Cars - Mitsubishi

Road tests and reviews of the latest Mitsubishi models available in South Africa

All about the new Mitsubishi Pajero Legend II

Mitsubishi Pajero Legend II

By Franky Johnson

Mitsubishi South Africa is bringing its legendary value back to the market with the introduction of the new Pajero Legend II in both long- and short-wheel base variants. These limited special edition models will be available at dealers from the end of June.

The Legend II builds on the success of its predecessor ­– the Pajero Legend 30-Years LWB Special Edition which was introduced in 2012 as part of the global celebration of Pajero’s successes since its introduction in 1982. Included in that time is its impressive motorsport history of an unprecedented 12 world-record Dakar Rally victories, of which seven were won in consecutive years.

The first 50 Legend 30-Year units rapidly sold out, thanks to the addition of a range of cosmetic and off-road accessories. A big demand from the market then saw the introduction of a SWB Legend derivative early in 2013, which were even more popular because Pajero is the only large SUV 4x4 range in the local market which offers a luxury short-wheel base 4x4 variant.

For the Legend II, Mitsubishi has again added a host of extras to the Pajero without significantly increasing the retail price. This time round, however, the Legend II can be ordered with a range of additional extras that are sourced, subsidised and fitted by Mitsubishi South Africa.

“The Pajero has become synonymous with an adventure lifestyle and it remains unique, thanks to its combination of modern luxuries and tried-and-trusted mechanics. It is Mitsubishi’s legacy model and it will remain a mainstay of the brand’s product offering to off-road and adventure enthusiasts,” says Braam Faul, Marketing Manager of Mitsubishi South Africa.

“Recent international media reports that Pajero will not be the main focus of future development plans at Mitsubishi created the wrong impression with some of our loyal Pajero customers. I need to make it very clear that the Pajero is still a top-selling model for Mitsubishi and will continue to form part of the product range for many years to come”, Faul adds.

The range of off-road accessories is sourced from the well-known Australian overland specialists, Opposite Lock, and from Front Runner South Africa, while cosmetic accessories are sourced from Mitsubishi’s own parts catalogue.

The Pajero Legend II LWB is based on the top-spec Exceed derivative. Customers get an additional R50 000 worth of extras as part of the purchase price of R759 900. This includes a heavy-duty protection plate fitted below the engine and another below the gearbox assembly as well as heavy-duty rock sliders. It is also fitted with Yokohama Geolander dual-purpose tyres with a 265/60 R18 profile.

The Pajero Legend II SWB offers all the luxuries fitted to its long-wheel base sibling. Customers get an additional R40 000 worth of extras as part of the purchase price of R659 900 which also includes heavy-duty protection plates fitted below the engine and gearbox assembly and Yokohama Geolander dual-purpose tyres with a 265/65 R17 profile.

Other additions to both the LWB and SWB Legend II derivatives include a heavy-duty tow bar from Bosal, a Pajero-stamped chrome nudge bar and auto-locking and unlocking modules.

Inside the cabin the Pajero Legend II offers a high-end Garmin nüviCam with magnetic mount and built-in dash cam, a Tracks4Africa off-road map set for Southern Africa and a full set of hard-wearing rubber mats.

“The standard Legend II package should be more than sufficient for any off-road enthusiasts or lover of the great outdoors. Customers that would like to add further customisation can choose to do so from an additional list of Mitsubishi approved extras that can be fitted at a subsidised cost,” says Faul.

The range of additional accessories clearly caters for specialist off-roaders and includes 41mm big bore front and rear heavy-duty shock absorbers from Tough Dog, a slim line roof rack from Front Runner and high-impact discharge spotlights from the adventure specialists, Light Force.

Enthusiasts can also select other off-road ready equipment from the Legend II’s list of customised extras, including an air compressor, snatch recovery kit, dash Caska D306LT Navigation unit and entertainment system, clear headlight protectors, bonnet guard and – for those treks through the Namib Desert – a cooler fridge.

Optional extras chosen from the Legend II’s list will be fitted by Mitsubishi-trained technicians, will carry the respective brands’ warranty and will not compromise the Pajero’s 3-year or 100 000 km mechanical warranty. This is a welcome relief to any enthusiast who would like to custom fit their Pajero with off-road equipment, but is worried that the non-factory fitted extras will void his manufacturer’s warranty.

The additional equipment has also been tested to work perfectly with the Pajero and not impair the SUV’s exemplary road manners. The Mitsubishi Pajero is the most affordable competitor in the luxury SUV-segment that offers full independent rear suspension, making it an ideal choice for owners who use the vehicle for their daily commute and are looking for a soft and comfortable car-like drive.

Also adding to the creature comforts in Mitsubishi’s flagship model are standard luxury features such as heated leather seats that are electrically adjustable for the driver (and front passenger on the LWB model), a multi-function wood and leather steering wheel, a touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB modules, a reverse camera with rear parking sensors, a double volume glass sunroof and privacy glass for rear passengers.

Safety is well taken care of with the fitment of 6 airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), BAS (Brake Assist System), Active Traction and Stability Control (ATSC) and Mitsubishi’s patented high-strength Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body shell. The range is fitted with ISO-FIX Child Seat Anchors as well.

Under the imposing bonnet is Mitsubishi’s well proven 3.2 litre DI-D turbo-diesel engine, which uses a high-pressure common rail direct injection system to deliver 140 kW at 3 800 rpm and 441 Nm of torque in a wide band that delivers peak power from a low 2 000 rpm.

The wide torque spread makes the Pajero ideal for technical off-roading, as does the fact that Mitsubishi has retained its support for 500 ppm diesel. This allows overland enthusiasts the freedom to travel through Africa unhindered.

Engine power is delivered in normal driving to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox, with self-shifting option. The gearbox is mated to Mitsubishi’s unique Super-Select II 4WD system, which allows an unmatched level of control in all conditions.

Super-Select 4WD II offers four driving options, with each mode making changes to the transfer case and vehicle electronics. Under normal driving conditions, the gearbox transfers all power to the rear wheels, while in 4H mode power is split 33% front and 67% rear, maintaining the rear wheel driving dynamics, while ensuring improved road holding in slippery conditions. This mode, which is ideal on high-speed dirt roads or in rainy conditions, can be selected while driving at speeds of up to 100 km/h.

Once in the bush, the Pajero Legend II offers two distinct off-road driving modes. In 4HLc, the power delivery between front and rear wheels are locked at 50:50. When the going gets really tough, a favourite terrain for Pajero enthusiasts, the driver can select 4LLc. In this mode the transfer case slows the lowest gears down to a crawl, traction control is switched off and drivers are given pure mechanical freedom to traverse rocks, mud, water and any other off-road obstacle. The rear differential can be locked and unlocked from inside the cabin.

The Pajero’s off-road credentials also include lass-leading ground clearance of 235 mm, an approach angle of 36.7° on the SWB model and 36.6° on the LWB model and a very impressive departure angle of 25°. The break-over angle of 25.2° for the SWB makes it virtually unstoppable.

Anyone buying a Pajero Legend II will experience the legendary and complete peace of mind synonymous with Mitsubishi.

“The Pajero has proven its durability and reliability over many years. Thanks to a 5-year maintenance plan total cost of ownership is very low compared to its competitors in the luxury SUV category,” says Faul.

“With our national network of dealers and the Pajero’s proven history, it is no surprise that more than 90% of customers who buy a Pajero, stay with the Brand for their next purchase.”

Pricing

Pricing of the Pajero Legend II remains very competitive at R759 900 for the LWB and R659 900 for the SWB.

All Pajero Legend II models are sold with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan. Service intervals are 10 000 km.

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