I’ve always loved the great outdoors and that feeling of getting away with the family to explore this big backyard of ours.
I’ve camped in a swag under the stars, been four-wheel driving with friends on Fraser Island and driven cars of all shapes and sizes. I love a good adventure BUT to be honest I’ve never been behind the wheel of a 4WD Off-Road!
This is going to be interesting!
Mitsubishi offered me a car for two months which very quickly became my everyday car (who wouldn’t!?) and to be straight up, I was a little bit nervous about the off-road adventures. Do I need lessons? I’ve never been behind the wheel off-road before … what if something goes wrong? Oh my gosh we might crash and tip the car! These were all thoughts running through my head (really!) but I soldiered on and said a big fat YES (that wasn’t hard!) Let’s put this baby through her paces and see how she (and we) come out the other end! Of course it became the focus of our quest to take her off-road and enjoy some family weekend adventures – where shall we go next?!
So when the day came round to collect the car I was somewhat excited and nervous all rolled into one. She’s a BIG car and what about all that city driving and shopping centre car parks right?
I won’t lie, she was a BIG car. Thank goodness for the running boards under the doors that act as a little step to get into the car. Having just been in the Outlander for a few months, it was a BIG step up (especially for a shortie like me) and the first few times I went to get in I pretty much
stacked it misjudged my step because I forgot how high up she was. At least I was falling INTO the car not OUT of it! 😉
So once I was actually IN the car, I have to say the first words that crossed my mind were ‘yeah baby this is it!’ SERIOUSLY AWSOME! SO much space, luxury and let’s just say the front cabin is MEGA spacious and all the fittings and fixtures felt very luxe!
Sitting so high up on the road is brilliant. Not only can you see past the indecisive drivers who might slam on the brakes at the last minute, but you get a really great overall sense of where you sit on the road so that you can judge traffic better.
Now going back to feeling too big on the road? WRONG! I actually felt like I picked up the feel of the car really quickly. In all honesty I thought I might straddle lanes or cut corners given she’s bigger than I’m used to. Not a fear. I did cut the occasional edge of a roundabout but clearly I’m not the first to do that (nor is this the first car I’ve ever done it in either!)
So over the past two months I’ve taken my family camping to Deep Creek Conservation Park, first time we’ve been camping and quite clearly the first time I’ve take a car off-road. It wasn’t as scary as I made it up to be in my head and the technology and ease at which the Pajero Sport handled the rocky and steep terrain made it so much easier to handle than I thought.
We also headed across to Kangaroo Island for some more off road adventures with SeaLlink Kangaroo Island. The car made for a great source to get us from A to B with a load of adventure, comfort and convenience all rolled into one.
So anyway, let’s get down to what we REALLY thought of the car!
I’m a stickler for safety and have to say it’s a BIG deciding factor when we buy our cars. It’s too late after the event to say ‘shoulda woulda coulda’. Cars need to protect our precious cargo (precious = when they’re not fighting) and the Five Star ANCAP Safety Rating and seven SRS Airbags go a long way to protecting us in the event of a crash.
Some of the extra safety features that really won me over were:
- Multi Around Monitor System (MMS) & Rear Camera … now THIS BLEW ME AWAY! I’m used to the typical reversing camera we see on most SUVs these days, but this clever sensor technology takes it to a whole new level (and to be honest made me feel REALLY confident in my parking and judging ability). There’s 4 cameras at the front, back and in the side door mirrors that display a bird’s eye view of the entire car, which is then displayed on the 7-inch colour touch screen. A guideline overlay also assists the driver when reversing. Just incredible and perfect for judging your car park position! How many times have you got out the car to see you’ve straddled the line and jumped back in? No more! Just pop her in reverse, check the position and adjust as need before getting out the car. Brilliant!
- Blind Spot Warning (BSW) was an absolute godsend and gave me the confidence of a big car on busy city streets. I was somewhat nervous that I wouldn’t see everything around me but I just left the BSW on all the time and as soon as a car was near my blind spot, an orange illuminated symbol in the side mirror together with a warning sound (if you’ve got your indicator on) warned me there’s a car in my blind spot. Winning!
- Off-Road Selector Mode meant I simply turned the selector dial on the console to switch between 2WD and 4WD while you’re moving at up to 100kmh. Seriously clever (especially for 4×4 newbies like me – how can you go wrong?!)
Refer main video for more detail and to watch it in action.
2. COMFORT & SPACE
Let’s face it, comfort is another BIG deciding factor when buying a car and the Pajero Sport didn’t disappoint. Here’s a few of my favourite features and you I’m pretty certain you’re going to think they’re just as important too!
- Luxury Seating: One of the standouts of the car was the COMFORT of the driver and passenger seats. Say goodbye to the ‘numb bum’ with these super comfortable babies, and my model had the gorgeous leather numbers throughout! Super comfy, electronic adjustment they really wrap around your back.
- Big Boot: Anyone that’s seen my car reviews in the past knows I love a big boot (especially when we mix kids with sports and LIFE, then we know we need a flexible space that’s ready to tackle a busy family head on! The Pajero Sport is also very roomy with a 673 litre rear boot space and if you fold down the back seats you’ll up that to a massive 1,624 litres. Big enough?
