Long-term update: Mitsubishi Pajero goes to Salalah

Long-term update: Mitsubishi Pajero goes to Salalah

So it is time for another update on our Mitsubishi Pajero. Having covered over 15,000 kms since the last post, and over 37,000 km since buying it almost a year ago, we still do not have anything negative to write about it. Besides some off-road-abuse-inflicted damages, the Pajero runs absolutely fine.

We had taken the Pajero for its major service at 40,000 kms, which costs about Dhs 2,600 with Al Habtoor, to a reputed garage located in Rashidiya, Dubai. Apart from the service, all four brake pads needed replacement while the brake-discs needed skimming. Since we were planning for a drive to Salalah, Oman, where the climate is wet, we also had the front wiper-blades replaced. The air conditioner had started to show signs of trouble in keeping up with the outside heat, but that was solved by topping up the a/c gas. The entire service, inclusive of 10,000 km Mobil synthetic oil, all parts and labour, cost us Dhs 1,850.

We were keen on retrofitting our Pajero with a rear fog lamp, an option found only in the top-spec variant. We bought the parts, comprising of the fog lamp unit, the frame – a part of the spare-wheel cover into which the lamp fits, and the dashboard switch, all original and brand new, from a local parts dealer in Sharjah, for just Dhs 500. Our impatience led us to attempt the feat of fitting the lamp all by ourselves. Surprisingly enough, it was way too easier than we thought as we even found a wiring loom apparently for the fog lamp, all set to be connected to the lamp unit.

Although we successfully fit the lamp in place, and connected the switch, the lamp never lit up. A visit to an electrician in a nearby accessory shop revealed that the wiring loom found behind the spare-wheel cover was never connected to the fuse-box, and hence there was no power going to the wires. Since the “other” end of the wiring loom could not be found, and we were running short of time as we wanted the lamp to work before setting out on our trip to Salalah, we just ended up wiring it to the number-plate lights; hence, whenever the parking lights are on, the fog lamp turns on too. Until our next visit to the garage, or until some frustrated dude blinded by our fog lamp, decides to bludgeon us to death, it will remain so. With visibility down to just 100 metres or less owing to heavy fog, wet mountain roads, and most dudes trying out their Need For Speed driving skills, the rear fog lamp was a life-saver in the roads of Salalah.

The frame for the rear fog lamp came with two holes for the parking sensors, which again, is only found in the top-spec model. Since we do not require working parking sensors, we have to set out on a quest for finding dummy sensors that fit the holes properly. As of now, the holes are left open for the dust.

During our short holiday stint in Salalah, an impromptu off-road venture into an extremely slippery dirt-track in the mountains, ended up with us having a couple of broken clips in the rear bumper due to an impact with a small tree, after slipping off the downhill track and into a ravine. Heavy mist, slight drizzle and lack of off-road tyres only made matters worse, and our futile recovery maneuvers to climb the track back up only caused more inevitable damage to the rear bumper, while leaving slight scratches on the alloy in the rear right. Although the bumper never gave up and remained in place, it did take some damage in the form of scratches to the paint, and a small hole in the silver plastic lip. Since we do not have an off-road insurance cover in Oman, the damage, which is not repaired as of yet, will set us back with an estimated Dhs 1,900, inclusive of parts, labour and a good quality finish.

Everything else about the Pajero remains the same – solid build-quality, alarming urban fuel-efficiency, and typical Japanese simplicity. By the end of this month, the Pajero will complete a year in our hands, and we have the registration and insurance renewal processes fast approaching.

Original Mileage When Bought: 8,880 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 46,100 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 15.2 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 1,850

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 3,670

Read all 2010 Mitsubishi Pajero long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. mate, great pics. where exactly have you made these pics (location)?

    reminds me of europe 🙂

    cheers for sharing

    • Author

      various locations in Salalah, Oman :)…the first two were in some random mountain area…the 3rd and 4th are on the way to this place called Ain Garziz.

  2. Hey Vivek,
    Nice update again. I was just planning a trip to Muscat or Salalah soon, not sure which one yet. Can you please help with some info? How long was the drive? Was the road ok from Muscat to Salalah? any other info would be appreciated.

    • It is over 1,300 kms from UAE, if travelled via Hatta-Nizwa-Salalah. Took us about 14 hours including the few stops we took. All throughout the city, the speed maintained was 130 kph; once we passed Nizwa, we were averaging speeds of 175 kph. The road from Muscat to Salalah has improved 3 folds compared to what it used to be a couple of years back. Most of the damaged sections of the road has been repaired, new patches of road has been created, and towards the end, they now have a 4 lane road right from Thumrait, which is about 80 kms from Salalah. There are more new petrol pumps along the way, and most of them function 24 hours – but beware, there is still a stretch of about 300 kms somewhre in between, where there are no pumps at all. There are a couple of motels too, on the way.

