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2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D review long-term

The Mitsubishi Pajero is one of the best-known nameplates in all of motoringdom, but what’s it like to live with? Read our weekly reports on life with the 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D.

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 10,778KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

JULY 24, 2015

ONLY A SHORT UPDATE this week. And it’s one I’d like some help with. A comment was made about the Pajero last week, with the suggestion that on corrugated roads the thing rattles and shakes… so I took it for a quick run out onto the nearest corrugated road I could find as I hadn’t had a problem with the old girl.

The dirt road I found had an uphill section that was corrugated horribly. Perfect. So, I gunned the Pajero up the hill and yes, the day rattled a bit, but not excessively and it certainly didn’t make the radio station jump. But what the shaking did do was rattle the sunroof cover open. Not much, it was only opened up by an inch or two, but…

So, my question is to other Pajero owners. Have you had similar corrugated related issues? Are they even issues, or just a part of driving across corrugations? Answer by leaving a comment at the end.

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 10,154KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

JULY 17, 2015

HAVE BEEN CONDUCTING a cold weather experiment between the Pajero and the Mondeo Titanium I’ve got on test. I even extended the Mondeo’s loan to continue my experiment, but I’m not so sure I’ve got an answer. What’s the problem?

Well, ever since Antartica breathed out and sent an icy chill north towards Australia, the Mondeo’s been reluctant to start. Every morning where the mercury has dropped overnight to below zero has seen it refuse to start in the morning. You can read about my dramas with it HERE, but suffice it to say that the thinking is the diesel is becoming waxy because it was a Sydney blend of diesel. But, even after filling with local Blue Mountains diesel the Mondeo is still unhappy.

Not so the Pajero which has fired first time every time. Both cars are parked in the same place and so are equally exposed, and this morning they were both covered in the same amount of snow. But while the Mondeo refused to catch, the Pajero caught first time.

With Katoomba and Leura blanketed by snow, I thought I’d take the Pajero out for a scoot around the neighbourhood to sight-see. One two of the five roads I headed down there was an accident, and on one of the roads there were multiple accidents. Fair enough, not everyone’s used to driving on snow but you’d think common sense would have prevailed and everyone would have slowed down…

Anyway, with everything looking beautiful and white I steered the Pajero, which was locked in 4WDH out onto  a short track that runs right across the spine of a mountain and affords you a stunning view on both sides of the road. One of the short side tracks I headed up that’s usually nice and grippy thanks to the type of rock, was as slick as a damp bar of soap. And while I had to take a second attempt at climbing up the rock ledge, driven slowly and steadily the Pajero made it up like a trooper. I even got a thumbs up from a guy trudging through the mush with his dog, and a look of disappointment from a family in their on-demand 4×4 X-Trail which had tried to follow me.

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 9373KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

JULY 3, 2015

BIT BORING BUT the Pajero hasn’t done that much this week and last weekend was a washout with playdates at casa Bober meaning there was little call on it to haul anything, tackle mountains or ford streams … ahem, rivers.

Pajero long-termer update

The 4H Vs 2H debate continues at home with my wife recently dropping the thing back into 2H after briefly slotting 4H on a wet drive home. She said she’d put the car back into two-wheel drive because she thought it might use more fuel. Cue an opportunity to sound smart on my part.

I began explaining about how the Pajero is set up to allow the front and rear diffs to spin at different speeds, meaning you don’t get any diff bind-up. It went down like a lead balloon. I could see the will to live draining from her face as I carried on, so I stopped and simply said, er, no, leaving it in 4H doesn’t seem to use any more fuel and it’s a little more sure-footed, so just leave it in 4H.

The Pajero goes back in a couple of weeks and if all goes well, I’ll be giving it a proper send off by taking it out for a family drive into the bush and onto a track that defeated me once before a very long time ago. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for disaster at all.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 9373KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

JUNE 26, 2015

IN OUR TIME with the Pajero the family has had nothing but praise for the big old girl. But, earlier this week, on a school run my first born decided he’d had enough. “Dad,” he said. “Yes, mate,” I replied.

“I’ve been thinking about the Mitsi (cue cringe from me due to the obvious effectiveness of this annoying and embarrassing advertising campaign by Mitsubishi) and I’m sorry I haven’t said this earlier, but it makes me feel car sick.”

“Huh?” I responded.

“Well, it’s too roly poly around corners and so it makes me feel a bit sick. In my tummy, oh look, a puddle, can we drive through it?”

As we splashed through the puddle I got to thinking about the Pajero’s ride and handling. And, I can see where my son is coming from, because in comparison with some of the metal he gets trundled to school in, the Pajero is about as sophisticated as a medieval horse and cart. But it’s also very effective.

And, the more time I spend with the thing, that’s it’s real appeal. Sure it rolls a bit though corners, but it never ever feels like it’s going to lean over and touch a wing mirror to the tarmac; rather it just leans, settles and then hangs on. Unless, that is, there’s a whiff of rain in the air and you’re in two-wheel drive and then, to hustle the thing your name will need to begin with Tommi and end in Mäkinen.

The steering too is meaty and direct if a little slow in its action. And that is where this would end if we were talking about a road car. But, as a dual-purpose vehicle I class the Pajero right up there with the best of them. See, it’s comfortable for long distance drives without trying to be luxurious, composed enough and grippy enough in 4x4H to be driven with enthusiasm (once you get used to the body roll) and competent and reliable enough to take you off-road without any trouble at all.

Sure, the beasty has its limitations thanks to its front and rear overhangs which reduce its approach and departure angles, but these can be gotten around via the aftermarket. The rear wheel on the tailgate is annoying as it’s so heavy and, unless locked, can constantly swing back and hit you when you least expect it, but this too can be altered via the aftermarket.

