You wait years for a rugged ute-with-a-boot style SUV to come along and then several appear all at once. But Mitsubishi is leading the pack with the excellent Pajero Sport VRX.
The ute-with-a-boot landscape has become quite crowded over the last few years, with manufacturers such as Holden, Ford, Toyota and Isuzu all rediscovering the market for a more rugged take on the traditional SUV. But I think Mitsubishi might have just released the best looking ute-with-a-boot of all. This is the Pajero Sport and in the metal it’s a bit of a stunner; it looks like a premium SUV and a capable 4x4 worthy of the Pajero nameplate all at once.
In fact you’d never realise that underneath that body, the Pajero Sport features the same ladder chassis platform used for the – gasp – Triton ute.
So what’s going on here? A Pajero Sport? But why make the Pajero er… sporty?
Actually the SUV you see here is an entirely new entry to the Mitsubishi range. It has a rather big job to do for the manufacturer as well, effectively replacing two models in the local line-up.
The Pajero Sport replaces both the old Pajero SUV, which has only had mild updates over the last decade and is no longer available here, as well as the Challenger SUV, which was a big seller in New Zealand back in the 1990s but only enjoyed moderate success after its reintroduction to our market in 2010.
So Mitsubishi New Zealand needs something tough to sit alongside the Triton ute in their line-up. Well, tough and stylish too. And thankfully the Pajero Sport more than fits the bill. It’ll tow ‘til the end of time too.
The hardware on the rear is one of respected manufacturer Pinto Trailers’ larger models; a tandem axle machine trailer suitable for hauling a mini excavator and attachments.This model has a 10x5 (3050mm x 1530mm) trans tex deck with a removable gate that can either be used as a tailgate or placed in holding brackets up front, to create a separate front basket for tools or secondary attachments.
This hot dip galvanised trailer features an hydraulic override coupling, front axle disc brakes, equalising suspension for a smoother ride even when empty, a heavy-duty jockey wheel, LED lights, side markers and tie-down points. The bottom-hinged access ramps feature adjustable width to suit whatever you’re hauling too.
After 37 years in the business, Pinto knows how to manufacture a trailer for Kiwi conditions and it really shows in the build quality and attention to detail.
You only need to take a close-up look at the Kiwi-built Pinto range to realise what the differences are between their rugged models and the cheapie Chinese-built models increasingly available here. When you’re hauling something you’ve invested real bucks in, whether it be a mini digger or a couple of dirt bikes; it’s a no-brainer as to what you’d trust to do the job.
Read the full test in issue #231 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.