      While coming back, we experimented a new route by branching off from Salalah-Nizwa road right after Adam town; the route went via Ibri and right towards Al Ain border post (there are 3 roads in total that go towards Al Ain border, and this is the shortest). While averaging speeds of 170 kph all throughout and including the stops, we reached Al Ain in just 8.5 hours; another 1.5 hours and we reached Sharjah.

    • Thank you very much Vivek, very kind of you. Refueling wise I should be ok ‘cos I have double petrol tank 150l. Glad to hear that the road has improved. Great help, thank you.

  3. Vivek, from where did you exit UAE for Salalah and approximate how many kms is it from here.
    Also, are there petrol pumps on the highways fo refillings?..


    • We exit UAE from Hatta border post. From there it is about 1200 kms, or slightly more. There are lots of pumps on the highway for refillings, no issues on that, and most of the pumps in the empty quarter are now open 24 hours. But yes, there is still a stretch of about 300 kms somewhere in between the empty quarter stretch, where you will not encounter any pumps; so probably thats where you will have to be careful with the mileage, depending on the vehicle you have. We never had an issue anyway since the Pajero was running for well over 450 kms on a tank no matter how hard we drove.

  4. Thanks Vivek, as I am planning a trip so wanted some info.

    Keep up the good job!!.. 🙂

  5. dotted dents on pajero’s look odd. when was ths intense storm in uae.

  6. Hi Vivek,

    Thanks a lot for posting. I’m in the market for an SUV. My budget is around 110K. I’d really appreciate it if you help me choose a car based on the following criteria (most important come first):

    – Quality
    – Resale vale
    – Fuel Efficiency
    – Performance on road
    – Off-road capability
    – Space: small family (my wife and a newborn baby)

    What I really dislike about driving in this region is the reckless driving. Like one time I was waiting on a red light and someone slightly bumped into my rear bumper causing much damage to my Honda city, while his corolla stood there unharmed. So I am opting for a car that is strongly built and can survive the daily hectic driving of the Gulf.

    Thanks in advance. Appreciate your guidance.

    • Well, since off-road capability is important, I don’t think you have many choices anyway. If you are looking for a brand new car, you may check out the new Mitsubishi Pajero 3.5L; while it ticks most boxes right, the fuel efficiency may not be impressive and it depreciates faster than a Toyota.

      You may also try shopping for a used 2009 Prado VX (the 4.0L version); a sparingly used well-maintained example should fit your budget and requirements properly.

    • Thank you Vivek 🙂
      Actually off-road capability comes fifth in my list and isn’t very important to me. The only bashing I do in Qatar is the bumps bashing hehe. They’re just enormous and appear randomly on the road. (that’s part of my decision in getting an SUV). So yeah, I am not the adventurous type and I certainly don’t go dune/wadi bashing.

      Based on your other comments, I thought you’ll advise me to go with the Honda CRV. As for the prado, based on the reviews I read online, it can be the best contender but having test-driven the 4.0 V6 model, the ride felt comfortable but I wasn’t very fond of the interior.

      Alternatively, I did go to Mitsubishi and checked out a brand new Pajero 2011 model (3.5 engine, 00 km) for 128K (a bit over my budget but I hope in January prices for this model will go down). The interior isn’t cheap at all and it comes with a set of impressive set of features.

      I guess I am not ready for a decision yet, but will keep watching this space and your other posts for valuable feedback.

      Again, thanks a bunch!

    • If off-roading is not a priority, there are a lot more to check. I would not recommend the CRV as such even if it is a really nice vehicle, given the relatively steep price figure for a compact SUV. There is the new Ford Explorer, and the new Hyundai Santa Fe V6. Both are really comfortable family haulers with good reliability records, good fuel efficiency, good on-road performance and very good interior quality. Resale may not be very high, but I am sure you will not regret buying these vehicles.

  7. Planning for a 40K Service for my Pajero could you sugest a good garage in Dubai…? Thanks in Advance

    • You may check out the following:

      1. AutoTune Garage – 04-2863565
      2. Al Mirath – 04-2851316

      Both are located in Umm-Ramoul area, in Rashidiya; Al Mirath is located right behind Bin Dhaher auto service center while AutoTune happens to be exactly opposite IKEA (DFC).

  8. Thanks Vivek For the help..!

  9. Hi Vivek,

    I’m planning to buy a SUV as I travel daily abu dhabi- dubai- abu dhabi aprox 300 Kms a day. My budget is around 120K. could you please help me choose a car based on the following criteria

    Require Cruise Control
    Fuel Efficiency
    Performance on road
    Low Maintenance Cost
    Resale vale

    Appreciate your guidance.

