strength in a more tailored package, albeit a little shiny in certain areas for my own liking. It’s a worthy competitor to Ford’s Everest and Toyota’s Fortuner.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 4x2 R609 996
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 4x4 R659 995
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 4x4 EXCEED R679 995