- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 7 seats
2.4DT, 4 cyl.
- Engine Power
8 Spd Auto
5 Yr, 100000 KMs
- Ancap Safety
5/5 star (2015)
Australians are looking toward all-purpose large off-road SUVs for family transport. The 2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport presents a pretty competitive on-paper argument, but how does it fare in the real world?
- Soft ride quality impresses around town
- Materials feel nice for the price you pay
- More affordable than rivals
- Oddly folding seats
- Dull infotainment presentation
- Engine lacks outright punch
Large SUVs that can tackle off-road activity are in hot demand in Australia, with buyers favouring the jack-of-all-trades character offered by cars such as the 2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS.
Among its raft of abilities, the Pajero Sport provides transport for seven people, tows boats, handles the everyday commute, and can even make it back in time for the afternoon school run.
We’ve jumped behind the wheel of a mid-spec Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS with four-wheel drive and seven seats to see whether it cuts a good deal compared to this competition. This means it costs $54,190 before on-road costs.
It sits a tier above the entry-level GLX and features equipment such as 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, power tailgate, satellite navigation, and dual-zone climate control.
Fitted to our car specifically is a set of dealer-fit accessories including side steps ($1004), Redarc brake controller ($679), cargo liner ($205), and a tow bar kit ($1386). You might be able to spot a GLX Pajero Sport by its privacy tint rear windows, rear spoiler, or chromed keyless entry door handles.
All variants in the Pajero Sport range feature a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine under the bonnet, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission.
What isn’t standard is the four-wheel-drive system. New for the range is the fact that the GLS can also be had with a rear-wheel-drive configuration at a lower price. But for today we’ve got a Pajero Sport with the Super Select II part-time 4WD system.
Inside it reminds of those 1990s four-wheel drives with soft velour-type fabric covering items like the centre console bin and door cards.
But that’s not to mean it feels like an old space, just a nice sense of familiarity. It’s very comfy to the touch and the seats are very plush to sit in, while most surfaces are covered in decent-enough materials for the price.
There’s enough space for taller drivers in the front row, though a lack of adjustability means I personally can’t quite get low enough. What does annoy is the lack of digital speed readout, which is a real miss in this day and age, no matter which end of the market you’re shopping in.
Storage-wise, you’re well covered off with a small slot under the dash, a see-through hole under the centre console, and twin cupholders below the shifter. The centre console bin has a nice soft lid and contains enough room for larger items you want to keep away from prying eyes.
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In row number two it feels comfy for your legs and feet, though your head isn’t given too much room to move – especially if you’re near my 194cm height. The seats do recline to make the space more comfortable, but they don’t slide forward and back like they do in the Ford Everest.
Fewer storage options are found in the second row – there are only map pockets, smallish door pockets and a fold-down centre armrest that contains a set of cupholders. You’ll note air vents above your head, while an Australian-standard 150-volt power outlet (and two USB-A ports) can provide charge to your devices.
The third row is a bit of a compromise, even if you’re shorter. My knees were raised awkwardly in the air, and the seat is a weird scoop shape that feels odd to sit in. That said, you do get air vents to keep back-most passengers cool and a set of cupholders. The boot is accessed by a power tailgate.
According to Mitsubishi, the Pajero Sport can carry 502L up to the seat tops of the second row, while space climbs to 1488L with all seats down. The seats fold in an awkward fashion and aren’t the simplest to fold down in a hurry – check out the video for a demonstration.
|2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS|
|Boot volume||131L to third row|
502L to second row
1488L to first tow
Infotainment and Connectivity
Embedded within the dash is an 8.0-inch screen that can run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’ll probably want to run those two systems as opposed to Mitsubishi’s own, as they do present far nicer. Mitsubishi’s software does a fine job, and it’s easy enough to use bits like the satellite navigation, but it just looks a bit drab.
If you do use Mitsubishi’s software, it does contain digital radio to keep you entertained, and there are shortcuts along the bottom the screen to skip between functions.
There’s a tiny TFT screen in between the two gauges in the instrument cluster, which displays information such as fuel use, 4WD status, range to empty, and fuel level.
Safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, and hill start assist. But it does miss out on stuff like rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning, which you’ll have to spend more money on another variant for.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is covered off by a five-star ANCAP safety rating that was achieved back in 2015. This score was achieved thanks to the Mitsubishi Triton on which the Pajero Sport is based. It’s not certain the Pajero Sport would achieve the same score today to the much stricter 2020–2022 protocols.
As a mid-level offering in the Pajero Sport line-up, the $54,190 retail price stacks up keenly against rivals including the Ford Everest Trend ($57,090 before on-road costs) and Isuzu MU-X LS-U ($61,400 before ORCs). It even competes with Korean challenger brand Ssangyong and its $54,990 (before ORCs) Rexton Ultimate.
