The lakes are frozen and I am deep in the Kildare countryside powering my way through all sorts of terrain with ease. This week we are driving the very capable Mitsubishi Pajero Short Wheel Base. Powered by a 3.2 litre 200BHP engine the Pajero is a proper workhorse that has serious grunt and up 25% on power over older models. With 441 NM of torque it has massive pulling potential that will make short work of any trailer or heavy load. Over 10,000 Pajero’s have been sold now and although the body hasn’t changed in recent years the engine has become a lot more refined. This new DI-D in-line 4-cylinder engine allows you to achieve up to 40mpg which was certainly not possible a few years back. Power always came at the cost of fuel but thanks to Mitsubishis latest technology, efficiency is also in the mix with 18% better economy. This Pajero is now the most powerful in its class and with CO2 emissions of just 207g/km this represents a further 15% reduction on the previous model.
So the Pajero stacks up in the engine department but how does it drive? To be honest its years since I have driven a Pajero and I’d be lying if I said I had high expectations but how wrong I was. The Pajero felt planted from the word go and the engine is just a joy to work with as you feed it gears and it pulls like a freight train. There is no doubt this machine is at home off road also. Regardless of what hill, decent or mud bath I plunged it through it performed admirably and got me out with no issues. The 18-inch alloys even wrapped in normal road rubber provide enough grip to tackle 45 degree ascents and thanks to the super select four wheel drive system you can climb with ease. This super select system offers the benefits of 2-wheel drive; full time four-wheel driver and differential lowed 4-wheel drive all in one package. With a simple shove of the mini gearbox lever at any speed up to 100km/h you can go from the economy of a 2WD to 4WD.
Inside it’s a nice place to be also with a leather steering dripping with gadgets that allow you to sync your phone with the Bluetooth headunit, activate cruise control or adjust the radio from CD to iPod etc. Gone are the days when a workhorse was truly a workhorse. Now you can enjoy a pleasant climate controlled environment as you go about your day’s business. Space wise the SWB might not be for everyone but priced at just €39,636 over the LWB price of €42,175 including VAT this could be the saving you require if you don’t actually use the space. Tax on this commercial vehicle is the standard €310 but this was pre-budget. To sum up the Pajero I’d say I was pleasantly surprised. I drove one about five years ago and it felt somewhat tired and heavy on the road. This new Pajero is refined, superb to drive and right now the jeep to have in this sector. For more information do the decent thing and drop into your local Mitsubishi dealer for a test drive. You wont be disappointed![table “96” not found /]