Long-term wrap-up: Vivek’s Mitsubishi Pajero says goodbye
This is old news for those in the know, but our 2010 Mitsubishi Pajero has bid us goodbye, going back to the same used car dealership we bought it from.
Its life was indeed a roller-coaster one, with a hell of a lot of drives covering most kinds of off-road terrain in the UAE, and even the muddy slippery green mountains of Salalah in Oman. Within a year and quarter of our ownership, we had racked up about 50,000 km on the odometer, most of it owing to our frequent highway cruising on the way to adventure.
Barring the minor cosmetic damage arising from our sort-of-extreme off-road excursions, the Pajero never gave us any serious trouble, minor or major, thanks to the simplistic Japanese mechanical setup. Having owned several American and European cars in the past, we really came to understand the peace-of-mind factor that our Japanese-built Pajero offered. It boasts arguably the same ride quality and handling levels as the Toyota Prado at a cheaper price tag, but falls way behind the segment leader in terms of cabin noise insulation and fuel efficiency, the latter being horrendous for a 3.5-litre engine, with consumption levels rivalling even the fleet Range Rover at times.
As an off-roader, the Mitsubishi Pajero borders on being very capable, although it may require a couple of inches of lift and a rear tow-bar to avoid cosmetic damage. The 3.5-litre engine has good low-end power, and if you have the right skill, it can go many places. The 3.8-litre variant is a better overall package though, simply because it has more power on the road, an extra gear, and comparable fuel efficiency to the 3.5-litre motor, if not better. It is also one of the few SUVs to have a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, offering both two-wheel-drive and the useful automatic all-wheel-drive modes.
The maintenance and spare parts costs for the Mistubishi Pajero were never too high for an SUV, in contrast to what many believe about Mitsubishi vehicles due to the greedy local dealers. All the maintenance work was carried out from a reputed garage in Dubai, and our vehicle always remained in top shape. Upon hitting the 50,000 km mark, we had carried out the service for Dhs 465 using Mobil synthetic oil.
We had bought our Pajero for about Dhs 93,000 from Dynatrade, and after 16 months, we sold it to the same dealer for Dhs 64,000. The resale value was a bit poor largely because our vehicle was not dealer-maintained. And our decision to not advertise it in the classifieds, to avoid the hassle of welcoming a hundred silly visits and subsequent bargaining sessions, saw the value dip further.
Despite the compromises the Mitsubishi Pajero makes in terms of fuel efficiency and noise levels, it is still a good SUV to own. It becomes almost the only choice if fuel efficiency is not a concern, but affordability and reliability are. The Pajero is one car that we miss a lot; nevertheless, it had to go. We may not buy a Pajero again, but the ownership experience we had is nothing short of commendable, and memories of this car will stay in our minds for a long time, if not forever.
Original Mileage When Bought: 8,880 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 58,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 16.1 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 465
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 4,135