Mitsubishi Pajero
(2006 - 2021)

  • Tends to avoid the competitor’s sometimes exorbitant used car prices
  • Arguably better on road dynamics when compared to many of the alternatives
  • Genuine off-road capabilities
  • Proving to be tough and reliable
  • Engines while reliable, are ageing
  • Independent suspension arguably not as dominant on the toughest terrain
  • Cabin can be noisey on rough surfaces
  • Rust can impact early models
Overview

Pajero. It’s at the top of your short list if you’re after a big go-most-places wagon, want to tow a white elephant around Oz, need or want seven seats, and you’re not into Patrol and after a viable alternative to the ever-popular, me-too LandCruisers.

Sadly, the nameplate that lasted all of its four generations was put to presumably permanent pasture earlier this year (2021), victim of Mitsubishi and global buyer tastes changing focus in the years since Pajero first lobbed locally in 1983 as a boxy little three-door.

Our subject here, though, is generation four. It debuted in 2006 and hung about in Oz for fourteen years, twice as long in lifecycle as its three proceeding generations. What launched as NS series was updated thrice, by the NT (late 2008), the NW (2012) and NX (2015), which held station until production ceased in March 2021.

Why a Pajero? Its drawcard is its blend of comfort-laden on-road manners, large seven-pew accommodation – at least in long-wheelbase form – and with enough of hard-core off-roading goodness in key areas: switchable drive, proper low-range, a manual option, good ground clearance, impressive (700mm) wading depth.

Fundamentally, gen-four was Pajero comprehensively remodeled inside and out, albeit essentially a reskin of the third-generation monocoque ‘chassis’ dated back to 1999. This uni-body construction was a paradigm shift from the ladder-frame construction of the first two generations and is currently adopted by the smaller, technical unrelated ute-based Pajero Sport.

No surprises, then, that much of gen four’s oily gear underneath was essentially carried over from its predecessor in mildly enhanced form, such as independent suspension front and rear, the torque variable Super-Select 4WD II drive system and rack and pinion steering.

Tip: if the main drawcard is big plus-sized utility on a small budget, don’t overlook the older gen three stuff…

New for gen four, though, was more sophisticated electronic governance, more comprehensive passenger-car like safety, larger brakes, and key upgrades under the bonnet.

The ‘6G75’ 3.8-litre petrol V6 was given MIVEC upgrade, bringing a big lift in power to 184kW (from 150kW) as well as 329Nm.

The ‘4M41’ 3.2-litre turbodiesel option, a newly refined common-rail injection design, arrived locally in NS with 118kW/381Nm paired with a five-speed manual transmission or 125kW/358Nm in five-speed auto trim.

Then 2009’s NT upped oiler outputs to a markedly healthier 147kW/441Nm. It around this point in the lifecycle that braked towing, in both engine types, rose from 2500kg to 3000kg, and the oiler gained a rear locking differential to complement its centre unit.

Early on, the gen-four Pajero range was vibrant and varied, offered in short three-door and long five-door forms and both five-speed manual and five-speed auto paired with both engine types. And in a choice of as many as 33 different body colours.

The NW series, for MY12, brought some suspension and monocoque changes for the five-door, but the shorty three-door version bowed out.
The longer the lifecycle grew, the more conservative its range became as the lion’s share of buyers were drawn to the diesel auto five-door wagon guise. The third row can be stowed, too, for big-booted wagon flexibility, though only some grades of latter-day examples offer curtain airbag coverage through all three rows of seating.

While Pajero kept reasonable step with electronic driving smarts, anything like modern tech is slim on the ground in even newer used examples. That said, by the time this year’s aptly named Final Edition arrived – in GX, GXL and Exceed tiers – the big Mitsubishi offered mod cons such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

The fourth generation was also victim to the whole Takata airbag fiasco, so that’s definitely something to ponder on the essential checklist when tyre-kicking. The diesels, too, were prone to various gremlins. And the petrol, at 13.5L/100km claimed, remains a thirsty unit by any measure on a good day.

