NZ Company Vehicle magazine takes a look at the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – and concludes that it’s “extraordinarily capable”.
Of course, the Pajero name is synonymous with proper off-road ability, and the Sport is no different than its older namesake in this particular regard. Based on the Triton Ute underpinnings, Mitsubishi expects the Pajero Sport to not only replace the Challenger, but also soak up those Pajero buyers who yearn for something more modern. The Pajero Sport comes to New Zealand in two forms, both powered by the Triton’s 135kW/437Nm 2.4-litre diesel four-cylinder engine that is hooked up to an all-new eight-speed transmission.
As well as being based on the same ladder chassis platform as the Triton ute, the Pajero Sport is also fully loaded with the latest off-road technology to complement its proven underpinnings. The “off-road mode” dial in the centre console allows drivers to select from four different off-road modes including gravel, mud/snow, sand and rock. The Pajero Sport also comes standard with hill descent control which holds the vehicle at a constant speed on a steep gradient.
Perhaps the biggest advantage the Pajero Sport has over the Triton off-road is the brilliant new eight-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is also a massive advantage on the road as well, being an incredibly quick and smooth shifter that brings a massive amount of refinement to the 2.4-litre diesel engine. The engine itself is fantastically torquey — and surprisingly frugal — and makes fairly light work of propelling the Sport along at a more than acceptable rate.
Inside the Pajero Sport is light years ahead of the Challenger, with a modern interior made from high quality plastics, with lots of soft-touch surfaces. On the outside, the newest interpretation of Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield” nose looks fantastically aggressive and refined on the Sport, while the dramatically tapering rear side windows and heavily sculpted taillights may be a bit confrontational for some, but give the Pajero Sport and unmistakable appearance from behind.
The XLS kicks off the range at $58,990 and comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, privacy glass, daytime running lights, climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors and Mitsubishi’s new Smartphone Link Display Audio system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is controlled via a 7-inch touchscreen.
The VRX tops the range at $63,990 and adds 18-inch machine finish ally wheels, LED headlights, DRLs and taillights, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, a premium 8-speaker audio system, dual zone climate control, a reversing camera, forward collision mitigation, blind spot warning, an ultrasonic mis-acceleration prevention system, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers.
The Pajero Sport also comes with Mitsubishi’s 10 year Diamond Advantage Warranty. For more information go to www.mmnz.co.nz/pajero-sport