Mitsubishi Pajero | 1982 – 2023 Model Year Differences

The Mitsubishi Pajero also known as Mitsubishi Montero or Shogun is a full-size SUV produced and marketed by the Japanese automotive manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors. The Pajero was introduced in 1981, with its production spanning four generations to 2021 when it was discontinued. Within the production years, the Pajero cemented itself on the upper echelons of robust, durable, reliable, efficient, and luxurious SUVs. If that was not enough, it also managed to build a reputation for notoriety by winning the harsh Paris-Dakar Rally 12 times. In this article, we will briefly look at the forty good years of the Pajero, and touch a little bit on the Pajero Mini and 2023 Pajero Sport. Please follow through.

  1. Why is the Mitsubishi Pajero popular worldwide?
    The Pajero is a reliable, urban-friendly, reasonably priced 4×4, and a reasonably priced car with a rich 40-year history.
  2. How does it perform off-road?
    The Pajero is a capable off-roader that can take you to and from the most difficult terrains with all the comforts of an SUV.
  3. Who is it recommended for
    The Pajero is a good car for on and off-road use. Although it’s built as an off-road SUV it is also a good car with good road manners and great maneuverability in urban areas.

2023

white front of mitsubishi pajero sport 2023
white back of mitsubishi pajero sport 2023

Price

The RRP of the 2023 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport ranges between US$29,000 and US$40,300.

Engine

The 2023 Pajero Sport is powered by a Variable Geometry Turbocharged (VGT) 2.4-liter(4N15) MIVEC diesel engine with 178hp and 317lb-ft of torque. Power to the rear wheels is transferred via a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. Super Select II 4WD is available.

Exterior

The 2023 Pajero Sport has a rugged and rough visage. Its exterior looks give an impression that the SUV is ready to take on all terrains. Add to that the dynamic shield front facia, the chrome trims, rounded edges, and alloy wheels collectively create a good balance of beauty and roughness.

Interior

white interior of mitsubishi pajero sport 2023
white interior of mitsubishi pajero sport 2023

Inside, the Pajero Sport offers an infotainment system, a refreshingly simple instrument cluster with a pair of analog gauges and a digital display at the center, nice plastic finishing, nicely trimmed steering wheel, shifter, and center console, and piano black finishing.

Writer’s perspective

With the production of the larger Mitsubishi Pajero halted in 2019, the Pajero Sport has become the largest SUV offering from Mitsubishi. As the torch bearer, the Pajero Sport has held up the position very well. It’s a capable car, a reliable off-roader that can take you places with comfort and ease.

In recent years, SUV fuel efficiency has improved dramatically. Learn about the features of each vehicle type from our expert blog posts and find the best SUV for you.


2007 ~ 2021

mitsubishi pajero silver front exterior
2010
mitsubishi pajero silver side exterior
2021

Price

At Be Forward, prices of used 2007 – 2021 Mitsubishi Pajero models range between US$4300 and US$34,800 as of September 2023.

Engine

Available engines included a turbocharged 3.2-liter(4M41) or 2.4-liter (4N15) 4-cylinder diesel, and a 3.8-liter(6G75) V6 petrol engine. Power is transferred to the wheels via a 5-speed manual and a 4- or 5-speed automatic transmission. A 4WD system with three differentials which can also operate as an on-demand AWD system with the rear and central differentials locked for better traction is standard.

Exterior

Like previous models, this model was available in 3- (SWB) or 5-door (LWB) versions. Notable exterior features included a three-slat chromed grille, HID headlights, fog lights at the front, a sloped roofline with roof rails available, flared wheel arches, body-colored mirrors, and alloy wheels on the sides with a spare tire on the rear tailgate.

Interior

mitsubishi pajero silver front seat interior2010
mitsubishi pajero silver back seat interior 2010

Notable interior features include a modern dashboard, with a large and clearer instrument cluster. A center stack housing the infotainment system and a large LCD display.

Space

mitsubishi pajero silver boot space 2010
mitsubishi pajero silver engine 2010

The three-door (SWB) has 5 seats while the five-door (LWB) has 7 seats. The cabin is spacious, with enough room on the front and middle-row seats, with the mid-row seats capable of comfortably accommodating three adults, while the third row has limited space only suitable for kids. There is room for a few briefcases with all rear seats used while folding down the second and third-row seats unleashes about 1700+ liters of cargo room.

Sport

In 2015 the third generation of the Pajero Sport was unveiled. Notable interior features include a 7.0-inch infotainment system, powered leather-contoured seats with multi-layer cushioning, a dual-zone climate control system, and optional third-row seats (7 seats). Exterior features include a dynamic shield front fascia with a dual-layer headlight setting, shorter taillights, and a hands-free powered tailgate. Available engines include a turbocharged 2.4-liter(4N15) or 2.5-liter(4D56) 4-cylinder diesel and a 3.0-liter(6B31) V6 petrol. Power from these engines is transferred to the wheels via a 5- or 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, and an 8-speed (Toyota-made) automatic transmission.