Oh, and infamously, ‘Pajero’ is a rather uncomplimentary slang word in Spanish. It WILL eventually crop up in conversation during ownership, sooner or later…

Ads goes here
What goes wrong
  • Look for signs of rust. It’s critical to check under all the rubbers and around the the doors. Inspect the roof and sunroof (if fitted) and around the rear wheel arches.
  • If you’re in an area with salted roads, check underneath for rust and inspect the fuel tank as there are reports of rust corroding the tank area.
  • Like any 4×4, check to see if any accessories are of the highest quality, have been fitted professionally and actually work.
  • There are reports of the air conditioning failing and to fix or replace the components sometimes requires the dash to be removed. This can take many hours and therefore potentially cost a small fortune to repair.
  • There are reports of the drivers side seat bolster ripping and collapsing, especially on leather trimmed models.
  • Speaking of leather, if the leather hasn’t been cared for or treated correctly, it can corrode past the point of repair.
  • Petrol-engined Pajeros are proving to be extremely reliable, however it is very important to have the timing belt changed at 100-110,000km. (If a car you’re considering is close to that mark and the belt hasn’t been changed, allow for it in the price).
  • Diesels have a top timing chain guide that is known to wear through quite rapidly. An upgraded part is available from Mitsubishi and the actual repair work required is quite simple.
  • Diesels with 100,000km+ will more than likely have a clogged intake with baked-on oil vapours, unless the previous owner has run a catch can and EGR delete cable. This will be obvious as the Pajero will run poorly and feel like it is lacking in power. It should be noted, this is not a Pajero specific issue and this can affect all modern diesels. To remedy this issue, the manifold will require cleaning and we recommend budgeting for components to stop it happening again.
  • Transmissions were upgraded to stronger units from the NT generation and upward (2009+), although there are few reports of previous generation NS transmissions causing issues or problems.
  • All Gen-4 Pajeros use Mitsubishi blue HOAT coolant. When inspecting, make sure to take the radiator cap off and check that it’s blue. If it’s orange or green, you may have cooling issues in the future as those coolants will accelerate corrosion and bludging if mixed with blue.
Model range, pricing & features

R

  • Price when new: $40,990 - $47,990
  • Price used: $16,000 - $22,000

The “R” was the entry level model for the 3-door Pajero model, until it was discontinued in late 2009.

Standard features:

  • Mitsubishi All Terrain Technology (MATT)
  • 17-inch alloy wheels with full size spare
  • Power Steering
  • 2 airbags: Driver and passenger
  • Active Stability Control
  • Anti-Lock Braking System
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Cruise control
  • 4-star ANCAP safety rating (2006 – Mar 2013 models, tested 2011)
  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating (Mar 2013 – onwards), tested 2011)
  • Seatbelt warning chime
  • Central locking
  • Front fog lights
  • Electric windows with drivers auto up/down
  • Electric mirrors
  • Manual seat adjustment (slide, recline, dual height adjuster)
  • Sports seat trim
  • 60:40 folding rear seats
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • FM/AM Radio, 6 stacker CD player, MP3 player
  • Trip computer
  • 2 power sockets
  • Leather steering wheel with audio controls
  • Cup Holders

X

  • Price when new: $47,990 - $54,990
  • Price used: $19,000 - $41,000

The “X” model is the top of the range for the 3-door model. It had some features from the top of the range Exceed 5-door Pajero, but the X was mostly modelled on the VR-X model.

Features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with full size spare
  • Front grille with chrome accents
  • Front skid plate”
  • Side Steps
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • HID Headlights
  • Headlamp Washers
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • 8-way power adjustable drivers seat with lumbar adjustment
  • Leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Cargo Blind
  • Aluminium sports pedals
  • Privacy Glass

GL

  • Price when new: $47,790 - $53,590
  • Price used: $14,000 - $26,000

The GL model was introduced in the NT series and was available on the NT and NW series Pajeros (from 2008 to 2012) and served as a cheaper, budget orientated model. Key differences between the GL and GLX is that the GL did not come standard with a third row or alloy wheels.

