When Basic is Best. Words Dean Mellor
Mitsubishi Pajero GLX ($53,990)
There’s no denying the Mitsubishi Pajero is getting a little long in the tooth, but when the NM variant (on which the current model is based) was launched back in 2000, it was far more advanced than most of its competitors, and it’s still able to hold its head high today.
Unlike traditional separate chassis 4x4 wagons, the Pajero has a monocoque structure with fully independent suspension. Power comes courtesy a 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces a claimed 141kW of power at 3800rpm and 441Nm of torque at 2000rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and the Pajero GLX features Mitsubishi’s excellent Super Select II 4WD system that can be run in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive on the road, and 4WD-locked off the road in high or low. A standard rear diff lock complements the electronic traction control system.
One of the Pajero’s strengths is its relatively sporty on-road handling courtesy its fully independent suspension design. While this suspension set-up doesn’t translate into a lot of wheel travel for off-road driving, the Pajero’s traction control system and rear diff lock make up for it, and off-road capability is impressive. The Pajero GLX offers a good 775kg payload capacity and class-standard 3000kg maximum braked towing capacity, while the 88-litre fuel tank provides a decent touring range.
Even in bare-bones GLX trim, the seven-seat Pajero is still a relatively well-equipped 4x4 wagon, with standard gear including 18-inch alloys with 265/60R18 tyres, privacy glass, roof rails, fog lights, LED DRLs, cloth trim and carpet, front and rear zone climate control air conditioning, keyless entry and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Standard safety gear on Pajero GLX includes six airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, traction control, stability control and reversing camera.
Despite a $53,990 list price, the Mitsubishi has recently been advertising the Pajero GLX for as little as $49,990 drive-away, making this well-equipped base-spec 4x4 wagon exceptional value for money.