Yes, the back doors aren’t as wide and so climbing in and out can be a bit of an effort but, once in, the back seat is room enough for three adults, or two child seats and one slim-hipped teenager. The second and third-row air vents provide creature comforts that you don’t find in many other family fourbys. Sure, the third-row is useless for anyone with legs, but it folds flat into the floor and can be used in a pinch if needed.

I thought about explaining to my son that the car sickness was a hint to the Pajero’s true potential as a family tourer and that if he really wanted to feel sick in a car then I’d take him for a spin in a Hummer H3, which is the most vomit-inducing machine I’ve ever driven. But I didn’t.

I know there are quite a few people following these updates that either own, have just purchased or are about to buy a Pajero (or Shogun – depending on where you’re reading this), and I’d love to know what you think. So, either leave a comment about your Pajero experience below, or leave a message on our Facebook page.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 8894KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

June 19, 2015

MY APOLOGIES to anyone following our time with the Mitsubishi Pajero, but an eye injury put me out of action for almost two weeks. And, to be honest, I’m still not meant to be driving. So, my observations this week, are from life in the passenger seat while my wife has been ferrying me around from doctor’s appointment to chemist and then back again.

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who owns a Pajero that they really are very comfortable and while they lean over in corners, they don’t ever feel wallowy. Rather they tend to lean over, settle on their springs and then just hang on. Sure, it’s old school by the standards of more modern 4x4s, but the Pajero is still capable of putting a smile on your face on a tight and twisting stretch of either bitumen or dirt.

But the one thing that continues to baffle me is why Mitsubishi ever made this thing with 2WD. I mean, the standard-fit tyres are road biased and yet whenever there’s even the slightest hint of dampness on the road or in the air the thing goes to pieces; slipping and sliding in corners. Then, the agricultural traction controls kick in and literally bring everything to a grinding halt.

Just last night, my wife was piloting the Pajero on a wet, twisting road in 2WD and the back-end stepped out, the traction control kicked in and my wife was left stranded for a split second. Enough time for the traffic following her to get the hump and hit their horns. After that, she pulled off to the side of the road and engaged 4WD, the thing never missed a beat after that.

For those who think I’m exaggerating, I’m not. Indeed, I’ve just been driving a Ford Falcon XR8 and on wet roads the Pajero is every bit as tail happy as the Falcon. True. Yet, in 4WD it’s as stable as the Forester I’m testing at the moment… well, almost.

My old man also borrowed the Pajero this week to collect some firewood with his box trailer. His Rangie was out of action. He’s got a crook back and likes the soft ride of his Range Rover, but he found the Pajero to be comfortable and easy to drive with more than enough punch. Indeed, he thought its low down grunt and throttle response was better than his Range Rover.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 8693KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

MAY 29, 2015

LOOK WHO’S BACK. Yep, our long-term Pajero is back after its grounding and then 15,000km service. As suspected, the spanner twirlers didn’t find anything untoward with the big old girl, but maybe they didn’t look all that hard… Here comes a first-world gripe… no-one thought to check the windscreen wiper bottle because it was bone dry. Grrr. Beyond that minor annoyance the car was washed and vacuumed and is running like a dream.

Oh, there was one other thing… when I climbed back into the Pajero I noticed it had been put back into 2WD. So, I questioned the service manager and he said it wasn’t recommended to drive the thing on the road in 4WD. Hmmm. I was pressed for time and so didn’t argue, but he was absolutely wrong to suggest AWD shouldn’t be used on blacktop. Indeed, the owner’s handbook suggests that 4WD can be used for paved or unpaved roads to improve traction, so, mechanics might know how to fix your car, but they don’t always necessarily know how the thing works, if you know what I mean. Suffice it to say, the Pajero is back in 4WD and running fine…

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero

Getting back into the Pajero after a small period away from it has given me a new appreciation of the thing and allowed me to look at it differently. My eyes have been opened, you might say, if you were a bit of a, well, you know… Anyway, you all no doubt get that I’m a fan of the Pajero but in the past I’ve been known to knock it for not being the equal of, say, a Discovery. But, as we discovered in our test of the Suzuki Jimny Sierra which can’t be compared to, say, a Mitsubishi ASX, you can’t treat a beast like the Pajero like the Discovery. It’s unfair.

Why? Simple: the Pajero is an old car. But that doesn’t make it a bad car, just because it’s not brimming with the electro-trickery of the Discovery. Nope. It just makes it different. The Pajero is capable off-road, we all know that, maybe not as capable as a Discovery, but a bush mechanic is likely to have a better chance of repairing the Mitsubishi than they are the Discovery when you’re a million miles from anywhere.

That said, despite the Pajero being a basic vehicle by modern standards, and we know a new one is in the works, it still rides and handles very well. More than that, it’s not trying to be anything that it isn’t, if you know what I mean. Yes, it has leather seats but it’s not trying to be a luxury car, it’s just trying to be a comfortable seven-seat 4×4. And, as I once heard someone say in a movie, ‘That’ll do, pig”.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 8467KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

MAY 15, 2015

APOLOGIES TO readers following the Pajero’s progress with my family, but it’s still languishing at my work carpark unloved and now covered in a fine film of dust – see the pic below but imagine it looking a little, well, grey-er. See, I’ve finally got my service window with Mitsubishi (being a press-driven long-termer, well, customer cars come first, as is only right and proper) and I’ll be dropping it across to them on Monday. Sheesh.

I’m starting to have withdrawals from the big thing but a father-and-son camping/fishing trip is being planned for its return so there’s something to look forward to. I don’t expect the Mitsubishi spanner twirlers will find anything amiss as my kays have mainly been gently piled on and while I gave it a once-over when I, er, grounded it, I’ll apologise in advance for any barbie shoes or X-Men bits and bobs, lego, or, rice crackers, etc. Kids, eh.