Features:

  • Mitsubishi All Terrain Technology (MATT)
  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Power Steering
  • 2 airbags: Driver and passenger
  • Active Stability Control (ASC)
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Cruise control
  • 4-star ANCAP safety rating (2006 – Mar 2013 models, tested 2011)
  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating (Mar 2013 – onwards), tested 2011)”
  • Seatbelt warning chime
  • Central locking
  • Electric windows with drivers auto up/down
  • Electric mirrors
  • Manual seat adjustment (slide, recline, dual height adjuster)
  • Sports seat trim
  • 60:40 folding rear seats
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • FM/AM Radio, CD player, MP3 player
  • Trip computer
  • 2 power sockets
  • Leather steering wheel with audio controls
  • Cup Holders

NW (MY10) update adds:

  • Mitsubishi’s RISE body protection
  • 6 airbags: front driver and passenger, side and curtain airbags
  • Seat belt reminders

GLX

  • Price when new: $49,490 - $54,490
  • Price used: $14,000 - $61,000

The GLX model was originally the base 5-door model when the “NS” Pajero was introduced in 2006.

The GL became the base model with the “NT” series Pajero introduced in 2008, then during the 2011 update on the “NW” series Pajero, the GL was dropped and the GLX became the base model again until the Pajero was discontinued in 2021.

The main differences between the GL and GLX is the addition of alloy wheels and a third row.

Features:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Third row seating

NT (MY08) update adds:

  • Roof Rails
  • Leather steering wheel with audio controls

MY14 update adds:

  • ISOFIX child restraints

MY15 Update adds:

  • Front fog lamps
  • Side steps
  • Front mud guards
  • Rear deflector
  • Privacy glass
  • HID headlamps with auto levelling device
  • Headlamp washers
  • Rear differential lock
  • Updated audio system
  • Reverse-view camera
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Rear air conditioner and heater

 

NX (MY16) update adds:

  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

25th Anniversary

  • Price when new: $58,290 - $58,890
  • Price used: $11,500 - $20,300

The 25th Anniversary model celebrated 25 years of the Mitsubishi Pajero in Australia, and comprised of features pulled from the range topping Exceed model and added comfort and technology features.

Features:

  • Privacy glass
  • Body-coloured door handles and mirrors
  • Chrome radiator grille
  • Silver roof rails
  • Satellite navigation
  • Roof racks
  • 25th Anniversary badging

GLX-R

  • Price when new: $55,990 - $58,990
  • Price used: $16,000 - $40,000

The GLX-R was introduced in the NW (MY14) range as a special edition.

Features:

  • 6 airbags: Dual front, side and curtain airbagsRear Air Conditioning
  • CD with 6 CD Stacker
  • Fog Lights – Front
  • Head Airbags
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Multi Function Steering Wheel
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Reversing Camera
  • Side Airbags

Platinum Edition

  • Price when new: $49,990 - $60,340
  • Price used: $15,000 - $38,500

The Platinum edition was a special edition throughout the NS and NT versions of the Pajero and features a range features typically seen on the higher spec VRX and Exceed models.

Features:

  • Tinted windows
  • Colour coded door handles
  • Chrome grille
  • Silver roof rails.
  • Auto headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Rockford 12-speaker sound system
  • Satellite navigation

ACTiV

  • Price when new: $55,290 - $58,990
  • Price used: $17,000 - $28,500

The ACTiV model was introduced as a MY10 limited edition model based on the GLX model anbd featuring over $5,000 worth of additional extras at no extra cost.

Features:

  • Colour-coded door handles/mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • Front fog lights
  • Side steps
  • Front mud flaps
  • Rear spoiler
  • Alloy nudge bar
  • Satellite navigation
  • Voice control
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Reversing camera
  • Steering wheel remote controls for satnav voice control
  • Electro-chromatic mirror
  • Extendable sunvisors
  • Side-impact airbags
  • Side-curtain airbags

30th Anniversary

  • Price when new: $56,490 - $59,540
  • Price used: $18,500 - $33,000

The 30th Anniversary model celebrated 30 years of the Mitsubishi Pajero in Australia, and comprised of features pulled from the range topping Exceed model and added comfort and technology features.

