Mitsubishi might be the brand that you’re always forgetting exists if you live in North America, but it still offers a wide range of products in other markets. The company sells the Pajero SUV in some 90 countries around the world, and a new sport version is now being built. The Pajero Sport is being built in Thailand and will be sold in all of the important markets that aren’t North America, Western Europe or China. This means Australia, India and Russia will all get it, and will undoubtedly be our source for information and reviews once the car hits showrooms.

Though the new SUV has the word “sport” right in its name, this isn’t exactly an Evo-style step up from the base model. Much of the purported sportiness comes from the styling, but there are some serious improvements and the Sport is a genuinely more capable vehicle than the regular model, just don’t be tempted to think of it as being able to take on a 2015 BMW X5 M on the road. A good deal more attention is paid to making the vehicle more comfortable than the regular Pajero as well, and there is a much more clear distinction between the regular model and the Sport than there has been in previous generations.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

  • 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Energy:
    turbodiesel
  • Displacement:
    2.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, 4WD
  • Price:
    35000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The regular Pajero is quite a boxy vehicle, and for that matter, so was the previous generation of the Sport. With the new Sport, Mitsubishi has made an effort to give the SUV a more graceful and yes, even sporty look. The new body is much more car-like and less obviously utilitarian. Think of it as being the Range Rover to the more utilitarian Land Rover models. And like the Range Rover, the Sport offers a much more upscale look, complete with a healthy dose of chrome in the front fascia. Accent lines now run down the length of the car, with the taillights providing the transition into the rear fascia. It’s all really very well executed, especially considering the markets where it will be sold aren’t generally those where automakers put a lot of effort into styling.

Interior

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Interior
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2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Interior
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2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Interior
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For as modern and well thought out as the exterior is, you would expect more of an effort to have been made on the interior. It has the look of aggressive cost cutting, and the extensive use of cheap plastics have given it a dull appearance. The infotainment screen is an especially unfortunate touch, looking every bit like an aftermarket installation. There are interior that are designed to be inexpensive that work quite well, but this one gives every appearance of having been designed to be much more expensive and then stripped down, and that never looks good. It’s possible that the pictures supplied by Mitsubishi are of the base Sport, and that it looks better optioned up, but don’t count on it. It does look roomy though, so that’s something.

Drivetrain

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Interior
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Mitsubishi hasn’t supplied a lot of information on the engine, which isn’t exactly a great sign. So for instance, we can’t give you a horsepower figure, or one for torque. What we do know is that it is motivated by a 2.4-liter diesel engine that sends power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Mitsubishi says that it is the most fuel efficient Pajero Sport to date, a 17 percent improvement over the previous generation. Also improved are the driver aides, of which Mitsubishi is offering a whole slew for both on-road and off-road. So the 4WD system now has an off-road mode, including Hill Descent Control. There is also Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Warning, and Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System. It also features Mitsubishi’s first ever electric parking brake.

Prices

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 638836

The Pajero is not a cheap vehicle, and although Mitsubishi hasn’t supplied us with any pricing information, we’d expect the Sport to be even more expensive. In Australia, a Pajero will generally cost you in the range of $60,000 ($44,000 in USD) with any real sort of options. So, more than that is all we can guess for the Sport. It’s possible that it will be a more reasonable price in other markets, but that starts to move us from the realm of educated guesses and into that of outright making things up.

Competition

Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 548581

The most important thing to keep in mind with the Lexus NX is that it is the cheaper vehicle. For that slightly lower price you get exterior styling that is roughly on par with that of the Pajero Sport and an interior that is a hell of a lot better. The Lexus trades what is probably better performance for what is probably worse fuel economy, although we can’t say for certain without having any numbers. The Lexus is roomy, but not quite as much as the Mitsubishi, and this likely to be the most important deciding factor for a lot of people.

Read more on the 2015 Lexus NX here.

Volvo XC90

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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You will almost certainly spend more money on the Volvo, starting as it does in Australia at $89,000. But assuming that the Pajero Sport really is more expensive than the regular model, it might not be that much more money to get the Volvo. And in exchange for that extra money, you will get much more vehicle, including a genuinely top notch interior that is both attractive and full of fine materials. The Volvo is also capable, and very obviously safe, but the interior makes quite a compelling argument all by itself.

Read more on the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 here.

