It’s not often you can just go out and buy a over landing ready vehicle out of the box, without having to spend a small extra fortune on accessorising it and probably putting your warranty at risk.
The new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Shogun is now available right from the showroom with enough kit to put any weekend warrior, or small time overlander, at ease. The vehicle is so well equipped, I can’t seem to think of a place where it won’t be able to take you.
The Pajero Sport has always had huge competition from the likes of the Fortuner and, of course, the Trailblazer and while they are both excellent vehicles, I seem to think when the going gets tough, they might struggle a little. For starters, the Pajero Sport has excellent approach and departure angles with both a locking rear and centre differential. If you combine that with the upgraded Tough Dog Heavy-Duty Shock absorbers, you certainly have a very capable vehicle, even in most amateur’s hands.
On the outside, the Pajero Sport looks like it’s ready for Africa. You immediately notice the small things; new daylight running lamps around the fog lights, some descent under body protection including engine/gearbox skid plates and rock sliders with integrated steps that replace the OEM running boards. There is also a TJM snorkel fitted as well as a roof rack with a rear spotlight, fitted from Front runner.
Finding your way through Africa is made easy as all of the Shogun versions have the latest Garmin Nuvi-Cam GPS, preloaded with maps for Africa.
Since we last drove the Pajero Sport, little has changed. It still runs the very reliable 131kw/400nm 2.5 turbo diesel engine, although it feels more alive this time. The engine is mated to a 5 speed auto with paddle shifters on the steering column. The ride quality is pretty good and even on the roughest gravel roads the Tough Dog shocks never left me wanting to shift to 4 high. It just soaked up every bump and hole in the road. The aftermarket Yokohama Geolander AT/s tires cope so well with the loose gravel, inspiring confidence where most SUV’s with highway terrains will leave things unpredictable. I’ve always been a fan of the AT/s.
The interior, which is spacious and thankfully a relatively neutral elephant grey colour means, things will stay clean and cool. The front driver seat is also power assisted, with the passenger being left manual. The rear space is ample and you should easily be able to fit a big old boer-seun in the back, with head room to spare.
The Pajero Sport is a 7 seater, but we all know that the rear seats aren’t really usable for most adults. I usually don’t care much for them as I prefer having a big load bay in the back (1149l with 3rd row down) The Pajero also offers a pull out draw in the back, perfect for your snatch straps and other recovery equipment.
The downside about accessorising your 4×4 is obviously a negative effect on fuel economy. Things like roof racks especially have a lot of wind resistance. We saw a still rather impressive 10.6l/100km on the open road and we managed to squeeze just over 500km on the 70l tank (to the reserve light)
The Pajero Sport Shogun seems to be a real bargain with its 5 year 90 000 service plan and 3 year 100 000km warranty. It retails for R514 900 (including the R70 000 worth of over landing equipment.)