First drive: 2009 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport off-road
The 2009 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was launched in Dubai at a quick media event where its off-road abilities were showcased. First shown at Moscow Auto Show last year, this new midsize model is really the replacement for the aging Nativa, and is based on the L200 pickup.
The 2005-kilo Pajero Sport is powered by a rather curious engine, garnering only 184 hp from a new 3.5-litre V6 engine, although it manages fine with 303 Nm of torque, as we found out on the firm-sand offroad course, where applying the right amounts of throttle helped it sail through water and up grooved hills, although not much soft sand. It has a 4-speed automatic with manual shifting capability, four-wheel-drive and low-range gearing. It can reach 175 kph at most, although Mitsubishi likes to emphasise its small turning circle more.
Narrower than the Pajero, but just as long, the interior is basic and styled well, receiving hard cabin plastics instead of the Pajero’s premium materials. Still, cloth is standard while leather is optional in this three-row 7-seater SUV. Standard features include manual a/c with rear vents, ABS brakes, only two airbags, CD/MP3 player, keyless entry, and 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels with 265-width tyres. Higher models get a 420W stereo with 8 speakers, auto a/c, cruise control, rear diff lock, fake wood, fog lights, and a sunroof.
Priced between Dhs 95,000 and Dhs 110,000, it is a natural competitor to truckish competitors like the Fortuner and the Xterra, while also overlapping with base versions of the Pajero. It is already on sale in UAE and GCC markets.
To keep track of local prices, fuel economy data and other information, visit the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport buyer guide.