When you enter the already really competitive SUV market in South Africa, there is no doubt going to be some stiff competition from the other big brands. The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, which is all new does, however, have a few tricks up its sleeve to face the battle head-on.
The engine, which is out of the Triton is a gem of a unit. Its responsive, efficient and powerful for such a relatively small capacity. The 131kw and 450nm, which is available from a low 2500rpm, means this puppy is ready to go, in nearly all scenarios. While there is a faint amount of turbo lag, it’s not uncommon for this application anyway, so it can be overlooked. The day to day fuel consumption is also very acceptable averaging out at about 10l/100km (claimed 8.1l/100km)
The interior which is top class and is majority leather-based, with piano black and hard plastic inserts, feel luxurious in all the right places. The steering wheel and gearshift, in particular, feel really good and has an expensive feeling to them. The dash layout is open with a curved center console, which has a cockpit type of feeling. Personally, I feel that the overall curve could have been lower as it intrudes into my legs and might pose a problem for tall drivers. There is a lack of storage in the front, with two cup holders in the center and two small pocket type inserts on both sides of the center console. They are large enough to accommodate a big smartphone like a Samsung Note 8. The center cubby is relatively deep and also houses an additional 12v and the USB port for the multimedia. The electronically adjustable (driver) seats are full leather and offer some serious comfort, especially when driving the Toyota and Mitsubishi back to back. I personally prefer the Toyota’s interior.
While having a 6 speaker system and a relatively basic infotainment system, overall sound quality and volume seems to be on par with the competition, though the unit and the way it operates seems a little dated by standards. It is still easy to use and navigate.
Overall space will accommodate most large families and with a clever seat configuration, it’s a breeze flip and configure seats as you need them. Getting into the last row for anybody with a large frame will be challenging, as it is with most cars.
Pricing in the segment hovers around the R600k mark with the Ford Everest the most expensive and the Toyota Fortuner trumping the Pajero Sport by about 30k. The Pajero Sport really does everything so well and also features the Super Select 2 with rear diff lock, which also means it won’t stand back for anything off the beaten path. I found its gravel driving manners very predictable and suspension plush enough to cope with the roughest roads. The stability control is also non-intrusive and makes for an overall safer driving experience, without sacrificing any of the fun.
When it comes to choice in this segment, it really comes down to which one ticks all the boxes. The very responsive 2.4 from Mitsubishi, really is that good and when mated to the 8-speed auto it really makes for effortless traveling, whether its to work or into Africa.
For more up to date pricing and specifications, please visit the www.mitsubishi-motors.co.za