Tougher new looks for Pajero Sport

MITSUBISHI has given its Pajero Sport large four wheel drive  an update for the 2020 model year, adding further ammunition with which to battle its competitors in the market.

Known as the Montero Sport or Shogun Sport in some markets, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in its third iteration has been around since August 2015, so the timing seems just about right for a mid-cycle refresh when it hits the dealer floors in the next few weeks.

Like the MY19 Triton ute upgrade (the Pajero Sport shares much of the pickup’s running gear), the revised SUV looks tougher thanks to its ‘dynamic shield’ grille and headlight combination, higher bonnet, and new running lights and bumpers.

The Pajero Sport feels a bit more upscale than before thanks to more soft-padded surfaces throughout the interior, while rear passengers now have access to their own AC power outlet next to the USB port.

The polarising old vertically-arrayed tail lights have been reduced in size and the bumper made larger. The alloy wheel design is new, and side steps are apparently slightly higher-mounted to bolster ground clearance.

On the inside, there’s a new eight-inch touchscreen unit still running Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the top-of-the-range Exceed variant gets TomTom satellite navigation. Augmenting this a digital instrument screen behind the wheel showing vehicle data and the status of active safety equipment.

The centre console has new storage areas ahead of the gear shifter, and under it. A power tailgate also opens via a hands-free kicking motion, or remotely through a new Mitsubishi Remote Control phone app with Apple Watch integration. This tech is only on the flagship Exceed.

This new app also informs if the headlights are on after leaving the car, left a door open, a window down, or the hazard lights on. It also allows the owner to remotely check fuel use, and turn on the car headlights on remotely if you can’t find it in a car park.

In terms of driver assistance, all Pajero Sport models get forward collision mitigation (autonomous emergency braking) powered by radar. There’s also a new radar-based blind-spot monitoring system available, plus lane-change warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

There are seven airbags on board and a retained five-star ANCAP crash rating.

Mitsubishi claims to have played with the carryover 133kW/430Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine’s combustion chamber and fuel injectors, lowering the compression ratio. A new aluminium alloy cylinder block cuts mass. The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddles carries over.

The Pajero Sport’s Super Select 4WD-II system electronically switches between drive modes and splits engine torque 40 percent front and 60 percent rear when in full-time 4WD mode.

The driver has two-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive modes, a 4HLc mode that locks the centre diff, and a proper low-range gear set, which itself unlocks various engine/transmission/brake settings for gravel, mud, sand, snow and rocks.

It retains ventilated disc brakes at either end, and three-link rear suspension with coils in place of the Triton’s leaves.

The new Pajero Sport is expected to reach your local dealer, O’Connor Mitsubishi showroom in the next few weeks, so ‘hit up’ Thommo to arrange a test drive and Allan would be most happy to take anyone for a spin as soon as it arrives.