THE 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS is the latest rendition of the stylish and comfortable SUV that’s based on the Triton ute platform, and capable of all-terrain performance, durability, reliability and safety.
It shares its DNA with its larger, Dakar winning, Pajero sibling, as well as the popular Mitsubishi ute platform, with the combination offering what should be a strong pedigree that sees it excel across the board.
And that’s true, for the most part, but it’s not without issues. The updated exterior design has been described as wide, sculptured and powerful, and is a further evolution in the latest iteration of Mitsubishi’s dynamic shield front design concept.
It has the effect of making the front end look wider. The bonnet is set higher, giving the front face a deeper look. Let’s be real here, the Pajero Sport looks better than it ever has. It’s still not perfect, but it’s a vast improvement on what’s come before it.
But, and there’s always a but, its elephant ears, otherwise known as side mirrors, are noisy on the open road and start to sing the song of their people at the first chance they get, which is Mozart’s Serenade No.13, in the key of whistle.
We don’t love the tail lights either, they look like crying eyes. On the inside the Pajero Sport scores new technology, like an easy to read 8-inch colour digital instrument panel to give you more information, and there’s also support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It’s more luxurious and more spacious too, with a revised centre console and door grips, with extra soft pads added to make for a more comfortable space. A lower tray, accessible by the front passenger, has been added to the tunnel part of the console too.
The cabin layout offers more storage places for simple things like phones, keys, wallets and your partner’s little bottle of hand sanitiser. An AC power outlet is also on hand, should you need it.
The GLS comes loaded with adaptive cruise control, power tailgate, leather seat facings, rear diff-lock, auto rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlamps, dual-zone climate control, rear spoiler and an electro-chromatic rear view mirror.
You can also add third row seating for a 7-seat GLS experience. If you do though, be aware that the third row seats will cop some whinging and whining from any larger kids or adults you throw back there, as it’s a little tight on space.
The new interior look for the Pajero Sport does have some downsides though, with the seating looking a little cheap, and worn, even though their was just a few thousand kilometres on the car when tested.
Under that new bonnet we talked about, there’s an improved 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo diesel engine, mated to an eight speed automatic transmission. It delivers a maximum of 133kW and 430Nm respectfully, at the flywheel. It’s still a little ‘noisy tractor’ though.
Where most of its rivals are still using six or seven speed transmissions, the Pajero Sport has done very nicely with an extra gear. It kicks down quickly and doesn’t rev its face off under load. It all comes together for fairly smooth and responsive acceleration.
All models in the range are fitted with Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD-II drive train that delivers optimal traction for different surface conditions. Sport mode also offers manual gear changes using paddle shifters.
The package remains good to use and see’s the Pajero Sport keep its status as being a fantastic vehicle off-road. Drive modes are easy to select too, with the flick of a rotary dial delivering diff locking, and split torque programming.
This means 40 per cent of the drive goes to the front and 60 per cent goes rearward, for those of you still learning. The current model’s outstanding safety performance has been improved further too.
The addition of lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, and LED lighting replacing the previous lamp design have enhanced the driving experience. Daytime running lights (DRL) have also been housed in the headlamp units, with its position lamps.
On road, the experience holds its own, and active cornering lamps, and stylised fog lamps integrated into the turning signal unit, freshen the look and functionality of the Pajero Sport.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS also has an electric parking brake with auto parking and hold functionality, adaptive cruise control, hill start assist and hill descent assist. It retains its 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
That’s thanks to Mitsubishi’s reinforced impact safety evolution (RISE) body construction, which provides high levels of crash safety. It’s good on and off the road, and strikes a balance between affordability, reliability and practicality.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS is priced from $53,990 drive away, and is available in White Diamond, White, Sterling Silver, Terra Rossa, Dark Blue, Black Mica and Graphite Grey.
Our test vehicle was provided by Mitsubishi Motors Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, please contact your local Mitsubishi dealer.