New, classy Pajero Sport offers more
Think about the world of SUVs and two nameplates stand out loud and proud in South
Africa: Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest. After the unceremonious departure of Chevrolet’s Trailblazer, we will soon see the spiritual successor to that General Motors brand with the imminent launch of the Isuzu MU-X. So why doesn’t the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport spring to mind?
Much has to do with the quality and reputations of the two major players and Mitsubishi’s marketing arsenal, which is not very effective. They also have a very limited product range on offer locally. This is a pity because the world’s first passenger vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive, the PX33, was launched by Mitsubishi back in 1933! Remember, it built its tough reputation winning the punishing Dakkar Rally numerous times.
And now, more than 80 years later, Mitsubishi has launched its all-new, luxurious purpose-built sport utility vehicle, the Pajero Sport, at a price to make the rivals blush (it comes in, on average, at R15 000 cheaper).
Improved driving dynamics
This stylishly designed, new- generation Mitsubishi SUV offers vastly improved driving dynamics, including a class-leading eight-speed automatic transmission for both the 2WD and 4WD models – the latter including low-range as well as Mitsubishi’s latest version of its Super Select 4-II 4WD system, which now also boasts electronic off-road assistance.
The new Pajero Sport is powered by Mitsubishi’s new-generation, high-performance MIVEC four- cylinder turbo diesel engine producing 133kW at 3 500rpm. The whopping 430Nm of torque at a modest 2 500rpm, plus Mitsubi- shi’s best-in-class all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, with intelligent shift control, results in effortless driving dynamics.
One of the most anticipated features of the new Pajero Sport is the fitment of the latest ver- sion of Mitsubishi’s unique Super Select 4-II 4WD system, which now boasts electronic offroad assistance as well. To further enhance the off- road experience provided by the unique Super Select 4-II 4WD system, Hill-Descent Control has been added for additional safety when on dangerous ground. In addition, the selectable Off-road Mode maximises traction on unsealed surfaces.Virtually unstoppable
The additional electronic assistance allows the driver to select the Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand or Rock setting, to suit surface conditions and optimise engine output, transmission settings and brak- ing for superior traction. With the added lockable rear differential to this magnificent 4WD system, the new Pajero Sport offers superior road holding under any condi- tions, on and off the road, and is virtually unstoppable.
The exceptionally smooth eight-speed automatic transmission also offers a Sport Mode with manual shifting and paddle shifts behind the steering wheel, ensuring that the Pajero feels sure-footed, confident and highly responsive and cossets occupants in comfort and safety.
The new Pajero Sport’s distinctive styling is modern, classy and striking, with bold usage of a chrome grille sweeping unobtrusively into the elongated headlamps, giving the front end an athletic, modern and exclusive character. The profile of the car carries the strong athletic theme to the rear, with a high muscular crease line leading to the tail-lamps which are probably the most controversial feature of the design. Long and thin, with a slight indent, they look odd and spoil an otherwise stunning looking vehicle.
It has a quality interior with a soft-touch material that exudes elegance and sophistication.
Soft-feel leather seats further enhance the quality feel of the new Pajero Sport. The driver seat is electrically adjustable. The second row of seats offers a 60:40 split with tumble, reclining and sliding function and a centre armrest and cup holders. The third row of seats folds flat into the floor to minimise intru- sion into the cargo space when not in use.
Mitsubishi Motors places great emphasis on safety and the Pajero Sport earned a maximum five-star in the Australian ANCAP safety test – making it one of the safest SUVs on (and off) the road.
If you’re in the market for a premium SUVs and would like something other than the com- mon brands, then take a Pajero Sport for a spin and be pleas- antly surprised. Known for their high mileages, they hold strong re-sale values too.