If 2WD is your preference, Mitsubishi released the base-spec GLX five-seater – the cheapest entry point into the Pajero Sport range – and the seven-seat GLS early in 2022.
Opt for 4WD and there's the choice of a five-seat GLX, or a GLS, Exceed and GSR – all with seven seats. The GSR was also new for 2022, arriving with two-tone styling and 18-inch alloys.
An adept off-roader when mated with the four-wheel-drive system, 4x4 models are equipped with Mitsubishi's Super Select II system for terrain-specific off-road control.
All Pajero Sport models are powered by Mitsubishi's proven 133kW/430Nm 2.4-litre MIVEC DID turbo-diesel engine.
2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GSR: The dad weekender drive
It's made for off-road, but how does the Pajero Sport fare for family duties?
Our product manager Michael Fisher climbs into Mitsubishi's popular 2022 Pajero Sport to give us his regular-bloke "I'm no journalist" take, and to see how it compares with his older-generation Kluger and Sportage cars
Having owned one of the most popular large SUVs from the late noughties, the 2009 Toyota Kluger, I was interested in how today's large SUVs compare. In the case, a ute-based off-roading option!
- The car
- First impressions
- On the road
- Fuel economy
- Last impressions
2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GSR: $61,440 before on-road costs
As standard, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine with 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel consumption is listed at 8.0L/100km in either two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configuration, with a maximum braked towing capacity of 3.0 tonnes on 4x2s and 3.1 tonnes on 4x4s.
The immediate thought when I trotted out to the carpark was that the Pajero Sport seems slimmer than your standard large SUV. Tapering around the way it does, it just doesn't have that bulky rear end of the Isuzu MU-X or Ford Everest.
I also like the the all-black theme including alloys and grille, with the stripe of silver down the side, gave it a sleek look.
Jumping inside, it really felt like your classic simple cabin setup – no oversized screens, not too many dials and a standard steering wheel. This one didn't take me too long to set up before I hit the road, straight to school pickup.
Pajero Sport GSR key features above Exceed
The GSR is fitted with an all-leather interior, the seats are plush and provide plenty of comfort for the driver, but heated seats are only included in the front row, which the kids would have liked. (Nothing unusual here though! – Stevo.)
Climate is controlled in the front for all passengers, with vents in all rows to ensure the comfort levels are met. The second row has cup holders that fold out of the middle seat, and the third row has them on each side.
For a large SUV, it wasn't as roomy as you would expect in the second row. I found with three 13-year-olds it wasn't too bad, but for three adults, it would feel squishy. It would have been nice to be able to slide the second row back to provide more legroom.
I tested the third row, and whilst it was okay for the kids, I wouldn't want to be a six-foot-plus adult being stuck there for a long trip.
2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport: Boot space
With the third row folded there is ample room for a large shop, or for all the things we take away on a holiday for a family of four.
I was able to get a bike and a (folded!) gazebo in the back by laying the second row down, and this wasn't a big task.
There’s nothing in the Pajero that you would say is state of the art new world tech. In saying that, it still has everything needed to make it an enjoyable ride.
The 8-inch screen user interface is nice and simple, and easy to quickly integrate Android Auto or Apple Carplay, both work well without issue.
The native Mitsubishi navigation app is what you would expect, and easy to use. John Law covers it well here: "To illustrate the tech difference, the Outlander’s infotainment screen was switched on and ready to select your favourite tune in 10 seconds, against the Pajero Sport’s 18-second boot time."
As with most new cars, It does beep a lot. It took me a short while to figure out the main culprit was the navigation making noises to alert you about upcoming red light cameras and the like, but it wasn't hard to turn this off.
The addition of DAB digital radio is welcome, and the audio experience throughout the cabin was ample. There are plenty of USB ports and even a 240V plug in the second row.
The one part of the tech I found a little hard to work with was the climate controls. These are hidden below the screen, and whilst it was relatively easy to see the display of temperature and so forth, the buttons are on an angle which doesn't make it easy to read the labels whilst driving, but that's being nitpicky.
On the Road
Coming from what was once considered a large SUV to this new 'upper large', I did expect it to feel like a “truck” – but I was pleasantly surprised with how well it drove.
It was sluggish off the mark at times, and the drive wasn't as smooth as with my old Sportage, especially when on back roads, but it's to be expected in a car that has been built for performance off road.
Once on the highway, it was a nice ride, and still had that diesel kick when I needed to overtake at speed.
The visibility for the driver is excellent, with a nice seating position and large mirrors. The display on the dash is very neat and simple, quite easy to see how fast you're going and all of the other important metrics. For those that love being able to alter their dash, no luck here.
I didn't take the Pajero Sport off road, but it has all of the necessities with Super Select II, giving drivers selectable drive modes, lockable diff and high and low range.
Warranty and servicing
Like the wider Mitsubishi range, the Pajero Sport is covered by the marque’s 10/10 Diamond Advantage coverage with a 10-year/200,000km warranty and 10 years of capped-price servicing. If the vehicle is serviced outside of the Mitsubishi dealer network, the program reverts to a standard five-year/100,000km warranty.
A complimentary 12-month roadside assist program is available, with the service also able to be expanded for up to four years – provided the vehicle is serviced by a Mitsubishi dealership.
As well as the excellent visibility for the driver the GSR has a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
Unlike other variants of the Pajero Sport, the GSR includes blind-spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, and front/side cameras.
Also included is Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, which I did find handy.
The standard-fit safety suite includes:
GLS variants add rain-sensing wipers, while blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert and lane departure warning are exclusive to the range-topping Exceed and GSR grades.
For the weekend I had the GSR, it sat around 9.6L/100km – which wasn't bad for the short trips and hilly runs. Mitsubishi has it listed as 8.0L/100km for city driving.
Again, given the size, I really expected this to be something that I would notice, but I found it an easy task. The display clearly directs you in reverse, and with the additional front and side camera angles, and the sensors, the Pajero was easy in all parking scenarios.
2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GSR: Last impressions
I enjoyed my time in the Pajero Sport, as the kids get older and the need to have seven seats becomes more (picking up friends), this car is definitely something I would add to the list to look at.
It has all of the features you really need for the weekday activities, but excels for weekend and family holidays with the additional seats, ample boot space and the ability to also tow the boat and the camper trailer without an issue.
All of these combined with a price point just above $60k and the 10 Year Warranty makes the Pajero Sport a real challenger in the 4X4 Large SUV segment.
|Version||2.4 DiD GSR 7 Seat 4x4 Auto|
|Transmission||8 SP Automatic|
|Fuel (city) L/100km||8L/100km|
|Overall Width (mm)||1,815mm|
|Overall Length (mm)||4,825mm|
|Country of Assembly||Thailand|
Things we like
- Simple easy to use tech
- Boot space
- Price point
Not so much
- Climate controls
- Sluggish off the mark
- 2nd row leg room could be better
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