Anyway, not long now, and I’m hoping the Pajero will be back with by the end of next week, which clashes with a road test of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport and Subaru Outback. Ah well, busy week ahead of me. Have a great weekend.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 8467KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

MAY 8, 2015

NOT A LOT to report about the Pajero this week as it’s been parked up at the work carpark waiting for its 15,000km service with Mitsubishi. I’m expecting to drop it off this coming Monday and should have it back next week sometime.

For my money the mechanics don’t have to do much more than wander around the thing and kick the tyres. In all the time I’ve had the Pajero it hasn’t missed a single beat, sure, I’ve had some gripes with the infotainment unit but that’s minor compared with the joy the thing has brought me.

The Mitsubishi Pajero is eligible for capped price servicing up to 60,000km with intervals set at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000km. The first service at 15,000km is priced at $355 with the subsequent services listed as $645. Compare this with some other models and the service price is impressive indeed … I’ve griped before about my recent 60,000km service for my Skoda Octavia which cost me more than $1000… don’t get me started.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero long-temer

So, until the Pajero is back at casa del Bober, I’ll be parading around in a fleet of Subarus, so, look out for reviews of new Liberty, Outback and Forester. And, if I can get my backside into gear, pardon the pun, I’ll take the Pajero properly off-roading once it’s had the once over from Mitsubishi.

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 7978KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

APRIL 24, 2015

BACK WHEN I was starting out in motoring journalism, it was all about power, power and more power. And I distinctly remember the day the music died for me… it was when I parked a Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series in an old fence, but I’ll elaborate on that one at another time. At the same time, my wife and I were expecting our first child and so power stopped being the be-all and end-all of cars and I started looking at the practicalities of motoring as a family man.

Insert, very clunky segue. Fast forward to now and it’s the little things that make the difference for me when it comes to new cars. And when I say little things, I literally mean the little simple things that make life easier, but I don’t mean things like electric tailgates and the like. I mean, rear air vents and rear seat controls for said rear air vents.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed long-term

See, things like that mean those people in the back seats can work out whether they want hot or cold air blowing on them. And, yes, I know this sounds like a nothing, er, thing to be banging on about. But when you’ve got kids in the back seat who want ‘their air’ at a different temperature, or fan speed, to mum and dad, well, it’s perfect.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed long-term

Indeed, my six-year old loves it and happily adjust the rear air for him and his sister. Now, not many cars have this, and very few large four-wheel drives offer this, so that helps the ageing Pajero stand out a bit in a sea of fancy looking four-wheel drives. See the old Paj is more trousers than mouth; it does exactly what it says on the box and I really like that about the thing.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed long-term

Oh, and the Pajero will be out of action for a bit as it heads into the workshop for its 15,000km service. Be interesting to see how the thing goes.


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 7612KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

APRIL 17, 2015

FIRST UP, THANKS to everyone who messaged and left a comment about the spare wheel raiser for the Pajero. I’ve left Mitsubishi a message asking if I can get one fitted and will let you know what they say.

As I mentioned last week, I borrowed my old man’s trailer as I had some concrete slabs to pour and needed his box trailer to collect some concrete mix. I did that and loaded the poor old thing with around 1000kg of mix… probably, ahem, too much for the trailer if the truth be told. Indeed, the tyres were touching the guards (on the trailer, not the Pajero) whenever we hit a slight bump. Eek.

Luckily the gravel merchant is literally around the corner from home, or else I would have done two trips. Although, if I’m honest, I probably should have done too trips anyway rather than risk blowing a tyre. So, my advice to anyone towing, make sure you know the load limit of your trailer; I thought Dad’s trailer could take one tonne… it can’t. Overloading your trailer, especially if it doesn’t have brakes, runs the risk of, as I mentioned, blowing a tyre, perhaps overheating and blowing a bearing, or even, potentially, breaking a leaf in the suspension. So, if in doubt, don’t.

How’d the Pajero tow? Like a dream.

Now, a few weeks ago I harped on about the Pajero’s savage traction control when in 2WD. Plenty of people suggested leaving the thing in 4WD High (all wheel drive mode, all explained here) permanently. This is very good advice, and I’ve left it in AWD ever since… so why does Mitsubishi even bother to have a 2WD offering? Fuel consumption, right? WRONG. See, I’ve been running around in AWD for the last two weeks and haven’t used a drop more than in 2WD. I’ve done country miles, towed a trailer with cement and cement mixer on board, driven down to Sydney a few times from my Blue Mountains lair and I’ve averaged just 9.2L/100km.

And, just today, on my way home from the Big Smoke and driving in torrential rain, the Pajero stuck to the road like it had been nailed to it. I purposely tried to provoke the big old bus, but couldn’t get it to release its grip. Nice. 2WD, you are now totally, and utterly redundant.

Anyone else who owns a Pajero decided to stick the thing in AWD and leave it there?


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 7112KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

APRIL 10, 2015

OKAY, SO, having edited two caravan magazines in my time (Caravan & Motorhome and Australian Caravan + RV) I’m very familiar with the shortcomings of the Mitsubishi Pajero when it comes to the rear tailgate and towing. If you’re not, the pictures hereabouts say it all. Basically, no matter how you set the towbar, a trailer coupling, in this case I was towing a box trailer, will foul on the door meaning you can’t access the Paj’s boot. Bugger.

Pajero towing trailer

I’d totally forgotten about this when I borrowed the old man’s trailer last weekend, loaded it up with his cement mixer and a load of cement bags. Wouldn’t have been a problem had I not had to swing past the hardware store to get some more gear, which I wanted to stash in the boot. Can you guess what happened next?

photo 3

Yep, I had to take the trailer off the towbar and move it off to one side to get it out of the way of the tailgate, and then rehitch once I’d loaded my gear inside the car. Sorry, Mitsubishi, as much as I love the big Pajero, I find this very, very annoying.

