1993 Mitsubishi Pajero TD
If we could choose one JDM SUV that would be the best value, it would have to be the Mitsubishi Pajero. Just as reliable as any Toyota, this seven-seat 1993 model is packed to the gills with rare options and power equipment, and even a leather interior! Best of all, this stout off-roader is offered with a mere 64k verified and documented miles on the chassis. Finished in a Silver over Blue two-tone (H81), and accessorized with OEM rainguards, polished front and rear brush guards, and five-spoke aftermarket alloys, the body is in good shape overall. Sure it has a few minor dings and some loss of gloss but this rig is a workhorse, not a show truck. For those who want an affordable, reliable, spacious and capable third-row SUV, this Pajero is the ticket!
The cabin includes several more options than comparable Toyota's and we love some of the details the team at Mitsubishi saw fit for this design. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding, and the truck rides far above traffic which is good for visibility. The dash is in good shape and lacks any cracking or distortion. Centrally mounted is a field monitor so you can keep an eye out for the outside temperatures and your direction of travel. Below is a digital climate control system that currently blows cold a/c into the cabin and a functional OEM audio unit. For rear occupants, this tasty little utility also has functional dedicated rear climate control. The driver sits in luxury, as the front passenger, and captain's chairs add to the upscale feel. Although they have been redyed, they do show some signs of use and there is some armrest cracking to note. Otherwise, they lack any other major imperfections such as rips, stains, or tears and are comfortable on long journeys. The desirable third-row option was also checked when this car left the factory. Unlike the Hilux, this one came with the optional driver power seat which works like a charm, and it's even heated, too! Power windows and locks make daily use more convenient, and this low mileage example has noticeably fewer squeaks and rattles compared to the average Pajero. That's not to say the cabin is perfect as the sunroof no longer retracts, and there is some light staining on the headliner and carpets. Also, the exterior mirrors are just manually adjustable only at this point, but overall the cabin has held up really well over the years aside from the minor issues mentioned.
The underpinnings of this body-on-frame SUV are why these family haulers are loved across the globe. Powered by a grunty 2.8L 4M40 four-banger, this rig is no slouch off the line. Fresh off an oil filter service, she starts right up with the twist of a key. The glow plugs have been replaced with a new set to ensure sure cold starts are seamless. The four-cylinder idles with confidence and one of our trained technicians has replaced the old fuel filter with a new one. Mated to a slick-shifting automatic gearbox the 5,000 plus pound hauler has no issues getting up to, and sustaining highway speeds. The key to this off-roaders greatness is the selective transfer case. Unlike its competitors, this one could be utilized on the fly, at up to speeds of 62 miles per hour. Best of all a center locking differential can be engaged so this truck can be taken on the beach or through some aggressive trails. The suspension is in above average shape and the ride quality delivers decent damping and premium ride quality. The brakes do just fine at stopping this big, bad bruiser down and the sporty five-spoke alloys are wrapped in brand new all-terrain Falken tires. The meaty rubber suits the aesthetic of the Pajero and will deliver tons of year-round grip for tens of thousands of miles to come.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint 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.