Mitsubishi has boosted the desirability of its Pajero full-sized SUV by fitting a more powerful and more frugal diesel engine
The 2009 model year Pajero’s 3.2-litre direct Injection common rail Intercooled turbodiesel delivers 18 percent more power and 23 percent more torque than its predecessor and is said to be able to cut fuel use by 12 percent. Mitsubishi quotes 9.2 litres/100km on the combined cycle.
The engine which meets Euro 4 emission standards develops 150kW of maximum power with peak torque of 448Nm, enabling the wagon to tow braked trailers of up to 3.3 tonnes.
Diesel Pajeros also get better cabin sound-proofing for 2009. GLS models get new-design alloy wheels and body coloured exterior mirrors and door handles.
Diesel and petrol Exceed models add a DVD entertainment unit for the rear passengers, auto wipers and headlights and a new front grille.
Mitsubishi New Zealand has dropped GLS long- and short wheelbase petrol-engined models, but buyers can get short wheelbase petrol VRX sports-oriented versions on firm order.
Pajeros have a monocoque body with built-in ladder frame to improve torsional rigidity for off-roading. The body has car-like impact-absorbing crumple zones to protect occupants in crashes.
Side and front dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, and cabin-length side curtain airbags are standard.
Active Stability Control is designed to reduce oversteer and understeer, keeping the vehicle balanced and on the driver’s intended path.
Mitsubishi’s All Terrain 4WD Technology (MATT) incorporates a rear differential lock and hill hold assist.
Though it’s not the newest design on the block, the Pajero is a creditable SUV with good off-road ability, competent road manners and competitive pricing.
It offers excellent manoeuvrability in a class of vehicle not noted for agility in tight spaces, and has excellent steering lock – again not common among large 4WD wagons.
That makes the Pajero a city-friendly SUV, a factor enhanced by the upgraded and more economical diesel engine in the revised range
The short-wheelbase Pajero, with two doors in place of its bigger stablemate’s four, is an attractive vehicle, with good handling and stability despite the shorter distance between front and rear axles.
One we drove last year impressed with its agility and general pleasantness to drive, even in heavy city traffic. Its only downside was the petrol V6’s fuel consumption.
Pajeros remain likeable SUVs that are easy to operate, have a good level of standard kit. The new diesel makes them an even more attractive proposition.