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Test Drives
30 Jan 10 13:08
The New Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
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Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.5 GT (AT)

    Mitsubishi Pajero (Sport) was named after the fierce Leopardus Pajeros, the pampas cat which inhabits the windy and vast Patagonia plateau region in southern Argentina.

    Rewind and remember the old heavy looking Mitsubishi G-Wagon with its bulky protruding spare tire at the rear. "G-Wagon" just like the ueber luxury Mercedes Benz G-Wagon in German "Gelände Wagen". The difference: Mitsu's G-Wagon was actually a pickup truck or a PPV (passenger pickup vehicle) – for tax reasons.

    A "passenger" 1-ton pickup truck looking like some kind of SUV-PPV. And they all started building them Toyota calling their PPV Fortuner (some said it had the looks of the expensive Lexus Harrier). The Isuzu MU-7 looked like a bus and Ford Ranger Everest also very long, square and retro looking and again with a massive spare wheel sticking out of the rear.

    Flash forward to 2008/2009 Mitsubishi all new Pajero Sport was fist launched in Russia followed by the Kingdom of Thailand.
The new Pajero Sport is the replacement the old Strada pick up is called Triton and the Pajero Sport which was the replacement of the G-Wagon.
The Pajero Sport is built on the Triton platform at the new mega billion THB Mitsubishi plant near the deep sea port of Laem Chabang one hour’s drive from Bangkok.

The Looks

    The new cool styling is obvious with solid SUV looks, flared wheel arches off-road ground clearance. The unmistakable front view with the aggressive, iconic Mitsubishi diamond design in the middle of the grill. The design DNA which Pajero Sport shares with its pickup truck sibling Triton including the transparent high set projector clear glass headlights.

    Pajero Sport sits tall on the tarmac. You’ll notice high waistline and high-set crimson taillights differentiating it from all the other pick up frame based SUV's. Our tester came with a cool silver paint job.

    Inside is equally stylish and functional with a healthy range of features in the GT version like leather seat trim, power drivers seat with slide, dual height and recline movement, color keyed side protection moldings, privacy glass, wood-trim console and centre panel. Mitsubishi’s touch screen Multi Communication System (MMCS) with satellite navigation and reverse camera (much needed a must for a SUV of this size) plus the all the applications MP3, DVD – the works connected to a high power Dolby 50 WX 4 high power sound system.

    The spacious seats are comfortable, head and shoulder room is good, and legroom is plentiful even in the third row which features a 50-50 split. Behind that there is still room for a couple of large old-fashioned suitcases with the spare tyre under the rear. No more protruding chunky spare wheel on the rear swing door. Power will be supplied by a choice of two power plants the 140 horse power 2.5-liter engine and 3.2-liter 165 horse power turbo diesel. These are powerful Mitsubishi Hyper Common Rail Turbo Intercooler - a state-of-the-art Diesel engine. Our 2,5 liter version was mated to an automatic INVECS 4 speed gearbox.

The ride

    Much smoother than the old bumpy Mitsu G- Wagon thanks to Pajero’s rear coil springs. The first pickup-based SUV all used of rear leaf springs that compromised on handling/ride balance and passenger comfort especially on long highway rides.

    The new Pajero Sport features dynamic and sporty exterior lines, complemented by a stylish and vast interior space that engenders a sense of comfort, purpose and safety. This cabin, available in either a 2-row (5-passenger) or 3-row (7-passenger) seating configuration.

Driving impressions

    The Pajero Sport is begging you to take it out on the open road. So, in with the luggage. Buckle up and start the engine. Put the shifter in D.
Step lightly on the gas imediately you'll feel there’s plenty of power on tap. You’re sitting high up with a commanding view. The rear view mirrors are almost the size of a 17 inch omputer screen. Everything feels big, secure and solid. First you feel slight vibrations from the meaty 2,5 liter Mitsubishi turbo diesel but once you rev up it is all smooth cruising on the highway.

    Our average speed on the Nakhon Sawan Thai motorway was 140 km/h with plenty of power on tap for safe overtakings and lane changing and a smooth ride for the passengers and fun driving for the pilot. Pajero Sport has a ground clearance of 215 mm providing basic off-road SUV driving capabilities.

Verdict & Retail Price

    The Pajero Sport is light years ahead of the old, first generation Mitsubishi G-Wagon in terms of comfort and handling and styling, too. A cat named Pajero from the Argentinia pampas.

Mitsu's new SUV wagon sells at 1.070,000 million THB.

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