Anyone out there got a fix for it?


 

OUR CAR : 2015 MITSUBISHI PAJERO EXCEED DI-D
DISTANCE TRAVELLED : 6542KM
PRICE : FROM $65,990 (+ORC)
THIRST : 9.0L/100KM (OFFICIAL)

April 3, 2015

APOLOGIES ALL FOR missing a week The best laid plans… seems to be happening a lot at the moment. Anyway, the Pajero has had a very boring two weeks, well, actually, it’s had a very realistic two weeks. See, it’s been doing everything you expect from a family car; it’s been hauling the kids around, and getting me into and out of the city for work, and even swallowing the best part of an Ikea laundry and bathroom. Sorry there are no pics, but I was so angry-exhausted (see, we’d taken the kids on our 200-plus kilometre trip to the Swedish maze) that I couldn’t be bothered.

So, I’ll describe it for you. Again, the presence of the top tether strap on my daughter’s childseat got in the way and meant that nothing loaded into the car could be pushed up against the back of the second-row seats. And that’s something you’d be able to do if the anchor point for the tether was on the back of the seat. You effectively lose about 20cm of space from the anchor to the back of the seat.

Whinge aside, everything managed to fit inside the tall, but narrow boot without affecting rear vision.

In typical Easter fashion, the heaven’s have opened and the rain is absolutely bucketing down in my neck of the woods and having just returned from a soggy drive to the grandparents to drop my two urchins off for the night, I couldn’t help but notice how sketchy the Pajero gets in slow, wet corners. More so than I’d expected, nor, had I noticed just ho intrusive the traction control was.

As mentioned the other week (see below), the Pajero runs in rear-wheel drive by default and, so, like a lot of rear drive cars can get a bit tail-happy in the wet. Now, today, I was driving like a nanna because of the wet roads, the kids in the back and the unbelievable amount of traffic. But on a set of tight uphill corners where the signposted limit is 80km/h but I was taking in, today, say, 60km/h the rear was stepping out and the traction control light was going off like a strobe.

Now, on a lot of modern car, traction control is barely perceptible, but some, like the Pajero and some Audis which don’t like the brake and throttle being touched at the same time, tend to abruptly stop the car. It feels like both the engine is retarded and the brakes applied with the driver having a momentary loss of control and I mean that in reference to the fact that the car won’t respond to the throttle. This only lasts for second, maybe even only milliseconds, but it felt like five minutes today with trucks, cars and other 4WDs crowding around me.

It’s the first time I’ve had the thing step out on me and the traction control cut in. I didn’t like it. So, Mitsubishi, if you’re reading this, please get your engineers to fit a next-generation system that’s a little more subtle than the throw-out-the-boat-anchor approach this model’s traction control brain takes.

Why not drop it in 4WD High my wife asked. Well, you probably could, the roads were certainly wet enough, but generally speaking I’m not a fan of running four-wheel drive on the bitumen, even in the wet. Wet dirt, well, that’s a different story as it’s a naturally low traction surface.

Might check the tyre pressures too, especially on the back.

Anyone else think the Pajero is a little too tail-happy in the wet, or did I just strike a particularly greasy patch of bitumen in the wet today?

Beyond that, I’m absolutely loving the Pajero. It’s an honest beastie that is more driver oriented than some of its more modern and supposedly driver-focussed rivals, but I’ll talk on that next week.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 5142km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

March 20, 2015

ONE OF THE great things about living in the Blue Mountains is that there are so many great walking tracks literally within a few blocks of my house. But one of the bad things is that those great walking tracks are so close we never actually get around to going on any of them.

Last week we did. The start of the track was only about 15km from home down the end of a narrow dirt track. Now, you didn’t actually need a four-wheel drive to drive along the track or, rather you didn’t until heavy rains caused the track to become slippery and deeply rutted in sections. So, while I never took the Pajero out of two-wheel drive, the extra ground clearance was a definite must to negotiate the deeper ruts and scars across the track.

Indeed, plenty of cars had driven part way down the track only to discover they couldn’t make it further. I smugly kept going. But the drive got me thinking about the Pajero’s four-wheel drive set-up.

See, unlike a lot of other 4x4s the Pajero doesn’t run a clever electro-trickery set-up that allows you to dial up various settings to suit the surface you’re driving across. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t allow you to tailor your four-wheel drive settings, indeed via Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4×4 system there are four settings to choose from. And these are:

2H: This is the default drive setting and sees all drive sent to the rear wheels only. Most people will probably never, ever take their Pajero out of this setting.

4H: This brings the front wheels in via a viscous coupling unit (no physical connection between the engine and the front axle). Use this setting if you’re on a slippery, well-graded track. Indeed, you can use it on-road with little risk of damage to the driveline, but 2H is fine so why bother. It’s possible to shift from 2H to 4H while driving, but the on-the-fly shift can’t be performed while you’re applying the throttle… make sense? You’ve got to be coasting.

4HLc: This activates the centre differential and locks drive to the front and rear wheels. Basically, this means the front and rear wheels turn at the same speed and so you must only engage this setting when the wheels can slip, meaning when you’re doing it tough off-road. Drive in 4HLc on the road and you’ll definitely break something on your car.

4LLc: This setting sees the front and rear wheels locked in low-range and is the best setting for traversing tricky country where you’re travelling at a snail’s pace and require precision and maximum grip. Absolutely don’t use this setting on road, and it can’t be engaged on the fly.

