The new Pajero Sport is value-packed, regardless of model, and while there’s some clever tech in the Exceed, the GLS still presents a compelling value proposition. There might only be three model grades in the Pajero Sport range, but there’s a sensible spread of pricing and features across those three grades.
The Pajero Sport Exceed does get some added quality safety tech like radar cruise control, forward crash mitigation, blind spot monitoring and a new system that prevents the driver from depressing the accelerator when there’s a stationary object in front of them. That extra kit does make the step up to just over 52 grand plus on road costs seem very reasonable.
Truck-based 4WDs are nothing new, so the fact that the Pajero Sport is underpinned by the Triton’s platform won’t surprise. Nor will you be surprised by the fact Pajero Sport replaces the now-defunct Challenger.
What might surprise, though, is just how packed this segment is all of a sudden. Pajero Sport is now joined by Ford Everest and the Toyota Fortuna along with the existing Holden Colorado 7 and Isuzu MU-X. It’s been a while between drinks, but it now seems like everyone is gate-crashing the properly capable off-road party.
Traditionally, the formula for this segment was always simple: part time 4WD, proper low range gearing, a ladder-frame chassis and plenty of storage space behind comfortable second-row seating. These vehicles need to be capable off-road, that’s not up for debate. Owners who would be reluctant to bush-bash a brand new Pajero, for example, are going to have the Pajero Sport right in their gunsights.
Under the bonnet, there’s a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 133kW and a stout 430Nm. Power is directed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which helps to keep the combined ADR fuel figure down to 8.0L/100km. On test, we used an indicated 9.2LL/100km, which is genuinely impressive for a full-sized off-roader.
Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2016