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2017’s most popular 4x4s: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

By Fraser Stronach, 16 Aug 2017 Reviews

2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Report Card

#10: Undeniable value and technical sophistication underpin the success of the Pajero Sport.

THE Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has made it into the top-ten best-selling 4x4s for the first time and in doing so has fought off a host of other wagons including the Ford Everest, Holden Trailblazer, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Fortuner.

Read more of 4X4's 2017 Most Popular Report Cards

It has also edged out two utes, VW’s Amarok and Toyota’s LC79.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport offroadCompared to the other wagons-made-from-utes, the Pajero Sport is smaller, generally less expensive and has some notable technical highlights including an eight-speed automatic gearbox (whereas the others have the ute-derived six-speeders).

Mitsubishi’s unique Super Select 4x4 system also brings full-time 4x4, a feature not found with Fortuner, Trailblazer or MU-X.

Powered by the same new and revvy 2.4-litre diesel of the Triton, and helped along by the slick eight-speed automatic, the Pajero Sport offers relaxed, effortless performance, a fair turn of speed when asked, and is reasonably quiet and refined.

Being a bit smaller and lighter than its immediate competitors, the Pajero Sport feels quite nimble on the road, even if the suspension tune is biased towards comfort.

2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport modelThe full-time 4x4 of the Super Select also brings convenience, safety, and effectiveness to the Pajero Sport in mixed driving conditions that its part-time competitors can’t match, and it still has the option of rear-drive-only for those long highway stints on dry roads.

The Pajero Sport’s star starts to fade a little off-road, where the modest wheel travel and ground clearance see it struggle in places where its competitors aren’t troubled.

While mid- and top-spec models get a diff lock, it’s not as effective as it could be as it cancels the traction control on both axles when activated.

All Pajero Sport models offer smart-key entry and start and tilt-and-reach steering wheel adjustment, but taller drivers will find a somewhat cramped driving position in what is a small cabin compared to its rivals.


2017 (to June): 3304
2016 (to June): 1874
Change: + 76.3%

Powertrain: B
On-road: B
Off-road: D
Cabin & Equipment: C
Towing & Practicality: D
Final word: There’s a lot to like, even if it’s smaller than its competitors.

*Scored against class competitors. A= Excellent. B= Very Good. C= Good. D= Fair. E= Poor. F= Fail.