Rear Locking Differential: Our Exceed has this as standard and engaging it (at speeds up to 6km/h) means the rear wheels are ‘locked’ and forced to spin at the same speed to ensure forward momentum. It’s vital you don’t lock the rear diff when you’re driving on the road… things will break.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 4881km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

March 13, 2015

IT’S BEEN a complete waste of a week, I’m afraid. I went into this last week with such high hopes of what I’d get done and ended up getting absolutely nothing done as far as the Pajero is concerned. There were two video shoots planned for this week with the Pajero set to star in a walk around to show off its bits and pieces and one to show off its off-road ability.

Both of those things got washed out literally by an out of nowhere thunderstorm that saw me confined to barracks, while an end of week work trip put paid to anything else getting done, oh and a torn muscle in my shoulder has meant driving isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So, currently the Pajero is languishing at Sydney airport, and is in desperate need of a wash.

That’s the disappointing part of my week with the Pajero out of the way. It’s interesting how your idea of size changes as you get used to something. The Pajero isn’t a small four-wheel drive, and when it first arrived at home the managing director of Chez-Bober remarked it would be tricky to park at our local Coles supermarket carpark (no shameless plug intended) where the carparks seem to be about one or two-inches bigger than your car.

But, you know what? It isn’t tricky to manoeuvre at all.The reversing camera offers a clear picture of what’s happening behind you, although the camera angle doesn’t seem to be as wide as some, and if it’s raining the positioning of the camera means it tends to catch rain drops. The big mirrors allow a great view of the side of the car and the gutter and, so, neither I nor the MD have had any problems parking the Pajero in even the tightest of spaces.

The rear door, however, continues to give me grief. It weighs a tonne and when you’re putting groceries into the boot, and forget to lock the door it can fall back against you if you’re not paying attention. The other problem with the big rear door is that it means you can’t reverse into parking spots up against a wall.

Next week. Even if it kills me, well, actually, hopefully not, but I’m determined to get the Pajero out into the bush. Wish me luck. And, in the meantime, if you’ve got any Pajero stories of you’re own, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 4227km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

March 6, 2015

SADLY, THIS WEEK has been a rather dull one for the BFP (Big Friendly Pajero, with apologies to Roald Dahl). It’s schlepped up and down the highway to the Sydney office a couple of times, ferried the kids to and from school at others, and even hauled the dog to the parent’s house in the country for some baby-sitting while casa-Bober was copping some building work … Would have left him at home but he likes to steal lunches from tradesmen.

In my opinion, the hallmark of a good car is how well it handles the duties it was designed for. And by that measure, the Pajero is stacking up nicely. For a big, lumbering seven-seat four-wheel drive it’s surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around shopping centre carparks, and it tends to sip at its fuel rather than guzzle the stuff (again I managed to get it down under 7.0L/100km on a 400km trip).

The multi-media unit is causing me more headaches as this week it’s taken to freezing while streaming music from my iPhone. But that’s about the extent of my gripes this week.

I’m still yet to take the Pajero off-road but when I find a spare five minutes I’m going to get it out on our test track and see just well it handles a gallop in the bush. And, if I’ve got more time, I might even film it… famous last words.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 3883km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

February 27, 2015

NOISE AND VIBRATION HANDLING it’s what car companies spend millions of dollars on to ensure when you close your car door you can’t hear either your car’s engine (depending on the type of vehicle) or the outside world. One great example of a car company that’s ignored its NVH problem for years and only just got around to addressing it is Mazda.

For a long time, yours truly, copped angry phone call after angry phone call from Mazda PR reps complaining that I’d dared to mention that Mazda’s for a long time were loud and unrefined across everything but the smoothest of smooth bitumen. According to a particular Mazda PR boss who is no longer in the role, I was the only journalist in Australia who thought that… Well, lo and behold with its current crop of vehicles it’s said how hard it’s worked on improving NVH and according to our Mark, who’s been driving the latest Mazda3 and Mazda2 NVH has been greatly improved.

Don’t worry, I know I’m meant to be reporting on the Pajero, and I’m getting to it. Earlier this week we got a comment asking about the NVH in the Pajero. See, the pre-2015 Pajero was a little noisy, well, the engine noise leaking into the cabin was a little noisy. Not so noisy you couldn’t hear yourself think but the clatter, particularly under acceleration, was perhaps more noticeable than it should have been.

Mitsubishi did something about it and, Matthew Stephenson (the bloke who asked about it – scroll right to the bottom of the page to leave a comment) I can tell you right  now that the extra sound deadening Mitsubishi put into the firewall (the wall separating the cabin from the engine bay) has done the job nicely.

Sure, you can still hear the diesel clatter but it’s been turned right down to a level that’s actually pleasant. Well, I find it pleasant, anyway. Even if I give the thing my full Size 11 there’s very little clatter making its way into the cabin. Beyond that, the Pajero is pretty quiet, refined almost. Although, when it rains and you’re driving across water-soaked roads you do get a lot of water splashing up under the rear wheel arches, and that can be quite noisy but if you turn your music up another notch you don’t notice it at all.

Next week, I’m hoping to get a video walk-around of our Pajero finished and online. Stay tuned.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 2889km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

February 20, 2015

UNLESS SOMEONE told you, you would never know the Pajero had seven seats. The third row folds flat into the floor leaving a cavernous boot that’ll swallow 1050 litres. Indeed, the space, with the third-row of seats folded flat measures 1010mm high, 1030mm wide between the wheel arches and 850mm long.