  10. Hi Vivek,

    I am interested in buying the Pajero 3.8L. However I am having second thoughts about it as I read about the poor customer service and “expensive” parts. Compared to a Toyota, is the price of parts really too expensive? Is maintaining a Pajero very heavy on the wallet? I see so many Pajeros on the road and I wonder how these people manage to maintain their vehicles in light of the poor customer service & the apparently expensive parts.

    I also read in a news paper article that the Pajero has the best resale value after the Prado in the UAE.

    I would appreciate your expert comments on the above so that I can take a decision accordingly.

    Thanks and Best regards

  11. I have a 2008 3.0L LWB, how do you compare its off-road capability with 3.5L?. I clocked 125000KMS on it all on road 🙁 and the dealer has been milking me dry and i have been letting them do it for ‘agency repair’ sake! Can you mention the contacts of the Rashidia Garage you talk about in your reviews.

  12. Hi Vivek, I found it in one of your replies above ! thanks,Satish

  13. Hi Vivek,

    Can you recomemnd some garages – i need to have some work done on my pajero – change the timing belt etc – Al Haboor’s is charging a fortune and then some..

    Appreciate it

  14. Hi Vivek,

    Just one more query from my side. I’m planning to buy a SUV. I’m looking at 3.8L Pajero, 3.5L Honda Pilot or 3.5L Pathfinder.Can I have your suggestion please?

    Also, kindly let me know if Pajero 3.8L engine will be better than Pajero 3.5L engine for the initial pick up.

    • If you do not intend to go off-road, besides the beaches and wadi trails, the Pilot or Pathfinder may be considered. I have not driven the new Pathy, so no idea about it. There is a review by Mashfique, so you may get a fair idea about it from that. The Honda is spacious, refined, smooth, has good power, and is pretty comfortable, when compared to the Pajero. Pajero wins over it only in terms of off-road abilities.

      Pajero 3.5 has slightly better initial kick than the 3.8, however, the 3.8 has much better mid-range, which matters when you are on highways.

      Test drive all 3 of them before making a decision. 🙂

  15. Hi vivek

    I thought I saw in the forums that you no longer has the pajero with you…. is it correct?


  16. Hi Vivek,

    Thanks for the inputs. My budget is AED 128K. So, i can go for either Pajero 3.8L top range (or) Pathfinder basic (or) Honda Pilot basic. Off-road is not a big deal for me as I rarely go for it. Still which one would you recommend.

    • Test drive all three of ’em..if you are not really bothered about the optional extras in the Pajero, you may choose between the Pilot or the Pathfinder.

      Are you sure the Pajero 3.8 retails for only 128k?? If so, that’s a good price.

    • not true buddy.

      the 128k version is lower spec 3.8 eg w/o side airbags etc. and NOT the full spec version as you claim!

  17. Hi Vivek,

    I just got a 2010 Pajero (Full Opp) from a used car showroom, I’m enjoying it but the road noise is more that what I had expected and I thought it would atlease give 7.5km/ltr but the avg. is around 6 ltr only. Is this normal? Going by your past post, I guess it is, but let me know if I have some prob here. Also, I’m thinking of adding grille guard on rear side, can you pls suggest where can I get one in a reasonable price. Thanks!

  18. Hi Vivek,

    I have a Pajero 2012 3.5 full option. What is the silence package mentioned by the dealer? Does this have an engine cover for silence. Also I have noticed that there are openings below the dash which is uncovered and one of my friend accidentally caught some wires with his feet. I can actually see the wires and control boxes below.
    Is it really like this for the pajero? Or is there something like a cover which the dealer could fix for the engine and below the dash?
    Any advice from your side will greatly help.


  19. Hi Vivek,

    I own a Ford Explorer XLT 2011… V6 cylinders… I have been advised to change both rear and front brake pads and all brake-discs needed skimming. What would be the total cost including labor charges as you have done the same for your Pajero.

    Also what would be the cost of Engine Oil & Filter 10,000 Kms MOBIL 1….

  20. Hi Vivek

    Could you please share some information regarding 2012 Pajero roof rails availability in UAE.


  21. Hey Vivek. I am on the lookout for a used SUV and have shortlisted it to the Pajero and the previous version of the Prado. I am looking for low to medium maintenance and comfort. Suggestions?

  22. Hey Vivek, i have some important question, i just bought pajero 3 door 3.5L , is it gud idea to go salalah on this and i note that the petrol consumption is around 400KM i complete my 1000 KM service.

    what is the best months to go salalah, is rear FOG really required cuz i dont have. howz was your comfort experience in pajero. can i have your mobile number in dubai , or you can drop your number to [email protected].

    thanks in advance.

  23. I have pajero model 2010 I found the paint get rust on the back doors from inside,the top portion under the rubber I want to ask if any one had the same problem

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