Pajero has been a star for Mitsubishi in every market but probably no more so than right here in Australia. Unlike segment rivals Patrol and LandCruiser, Mitsubishi has stuck with a 3-door derivative. Like all 4WDs, model cycles are longer than passenger cars and the NL series Pajero was launched back in 1997 with a choice of 2.8-litre turbo diesel of 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines. Pajero’s NM series debuted a new tougher exterior appearance in 2000 and brought more style, comfort and safety features plus increased power and torque for the V6 petrol engine (the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel continued). In 2002, Mitsubishi added a new intercooled turbo-diesel of 3.2-litre capacity. A facelift in 2002 (the NP series) brought styling changes but nothing mechanical. Running changes in 2004 saw extra features and a more powerful 3.8-litre V6 appeared but the 3.5-litre carried-on (manual transmission only). The all-new design appeared in 2007 and this included significant updates (including enhanced fuel economy) for the 3.8-litre V6 and great new looks.
Body Style: 5D Wagon 3D Wagon
Engine Size: 3.5l (V6) 2.8l (D) 32.l (D) 3.8l (V6)
Fuel System: EFI
Driven Wheels: 4WD
Standard Transmission: 5M 5A
Dollars and Cents
Poor Condition Average Condition Retail
NL GL M V6 (2000) $9,800 $11,200 $14,900
NP GL M V6 (2003) $18,300 $21,100 $26,000
NS GLX M V6 (2007) $27,700 $32,400 $38,600
On the Road
Pajero has always competently combined on-road comfort with off-road ability. Like any full-size 4WD, its size is noticeable in tight city streets and carparks but the payback is the 4WD dream – weekend recreation, towing trailers etc. Pajero’s interiors have at times been the best in the segment with nice seats, lots of luggage space and storage nooks. And the long list of standard features has kept Pajero on the shopping list for decades.
What To Look For
Try to avoid ex-rental Pajeros that have done duty in FNQ and the outback – they will have been trashed. Otherwise the main thing to look for in used 4WDs is damage to the undercarriage (suspension components, wheel arches etc) from severe bush tracks and extensive time in the ocean launching boats. During your test drive, listen carefully for clunks from around the wheels which may indicate worn wheel bearings or suspension components – these too take a beating off-road. And check for damage in the load area and the rear bumper where heavy, bulky items may have left their mark.
The Final Verdict
+ On-road and off-road performance - Fuel consumption of the V6
+ Interior comfort and room
+ Lots of load space