1995 Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD
Pending Sale: $13,995
The Mitsubishi Pajero is by far the best bang for the buck diesel SUVs on the market today. Why you may ask? This SUV is every bit as robust, reliable, and rugged as its Toyota counterparts, but is sold at a fraction of the cost! The Pajero was born from the Dakar rally, and with 12 wins under its belt, it's hard to argue with its pedigree! 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 1995 example checks all the boxes and then some! Offered with a mere 96K verified and documented miles, this rig is powered by the rugged 4M40 turbo diesel engine mated to a stout automatic transmission. Finished in Mitsubishi's White over Silver Metallic two-tone, the paint is in good shape with only some routine blemishes from daily driving over the years. The ABS bumpers do show some light paint fade from age, but hey, she is 25 years old. The aftermarket brush guard with oversized fogs adds a bit more flare to the front of the SUV and the aftermarket wheels toughen up the exterior. The OEM chrome side mirrors are in great condition along with the optional rain guards on the front two doors. The body is in equally good condition with only a few minor door dings to report. Finally, five brand new 31 x 10.5 Falken All Terrains give the truck an aggressive look that hints it's not your average SUV.
The interior is arguably better than the Hilux as well, with a touch more luxury feel in our opinion. The only hint to its roots inside is an assortment of gauges (Altimeter, Inclinometer, Compass/Thermometer) to accompany the main cluster which shows 4WD selections, and shock settings as well. A nice feature is the third-row seating so this SUV can accommodate up to seven passengers. The seats are exceptionally comfortable over long hauls and have been kept in great shape over the years; free of any major sun discoloration, tears, or noteworthy stains. The cabin is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon wheeling or the daily commute to work. A full automatic climate control system, which is rather easy to use and chocked full of options for both front and rear occupants is not something you'd expect to find in a vehicle with such a rugged mechanical design. While you've got the massive rain guards up front to let in the fresh air, sometimes you'd simply rather rock the A/C, which blows nice and cold, while the heat settings will warm even the coldest winter days. The radio is factory and functions as it should and a Japanese CB radio is located just below. It does function and admittedly is a bit of an oddity, but cool nonetheless. The only thing we've noticed that was inoperable were the power-folding mirrors; they do fold in electronically but the driver's side gets stuck and does not power back out. 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, nearly double the carrying capacity when you don't need them. Combine 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 diesel four-banger. This somewhat rudimentary mill has better torque than the 2.5L 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. The diesel makes plenty of power to get you up to speed without thinking twice. The automatic transmission runs through the gears seamlessly and shifts are nice and smooth. At highway speeds, the SUV feels stable and the selective transfer case can be used while up to speeds of 62mph. With the pull of a lever, 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. Our trained technicians also performed a slew of great maintenance as well including two brand new 12v batteries, 5 brand new tires, and a set of new front and rear brake pads and rotors. 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-roaders 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 makes this a certified Japanese Classic.