For many, the 2013 Mitsubishi Pajero VRX is an icon as a ‘go anywhere’ 4WD which has been around forever. For a lot of families, a Pajero has probably played a role of some sort, including weekend sports duty or the holiday getaway car. Since its original introduction in 1982, there have been quite a few changes along the way to get to where we are now with the 2013 MY14 model.
In the Pajero VRX, which sits just below the range topping Exceed model, you’ll find 7 Seats, Automatic Rain Sensing Wipers, Automatic Headlights, Power drivers seat with 8-way adjustment and lumbar support, Reverse parking sensors, diff lock, and a rear roof spoiler.
Don’t think that the power plant has been forgotten either. Under the hood lives a 4 cylinder turbo common rail diesel, producing 147kW of power and an impressive 441Nm of torque. Unlike some other diesel variants, which can be a little thirsty, in this segment of the market, the Pajero is listed to achieve a fuel economy of just 9 litres per 100km from this 2.3tonne 4WD. Knowing its customers, Mitsubishi made safety a priority with the Pajero, equipping the MY14 model with the gear it needs to ensure that it receives a 5 Star ANCAP rating.
This includes driver and front passenger SRS airbags, driver and front passenger side SRS airbags and curtain SRS airbags, as well as side door impact beams, electronic brake force distribution, active stability control and a stack of other safety features. So, that’s enough of the brochure reading. Right now the Mitsubishi Pajero looks good, but how did it perform? Let’s have a look.
Our review model was painted in Pitch Black! In combination with the chrome highlights, this really assisted in differentiating the VRX from the other variants in the Pajero range and created an imposing attitude on the road. The size of the Pajero isn’t given away by the exterior design, which hasn’t fundamentally changed for a number of years.
Though it still manages to look the part, with its large front grill and accentuated wheel guards. Stepping inside and you’ll immediately notice the cabin space. Headroom is fantastic and the finding your seating position is relatively easy thanks to big mirrors and an easy to reach dash. Whilst the interior isn’t full leather, the leather where it has been used does make this car feel like it can double as a comfortable cruiser down to the coast or as the workhorse picking up supplies to fix that retaining wall in the front garden.
If you own a boat, caravan or plan to tow in the future, its great to know that a cool 3,000kg’s can be towed. It’s one thing to own a car that can tow, but its another thing knowing that you can tow comfortably and safely.
Unlike the very first Pajero, the market for SUV’s has changed significantly over the years. So have the demands for the capabilities of the cars. In the past, a 4WD was called ‘the truck’ and only carried tools to and from work during the week and then on weekends the tools were swapped out for fishing rods.
Today, the Pajero has turned into one of the most popular cars on the market and owned by families for taking the kids to and from school, with the fishing rods on the weekend being swapped out for footballs and hockey sticks. The Mitsubishi understands this and have reflected this in the flexibility of the vehicle. The kids are happy in the back, the seats are comfortable upfront, fuel economy is great, even when towing, and it seems that a lots of people love taking it off-road and end up being the car which saves the day for others.
It feels that we could skip this section, as you know what we’ll already say, because we’ve alluded to it earlier. As a family car, or as dedicated 4WD, you’ll have a hard time of finding where the Pajero falls short. When looking through comments from other owners, long trips, towing and family members is a recurring activity for this car. Plus, the Pajero is also a vehicle, which the Creek to Coast lifestyle show on Channel 7 uses to get to their locations and haul all of their video equipment and talent.
The boot space is tall and very deep, which is great for all of that gear. However, to gain access to all of that space, you need a big door on the back and you do need room behind the vehicle to be able to open it all the way. Plus it would be great if the door didn’t swing back on you so easily when on a hill. The reversing camera definitely is useful for reversing and avoiding things you definitely don’t want to run over.
It also made reverse parking really easily despite being in a bigger car. Every situation we put it in, whether it was work duties with co-workers in the car, or doing the school run, the Pajero didn’t miss a beat.
As we clocked up the kilometers, our appreciation of the fuel economy and just how easy to drive the Pajero increased. You don’t have to have a solid build like a stereotypical truck driver to maneuver it around on the road or in car parks. The automatic transmission was smooth and was able to have the right gear most of the time.
This meant that you had the right power when you needed it and weren’t using any more fuel that you had to. Thanks to the turbo attached to the diesel engine, throttle response is good and has a quick pick up that doesn’t leave you hanging at the lights or when an opportunity to jump into a gap in traffic presents itself. Nobody likes a slouch and the Pajero is certainly no slouch for a SUV.
A 4WD with the level of safety, technology including the touchscreen infotainment system, and drivability you will be finding yourself in the $60,000-$70,000 bracket.
As part of that purchase price there’s a 5 Year or 100,000km Warranty, 5 Year Perforation Warranty, Capped Price Servicing and 1 Year of Diamond Advantage Roadside Assistance. Not a bad package and a good recipe for plenty of peace of mind for an important member of family.
It’s an off-roader, school taxi, weekend cruiser, tow truck and everything in between. The exterior design is aging and we’d love to see a new shape soon, but for such a capable vehicle that a lot of owners love, we can allow a little leeway in this respect.
The drive surprised us, and fuel economy impressed us a lot. So if you are on the hunt for any of the above vehicles, we suggest you add the Mitsubishi Pajero VRX to your list of vehicles to check out.
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