However, there’s a hitch. See, if you’ve got a child seat, like I do, with a top tether strap then you effectively lose a section of the boot. Why? Well, the anchor point for the child seat tether is located in the boot floor instead of in the back of the seat as it is with many more modern machines. To be honest, though, it isn’t much of a biggie, with the boot more than big enough that you won’t miss the loss of a few square centimetres…

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D long-termer update

…Well, you won’t unless you actually need to use the third row as I did recently when having to transport the family and old-mother-and-father Bober who were relegated to the back row. The seat itself is comfortable-ish for adults, but there’s very little legroom and, as you can see from the photo, my legs are very squashed with my knees right up almost under my chin. Beside, the lack of legroom although I’d be happy enough back there on shorter trips, and you can always slide the second row forward a bit to free up a little more room, but longer trips would be tough. The rest of my body, though, had plenty of room and if I ignored my legs I almost didn’t feel like I was stuffed into the boot of a wagon.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D long-termer update

However, as mentioned, with the child seat top tether strap in place there’s nowhere to place your feet and old-mother-Bober managed to get tangled up, almost doing a hip as she clambered out over the folded down second row. Ultimately, though, it’s no real biggie, as transporting people in the third-row is likely to be an occasional thing and the girl child won’t be in a child seat forever, so…

Okay, that’s the practicality of the boot and seat out of the way. Now for the construction of the third row. Construction? Yep. It’s like building a Mecano set. First you have to remove the floor from the boot, which reveals a storage space for the two headrests, then you have to lift and fold the seat up with the base of it latching into place; the process is like assembling one of those old-school couch beds that lift up and out of the couch base. Once the seat base is locked in place, you then grab a lever to fold the back rest up and then fit the headrests. Then, once you’ve done that, you’ve got to grab the removable floor of the boot, which you’ll have likely dropped onto the ground, and then slide it back into place. Job done.

Do you own a seven-seater four-wheel drive? If so, what model and how often do you use the back seats?


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 2347km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

February 13, 2015

CRACKED 2000KM the other day. Well, 2347km travelled since we’ve had the Pajero on test and I didn’t expect to fall in love with the thing so quickly. Trawl the forums, as I have been over the last week, and there’s a definite love/hate thing going on for the Pajero. Well, I love the thing.

But, as is the way with things you love, there are always little bits that irritate you. I’ve mentioned the touch-screen multi-media unit but I’m slowly working my way through that. But I’m not sure I’ll ever get my head around the Pajero’s rear door. It weighs a tonne and, unless you lock the stay in place will come back and pic you up against the rear bumper. And that’s not what you want to happen when it’s raining and you’ve got two handfuls of groceries, but that’s exactly what happened to me.

2015 Mitsubishi Pajero long-termer update

The rear door lulls you into a false sense of security. See, on level ground it’ll stay open nicely thanks to the weight of it, but if there’s even the slightest of lean to the surface you’re parked on, it’ll pin you unless you’ve locked it open. The other thing about the door, and I remember this from my caravan testing days is that it’ll foul on a caravan or camper trailer’s drawbar, which is frustrating as it means you’ve got to unhitch every time you want to get into the back of the car.

Are there any foibles about your car that drive you a bit mental?

On a brighter note, I managed to get the fuel consumption down, across 200km, to 6.9L/100km and I reckon that’s pretty darn good indeed.


 

Our Car : 2015 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Di-D
Distance travelled : 1887km
Price : From $65,990 (+ORC)
Thirst : 9.0L/100km (official)

February 6, 2015

OUR MITSUBISHI PAJERO Exceed Di-D carries an official combined fuel consumption figure of 9.0L/100km and we’ve already managed to better that with our average for the first two weeks and 1887km travelled being just 8.0L/100km.

I’ve got to say that I’m pretty chuffed with that given that when I took possession just about everyone I know told me the thing would suck down diesel… wrong. And they were also wrong about the engine and transmission. They’re as smooth (transmission) and grunty (engine) as any of the all-new competitors on the market.

But it’s not all good news. Now I might not be the best when it comes to technology, but syncing my phone to a car is something I’ve had plenty of practice with. And beyond that, running music through a car is something I’ve done either via Bluetooth audio streaming, which tends to exhaust your phone’s battery, or via cable which, er, doesn’t. Stay with my rambling…

Sadly, the multi-media unit in the Pajero has a mind of its own. It’ll sync up easily and show your song list, but it won’t let you play the song you actually want it to play. Rather, it’ll select one it wants to play and then mess up the order of your song list. And, no, I don’t have it on random play.

I’ll persist with the electronica and report back next week whether I’ve managed to chase down the problem. I’m sure you’ll all be on the edge of your seat with anticipation.

Mitsubishi Pajero audio system

Beyond that, it’s worth mentioning that given our Pajero is an Exceed model it gets just about everything that opens and shuts, however, the towbar and ‘alloy front protection bar’ are cost-optional extras: $1850 and $2568.50, respectively.

If you own a Pajero, I’d love to hear how it’s going and where it’s taken you. Leave a comment.


 

January 30, 2015

ARRIVING DOWN UNDER more than 30 years ago, the Mitsubishi Pajero has won a legion of followers in this country. Now in its fourth-generation (launched in 2006), the Pajero received a minor update late last year to keep it looking and feeling fresh.

But, can a car that’s more or less unchanged since 2006 really feel fresh in 2015? That’s why we thought we’d put it through the toughest we know : six months with my family. Over the coming months, the Pajero will commute to and from the city (a round trip of 200km), transport the family all over the countryside, tow the odd camper trailer and take three-generations of Bober blokes on fishing trips.

We took possession of the Pajero just before the Australia Day long weekend (it arrived with 7217km on the clock) and since then have put on almost 1200km in a mix of around town and highway driving. As far as getting its feet dirty, well, I headed out onto a 12km-long dirt road up in the Blue Mountains to take the welcome photo, but that’s about the extent of my off-roading. There’ll be much more of it in the coming weeks.

Having spent plenty of time in the latest and greatest four-wheel drives on the market, my initial thoughts were that the Pajero might feel a step or two behind the latest crop of off-roaders. It doesn’t. Across highway and broken back roads, the Pajero rides beautifully, ironing out the worst of the imperfections in the road surface.