Conclusion

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The Pajero Sport is a vehicle that makes a lot of sense only from certain perspectives. The cheap interior and small diesel engine make sense for markets like Thailand, Africa or Russia, where it will be competing with other inexpensive models. Except that those things don’t actually translate to a lower price tag. The previous generation sold in India for the equivalent of about $37,000, and for that kind of price, you’d want any cost cutting to at least be less obvious. All of the English-language reviews of the Pajero, Sport or otherwise, list the price as one of its major drawbacks, and it is unlikely that this generation will be any different. It does have to be said that it is now a far more attractive vehicle, but whether or not that makes it worth all of that money would have to be up to the buyer.

  • Leave it
    • * cheap interior
    • * much too expensive, probably
    • * not really as sporty as the name suggests

Press Release

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announces the world premiere of first full-redesign of the Pajero Sport mid-size SUV in seven years in Thailand, where it is produced at Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co. Ltd.’s*1Laem Chabang Plant. Sales start in Thailand from this fall, and MMC plans to introduce the all-new Pajero Sport sequentially in Australia, the ASEAN nations, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Russia and, as with its predecessor, to sell the new model in some 90 countries.
*1: MMC’s exclusive producer and distributor in Thailand

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
- image 638822

The all-new Pajero Sport is a new-generation mid-size SUV developed to a "Stylish & Comfortable Off-road SUV" concept. A full-feature off-road SUV inheriting the best of the Pajero brand, the all-new Pajero Sport brings with it a refined and high-quality exterior design, high-quality vehicle performance and a comfortable interior, environmental performance on a par with the best in its class, and a comprehensive advanced safety features.

In its appearance, the all-new Pajero Sport uses the MMC’s new "Dynamic Shield" front face design concept, a further evolution of the design nurtured in successive models of the Pajero series. The high-quality stylish design uses both sporty and dynamic elements to set it apart from conventional cross-country SUVs. The interior uses a high console proportion dashboard, as befits a larger SUV, while dynamically styled silver-finish ornamentation and sculpted seats add to its luxurious feel.

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Handling stability, ride and quietness have all been improved through optimization of the suspension and improvements to the body mounts. In addition, the use of a new diesel engine and upgraded sound insulation provide a significant reduction in interior noise and this together with further upgraded comfortable seats and climate control system has achieved an interior space offering a higher level of comfort.

The all-new Pajero Sport is powered by a 2.4L MIVEC*2 turbo diesel engine (first for a Pajero Sport). Mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission (first for a Mitsubishi model) developed for the all-new Pajero Sport, this powertrain returns a 17-percent improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor. It also achieves CO2 emissions of under 200 g/km which puts it into the lowest bracket of the new excise tax structure to be introduced in Thailand in January 2016.

The all-new Pajero Sport comes with a very comprehensive active and passive safety features. MMC’s own RISE*3 impact safety body design and a total of seven SRS airbags provide occupants with outstanding passive safety. Active safety features include Forward Collision Mitigation system (FCM), the Blind Spot Warning system (BSW, a first on a Mitsubishi model) and the Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS). In addition the all-new Pajero Sport is fitted with many advanced features which go well beyond what normally found in this class such as an electric parking brake (first on a Mitsubishi model), a Multi-around Monitor and fully automatic climate control allowing different temperatures to be set for driver and front seat passenger.

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The all-new Pajero Sport uses a further-evolved version of MMC’s own Super-Select 4WD-II four-wheel drive system. This is complemented by the new Off-road Mode (first on a Mitsubishi model), which gives even better all-terrain performance and stability as the road surface requires, and by Hill Descent Control (first on a Mitsubishi model). Together with its greater wading depth, all these features combine to provide the kind of bad road or flooded surface performance only to be found in the Pajero brand.

*2: Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system
*3: Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution

The production of the previous Pajero Sport started in Thailand in 2008 and it was launched in Russia same year, after which it was rolled out sequentially in Thailand, the ASEAN nations, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Australia and China. Local production of the model also began in Brazil in January 2011, in Vietnam in July 2011, Bangladesh in August 2011, in Russia in July 2013 and in China in October 2013. Cumulative unit sales had reached some 400,000 at the end of June 2015 and today the Pajero Sport enjoys a broad user base in a wide spectrum of regions.

2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport High Resolution Exterior
- image 638824
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