Mitsubishi Pajero: Wikis


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Mitsubishi Pajero
2002–2006 Mitsubishi Pajero (NP) Exceed (Australia)
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Also called Mitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
Production 1982–present
Assembly Sakahogi, Gifu, Japan
Class Mid-size SUV
Layout Front engine, four-wheel drive

The Mitsubishi Pajero (pronounced /pəˈdʒɛroʊ/, Spanish: [paˈxeɾo], Japanese パジェロ [padʒeɽo])[1][2] is a sport utility vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. It was named after Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas Cat which inhabits the Patagonia plateau region in southern Argentina.[3] However, because pajero is a derogatory slang term in some Spanish-speaking countries,[2] alternative names have been adopted for certain overseas markets. It is known as the Mitsubishi Montero (meaning "mountain warrior") in Spain, India, and the Americas (except Brazil), and as Mitsubishi Shogun in the United Kingdom.

Thanks to their success, the Pajero, Montero and Shogun names were also applied to other, mechanically unrelated models, such as the Pajero Mini kei car, the Pajero Junior and Pajero iO/Pinin mini SUVs, and the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun Sport.



The first Pajero prototype was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1973. The Pajero II prototype followed in 1978, five years later. Mitsubishi’s aim was to create more of a recreational vehicle, not just an SUV.

In January 1983, the first Pajero made its debut at the Paris Dakar Rally, taking first place in 1985 at only the third attempt. To date, the Pajero is the most successful vehicle in the Dakar Rally. This not only gave the Pajero an offroad reputation, but also helped in the sales department.

First generation (1982–1991)

First generation
First generation Mitsubishi Pajero
Production 1982–1991
Engine(s) 3.0 L 143 hp (107 kW) V6
2.6 L 109 hp (81 kW) I4
2.0 TD I4
2.3 D I4
2.3 TD I4
2.5 TD I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,695 mm (106.1 in) (LWB)
2,350 mm (92.5 in) (SWB)
Length 4,650 mm (183.1 in) (LWB)
3,995 mm (157.3 in) (SWB)
Width 1,680 mm (66.1 in)
Height 1,890 mm (74.4 in) (LWB)
1,850 mm (72.8 in) (SWB)
Fuel capacity 90 L (19.8 imp gal; 23.8 US gal) (LWB)
60 L (13.2 imp gal; 15.9 US gal) (SWB)
Related Dodge Raider

The first generation made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1981, and was launched in May 1982. Initially, it was a three-door, short-wheelbase model available with a metal or canvas top and three different engines options:

  • Gasoline
  • 2.0-litre Inline 4-cylinder petrol (2000/2.0)
  • 2.6-litre I-4 petrol (Astron 2.6)
  • 3.0-litre V6 petrol (3000/3.0)
  • Diesel
  • 2.3-litre I-4 naturally aspirated diesel (2300 D)
  • 2.3-litre I-4 turbocharged diesel (2300 TD/2.3 TD)
  • 2.5-litre I-4 naturally aspirated diesel
  • 2.5-litre I-4 turbocharged diesel (2500 TD/2.5 TD)
  • 2.5-litre I-4 turbocharged diesel with inter cooler

It was loaded with features that had previously not been seen on a Japanese four-wheel-drive car: a turbocharged diesel engine, a front double wishbone suspension with torsion bar springs, power steering and suspension seats. This made the Pajero a four wheel drive vehicle which integrated all the amenities of a passenger car.

In January 1983, only a year following its launch, mildly tuned production Pajeros entered the world of motor sport.

The Pajero, however, failed to appeal to everyone. It was seen to be a commercial vehicle, and since it was only available in a short wheel base form, it didn’t really appeal to those with families.

Hence, in February 1983, Mitsubishi came out with a long wheel base, five door model, to serve the needs of a larger target market. The long wheel base model was available with a choice of two different engines; a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (badged as "2.0 Turbo" and "2000 Turbo" in some markets) and a 2.3 litre turbocharged diesel (badged as 2.3 TD or 2300 TD). It also came in Standard, Semi-High Roof and High Roof body styles. A stripped down nine-seater version of the High-Roof variant was commonly used in UN Peace Operations.

The long wheelbase model also increased seating capacity to seven, with available third row seats, which could be folded to the sides for additional trunk space or combined with second row seats to form a bed.

