Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lion Heart Claws for Challenge; Terrain Tamer Means Business

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lion Heart Claws for Challenge; Terrain Tamer Means Business

Article excerpt

Byline: {} {VANI NAIDOO}

There is no escaping the Mitsubishi Pajero was built for red dust rather than accommodating tarmac.

It is a real four-wheel drive. Everything about it tells us so. It's in the way it sits ruggedly on its haunches, the tough exterior hinting at the uncompromising powerhouse underneath. It's in the way it doesn't dally with creature comforts, proudly exalting "what you see is what you get".

It was the Pajero, after all, with its innovative use of technology and the experience gained at the coalface of the Paris-Dakar Rally that helped shape the way forward for four-wheel drives. Its introduction to Australia, almost 30 years ago now, started a love affair with the class that has blossomed into a full-scale romance so much so that there is now hardly a family in Australia that doesn't own a four-wheel drive or hoping to own one.

Aside from a few cosmetic tweaks, the interior of this Pajero is a decade old and is showing its age. It is cavernous with plenty of leg and headroom but it is not easy to ignore the cheap-looking and sometimes mismatched plasticky dash.

Everything is perfectly functionary with information displayed clearly and the required buttons close at hand but it is obvious Mitsubishi chose to put their money into driving dynamics instead of comfort.

Some dials and levers, like fuel for example, are not lit at night making them more difficult to find. The front seats offer a bit more padding and support than the straighter back seats and storage, particularly if the third row is not in use, is extremely generous. The door on the boot which swings outwards rather than upward is great for loading but can be a bit tricky to operate in tight parking spots or when parked at an angle.

The Pajero doesn't suffer in the power stakes, its 3.2-litre turbo-diesel engine giving it the heart of a lion. …

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