1996 Pajero Exceed
Who says you need to break the bank to enjoy a decent overlander? Why not scoff at the glampers that just spent fifty grand on their slightly used 4Runner? This 1996 Mitsubishi Pajero is an incredible value, boasting a spacious cabin with a third row, a torquey turbodiesel, and an advanced 4WD system with a locking center differential. Finished in a stately Silver over Green two-tone (S74/L77), this top of the range Exceed model sports a set of subtle OEM raingaurds, a rear roof ladder, and a polished factory brush guard to add to the tough-guy aesthetic. Aside from a few minor scuffs, dings, and chips associated with normal use, the paint is in good shape and this rig is fresh off a recent service in our shop. Offered with a mere 80k verified and documented miles, this unique JDM SUV would make for a wonderful daily driver or weekend adventure truck. Efficient, affordable, and determined, this midsize Mitsu is a true Japanese Classic.
The cabin was cared for in a prior life and it definitely shows. This seven-seater is well-appointed, with electric equipment everywhere. A massive electric sunroof retracts so you can stargaze, and provides some added natural ventilation when desired. The power windows, locks, and electric mirrors work, aside from the mirror's power-folding function. Starting in '95 an easier-to-use digital climate system was added and this one obviously has it. The rear occupants have their own climate controls as well, which is rare to find even in new SUVs of this size. The A/C and heat work as does the upgraded Kenwood head unit. The sound clarity is great for a car of this age and it includes auxiliary and USB inputs. The seats are in above average condition and lack any major rips, stains, or tears. The tan cloth is soft to the touch and everyone rides in comfort on long hauls. The door cards look equally well cared for and the headliner and carpets have withstood the past quarter-century without taking much abuse. The dash is in good nick, too, and lacks any cracking or distortion. A factory field monitor is mounted atop it and features an inclinometer, altimeter, and digital compass that display vital information for those out and about off the beaten path. Unlike many vehicles of this era, the driver also has wheel-mounted SRS airbag for some extra peace of mind. A large center console with an integrated cup holder is there for additional storage and a good-sized glovebox includes the factory manuals and some maintenance records. That's not to say the cabin is perfect as the center vents don't function properly, but that doesn't stop the cabin from reaching the desired cabin temperature. At its age, it's really nitpicking and we at the dealership are really impressed with this one as a whole.
The real good stuff is beneath the skin of this 1996. Despite its modern cabin features, the mechanicals are more basic than the computer-laden crossovers sold nowadays. The 4M40 2.8L turbodiesel is the heart of this Pajero and is fresh off an oil and filter service. Known for its inexpensive cost of ownership, readily available parts, and top-tier reliability, the engine's reputation is a darn good one. Two new 12v batteries aid ignition and the engine idles with confidence. Power is fed through a slick-shifting automatic gearbox and the selective transfer case was cutting edge at the time. Sure it has a low range and a beefy, locking center differential for the offroad crowd. But, from a convenience standpoint, the system was ages ahead of the competition. From inside the cabin, the driver could switch between two and four-wheel drive at speeds up to 62 miles per hour. No one wants to pull over on a tight snowy road to engage 4WD, right? The steering is light and on point and the adjustable suspension is happy to handle large and small potholes alike. The brakes feel tight and one of our trained technicians has replaced the rear brake pads with a new set. The factory alloys look more modern than early iterations of the Pajero and have brand new Falken all-terrain rubber-mounted at all four corners. The 31" Rubitreks filter out road noise better than you'd think, and most importantly will deliver tens of thousands of miles of year-round grip to come. We even replaced the spare while we were at it, too!
*California Residents: In order to register a Gray 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.