The Pajero was further refined in June 1984. The turbo diesel engines now had higher power/torque ratings, whilst the long wheel base models got standard four wheel disc brakes and four way adjustable shock absorbers as standard equipment.

A new flagship model was then introduced in early 1987, with a two-tone paintjob, fifteen inch (38 cm) light alloy wheels, front seat heaters, wool seat covers, genuine leather headrests, a three spoke steering wheel and a sound system with radio/cassette. Also in 1987, a version of the Pajero/Montero was rebadged by Dodge as the Raider, which ran through 1989.

Mitsubishi Montero LS 4-door (US)

Finally in 1988, a 3.0-litre SOHC V6 engine was made available, alongside a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine, with the first 4x4 intercooler. This translated to better acceleration in mid to high rev ranges. The long wheel base models got a coil link suspension system for better ride comfort and off-road ability.

It was available with a 3-door body for a short wheelbase (SWB) or a 5-door body for a long wheelbase (LWB). Engines included a 2.6 L I4 with 82 kW (110 hp/112 PS), a 3.0 L V6 with EFI and 104 kW (139 hp/141 PS) and a turbocharged 2.5 L OHV diesel I4 with 62 kW (83 hp/84 PS) or an intercooled 70 kW (94 hp/95 PS). Part-time four wheel drive was standard on all models.

The Gen I platform was later built under license by Hyundai Precision Products as the Hyundai Galloper from 1991 to 2003, and exported to Europe for a brief time. While it used first generation mechanicals, the Galloper's body was closer to the second generation Pajeros.

Second generation (1992–1999)

Second generation
Mitsubishi Montero (US)
Production 1991–1999
Engine(s) 4D56 2.5 TD
4M40 2.8L TD
4G64 2.4L I4
6G72 3.0L V6
6G74 3.5 V6
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
4-speed auto
Wheelbase 2,725 mm (107.3 in) (LWB)
2,420 mm (95.3 in) (SWB)
Length 4,705 mm (185.2 in) (LWB)
4,030 mm (158.7 in) (SWB)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,875 mm (73.8 in) (LWB)
1,850 mm (72.8 in) (SWB)
Fuel capacity 90 L (19.8 imp gal; 23.8 US gal) (LWB)
75 L (16.5 imp gal; 19.8 US gal) (SWB)
Related Hyundai Terracan

Mitsubishi sold over three thousand Pajeros in 1989 and 1990[citation needed]. However, the time for a redesign was long due and 1992 saw the first Generation II Pajero. Just about everything was now new and further enhanced. A new, larger body was available in four different versions; Metal Top, Canvas Top Convertible, Semi High Roof Wagon and High Roof Wagon (long wheel base). The short wheel base models were stretched by 70 millimeters (2.8 inches) and the long wheel base models by 30 millimeters (1.2 inches). The available engines included a 3.0 litre 12-valve SOHC with ECI-Multi electronic fuel injection and a 2.7 litre turbocharged diesel engine with an intercooler.

The second generation also saw the introduction of Super Select 4WD (SS4) (known as ActivTrak 4WD in some markets) and multimode ABS, which were firsts on Japanese four wheel drives. SS4 was ground-breaking in the sense that it combined the advantages of part time and fulltime four wheel drive with four available options: 2H (high range rear wheel drive), 4H (high range fulltime four wheel drive), 4HLc (high range four wheel drive with locked center differential and 4LLc (low range four wheel drive with locked center differential). Another advantage of this second generation system is that it gave the driver the ability to switch between two wheel drive and fulltime four wheel drive at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph), whereas the first generation Pajero had to be stationary to switch from rear wheel drive to four wheel drive (but not from four wheel drive back to rear wheel drive). Multimode ABS, on the other hand, was equally innovative. This meant ABS would be fully functional in all modes of SS4, as braking with a locked center differential requires completely different braking parameters.

In July 1993, two new power plants were introduced; a 3.5 litre 24-valve DOHC with ECI-Multi and a 2.8 litre turbocharged diesel with an intercooler. A new, larger transmission and transfer case was also part of the upgrade.

Pajero Evolution (retail version)

The Pajero Evolution was introduced in October 1997, which was developed in response to new entry requirements for the Paris – Dakar Rally’s T3 Class. The Pajero Evolution came standard with a 3.5 litre 24-valve DOHC V6 with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (MIVEC). A new, dual plenum variable intake helped increase power and a new suspension made the ride even smoother.

