The Mitsubishi Pajero came out in 1982 and continues to be sold around the world to this day. This full-size SUV is also marketed under different names, including Mitsubishi Montero in America and Spain and Shogun in the UK.
Mitsubishi launched the Pajero in 1983 and has kept pace with its internationally released variants.
First Generation (1982-1991)
The very first model of the Pajero had a 3-door body style with a short wheelbase. It came in either canvas or metal top and three engine variants. In subsequent years, the company added more options.
The Pajero featured a turbocharged diesel engine, double-wishbone suspension, suspension seats, and power steering. It stands out from other 4WD vehicles and holds the distinction of winning the Dakar Rally twelve times with the highest number of stage wins.
In 1983, a long-wheelbase version with a 5-door body style was introduced, which came with two engine options. Seating capacity was higher in this model, having space for seven people thanks to a third row. The second-row seats are adjustable and could be folded to allow for more trunk space if needed.
Both the short and long-wheelbase 3-door versions, called the NA series, entered the Australian market in 1983, initially with 2.6L petrol (62 kW, 175 Nm) and 2.3L diesel (76 kW, 192 Nm) engines.
A 5-door long-wheelbase model with a high-roof design was launched in 1984. Also during this year, Mitsubishi launched the NB series, which removed the 3-door LWB variant and had a revised grille. An NC series was released in 1985, which offered an optional power steering and converted the high-roof 5-door LWB into a low-roofed version. Engine specifications remained the same as in 1984.
The ND update of 1986 received an optional KM148 automatic transmission for the petrol variant. An updated 2.5L diesel engine was also launched in place of the 2.3L unit, delivering 62 kW of power and 201 Nm of torque. A year later, the NE series came out with modified petrol engines and increased brake dimensions. This engine delivered 79kW of power and 192 Nm of torque.
In 1987, Mitsubishi introduced a flagship model, which received aesthetic enhancements, such as leather headrests and wool seat covers.
In 1990, Mitsubishi launched the NF series, which came with a 3.0L engine that delivered a power of 105 kW and torque of 228 Nm, combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The final series which came out as part of the first generation was NG, which contained minor readjustments in the equipment as well as the trim.
Second Generation (1991-1999)
The Pajero model underwent a redesign for its second generation and, in late 1991, it became available in international markets. The most notable change was that the Pajero now came in a larger size and offered four different options including a metal top, a semi-high roof wagon, a canvas top convertible (SWB), and a high-roof wagon (LWB).
This generation included many features, including multimode anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic shock absorber. The car also allowed its operator to choose between 2WD and 4WD options while running at speeds of up to 100km/h. Although the previous generation also allowed the switch, it required the vehicle to be stationary in case of a switch from RWD to 4WD.
Multiple trims were available in the second generation, including EXE, GL, GLS, and GLX. The EXE, GL and GLS LWB (diesel only) were available in both 2.6L petrol (79 kW, 192 Nm) and 2.5L diesel (62 kW, 201 Nm) engine options. The rest of the GLS and GLX variants came with either a 3.0L petrol engine (109 kW, 234 Nm) or a 2.5L diesel engine (73 kW, 240 Nm). Both came with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Third Generation (1999-2006)
Mitsubishi redesigned the Pajero and launched its third generation around the world. This generation had a unibody construction with a lower and wider stance and was classed as full-size SUV.
Three transmission choices were provided as part of this generation, including a 5-speed manual gearbox, a 4-speed automatic transmission, and a 5-speed Tiptronic transmission.
In Australia, two new trims were added to the Pajero lineup, which now consists of the Exceed GLS, GLX Escape, GLX Plus, and the iO. Some variants of the existing trims GL and GLS were carried forward from the previous generation.
The Exceed was a 5-door, 7-seater SUV and available in both petrol and diesel variants. The GL (5-seater) and GLS (7-seater) were 5-door SUVs offered only in diesel with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The GLX Escape was a 5-door, 7-seater SUV available only with a petrol engine with both 5-speed manual gearbox and 4-speed automatic transmission. The GLX Plus, also a 5-door, 7-seater SUV, was available in both diesel and petrol engines, with the diesel engine having manual gearbox and the petrol one having both manual gearbox and automatic transmission. The iO was a 5-door, 5-seater SUV with petrol engine options, available in both 5-speed manual gearbox and 4-speed automatic transmission.
All of the vehicles, except for the iO, operated on either a 3.5L petrol engine or a 2.8L diesel engine. The GL and GLS were available only with the diesel engine option. The petrol engine delivered 140 kW of power with 303 Nm of torque, while the diesel delivered 92 kW of power and 292 Nm of torque.
As for the iO variant, it had 1.8L or 1.6L petrol engine options, delivering 86 kW and 75 kW of power, respectively.
Fourth Generation (2006-present)
The fourth-generation Pajero received an updated interior and exterior, including new dual-stage SRS front, side, and curtain airbags and an improved version of the Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC).
The trims include Exceed, GLS, GLX, and VR-X, all built upon the LWB and 4WD architecture and with the 5-door body style and 7-seater capacity. Mitsubishi offered either a 3.2L diesel engine (125 kW, 358 Nm) or a 3.8L petrol engine (184 kW, 329 Nm) as part of the fourth generation in 2006, both with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission.
New, temporary trims joined the range in the course of the fourth generation, including the Platinum Edition, R, RX, and X in 2009, and Activ in 2010.
An upgrade to the diesel engine in 2009 increased the power and torque output to 147 kW and 441 Nm, which is the only option offered at present. In Japan, 700 Final Edition units marked the end of production for the Pajero.
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