Features:

  • Privacy glass
  • Body-coloured door handles and mirrors
  • Chrome radiator grille
  • Silver roof rails
  • Satellite navigation
  • Voice Command
  • 850-watt Rockford Acoustic Design 12-speaker Premium audio system reversing camera
  • Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
  • Roof racks
  • 30th Anniversary badging

RX

  • Price when new: $54,290 - $59,540
  • Price used: $15,000 - $60,000

Introduced in 2011, the RX features $1,350 worth of additional technological and exterior features.

Only 1,200 units were produced.

Features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome wing mirror caps and door handles
  • Side steps
  • Front skid plate
  • Rear spoiler
  • Roof rails
  • Puddle lamps
  • Electrochromatic rear-view and wing mirrors
  • Mirror de-misters
  • Reversing camera,
  • Rear-zone air-conditioning

GLX Final Edition

  • Price when new: $54,990
  • Price used: $54,000 - $61,000

The GLX Final Edition is a special edition model to mark the end of the Pajero is fitted with additional protective features/accessories in addition to the GLX standard features.

No mechanical upgrades or changes were made to the Final Edition models.

Features:

  • Final Edition badge
  • Tinted bonnet protector
  • Leather cover for the owner’s manual and service book
  • Carpet floor mats
  • Plastic cargo liner
  • Protective boot flap

GLS

  • Price when new: $54,790 - $63,190
  • Price used: $15,000 - $63,000

The GLS is the mid-range model in the range, introduced in the NT range in 2008.

Features:

  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Body coloured door handles
  • Front fog lamps
  • Chrome grille Side steps
  • 6 airbags: Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • Privacy glass
  • Front and rear zone air conditioning controls Rear mounted air conditioning ducts
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity and media streaming

NX (MY16) update adds:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Dusk-sensing headlamps
  • 7-inch infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • Heated and power front seats
  • Sports cloth seat trim with leather-look bolster
  • Leather-look front and rear door trim
  • Cargo blind

NX (MY16) update adds:

  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

GLS Final Edition

  • Price when new: $60,490
  • Price used: $60,000 - $67,000

The GLS Final Edition is a special edition model to mark the end of the Pajero is fitted with additional protective features/accessories in addition to the GLS standard features.

No mechanical upgrades or changes were made to the Final Edition models.

Features:

  • Final Edition badge
  • Tinted bonnet protector
  • Leather cover for the owner’s manual and service book
  • Carpet floor mats
  • Plastic cargo liner
  • Protective boot flap

VRX

  • Price when new: $54,990 - $70,890
  • Price used: $10,400 - $43,400

The VRX is the premium sports model of the Pajero range introduced with the NS model but from the MY15 update, dropped as part of a simplified range.

Distinguishing it from the rest of the range, the VRX sported 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome accents, alloy pedals and a power driver’s seat, in addition to more comfort-orientated features.

Features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with full size spare
  • Front grille with chrome accents
  • Front skid plate
  • Side Steps
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • 8-way power adjustable drivers seat with lumbar adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather steering wheel with audio controls
  • Aluminium sports pedals
  • Privacy Glass

NT (MY08) update adds:

  • Rear roof spoiler
  • Sports cloth and leather seat trim
  • Power passenger seat with 4-way adjustment
  • Media Rear seat entertainment system with remote control and 2 headphones
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Exterior rear view mirror de-mister

Exceed

  • Price when new: $60,490 - $77,690
  • Price used: $7,000 - $75,000

Topping the range, is the Exceed model.

The Exceed originally came equipped with a wide range of safety, comfort and luxury-orientated features.

Being the top of the range, over the course of updates in the Pajero range, the Exceed model was the first model to receive satellite navigation, reversing camera and rain-sensing wipers as standard, until in the later years where these features would eventually filter down the range.

