1993 Mitsubishi Pajero XR
Stock Number: 4968
The Mitsubishi Pajero may just be the best kept 4WD secret to ever come out of Japan. Why you may ask? This robust, reliable, rugged SUV may not spark immediate thoughts of being an off-road adventure superstar, however, it's what's underneath that counts. The Pajero was designed with the Dakar rally in mind and the results don't lie, winning the rally 12 times! From the advanced 4WD system, which allows the driver to select multiple combinations on the fly (up to 60 mph), to the well-engineered suspension the unassuming exterior is hiding a superior performing off-road machine. This particular 1993 example checks all the boxes and then some! Having only 121K verified miles and powered by the rugged 4M40 turbo diesel engine combined with Mitsubishi's bulletproof manual transmission it's hard not to love this SUV. The exterior is wild with its Hannover Green Metallic (G31) over Silver Metallic (H81) two-tone that also has a factory graphics package to cap it off. The paint is in fantastic shape with only some routine blemishes from daily driving over the years. The giant factory brush guard with oversized fogs has certainly helped to keep the front end in good shape. The OEM chrome side mirrors are in great condition along with the optional rain guards match the bumper well with its pop of shine. The body is in equally good condition with only a few typical door dings to report. A new set of 31 x 10.5 Falken All Terrains give the truck an aggressive look that hints it's not your average SUV.
The interior makes the rugged underpinnings even more unassuming with its luxurious trimmings. The only hint to its roots inside is an assortment of gauges (Altimeter, Inclinometer, Compass/Thermometer) to accompany the main binnacle which shows 4WD selections, and shock settings as well. The high roof model adds some extra space for all your passengers as this one does have the factory 3rd row so no one gets left behind. The seats are exceptionally comfortable over long hauls and have been kept in great shape over the years; free of any sun discoloration, tears, or noteworthy stains. The cabin is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon wheeling or simply your annual family vacation. The VIP tray table upfront is a nifty touch and matches the wood grain veneer nicely. Tucked neatly below that is your full automatic climate control system which is rather easy to use and chocked full of options for both front and rear occupants. While you've got the massive rain guards to let in the fresh air, sometimes you'd simply rather rock the A/C with springtime just around the corner. The radio has been upgraded to a newer Carrozzeria unit which does function to the best of its ability stateside and the speakers are in right good shape. The only thing we've noticed that was inoperable were the power mirrors, but you can still always adjust them manually. Otherwise, you've got all the standard power accessories of the time like your one-touch driver's window and power locks. While this one is equipped with the 3rd row Mitsubishi realized not everyone may have a constant use for them. The seats are a 50/50 split and fold up against the back windows that way you can nearly double the carrying capacity when you don't need them. Partner that with the folding middle row you can still make all your Lowes trips in style.
Mechanically this Pajero has a lot of benefits that our US spec'd Montero's didn't have. The most important is the (4M40) 2.8L four-banger. This somewhat rudimentary mill has better torque than the 2.6L it replaced and is every bit as reliable. Fresh off an oil and filter service, this diesel fires up quickly and settles into that all familiar diesel hum. While these don't have block heaters they do come with a choke to ramp up the RPM for particularly cold starts though that probably won't be necessary this time of year (location dependent.) The diesel makes plenty of power to get you up to speed without thinking twice. Unlike most every offering available today, this one comes with a proper 3 pedal setup. Finding a manual SUV is about as rare as hen's teeth these days. The 5 speed is easy to run through and plenty satisfying. Everything under the hood is stock, however, they did go ahead and add in a nice aluminum catch can to cut down on blowby for longevity sake. At highway speeds, the ute feels stable and the selective transfer case can be used while up to speeds of 62mph. With the press of a button, this Pajero can switch between two and four-wheel drive, so you can eek some additional miles per gallon when the weather will permit. The adjustable suspension does a nice job of sorting through the bumps, and with lightly assisted steering will go wherever you point it without thinking twice. Boasting an inexpensive entry point, low cost of ownership, and a US sibling to aid with parts compliance the Pajero is tough to beat. Enthusiasts will agree, there are very few real off readers nowadays. Even so, they are laden with computers, infotainment systems, and more electronics than you can count. The Pajero offers old-school, tried and true mechanicals and a bulletproof diesel power plant. This unstoppable, rugged rig offers looks that match its tough mechanical drivetrain and make this a certified Japanese Classic.
*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.