1991 Mitsubishi Pajero Diesel
Real deal SUV's are dead, and we all know it. The tall car concept has been fully embraced by the masses, but the Mitsubishi Pajero scoffs at vehicles such as these. When this 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero was sold new, capable 4WD systems and rugged body on frame design were the norm. The combination of a stalwart inline four cylinder turbo diesel (4D56), a durable driveline, and quality interior appointments allow this vehicle to switch between the trails of Moab and the local Price Mart parking lot. Finished in a lustrous Silver Metallic, the body is in good shape without any major dents or scratches, sans your normal wear and tear on the lower cladding and bumpers. Outfitted with five new 31" Achilles all terrain tires wrapped around factory rolling stock, the larger diameter rubber makes a huge visual impact.
For something as rugged looking as the Pajero, the interior is wonderfully appointed. If you had to complain, you could make the argument that there are almost too many buttons; however when you need to adjust the rear A/C or operate the large panoramic roof, you realize buttons are a good thing. Surprisingly, this purpose built truck has front heated seats, leather interior appointments, and power accessories like locks and windows. The bolstering is decent if you desire to take this Mitsu on a long highway cruise. The material is in remarkably good shape for its age, and sans routine wear, are durable and easy to clean. Blue in color, the seats and dash have both managed to survive without any major issues. The dash matches the color of the seats, and is devoid of any distortion or cracks. The driver has a great command of the road from the cockpit from the raised driving position, and lots of side glass and smaller pillars make this hauler easy to see out of. The headroom is abundant, and the headliner is free of any sags or major damage. Rear occupants ride in comfort with their own dedicated climate controls. The middle row has plenty of legroom, and in a time before it was common, actually has two jump seats behind them. The rearmost seats can be folded away and stowed for a larger cargo capacity if desired. The side hinged rear door swings outward and provides a huge loading area. The old owners even kept the OEM flashlight in its factory location by the rear cargo area.
Under the hood, the bruty four banger fires up immediately with the aid of two new 12V batteries. With only 76K verified miles, the motor is only just now getting broken in. New serpentine belts have been fitted, and will not be required for a good long time, along with a fresh oil change. The automatic transmission is also in fine shape, and shifts into all forward gears without a hesitation. The 4WD system was incredible for the time, The "Super Select" 4WD system was quite advanced for 1991. It featured on the fly select-ability between 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD High + Locked Center Differential, and 4WD Low +Locked Center Differential. All of these options can be selected at speeds up to 62 MPH. Acceleration isn't as fast as say a Skyline, but this engine is tuned for longevity. Another added benefit is that parts availability isn't an issue, as with some JDM imports, this SUV was sold domestically as the Montero. The Mitsubishi feels planted, despite its top heavy look, for an SUV of its size. The suspension is electronically adjustable, and a sport and touring modes can be selected. The long wheel base is great for high speed stability and ride quality, providing compliant on an off road feel. The brakes can stop this heavy SUV without any stress, and power steering assists happily in low speed scenarios.
An affordable, stylish, and safe option, without the price premium price tag of a similarly sized Toyota Hilux, the Pajero is a great option for a classic Japanese SUV. This turn key example is federally legal, fully maintained, and ready to tear up American pavement.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.