1993–1996 Mitsubishi Pajero (NJ) GLS (Australia)

In 1998, vehicles destined for General Export and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council Countries) received a facelift. Wider fenders, new headlights, grille, bumper, fog lights and sidesteps were all part of the redesign. The wide fenders are often called "blister flare fenders". Driver and front passenger SRS airbags were made standard on models equipped with the 3.5 litre DOHC V6 engine, whilst still remaining optional on GLS models with the 3.0 litre SOHC V6. An upgraded interior wood trim was made available on 3.0 litre GLS and 3.5 litre models. A leather-wrapped or leather and wood trim steering wheel was also made available, alongside an upgraded suspension and steering system. The 3.0 litre 12-valve SOHC engine was now available with a 24-valve configuration. Models without wide fenders remained as base models (GLX), available with a 2.4 litre 16-valve DOHC engine, producing 147 hp (110 kW). The 3.0 litre 12-valve engine was optional on these GLX models, and remained the base engine on the GLS.

The second generation was introduced on January 22, 1991 and manufactured until 1999. It retained the two body styles, but design was rounder and more city-friendly than the previous bulky model. The 3.0 L V6 gasoline engine was retained, now available with a 24-valve head, capable of 136 kW (177 hp/185 PS), while the 2.5 turbodiesel's power was slightly increased to 73 kW (98 hp/99 PS). In 1993, the Pajero was slightly restyled, and larger engines were introduced, a 3.5 L V6 with 153 kW (215 hp/208 PS) and a 2.8 L SOHC turbodiesel rated at 92 kW (123 hp/125 PS). These versions introduced Mitsubishi's Super Select four wheel drive system (known as Active-Trac in the United States), with an electronic transfer shift that could split power between both axles without the need to stop the car. It worked at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph).

The first generation Pajero was also marketed as the Hyundai Galloper in South Korea, Europe and GCC Countries, while the second generation was in production elsewhere.

This model remains in production in India, whereas the latest generation is sold there as the Montero. In the Philippines marketed as the Pajero "Field Master" 4x2 with the 2.8L TD engine, alongside with the 4th Generation Pajero. 4X4 Pajero is on production until 1999. It is still in production in Colombia, with CKD parts (Complete Knock Down), with 2.4l 16 valve SOHC(130PS)and 3.0l 12 valve (148PS) , these engines are available only in hard top 3-door and the 5-door only with the 3.0L engine.

Third generation (1999–2006)

Third generation
2001–2002 Mitsubishi Montero Limited (U.S.)
Production 1999–2006
Engine(s) 4D56 2.5 TD
4M41 3.2 Di-D
6G72 3.0 V6
6G74 3.5 V6
6G74 3.5 V6 GDI
6G75 3.8 V6
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
4-speed auto
5-speed auto
Wheelbase 2,780 mm (109.4 in) (LWB)
2,545 mm (100.2 in) (SWB)
Length 4,800 mm (189.0 in) (LWB)
4,220 mm (166.1 in) (SWB)
Width 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
Height 1,855 mm (73.0 in) (LWB)
1,845 mm (72.6 in)(SWB)
Fuel capacity 89 L (19.6 imp gal; 23.5 US gal) (LWB)
71 L (15.6 imp gal; 18.8 US gal) (SWB)
Designer Pininfarina

Designed by Pininfarina, the third generation Pajero hit the Japanese Domestic Market in 1999, whilst it was made available to other markets in late 2000 as a 2001 model. The vehicle was completely redesigned, inside and out and had a lower, wider stance. A lower center of gravity meant the Pajero had better on-road handling manners and the newer body had over three hundred percent more torsional rigidity. The biggest change to bring this about was that the Pajero utilized a unibody construction, as opposed to the previous body-on-frame (box-ladder). This also permitted a longer suspension stroke. The fuel tank was also relocated to between the axles for better safety.

The SS4 system was also further refined, as bevel gears were replaced with planetary ones. This meant the front-to-rear torque setting ranged from 33 to 67, with the ability to adjust to 50/50 depending on surface conditions. The system was also made fully electronic, which meant the vehicle didn’t have to be in gear to switch between drive modes. After all the upgrades, the system was renamed to Super Select 4WD II (SS4-II).

Alongside rack and pinion steering (as opposed to the recirculating ball system on previous generations), the Pajero also offered a choice of three transmissions; a five speed manual, a four speed INVECS-II automatic and a five speed INVECS-II tiptronic shifter.