- In Car Entertainment System: I was pretty impressed at the level of features in the car! This car has gone full high tech and syncs with your smartphone via the Google Car Play App (iOS & Android) so that your navigation runs via the Maps app and you can play music from your iTunes or similar and even better, it’s also got DAB Digital radio (which for me as the tragic 80s fan that I am) means crystal clear radio (even on our AM band) and as much 80s as I want all day long….yeah!
- DVD Player with Wireless Headphones: I have to say as much as I didn’t think I’d like this feature, I LOVED IT! Not only was it great to keep the kids amused (especially when I wanted to have adult conversations with hubby), but it meant we didn’t have to listen to endless episodes of Paw Patrol/Fireman Sam/Toy Story etc. PLUS, no pesky cords for the kids to trip over (or complain about because they’d come undone!)
- 7-Seater Model: If you’re looking for a little more flexibility in the seating department, I drove the 5-seater model, however if you’re after the 7-seater model sit tight, they’re out in July! Speak to your dealer now about getting your hands on one as soon as they’re out.
3. TRANSMISSION & ENGINE
The Pajero Sport features a refined new 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo diesel engine which gave me plenty of grunt and amazing fuel efficiency! For the tech heads among us, it achieves 133kW of power at 3500 rpm and 430Nm peak torque at 2500 rpm.
- Transmission: The all-new 8-speed automatic transmission is the first of its kind fitted to a Mitsubishi and has been specially developed for Pajero Sport. Essentially for us it meant a smoother drive as the car’s not hunting for gears or over rev, and of course low fuel consumption.
- Off Road Mode: One of the things I liked about it’s 4×4 and traction capabilities was its ability to determine (or be told) what type of surface you’re driving on, so it adjusted its traction to suit. It’s a new terrain control system developed exclusively for the Pajero Sport and allows you to nominate four driving modes: Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand & Rock. Find out more about exactly how they work here.
- The Ride: I was actually quite impressed at just how smooth the ride was given it was a 4×4. Most cars i’ve been in feels like you’re bouncing all over the road but not this one.
- The Handling: She handled corners like a dream, gripped the road and really made you feel super comfortable! Even when on the rocky dirt 4×4 track, while I was hanging onto the wheel like no tomorrow (because it was steep and rocky) I had some pretty serious comfort that she was hanging on just as much as me! haha
- Turning Circle: For such a big car she handled turning with ease! I have to say I was really impressed at just how small her turning circle was (but when I think about it I recall raving about the Mirage and Outlander circles too). Makes for such a big difference, especially in city driving (when we change our mind like we do…) 😉
Watch our review video below and read on for our top features of the car!
So what did the Pajero Sport teach me?
To be honest I learnt A LOT from our time with the Pajero Sport. It certainly wasn’t meant to be a profound lesson in parenting, rather a great opportunity to drive a fab new car and write about it, but it certainly worked out to be one!
We had some great trips away including a fab weekend in Kangaroo Island, camping at Deep Creek Conservation Park and of course the endless trips to the beach to soak up the last of the summer sun while it lasted!
What I learnt is that our family (and i’m sure so many others just like us) seem to be all caught up in the day to day crazy rush of everyday work / life / sports and whatever else keeps you busy … and we actually forget about the basics.
The basics of spending time away together on very little (ie. camping/day trips to unknown places) and getting back to the magical memories we can create as a family. Far, far away from tablets, phones, TVs and gaming consoles and to be honest, it was SO overdue!
I learnt that it wasn’t hard (or expensive) to create the memories I had with my kids because we actually made the effort to get away from the city and back into nature, and they’re going to stick with me for a LONG time. Not because I was here to review a car, but because the car took us to the places that we wouldn’t have ordinarily gone.
So for that I’m forever grateful.
The Pajero Sport is now available with 5 and 7 seats, plus rear air cooling vents = no more hot kids!
Mitsubishi recognise the need for growing families (and for us the ability to shuttle kids around (other people’s!!) when the need arises so they now offer a 7-seat option in the Pajero, Outlander and Pajero Sport!
Unfortunately though, the 7-seater option removed the DVD player (I know!!) and if you have child seats in the second row, the top tether hooks do need to go to the roof of the third row which may affect your third row passengers.
SPECIFICATIONS & PRICE
The Pajero Sport is competitively priced from $46,990 Drive away for the GLX model, and is well equipped with 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo diesel engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, Super Select II 4WD system, Off-road Terrain Control System, electric handbrake, keyless entry with push button start, Smartphone Link Display Audio, reversing camera and rear parking sensors included.
The mid-spec GLS adds dual-zone air-conditioning, leather interior, rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlamps and electrochromatic rear view mirror to its list of conveniences. It’s also fitted with a differential lock for additional traction in off-road situations. Pajero Sport GLS is priced at $49,990 drive away.
At $54,990 the flagship Pajero Sport Exceed (which I drove) comes standard with the latest safety and luxury features. Multi around monitor, blind spot warning, forward collision mitigation and Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System headline a comprehensive passive and active safety package. It also comes equipped extra creature comforts including heated front seats, electric seat adjustment, rear DVD entertainment system with wireless headsets (oh my how the kids loved that!) and 8-speaker audio (and it cranks too!).
The 2016 Pajero Sport comes with a 5 Year, 100,000km New Vehicle Warranty and 4 years or 60,000 capped price servicing, plus 12 months Roadside Assist.
For more information, and to request or download a brochure, visit the Pajero Showroom or your local Mitsubishi dealer.