The 2010 Pajero Exceed sits at the top of Mitsubishi's most popular 4WD wagon range, and is powered by either a 3.8 litre petrol or 3.2 litre turbo-diesel engine.
Loaded with luxury equipment and underpinned by a sophisticated off-road chassis, the Exceed melds go-anywhere capabilities with a dash of opulence.
- Quality: The interior is built to a reasonably high standard, but mismatched surfaces and some low-grade plastics let it down.
- Comfort: Support from the powered driver's seat is good, but the leather can be a bit too slippery for off-roading. The second row bench is very flat-cushioned, while the fold-out third row is strictly for children only.
- Equipment: A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is mounted to the roof. It also comes with cruise control, dusk-sensing xenon headlamps, satellite navigation, a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers and a premium audio system.
- Storage: With the third row folded into the boot floor, luggage space measures in at 1050 litres. Fold both the second and third row seats, and that expands to 1758 litres.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: Fitted with 18-inch wheels and 60-profile tyres, the Pajero handles tarmac duties quite nimbly for a capable off-roader. The steering is light, the engine is torquey and responsive and the relatively narrow body makes it easy to navigate the urban jungle.
- Refinement: The 3.2 turbo-diesel however is fairly noisy and there's wind noise from the wing mirrors and A-pillar at highway speeds.
- Suspension: The Pajero is equipped with front and rear independent suspension. Its composure on both tarmac and gravel is class-leading.
- Braking: Disc brakes are fitted all-round. The ABS calibration works well on both gravel and mud.
- Off-road: The Pajero has a 36.6 degree approach angle, 25 degree departure angle and 22.5 degree ramp breakover angle. Good wheel articulation, abundant traction, decent ground clearance and plenty of low-end torque makes the Pajero a capable performer - it can be taken far off the beaten track. But is no longer class leading in extreme four-wheel-drive conditions.
- On-road: In suburbia, the Pajero is easy to live with despite its size, making it a popular choice as a dual-purpose family hauler.
- ANCAP rating: 4-Star
- Safety features: Standard are six airbags (front, front side and curtain), three-point seatbelts on all seats, ABS, EBD, stability control and traction control.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 5 year/130,000km vehicle warranty, and a 10 year/160,000km powertrain warranty.
- Service costs: Capped for the first 60,000km, the initial 15,000km service costs $330 and each subsequent service costs no more than $580
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Toyota Prado: The Pajero's primary competitor. The Exceed has more power, more torque and a higher tow rating. It's also over $10,000 cheaper than the comparable Prado Kakadu, however the Prado’s electronic wizardry gives it greater (and safer) off-road capability. (See Prado reviews)
- Nissan Pathfinder: The Pathfinder Ti rides on a commercial vehicle platform, but offers similar interior space and genuine off-road credentials. (See Pathfinder reviews)
- Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6: For just under $64,500, the entry-level Discovery delivers similar performance to the Pajero, but like the Prado, its electronics provide a greater off-road capability. (See Discovery reviews)
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
In its current form, the Mitsubishi Pajero is getting pretty old. Its basic architecture has been around for the better part of a decade, and there are aspects of the cabin design that feel especially dated.
It is however significantly cheaper than the all-new Toyota Prado Kakadu and comes with the best factory warranty available.
The Pajero remains a very competent off-roader, is a class leader on the black-top and represents value buying in the mid-size 4WD wagon segment.