Writer’s perspective

As the years went by the Mitsubishi Pajero kept improving in various angles, becoming better and better. Unfortunately, production of the Pajero ceased in 2019 marking an end to an era, an end to a 40-year success story. Indeed the Pajero will be missed, and fans will be looking forward to its reintroduction.

Top 5 Most Popular Used SUVs Under $2,500 | Car Review

2000 ~ 2006

mitsubishi pajero black front exterior 2002
mitsubishi pajero black side exterior 2002

Price

At Be Forward, prices of used 2000 – 2006 Mitsubishi Pajero models range between US$3500 and US$14,500 as of September 2023.

Engine

Available engines were the 3.0-liter(6G72) and 3.5-liter(6G74) V6 petrol and the turbocharged 2.5-liter(4D56T) and 2.8-liter(4M40) diesel. The 3.8-liter(6G75) V6 petrol and the 3.2-liter(4M41) direct injection diesel were new additions. Power is transferred to the wheels via a five-speed manual, a four-speed INVECS-II automatic, and a five-speed INVECS-II Tiptronic transmission. A fully electronic Super Select 4WD II (SS4-II) drivetrain is standard.

Exterior

The V60 Pajero has a rugged and durable feel due to its boxy and tall looks, with flared and squared arches. Notable exterior features include body cladding, a side hinge tailgate with a covered spare tire, and 16-inch wheels.

Interior

mitsubishi pajero black front seat interior  2002
mitsubishi pajero black back seat interior 2002

SWB has four seats while the LWB has five or seven seats with cloth upholstery as standard. The front seats are wide, firm, and supportive, while the third-row seats are too tiny and uncomfortable for adults. Interior features include climate control, door pockets, cup holders, and an audio system.

Space

mitsubishi pajero black boot space 2002
mitsubishi pajero black engine 2002

The third generation comes with a 60/40 split second-row seat that can recline or fold-and-tumble(collapsible), and a stowable or removable third-row seat. The cargo capacity of the SWB model is 215 liters while the LWB model has 415 liters (without the third-row seats), and a maximum of 1700 liters with the second and third row folded.

Sport

In parallel with the release of the third-generation Pajero, Mitsubishi introduced the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (Mitsubishi Challenger). It was based on the underpinnings of the Strada/Colt/L200, specifically targeting buyers who wanted a smaller version of the larger Pajero.

Writer’s perspective

For the first time, Mitsubishi introduced a Pajero built on a unibody (monocoque) frame, unlike the previously used body-on-frame (ladder frame) that has been standard on most trucks and large SUVs. This has made the car more comfortable and drivable, with improved structural integrity.


Pajero Mini

2012 MITSUBISHI PAJERO MINI white front
2012 MITSUBISHI PAJERO MINI white backside

Price

At Be Forward, prices of used Mitsubishi Pajero Mini models range between US$1430 and US$11,400 as of September 2023.

Engine

Throughout its production, the Pajero Mini has always been fitted with a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 0.7-liter (4A30) inline 4-cylinder petrol engine. Power to the wheels is transferred by either a 5-speed manual or an electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. It’s available in a FWD or 4WD configuration. The 4WD models feature Mitsubishi’s Easy Select all-wheel-drive system that enables the driver to select two-wheel or four-wheel drive modes, with high or low range, at the touch of a lever.

Exterior

Earlier models came with small round headlamps and a chunky grille, later upgraded to heterogeneous twin-lens headlights and a two-bar knit grille. Standard exterior features include steel wheels, black-trimmed bumpers, door handles, and wing mirrors. Higher trims featured a two-tone paint, alloy wheels, and chrome trimming.

Interior

2012 MITSUBISHI PAJERO MINI interior driving sheet
2012 MITSUBISHI PAJERO MINI interior back sheet

The interior is basic. It features a four-spoke steering wheel, a radio cassette player, an air conditioner with rotary control knobs, a glove box, cup holders, and a small tray on the center console.

Space

The Mini is a three-door four-seat vehicle with a 2.2m wheelbase. It can accommodate the driver and three mid-size adults due to its size. The pre-1998 model’s dimensions were 3.29m, 1.39m, and 1.63m in length, width, and height respectively, with post-1998 models improving in length and width due to the update in KEI car regulations. The post-1998 dimensions were 3.39m, 1.47m, and 1.63m in length, width, and height respectively. The dimensional improvement resulted in the wheelbase growing by 0.08m; this gave rise to an extra 0.06m of legroom, and a much roomier interior. The cargo area is small but can be configured in several ways depending on passenger numbers.

Writer’s perspective

The Pajero Mini is so efficient, with an average fuel consumption of 14km/L for urban use and 25km/L on the highway. With these ratings, it qualifies as one of the most frugal cars and a good choice for those who want to save on the pump.

Looking for the perfect SUV for camping? Check out our selection of SUVs that are perfect for family outdoor adventures.