Features:

  • 6 airbags: Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • HID Headlights
  • Headlamp Washers
  • 6-way power adjustable front passengers seat
  • Leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Carpets with “Exceed” embroidary
  • Dual zone climate control, with rear controls and rear air vents
  • Rockford 12-speaker sound system
  • Auxiliary input jack
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Rear seat entertainment system
  • Cargo Blind
  • Wood and leather steering wheel
  • Walnut wood print panel

NT (MY08) update adds:

  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 7-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation
  • Reversing camera
  • Premium security sensor alarm with siren

NX (MY15) update adds:

  • Automatic high beam
  • Electric sunroof with slide and tilt

Exceed Final Edition

  • Price when new: $60,490 - $63,490
  • Price used: $62,000 - $72,000

The Exceed Final Edition is a special edition model to mark the end of the Pajero is fitted with additional protective features/accessories in addition to the Exceed standard features.

No mechanical upgrades or changes were made to the Final Edition models.

Features:

  • Final Edition badge
  • Tinted bonnet protector
  • Leather cover for the owner’s manual and service book
  • Carpet floor mats
  • Plastic cargo liner
  • Protective boot flap
Should you buy it?

The Pajero both when new and used, offers such a great balance of a vehicle.

Yes there are 4×4 wagons that will tackle tougher terrain, yes there are 4×4 wagons that are more comfortable and luxurious, but there are very few, if any 4×4 wagons that can match the Pajero’s wide ranging, “jack of all trades” abilities, while offering the same excellent value for money and the same mechanical reliability and longevity.

Obviously, there are abused and just worn out Pajeros available that should be avoided at all costs, and while it ticks many boxes, it’s not perfect. But for what the Pajero offers and are capable of for what they cost, we highly recommend them.

We feel the sweet spot of the range is a 2015 to 2017 NX in the GLS trim spec as it will give you everything you need with none of the pesky potential DPF issues.

If you are in the market, just make sure it checks out mechanically, do not buy an abused one, throw in some quality aftermarket suspension and you’ll have a cracking good thing.

Yes, you should buy one.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

5 year/130,000 kilometre warranty
5 year/100,000 kilometre warranty (From 2014 onwards)

Servicing:

12 months/15,000km

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 3-door SUV (discontinued in 2009)
  • 5-door SUV

Engine & outputs:

  • 3.8-litre V6 petrol
  • 3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel

Power:

  • 184kW (3.8-litre V6 petrol) – R, X, GL, GLX, 25th Anniversary, GLX-R, Platinum Edition, ACTiV, RX, GLS, VRX, Exceed
  • 118kW (3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel) – R, X, GLX, 25th Anniversary, Platinum Edition, GLS, VRX, Exceed
  • 141kW (3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel) – From 2009 – R, X, GL, GLX, GLX-R, Platinum Edition, ACTiV, 30th Anniversary, RX, GLX Final Edition, GLS, GLS Final Edition, VRX, Exceed, Exceed Final Edition

Torque:

  • 329Nm (3.8-litre V6 petrol) – R, X, GLX, 25th Anniversary, GLX-R, Platinum Edition, ACTiV, RX, GLS, VRX, Exceed
  • 378Nm (3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel) – R, X, GLX, 25th Anniversary, Platinum Edition, GLS, VRX, Exceed
  • 441Nm (3.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel) – From 2009 – R, X, GL, GLX, GLX-R, Platinum Edition, ACTiV, 30th Anniversary, RX, GLX Final Edition, GLS, GLS Final Edition, VRX, Exceed, Exceed Final Edition

Transmissions:

  • 5-speed manual, 4×4
  • 5-speed automatic, 4×4

Fuel use:

  • 9.2L – 13.7L/100km (combined and depending on variant)

Height:

  • 1880mm (3-door)
  • 1900mm (5-door)

Length:

  • 4385mm (3-door)
  • 4900mm (5-door)

Width:

  • 1875mm

Kerb Weight:

  • 2123kg – 2375kg (depending on variant)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of October 22, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.