Monday, November 4, 2013

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Pajero (2003-2007)

Myk Belmonte feels it's about damn time to feature a recent version of this popular SUV. Now, an article is available for you.

2003-2007 Mitsubishi Pajero

February 3, 2012 - that was the time I had featured a Mitsubishi Pajero for both the first and, definitely, not the last since we will have one for today. So, what shall I write in this paragraph then? You might not know the Pajero prototype were first displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1973 with the second one  shown in 1978. This vehicle gained prominence in the Dakar Rally, winning 15 out of the 32 races for its class.

The third generation model we will feature was first launched in August 2, 1999 in Japan. Other nations had this a year later while most developing countries received this in 2003. A totally new vehicle inside and out, the Pajero migrated to a unibody platform than the previous body-on-frame. Tons of new changes were applied, but it is too long to list all of them here. 2006 is the last year where one can buy the third generation model, which coincides with the US discontinuation due to decreasing sales.

With the revised taxation schemes, the third gen Pajero arrived in Philippine shores in late 2003. This alone placed the Field Master variant to shame when it comes to technology and refinement; but the price, well, only a few can cough it. Sold briefly, since the fourth generation model hit dealership floors in 2007.

Value and Costs
Even when used, Pajeros still possess high resale values. With a price range between P800,000-P1,150,000, it is still on the high side. It is one tough decision to choose which: a brand new compact sedan. a Montero Sport GLX, or this. Converted units from Japan are popping in the classified block, and as I often say, avoid them due to questionable conversion process.

Unlike the Field Master model that delivers diesel fuel utilizing a rotary type engine, the third generation model has CRDi technology that can bring expensive maintenance costs; the same goes with the V6 gasoline. Not a cheap SUV to own, but SUVs aren't cheap from the start. It is one reliable vehicle especially if its well taken care of.

Exterior and Interior
Grew in size than the previous model, the Pajero still retains the famed presence. With rounded wheel arches and a chunky side profile, this makes up to the bulky yet somewhat awkward profile. 35mm lower than the Field Master, climbing in and out is more friendly.

When it was new, the interior made sense; with as the car aging, it is no fine wine. Cheap feeling materials also contributed to the rapid aging of the interior. The smallish buttons for the climate and radio takes time to get used to. There is an RV meter that houses vehicle information is situated above the radio. The cabin is big and comfortable to be in. Well, except for the third row good for kids.

Consumers have now a choice of either a gasoline or diesel motivator. The most popular (and our pick) is the 4M41 3,200cc that carries 165hp at 3,800rpm and 378Nm at 2,000rpm. New to the Philippine market is the 6G75 3,828cc V6 which possess 215hp at 5,000rpm and 337Nm at 3,750rpm. We give our props to the diesel (as with most SUVs) since it is strong and carries the weight with ease. The V6 isn't a bad choice, although the high expensive costs is a turn-off.

Driving Impressions
It feels right at home outside the pavement. Mud terrains (like the ones heading to your father's hacienda) won't be a fear to the Pajero. With the Super Select 4WD system, choosing the right gear in the right situation is easy as one shift. Drive it on tarmac and it will show an unsettled ride plus no thanks to a bulky structure, body roll is evident. Steering is decent enough for a vehicle this size.

More behaved and civilized than the previous model, the BK Pajero is one improved beast. However, there are some nibbles which come as standard. In this case, if you want the Pajero badge for a low price then go for it; otherwise scrutinize other mid-sizers that can balance on and off-road abilities.

The Good:
  • Huge cabin
  • Off-road ready
  • Its a Pajero, you know!
The Bad: 
  • Not that good on the pavement
  • Dated interior
  • Bulky
The Pick: 3.2 Diesel

Engines: 3,200cc 4M41 I4 diesel and 3,828cc 6G75 V6 gasoline
Power: 165hp @ 3,800rpm (diesel), 215hp @ 5,000rpm (gasoline)
Torque: 378Nm @ 2,000rpm (diesel), 337Nm @ 3,750rpm (gasoline)
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 7-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P2,350,000-P2,500,000 (range from 2003-2007)
Price (Now): P800,000-P1,150,000
Rivals: Nissan Patrol, Isuzu Trooper, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Ford Explorer
On Sale: Late 2003-early 2007

Citimotors Makati - (02) 892-0331
Diamond Motors Valle Verde - (02) 671-9190
Diamond Motors Marcos Highway - (02) 645-4801

Photos from

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