Pajero on a bush track

Tip the seven-seater into a corner and there’s a touch of bodyroll and while the steering is accurate and fast with decent weight, it is a little feel-free. But these aren’t flaws and I’m not mentioning them to criticise the thing.

Under the bonnet is a 3.2-litre turbo-diesel that thumps out 147kW (at 3800rpm) and 441Nm (at 2000rpm) and this is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with a claimed combined 9.0L/100km. While the five-speed auto might seem out of step with most new four-wheel drives running eight-speed units, but the thing is smoother than the nine-speed unit in the Jeep Cherokee, and with 441Nm of torque from just 2000rpm there’s plenty of grunt for flattening hills and .

The Pajero’s first job upon arrival at Casa Bober was to transport the family down the South Coast for the long weekend and it did it easily, giving us 900km out of a tank of fuel. The kids seats, one is a childseat and the other is a booster, fitted easily inside the thing with both kids having plenty of legroom, although they can still reach each other which means there was a bit of pinching and toy stealing during the drive down the coast.

We’ll explore various elements of the Pajero over the coming months, but first impressions are good. Seems like there’s life left in the old dog yet.


  • Ken

    I’ll be interested to see how you cope with the stupid side opening rear door which often cannot be opened when a caravan etc is hooked up, or another car is parked close and also guarantees that the inside of the car will get wet, as well as your groceries, when it is raining. Sorry, it’s just too inconvenient for me but something it shares with the Prado.

    • Hi Ken, next week’s gripe. I really like the Paj, but the amount of times that door has swung and hit me in the back because I’ve forgotten to lock it open. Frustrating.

  • Matthew Stevenson

    Hi Isaac,

    Very curious to know how the extra sound deadening Mitsubishi has added has helped NVH levels as the last time I was in a Pajero it was quite loud inside.

    Thanks
    Matt

  • Clancy

    Why are Pajero’s so expensive to service compared to other diesel 4WDs, even those with DPFs? I know the head has to come off for the valves to be adjusted – $800 every second service (just went again this year). Apart from Isuzu models, it’s the only one I know of that have this done. It’s dealer at the moment, even I wouldn’t mind one.

    • Hi Clancy, that’s a good question and one that I’ll put to Mitsubishi. Stay tuned for an answer.

  • Dan

    I have just read the 3 Apr update. The Super Select 4wd system is designed to
    be used in situations like you describe.

    A number of Pajero’s competitors have constant 4wd, put the
    Pajero in 4H and think of it as a constant 4WD vehicle. Only use 2H to save
    fuel when on long strait runs.

    It would be good if you could repeat that drive in the
    conditions described in 4H and report back on the results, I am sure you will
    find the Pajero’s road holding vastly improved.

  • Re coupling fouling a drop hitch is pictured on the web somewhere. And Mits makes a spare lift kit. No idea how well either work.

    • Thanks Ern. I’ll see if Mitsubishi will let me fit one. Would make life a lot easier.

  • Ando

    Just sold Paj after 5 years and agree traction control is harsh in RWD. The trick is to move to 4WD high as soon as the first drop of rain hits the windscreen, towing or on any dirt road / loose surface. The Paj then displays Subaru like grip, gives brilliant feedback through the wheel and your butt, and fills you with confidence! The interior is dated and full of differing scratchy bits of plastic, but the diesel/auto drive train is exceptional and fun despite its slightly dated rattle/ turbo lag off the lights.

    The use of 4wd high doesn’t seem to impact fuel usage or tire wear. I know other owners who selected 4wd high coming out of the showroom and have never been out of it.

  • David

    I would have thought that the only issue related to permanent use of 4WD would be additional wear and tear. But if you’re not abusing it, should be fine in any event.

    • Probably less, David. Driving all four wheels typically means more even tyre wear, and in the case of the Pajero most of the front transmission is spinning in 2WD anyway, it’s not like the older systems which had locking hubs that isolated the front driveshaft and axles, so the fuel saving is really quite marginal.

      The Pajero’s stability control is not the most finely tuned, so it can be a bit harsh to cut it, it’s a bit mid ’00s rather than the subltly smooth corrections you can just about feel in 2015’s cars. It’s also old-school because it waits for a problem then acts, whereas the latest systems start to smooth out the driving even before traction is lost.

  • David Williamson

    Would love to know if u have put a uhf in the car if so where have you put it and where have u put the remote?? Im completely stuck on where to put it as i dont want to drill into the dash etc the only option i had was to put the hazards button on the other side if possible and screw it onto the the switch there the hazards used to be help

    • Hi David, sadly I’m not allowed to fit after-market bits and pieces to the Pajero. It’s still owned by Mitsubishi. I’d have to direct you to one of the Pajero clubs or even on of your local 4×4 clubs… Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    • There’s a very good internet forum you could post a query on.
      High quality double sided tape might do the job. One brand worked for me until the weather got really hot. Couldn’t be bothered trying others so I used screws.

    • David http://forum.pajeroclub.com.au/ is the forum of the Victoria-based Pajero Club. It is the world’s most popular Pajero forum by a long way and there are many examples of UHF mounts for every trim level and model of Pajero somewhere on their pages…and lots of owners ready and willing to help.

  • RooiValk

    Hi guys when are we getting an update on your article? Its been a while… Im from south africa and your website is really awesome. Very good in depth info! Keep it going!!!

  • Like others I found this blog series interesting and helpful. It influenced my decision to buy a new Shogun SG3 (I’m a Brit) . That has been delayed on a slow boat from Japan and now these great articles seem to have dried up too. Is the car just so great that there’s nothing to write about or just so dull you can’t bear to tap out any more?
    Or do I just need to prepare for everything in Mitsubishi land to be just that bit slower?
    Here’s hoping the next article arrives before my car which isn’t scheduled until late July.

