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Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Pajero - 5-dr wagon range

Launch Story

Mitsubishi logo18 Dec 2008

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

ONE of the stalwarts of the SUV market, the Mitsubishi Pajero, has come in for a 2009 model-year refresh, with a more powerful and efficient turbo-diesel engine and a new automatic transmission.

It also has better towing capacity, two new model variants – and a significant price rise across the range. Price increases vary from $1000 for a GLX 3.8 V6 manual to $6439 for a VRX 3.2 DI-D auto.

Replacing the 2006 NS-series Pajero (which was a major revision of the 1999 NM Pajero), the NT arrives with an upgraded 3.2-litre diesel engine. The existing 125kW/373Nm 3.2-litre DI-D turbo-diesel takes 70 per cent of Pajero sales – and is growing.

Known as the 4M41 Common Rail DI-D, the new engine improves outputs with 147kW of power at 3800rpm and 441Nm of torque at 2000rpm. This is an 18 per cent improvement in power and torque over the outgoing 3.2-litre, while Mitsubishi claims fuel economy has improved 13 per cent, with 8.8L/100km average fuel consumption for the SWB auto and 9.2L/100km for the LWB auto (8.2L/100km for the LWB manual).

According to Mitsubishi, injection system adjustment has improved combustion efficiency, while the cylinder head intake port has been upgraded. A bigger variable-geometry turbocharger has been fitted and the swirl ratio and port form of the swirl control valve has been modified. Changes to the emission controls include upgrades to the airflow, intake air temperature and boost pressure sensors, and EGR valves and coolers.

The 4M41 DI-D now has an upgraded version of the five-speed automatic transmission with sports mode, lock up and intelligent shift control.

Changes for vehicles fitted with the 4M41 engine also include an improved noise insulation package, including increased use of sound-deadening material.

The 3.8-litre petrol V6 MIVEC engine continues unchanged, and all models continue with the sophisticated Super Select II full-time dual-range 4WD system.

All long-wheelbase models have towing capacity up 500kg to 3000kg from the NS Pajero’s 2500kg maximum.

Two new LWB model lines have been introduced for NT Pajero: a new entry-level model, the Pajero GL, which is available in diesel only, and a mid-grade GLS.

The short-wheelbase R and the X model continue with upgraded specifications and the option of the improved diesel engine. The R adds side and curtain airbags as standard, as well as the exterior changes of the five-door – new side steps, front mud guards and body-coloured trim – and new cloth seat trim inside. The X now includes automatic rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing headlamps, a standard rear diff lock to diesel variants and an electric slide and tilt sunroof.

Standard on the new GL model includes 17x7.5JJ steel wheels, fabric seat trim, an AM/FM CD player and either five or seven seats. Side and curtain airbags and a rear diff lock are available options. The GLX model continues on from the NS series unchanged.

The new GLS model includes features such as standard side and curtain airbags, rear air-conditioning and side steps. The GLS also has foglights, body-coloured exterior trim and a new full chrome grille.

The VRX now gains full leather seat trim, power front seats, new front door trim and a lidded console, along with a rear diff lock on diesel variants.

The range-topping Pajero Exceed has new nine-spoke 18x7.5JJ alloy wheels, chrome grille and bright highlights on the exterior, new wood/leather steering wheel, patterned instrument panel and automatic light-sensing headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The Exceed models also feature an MMCS system, which has been fully integrated with the Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio system and rear seat entertainment system as standard.

Standard safety equipment on all models includes Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), driver and passenger airbags, and an ABS braking system with EBD and brake assist.

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