Some 4-wheel drives look the part, but then fall apart when things get tough. Not Pajero. It was forged in the heat of the Sahara desert, in over 10 years of the punishing Paris–Dakar rally.
It wasn't easy. But it was worth it; no other competitor has ever matched our record of wins. And what we learnt here goes into the Pajero you drive today. For sporting and technical achievement, it's miles ahead.
While it's built for a whole lot of living, it's also very easy to live with, thanks to uncommon levels of luxury, inside and out. There's an advanced, integrated system of safety features. The on-road feeling is refined and firm.
Power to tow
Pajero's diesel engine technology delivers power without compromise. The engineered 3.2 litre Direct Injection Common Rail Intercooled Diesel Turbo yields quietness, smoothness and fuel efficiency while still effortlessly delivering 150KW of power and a meaty 448Nm of torque more than enough to tow up to 3,300kg's. All the power and torque you need for both on and off the track and all while only consuming 9 litres of diesel per 100km travelled.
This engine harnesses the leading edge of diesel technology. Fuel is delivered through a Direct Injection Common Rail system – the same system we use on our big commercial trucks. The Intercooled Turbo boosts the already large low-end torque and adds smoothness and power throughout the rev range. It makes light work of hauling a boat up a slippery ramp or launching you up to motorway speeds.
The figures sum it up: 150kW of power and a hefty 448Nm of torque. What's surprising is that all this power comes from 3.2 litres - a higher output than many engines of much greater size.
The final word is the economy: just 9 litres per 100km.
The perfect gear box for these two power house engines is the INVECS II 5-speed automatic transmission. Not only does it let the engine work most effectively at any rev speed, it adapts your driving style. The Smart Logic system measures your use of the pedals and adapts its changes to suit how you drive. The result is smooth acceleration and a more predictable ride, which is very reassuring on uncertain surfaces.
Luxury of leather
On Pajero Exceed, you're treated to smooth, supremely comfortable leather. The front seats are even heated, making frosty mornings more tolerable.
The seven seats of power
When you're off-road, you'll appreciate the way Pajero's seats are designed. They're well padded where it's needed, yet firm and supportive. Even the third row of seats will keep two passengers comfortable on long or bumpy journeys. These seats fold back into the floor so you don't lose an inch of boot space.
The right information
The in-dash Multi-Mode Display shows you information that's vital to know when you're somewhere off the map. You can see compass bearing and atmospheric information. It's also a trip computer, displaying all the relevant information.
Powerful sound system
All Pajero models offer an exceptional sound system, with in-dash CD player with MP3 compatibility. Exceed takes it up a notch with a 12-speaker 860 Watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. It's one serious audio package, but when you're miles from anywhere, who's going to mind the noise?
Super Select 4WD
The hard working Pajero inherits all the 4WD-handling heritage of the long line of Mitsubishi rally champions. Most 4WD systems have either part-time 4WD or constant 4WD, but with Super Select 4WD now available in Pajero, you have the best of both worlds.
Four driving modes give you complete driving freedom: economical 2WD, full-time 4WD allowing you to drive in 4WD on any surface, and traditional 4WD high & low range modes to take on any off-road situation. The Super Select 4WD System also offers the benefit of on-the-fly shifts from 2WD to 4WD high range at speeds of up to 100km/h.
2H (2WD high range)
For regular road driving, this setting gives you power, solid handling and the best economy.
4H (full-time 4WD)
For bad weather, or bad roads, this setting gives you added grip and stability.
4HLC (4WD high range)
When you're off-road, this setting distributes power to all four wheels equally.
4LLC (4WD Low Range with Locked Centre Differential)
This is Pajero's natural state. In this mode, all of that famous 4WD ability is at your command. However deep the mud or steep the track, you can power out of it. There's a reason Pajero is favoured for off-road driving. Select this mode to appreciate why.