  • Tim

    Hi, Also have found this blog interesting and helpful. Did you find out why it costs so much to service? Also, we have three kids (baby, 3 and 5). Would you get three kids across the middle seat?

    • I got a good deal which included first three services. I used Car Wow and then negotiated from there. I have read a review that said middle seat was a bit hard but there is so much space in the back that space won’t be a problem. I sat three of us in the back on test drive – youngest 11 oldest 40…. And no problems at all. Only car that was better was Disco at £20k more than I paid for the Shogun. Also should say that driving position worked really well for both me 6ft and my wife 5ft 4.

      • Hi all, Apologies for the lack of updates but I’ve been off after an eye accident. Should be up and running with some updates on the Paj this week. Haven’t been allowed to drive for a couple of weeks. Cheers Isaac

        • Now I feel guilty for my little moan Isaac. Whingeing Poms!

          • Not at all, Ian. My wife has been piloting the thing, so I’m planning to write something based on her thoughts. Also, we’ve just discovered it has auto high beam… couldn’t find it anywhere in the specs, but it’s in the handbook… works very well too.

  • Dan

    Hi, I have just finished reading the 19 June update, again you have pondered why 2wd is available.

    I think history may help answer this. The NH Pajero was released is 1991 with Super Select, it was industry leading at the time with the ability to run as a constant 4wd or as a 2wd. The 80 series Land Cruiser had only months earlier made the switch to AWD but some criticised it fuel consumption and inability to run in 2wd.

    The NH Pajero had the reliable 6G72, 3 litre V6, with a modest by today’s standards 109 KW and 234 NM of torque. Being able to drop back to 2wd helped this NH Pajero with is fuel economy. Fast forward to 2015 and we have significantly more power and almost double the torque so there is no noticeable penalty for running in 4wd / 4H.

    Over the decades Super Select and its unique abilities has become a unique standout feature for Pajero, some older traditionalist probably still like being able to run in 2wd therefore Mitsubishi keep this as a feature, if it’s not broken why change it? For the modern motorist simply leave it in 4H and enjoy the greater road holding.

    • Thanks Dan and great points. The problem is most drivers leave it in 2H and then run in to problems. Hene our view 2H should be deleted.

  • trackdaze

    Default should be 4wd. Put it in 2wd if there are no clouds in the sky.

    Ive been stranded half way across intersections when its powered down on wheel slip. The system should be sofisticated enough to acknowledge that if I continue to or increase depression of the accelerator I want more power and are ok with a percentage of wheelslip.

    • You’re right. The thing should be 4×4 as default and we’ve been caught out a few times too by the Pajero’s agricultural traction control system.

  • I currently drive a Hyundai Santa Fe (pause for cries of derision) and whilst in many ways it can’t compare with the Pajero I drove through snow here last winter whilst the drivers of many much more expensive 4X4s had given up. Hyundai use a system that automatically applies 4X4 when slip is detected with the option for permanent 4×4 when the going gets rough. This worked very well and I shall be interested to see how my new Pajero (Shogun) compares. What is the difference in consumption between 2WD and 4WD on tarmac?

    • Hi Ian, you’re right. A carefully driven soft-roader can perform well in rough road conditions compared with a 4×4 driven by a novice.
      Fuel use… hasn’t changed at all between 2WD and 4WD. But, my driving is long commutes of 100km each way and most of that is above 80km/h. I only have about 5km of stop-start traffic at the beginning of my return journey, so, my findings might not be comparable with yours. Hope that sort of helps? Cheers Isaac

  • David

    The dash is a killer on correguated roads. Continually turns on the windscreen wipers and indicators (right). At one stage thought the dash would end up in my lap. Will not buy another Pajero unless this is fixed.

  • Eucyblues

    I have just replaced my 2004 NP Exceed with a new NX – Soon after taking delivery I went on a badly potholed and corrugated road and I was disturbed by the difference between the NP and the NX in harshness – I actually reached out to stabilse the MMCS (sat nav etc). They’ve changed from 17″ to 18″ wheels and the profile has dropped from 65 to 60 and this makes for a harsher ride – I’d be interested to know if the spring rates and shockers have been changed as well.
    I believe the main problem with the dash “rock n roll” is the lack of adequate rear support for the heavy communication system under these conditions – a number of users on the Vic Pajero Club site have detailed the installation of stiffener brackets to overcome this issue

    MM has made a few niggling retrograde steps with the NX compared to the NP (imo) – the dash cluster being one, but overall, it’s still a very good and under-appreciated 4wd

  • Craig Durkee

    I have a 2015 NX its 13 months old today, I’ve covered 47000km.

    It has without a shadow of a doubt been the worst vehicle I have ever had ( I change bi annually).

    The car is powerful and roomy and very practical. This is where the praise stops.

    As others have mentioned the quality of the dashboard is shocking. I have had rattles and creeks since day one, same from the gear selector area. The plastics are of a shocking quality and so is the overal build quality.

    The plastics creek simply by applying pressure with one finger so you can imagine the issues when driving.

    I also find the dealer networks and MMAL customer service the worst I have ever come into contact with regardless of brand.

    The servicing costs even with capped prices are uncompetitively high and for little reason.

    Avoid this product at all costs

    • Hi Craig, thanks for your comment. A lot of people would be happy with roomy, practical and powerful 😉 But I don’t want to make light of your issues. Yes, when we had the Pajero on long-term test the dashboard rattled and the sun roof cover used to rattle its way open too, but this wasn’t noticeable during day-to-day driving, just when it went off road.
      When you say the dealer service is thew worst of any brand, what do you actually mean? I guess you took the car in and mentioned the plastics creaking etc… what was the response. And what are you basing the service costs being uncompetitively high on? Cheers. – Isaac

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.