Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia yesterday introduced a new RWD variant of the Pajero Sport SUV – the Pajero Sport GL. It will be sold alongside the existing variant of the Pajero Sport, now dubbed the Pajero Sport GS.
We tested the Pajero Sport last year in a media test drive outing to Penang and back. While throughly satisfied with the Pajero Sport’s rugged underpinnings and impressive refinement (by ladder frame standards), we noted that a RM162,980.00 sticker price may not be enticing too many buyers.
To be fair, the Pajero Sport is actually a competitive offering, when lined up against its other body-on-frame rivals, namely the Toyota Fortuner (2.5G – RM167k) and the Ford Everest (2.5 XLT(A) – RM163k). Nonetheless, MMM has resolved to steal a march on the competition with the new GL variant. Omitting the Super Select 4WD but little else, MMM crucially slashed over RM13k from the price tag to offer the Pajero Sport GL at RM149,500.00 on-the-road with insurance.
As Mr Keizo Ono, CEO of MMM noted during the GL’s launch at 1 Utama shopping centre yesterday, “The new Pajero Sport GL is a lifestyle 7-seater SUV perfect for those looking for a comfortable, urban drive. It comes with the strengths of the Pajero Sport, such as its spacious and versatile three-row cabin; a diesel powertrain that’s powerful yet economical; all in an attractive price tag. We believe that all these unique features will make the Pajero Sport GL a leading contender in the SUV segment.”
Visually, differences between the GL and GS are primarily cosmetic, most notably being the dark honey-comb front grille (chrome vertical louvres for the GS), smaller 16″ rims (17″ for GS), and darkened side protection mouldings. In the cabin, the only notable emissions in the GL are wood panelling on the dash and, of course, the Super Select 4WD lever.
Additionally, MMM has also added a reverse camera to the Pajero Sport’s array of equipment. Standard on both the GL and GS, the camera is mounted on top of the rear number plate and is connected to the 2-DIN Kenwood ICE system.
Sitting in the GL’s engine bay is the same 2,477cc 4D56 four-cylinder DOHC turbodiesel engine used in the GS. To recap, the engine is rated, for our market, at 134hp @ 3,500rpm and 314Nm @ 2,000rpm. Like in the GS, the engine is also mated to the INVECS-II 4-speed automatic transmission with manual override. However, unlike in the GS, the 4A/T this time sends power only to the rear wheels.
Whilst its rivals carry over the underpinnings of their pick-up siblings almost wholesale, the Pajero Sport crucially features a rear axle different from the Triton. In place of the usual leaf-spring set up, Mitsubishi has swapped in an independent 3-link suspension with a stabilizing lateral rod. Up front continues with a double wishbone setup.
Stopping power is similarly unchanged, with vented discs up front paired with drums behind. However, for the 2010 shipment, MMM has specified rear disc brakes for the GS variant.
In terms of safety, the Pajero Sport GL receives all of the same safeguards enjoyed by the GS, namely Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), dual airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, side impact beams, parking sensors, and engine immobilizer.
“The Pajero Sport has been a real success for Mitsubishi Motors since its global debut back in the last quarter of 2008. We launched it here in Malaysia last June and to date, it has found close to 700 proud owners. We expect this GL variant to further widen the appeal of the Pajero Sport and attract a growing segment of urban buyers,” said MMM CEO Mr Keizo Ono.
The Pajero Sport will be available in Mitsubishi dealerships nationwide from 20 April 2010 onwards, although an exclusive preview is being held at a road show in 1 Utama new wing until the end of this week – Sunday, 18 April 2010.
Additionally, MMM is currently offering a 2-year/40,000km free maintenance programme which covers labour costs, engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter, differential oil, and transmission fluids. This programme is applicable for both variants of the Pajero Sport, Lancer GT, Grandis and Triton 3.2 only. Vehicles must be registered from 1 April 2010 onwards.