All Mitsubishis are covered by a standard five-year/100,000km warranty, but this can be extended to an industry-beating 10-year/200,000km warranty if you solely service within the Mitsubishi service network. This is an unusual but welcome deal.
Every time you service your car at a Mitsubishi dealership, you’re rewarded with 12 months of roadside assistance, up to a maximum four years. Services should be completed at 12-month intervals or every 15,000km, whichever is first.
|At a glance||2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS|
|Warranty||10 years / 200,000km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1297 (3 years), $2495 (5 years)|
The first three years of capped-price servicing will cost $1297, while five years’ worth costs $2495.
Our car used 9.7L/100km on a mix of country and suburban roads, and this is up from Mitsubishi’s 8.0L/100km claim.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.0L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||9.7L/100km|
|Fuel tank size||68L|
The Pajero Sport is powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. Outputs are rated at 133kW/430Nm, which is down on some rivals such as the Isuzu MU-X (140kW/450Nm) and Ford Everest (2.0TT is 157kW/500Nm).
In practice, the Pajero Sport doesn’t have quite the same urgency as those rivals on kick-down acceleration, and it takes a bit of extra timing to perform overtakes. To access real shove, you really do need to put your foot into the accelerator.
The eight-speed transmission is smooth to shift through most situations and speed changes, but isn’t the most responsive to sudden acceleration. It just takes that little bit longer to kick into gear, which is partly why you’ll have to gauge overtakes accordingly. It can jerk about coming on and off the throttle in traffic.
Ride control is super clean around town. Speedhumps are dispatched with a lovely soft quality as the big body simply eats up the disruption without fuss. Larger impacts are ironed over, with things like train tracks or potholes dealt with easily. Smaller imperfections are felt to a higher degree – it’s not uncomfortable at all, but you do notice the body jiggling about regularly, especially on rural B-roads.
The steering is quite heavy and befitting of the car, but it doesn’t aid around-town manoeuvrability. This is a big car to pedal around town. Mitsubishi might want you to think it’s the perfect family hauler for trips to the school carpark and the shopping centre, but you’d better be a good driver in small confines.
Luckily, visibility is excellent out of the cabin. I’ve got a nice enough view out over the road, if a little high, and you can easily see out back of the car through the expansive glasshouse.
There is a fair amount of body roll to contend with once you start rolling through corners in the country. It doesn’t get to the point of feeling unwieldy; it’s just the trade-off for that nice and soft ride quality.
We sampled the Pajero Sport on some gravel roads out in Victoria’s west and never once had to worry about traction-control issues. In fact, it rained all week in Melbourne on test, and the Pajero Sport hasn’t come unstuck flashing a traction light, which has actually been surprising.
The Pajero Sport has a switchable four-wheel-drive system that can go between two-high, four-high, four-high with a locked centre differential, and four-low with locked diff. In case it gets really tough, you can engage the rear differential lock on the centre console-mounted button.
The key difference here, compared to some rivals, is that the Super Select four-wheel-drive system allows the use of 4×4 on-road (with the centre diff open), which is ideal for variable conditions and distributing load when towing.
|Key details||2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS|
|Engine||2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel|
|Power||133kW @ 3500rpm|
|Torque||430Nm @ 2500rpm|
|Drive type||Four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Eight-speed torque converter automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||63.9kW/t|
|Tow rating||3100kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
As an all-round vehicle, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport covers a lot of ground. We’ve learned it’s spacious inside, contains enough tech for all key infotainment functions, and feels built suitably to its price point.
It also misses the mark in some areas. It feels a bit agricultural with heavy steering when you’re driving it around town and a slow responsiveness for roll-on acceleration. It also lacks a few of the active safety features we’re used to on large SUVs these days.
It is a good value package, however, especially when you consider Mitsubishi’s 10-year-long warranty if serviced within its dealer network.
If you’re the type of active family that values outdoor activities such as boating or off-roading, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a sound way to get you there.
2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS Wagon
Interior Comfort & Packaging
Infotainment & Connectivity
Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned that journalists got the better end of the deal. He began with CarAdvice in 2014, left in 2017 to join Bauer Media titles including Wheels and WhichCar and subsequently returned to CarAdvice in early 2021 during its transition to Drive. As part of the Drive content team, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories. He understands that every car buyer is unique and has varying requirements when it comes to buying a new car, but equally, there’s also a loyal subset of Drive audience that loves entertaining enthusiast content. Tom holds a deep respect for all things automotive no matter the model, priding himself on noticing the subtle things that make each car tick. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t learn something new in an everchanging industry, which is then imparted to the Drive reader base.