The best cars & SUVs for camping in 2023 blog thumbnail

The Best Cars & SUVs for Camping

Here are some popular car models that are known for being great options for camping.


1991 ~ 1999

mitsubishi pajero blue front exterior 1998
mitsubishi pajero blue side exterior 1998

Price

At Be Forward, prices of used 1991 – 1999 Mitsubishi Pajero models range between US$3460 and US$48,600 as of September 2023.

Engine

Available engines were the 3.0-liter V6 (6G72) petrol and the turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (4D56T) diesel. The 3.5-liter V6 (6G74) petrol and the turbocharged 2.8-liter 4-cylinder (4M40) diesel were introduced later. Power is transferred to the wheels via a four-speed automatic, five-speed manual, or five-speed automatic. As standard it came with a selectable 4WD with a two-speed transfer case and three differentials with a center lock.

Exterior

Compared to its predecessor, the 1991 Pajero had a larger body available in LWB (Semi High Roof Wagon and High Roof Wagon) and SWB (Metal Top and Canvas Top Convertible). Its facia is flat with a slightly tilted three-slat horizontal grille (chrome or black depending on the trim level) flanked by big square headlights with a bumper wrapped in plastic around the corners underneath. On the sides, there are plastic moldings running to the rear with beefy wheel arches.

Interior

mitsubishi pajero blue front seat interior 1998
mitsubishi pajero blue back seat interior 1998

Inside, the cabin is spacious with the LWB model capable of accommodating seven passengers comfortably in three rows. Cloth upholstery is standard with leather-clad available. The dash is angularly tilted, it features a standard instrument and center stack with an altimeter, a compass, and a display of the car’s pitch and roll angle.

Space

mitsubishi pajero blue boot space 1998
mitsubishi pajero blue engine 1998

This model like its predecessor is available in SWB and LWB. The SWB model has very little room for cargo while the LWB model has a maximum of 842 liters cargo capacity with the second and third row seats folded.

Sport

The Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution (model code V55W) is a street-legal version of the famous Paris-Dakar Pajero that was built from 1997 to 1999 with only 2693 units built. Exterior features include ultra-wide fenders on the side, rear winglets, a front diving board bumper with “EVOLUTION” inscribed on it, and a silver paint coat Inside it came fitted with genuine Recaro seats, a radio, a gauge cluster, and HVAC controls. Under the hood it’s fitted with a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 exclusive to the Evo with 276 hp and 256 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the shiftable 4WD system via a torque converter. Additional features include front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, an independent suspension, and a track width over four inches wider.

Writer’s perspective

With the introduction of the second-generation Pajero things kept on improving, the SUV became more spacious, more comfortable, and more capable. And if that was not enough, the famous wins of Kenjiro Shinozuka at the Paris-Dakar rally brought us the ultimate machine, the Pajero Evolution! Things didn’t get better than that in those years.


1982 ~ 1990

mitsubishi pajero gray front exterior 1988
mitsubishi pajero gray side exterior 1988

Price

At Be Forward, prices of used 1982 – 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero models range between US$6700 and US$21,000 as of September 2023.

Engine

The initial short wheel-base Pajero was offered in three optional engines, with other engines joining the lineup later. The 4-cylinder engines include a turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol or 2.3-liter diesel, and a naturally aspirated 2.6-liter petrol. A turbocharged 2.5-liter intercooler diesel and a 3.0-liter V6 were available from 1988. A part-time four-wheel-drive drivetrain was standard on all models.

Exterior

initially, the Pajero was available as a three-door, short-wheelbase SUV with a soft canvas top or hardtop. In 1983 a long-wheelbase, five-door Pajero model was introduced. The Pajero was available in a Semi-High Roof or High Roof body style as standard.

Interior

mitsubishi pajero gray front seat interior
mitsubishi pajero gray back seat interior

The flagship Exceed model added a three-spoke steering wheel, a radio/cassette player, two-stage front heated seats, leather headrests, adjustable suspension seats, rear air conditioning, a light brown interior, and power door locks.

Space

The initial SWB model had four seats with less space for cargo. The LWB model introduced in 1983 came with five seats as standard, and seven seats optional. The second and third-row seats can be folded to the sides to increase cargo room.

Writer’s perspective

There is a trend in the automotive world of buying vintage cars, and the first-generation Pajero is a collector favorite. It’s a true classic, a capable SUV that holds its value very well.


Conclusion

The Mitsubishi Pajero has been around for about 40 years, not many cars make it this far, but the Pajero did and it did deservedly. The Pajero has been one of the outstanding 4×4 SUVs for many years, it is a true off-roader that is reliable, durable, and practical. It will surely be missed. Its smaller sibling the Pajero Sport is still in production, and although it can’t compare with the outgoing Pajero, it’s a capable SUV that can punch above weight.


BEST VALUE USED CARS FROM $410

GET DISCOUNT ALERTS (90% OFF OR MORE)

SIGN UP FOR REWARDS

Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya

Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.