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Mitsu's Pajero drops a diff for 2014

2013-11-17 08:49

PAJERO DROPS A DIFF: Mitsubishi's now almost iconic Pajero seven-seat SUV has at last joined the 4x2 market in South Africa.

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Mitsubishi's new Pajero Sport is now in SA. It's still one of the better-looking seven-seaters, it's packed with standard goods and still has the same price as the outgoing models.

A few weeks ago we brought you all the details about Mitsubishi's latest Pajero - with an alert that a 4x2 would be launched before year-end. Well, here it is...

Mitsubishi, for many years the maker of the Pajero - one of the most capable and comfortable 4x4 SUV's on the South African market - has missed out on the 4x4 market. Things have changed...

That's just been corrected with the introduction in SA of a 4x2 Pajero Sport with a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine capable of 131kW at 4000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1800rpm with a claimed standard-test fuel consumption of 8.5 litres/100km.

2014 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport image gallery

CEO of Mitsubishi Motors SA, Jaco Oosthuizen, explained: “4x2 units make up about 70% of the large SUV market and now we are in that segment with a fantastic vehicle which we hope will dramatically increase our sales volumes."

'OUTSTANDING VALUE'

A face-lifted Pajero Sport 4x4 was introduced in SA in September 2013 as the least-expensive, at R435 900 for the manual and R445 900 for the auto, among its direct competitors.

"The 4x2 at R419 900," Oosthuizen says, "is outstanding value considering the very high level of standard equipment for comfort, convenience and safety, as well as the versatility of its variable arrangements for the second and third seat rows.

The 4x2, apart from lacking the benefits of all-wheel drive, has all the features of the redesigned 4x4 model launched two months earlier. The facelift involved new front styling, camouflaged door releases and exterior mirrors, the latter now including indicator repeaters. The interior mirror dims electro-chromatically.

The cars ride on 17” alloy rims shod with 245/65 radial tyres. Ground clearance on both the 4x2 and 4x4 is 205mm. Also standard are six airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-pressure distribution and a "safety cell" body structure.

CARBON-FIBRE LOOK

The 4x2 is, however, only available with a five-speed auto transmission but, Mitsubishi says, "leads its competitors by having paddle shifts on the steering wheel for those wanting to select gear ratios manually".

The instrument panel and some of the other trim has a carbon-fibre appearance; privacy glass is used for the rear side windows with the luggage area has a retractable a vinyl cover.

Leather covers the seats and steering-wheel, the latter equipped with multi-function switches for cruise control, Bluetooth and an audio system that includes a touch screen, audio jack and USB port and six speakers.

The Mitsubishi Link cellphone connection can be voice-activated and selecting reverse gear lights up a rear camera to support the usual "bleep-bleep" proximity warning. Headlights and screen wipers react, respectively, to dusk or car-park conditions and water.

FIVE PAINT FINISHES

All seven seats, Mitsubishi says, are easily accessible; the third row folds flat to increase cargo space to 1149 litres; drop the second row flat as well and that increases to 1776 litres.

There are five choices of paint finish - grey, silver metallic, bronze metallic, medium red and white pearl - and the Pajero Sport is covered by a three-year or 100 000km warranty and five-year or 90 000km service plan.


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