Johannesburg - Some of the world’s leading value-for-money SUV’s are built on bakkie chassis, and now Mitsubishi has joined that group with the new seven-seater Pajero Sport, based on the Triton one-tonner, and launched in South Africa today.

Bakkie-based it may be, but it boasts sophisticated running gear, starting with Mitsibishi’s 2.4-litre MIVEC turbodiesel four, rated in this application for 133kW at 3500 revs and 430Nm at 2500rpm, coupled to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode and paddle shift, in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive format.

The latter now has hill descent control with electronic off-road assistance that lets you select Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand or Rock settings, adjusting engine output, transmission settings and braking to suit the terrain, as well as low range and a lockable rear differential - all for less than R600 000.

The Pajero Sport rides on double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, with anti-roll bars at both ends, giving it a turning circle of only 11.2 metres, one of the tightest in its class; as Misubishi points out, corporate tongue firmly in cheek, that makes it easier to park at the mall as well as more agile off-road.

Light-sensing automatic headlights (with headlight washers on the AWD version), LED daytime driving lights and self-levelling driving lights, and a high-mounted LED brake light on the tailgate are standard issue, as are built-in roof rails. More mode cons include dual-zone automatic aircon, and go on to include keyless entry and push-button start, and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera.

Also standard are leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a luxurious second row with tumble, reclining and sliding functions as a well as a 60:40 seat-back split and a centre armrest with cup holders, while the third row of seats folds flat into the cargo bay floor so as not to impede the monthly shop.

PRICES:

2.4 D4 MIVEC ATR569 995
2.4 D4 MIVEC AWD ATR599 995

These include a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan with 10 000km service intervals.

IOL Motoring
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