An all-new 3.8 Litre SOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant was also introduced on this generation. This engine utilized an Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV), to deliver a refined cruising power with power to spare for offroad ventures.

The third generation was introduced on August 2, 1999 and was scheduled to be replaced by the Autumn of 2006, having been restyled in 2003. This was the most luxurious of the three generations, moving to a more upscale segment to compete against the Land Rover Discovery, but more importantly, to counter its home rival Toyota Land Cruiser's growth. The 3.0 L engine's power was decreased to 130 kW (175 hp/177 PS), and the 3.5 L engine was given gasoline direct injection, increasing power to 162 kW (217 hp/220 PS) in the Japanese market (export versions kept the standard EFI engine, now with 149 kW (200 hp/203 PS). The 2.8 L Diesel was retained only for developing markets, and was replaced by a new 16-valve direct injection engine, with 3.2 L and 120 kW (161 hp/163 PS).

In the North American market, the 3.5 L engine was replaced for 2003 by a more powerful 3.8 L unit, with 160 kW (215 hp/218 PS). This engine was later made available to a few export markets such as South America and Australia, whilst it replaced the GDI V6 in the Japanese lineup in 2005. The short wheelbase model is not available in North America, where the Montero is the only SUV in Mitsubishi's lineup with standard four wheel drive. Faced with falling sales, the Montero was pulled from the US market after the 2006 model year.

Fourth generation (2006-Present)

Fourth generation and fifth
2008–2009 Mitsubishi Pajero (NT) VR-X (Australia)
Production 2006–current
Engine(s) 4M41 3.2 Di-D
6G72 3.0 V6
6G75 3.8 V6GI
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
4-speed auto
5-speed auto
Wheelbase 2,780 mm (109.4 in) (LWB)
2,545 mm (100.2 in) (SWB)
Length 4,900 mm (192.9 in) (LWB)
4,385 mm (172.6 in) (SWB)
Width 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
Height 1,900 mm (74.8 in) (LWB)
1,880 mm (74.0 in) (SWB)
Fuel capacity 89 L (19.6 imp gal; 23.5 US gal)

The fourth generation was introduced at the Paris Motor Show on September 30, 2006. New interior and exterior styling were accompanied by enhanced safety with dual-stage SRS front airbags as well as new side-impact and curtain airbags. The Super-Select 4WD II system was retained, complemented by an improved Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC) system and electronic brakeforce distribution.

The engines were upgraded with the 3.2 L Diesel producing 125 kW (170 hp) and the 3.8 L V6 gaining MIVEC variable valve timing to boost power to 184 kW (247 hp/250 PS). Both engines meet new Euro IV emissions standards. The 3.0 L V6 is retained for the Japanese and GCC markets.

Further enhancements to the 3.2L Turbo Diesel in the 2009 model year saw the power and torque increased to 147 kW and 441 nm respectively. The 3.8L petrol engine remained at 184 kW and 329 nm (using 95RON fuel)

The Pajero is not offered in Malaysia, but sold in Singapore instead with 3.8 liter engine (which is mated to a 5-speed auto-gearbox) and three or five door versions.

Production and sales

Year Production Domestic sales Export sales
1982 14,930 8,059 7,023
1983 33,605 8,076 25,886
1984 41,422 9,176 32,341
1985 59,770 11,770 49,249
1986 87,252 16,636 70,594
1987 89,456 22,170 67,021
1988 107,157 25,225 79,699
1989 116,883 36,483 82,176
1990 15,730 36,061 18,206
1991 144,988 64,381 80,882
1992 174,708 83,685 89,835
1993 158,922 67,899 88,788
1994 161,238 54,329 106,570
1995 152,102 44,933 110,365
1996 128,593 28,851 99,200
1997 136,941 26,181 111,144
1998 95,675 9,412 90,416
1999 90,524 20,189 65,212
2000 13,315 12,701 12,198
2001 91,700 6,725 85,324
2002 112,161 5,681 106,376
2003 90,929 6,035 85,863
2004 79,152 4,196 74,347
2005 69,142 2,781 66,773
2006 75,933 6,025 68,563
2007 112,103 3,818 108,982
2008 57,903 2,738 58,000


  1. ^ Further information on the Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, p.2, Chameleon Translations
  2. ^ a b Further information on the Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, p.1, Chameleon Translations
  3. ^ Fact & Figures 2005, p.33, Mitsubishi Motors website

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