If you are on the hunt for a big rugged seven-seat SUV on a budget than Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport might be the answer.
Here are five things you need to know about the Pajero Sport GLS.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS we tested is priced at $52,240 drive-away.
That’s more than $10,000 cheaper than the equivalent Ford Everest and about $8000 cheaper than the Isuzu MU-X.
The Pajero Sport GLS comes with seven seats, two-wheel drive and a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine. If you want four-wheel drive you’ll have to stump up an extra $5000 or so.
The GLS has a fairly bare bones set-up but there are some quality touches, including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head and tail lights and chrome exterior highlights.
Inside there are manually adjustable cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter and a power tailgate granting access to a generous 502-litre boot.
Connectivity is taken care of via an eight-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is paired with digital radio, Bluetooth and in-built satnav.
THIS ISN’T ONE TO TAKE OFF-ROAD
Despite its tough styling and sizeable bulk the Pajero Sport GLS we tested is two-wheel drive only and best kept on the bitumen.
Four-wheel drive versions of the Pajero Sport have off-road necessities such as high and low-range gears, selectable drive modes for different surfaces and a locking rear differential.
The Pajero Sport has less ground clearance and lower water wading height than key rivals.
IT’S UTE UNDERPINNINGS SHOW THROUGH
The Pajero Sport shares its mechanical elements with the Triton dual-cab ute, which means it inherits the Triton’s below-par 3100kg tow capacity.
The 2.4-litre diesel engine sounds quite gruff for a passenger vehicle and more than you’d like in a large family SUV.
It crashes over larger bumps and potholes and jiggles and skips over smaller divots and mid-corner corrugations. There is also noticeable lean through corners.
Load the Pajero Sport up with passengers or gear and the ride settles down considerably.
Claimed fuel use of 8.0L/100km is good compared to its rivals.
IT PAYS TO BE LOYAL
Mitsubishi rewards customers who keep it in the family.
The brand will double your warranty to cover 10 years and 200,000km as long as you have your vehicle serviced at a Mitsubishi dealer for that period.
No other car maker in Australia guarantees its vehicles for that long.
Mitsubishi also has a 10-year capped price servicing program that’ll set owners back close to $6000, which is on the expensive side.
SAFETY IS LACKING
The Pajero Sport has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, but that score means little as it comes from a crash test of the Triton ute in 2015.
If the Pajero Sport was tested today it would likely receive a lower score because of its lack of active safety aids.
The GLS we had comes with autonomous emergency braking, but misses out on vital features such as blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter will sound the alarm when a car approaches from the side as you reverse and the former will warn you if a car is in your blind spot.
There is no lane-keep assist feature that will help keep your vehicle centred in its lane.
Pajero Sport buyers will need to pony up for a more expensive variant if they want these safety items.