You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Well, with the Pajero Sport, it seems you can.
The Pajero Sport is what happens when you take a Mitsubishi Triton, a very tough and capable workhorse, add a huge boot, rear seats, new rear suspension, some smart styling and an equally smart interior treatment, then refine it and make it as capable and talented on road as it is off.
Firstly the Pajero Sport looks like no other SUV on the road. The sharp, angular lines of the front are a clear stand-out from other SUV’s and give the car an aggressive and sporty look. The rear of the car again, is like nothing else either in this segment or on the road and Mitsubishi should be congratulated for taking somewhat of a design risk. I think the risk has been worthwhile and it’s nice to see such points of difference in an otherwise very sensible segment.
Getting in and out (and potentially getting others in and out) is easy with wide door openings and a seat height that thankfully doesn't require a ladder. Space inside is generous with good leg and head room for both the front and rear rows. Our test car was the 7 set variant and while an adult could accommodate the far rear quarters, a long trip may test the friendship for anyone north of 170cm.
Interior quality and layout continue this best of both worlds trend. While the interior is loosely based on its Triton underpinnings, the Pajero Sport has given this workhorse cabin a total makeover. The layout and button placements are simple and make sense while the interior materials are tough and rugged without being harsh or uninviting.
All seven seats are leather, comfy and supportive and the GLS comes standard with dual-zone climate control, auto wipers and headlights, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry with push-button start, dual USB inputs, an HDMI input and a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with the excellent Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Pajero Sport has enough poke to get you out of trouble yet remains incredibly fuel efficient for a vehicle this size.
On-road, the Pajero Sport is excellent for a car this capable off-road. Powered by a 2.4- litre turbocharged diesel 4-cylinder putting out 133kW and 430Nm, the Pajero Sport has enough poke to get you out of trouble yet remains incredibly fuel efficient for a vehicle this size. The ADR fuel figure is 8.0L/100km, and we managed around 9.5L/100km on our test.
The ride is smooth and compliant and manages to hide the weight and size of the car quite well, and the 8-speed auto is equally as smooth and is never hunting for gears. Steering is excellent, and with a class-leading turning circle 11.2 meters, the Pajero Sport again hides its size making it easy to manoeuvre both in suburbia and in the bush.
And speaking of the bush, this is where the Pajero Sport comes alive. With the assistance of an incredibly easy to use electronic control dial, you can select 4WD High, 4WD High with the centre diff locked, 4WD Low with the centre diff locked as well as hill descent and a choice of different modes for different surfaces. Even with the standard tyres, the Pajero Sport is a very capable off-roader.
The Pajero Sport is covered by Mitsubishi’s 5-year/100,000km warranty and a capped price servicing schedule that covers every 15,000km or 12 months over the first four years.
If you're after an SUV that’s as comfy as it is rugged, can tow 3.1 tonnes while easily as accommodating 7.0 humans, looks as funky and individual as it is incredibly practical - the 2016 Pajero Sport should be very high on your list.
It really is two cars for the price of one and Mitsubishi have created a resolved and cohesive package with this SUV and what an impressive package it is.
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