The third-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport midsize rugged SUV continues to be based on the L200 pickup truck
Unveiled in Thailand (where it will also be built), the third generation Pajero Sport will be sold in some 90 countries worldwide from Southeast Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and to the states of the former Soviet Union.
A rival for Ford’ Everest and Toyota’s Fortuner, the all-new Pajero Sport brings a fresh exterior design, improved performance and a more comfortable interior, along with advanced safety features. Styling-wise, the body-on-frame SUV shows its L200 roots, but is easy to distinguish from the pickup truck thanks to Mitsubishi’s new “Dynamic Shield” front face design concept. Striking details include the chrome elements on the front grille and bumper, the ascending window line and the oddly-shaped taillights.
Moving on to the cabin, the dashboard is dominated by a big center console surrounded by silver-finish ornaments that connect it with the center tunnel. The sculpted seats also contribute to a more upscale feel compared to the previous model.
Under the hood, the Pajero Sport gets a new 2.4-liter MIVEC turbo diesel engine mated to an equally new 8-speed automatic transmission. Developed specifically for this model, the powertrain is rated at 181 PS (178 hp) and 430 Nm (317 lb-ft) of torque. According to the automaker, it delivers a 17-percent improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor, while CO2 emissions do not exceed 200 g/km.
The all-new Pajero Sport uses a modified version of Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4WD-II four-wheel drive system, complemented by the new Off-road Mode. A first on a Mitsubishi model, the technology is said to improve all-terrain performance and stability. Together with Hill Descent Control (also a first for the brand) and a greater wading depth, the Pajero Sport promises a significantly better off-road experience.
Mitsubishi says handling stability, ride and quietness have all been improved thanks to the optimization of the suspension and improvements to the body mounts. In addition, the new engine and upgraded sound insulation contribute to a quieter cabin.
As for safety, new features include Forward Collision Mitigation system (FCM), the Blind Spot Warning system (BSW) and the Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS). The model goes on sale in fall 2015 in Thailand, with other markets following shortly after.