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Old 16th December 2014, 11:22   #1
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Default My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Here my test drive and initial ownership review of the Pajero Sport. I am a car enthusiast, but not a fanatic!

Buying decision

My usage
  1. We have 2 other cars - one is a Hatchback Automatic (i10) and other is a sedan (City).
  2. Normal use for this car would be drive to office. The office drive is through heavy traffic, and at times over very bad roads (sometimes = no roads), narrow at some places, around 30-40 km/day.
  3. Occasional city usage or long drive for 6+ passengers.
  4. I have a big dog (GSD)- wanted to be able to take him + full family locally.
  5. Once every few months - long drive - 4 passengers + dog (optional)
  6. Good ground clearance - Bangalore is notorious for bad humps.
  7. Wish for 4x4, but not a necessity.
  8. Good quality - I don’t want to be running around every week to get something fixed.
  9. Max budget was 20-24 lacs.
It was clear that I needed a 6/7-seater vehicle.

Options Considered

The options I considered were:

1. Ertiga/Mobilio - Positives were price-point and ease of driving. Eliminated early on, due to low power and small size. I believed this won't be so good on a long drive. Not really spacious - basically an extended hatchback/wagon.

2. Innova - Probably the best car for the purpose. I have sat in it for long distances. It is very good to drive and very good on highways. Very reliable too. Seriously considered, but dropped, since I did not want to drive a van! That’s all.

That led me to SUVs. I considered only a few and did not do a lot of analysis.

3. Used/New Fortuner - I had a friend selling a low mileage 3+ year old Fortuner (AWD+manual transmission). I also test drove a new Fortuner, but somehow, I did not like the ride. Then I read the reviews and that confirmed my suspicion of a bumpy ride in city. The 3rd row folds sideways and basically takes up the space that my dog would use. The looks of the car were good and so was the power. But, what I did not like was that it just looked massive. In some ways I did not connect to the vehicle - that is important to me. I was getting it cheap, but let it go.

4. Santa Fe - I did not test drive the car. I could not accept the fact that I would need to pay 30-35 lacs for a Hyundai. Did I make a mistake by not having a better look? I knew that a new version of the SantaFe was about to be launched and was hoping for a price drop, but it did not happen.

5. Rexton and Mahindra Scorpio- Did not consider.

6. Duster/Q3- Eliminated due to them being 5-seaters.

7. Mahindra XUV500 - I test drove that. I liked it.

Pros:
  • Feature list was endless.
  • Power was good.
  • Decent handling in the city and on the highway.
  • Met many of my requirements.
Cons:
  • The third seat had too less space. Middle seat is not slide-able. I can’t understand why the second row seat has huge space, but the third one has very little and I can’t adjust that when I need.
  • My concern was the build quality - maybe psychological, but it was there. How would it be 5 years later? Niggles, things rattling (have seen that on Scorpios owned by friends).
  • No space when using the 3rd row.
  • Too common (con or pro?).
I still decided that I will go ahead and buy it and was waiting for some funds to come in.

8. In the meantime, a friend tried out the Pajero Sport. He raved about it. I thought, what the heck, let me also try. After a few weeks, finally the logistics worked. I had anyway made up my mind about the XUV500. I test drove the vehicle and was blown away! I booked it the same day. I did not see any reviews, etc., but just booked it. I looked at the reviews and feedback afterwards. So in some ways, it was not a logically thought-out decision, but more of a "spur of the moment, liked-something-want-it" kind of decision. I would have to stretch my budget a bit to get this one!

I was also informed about the upcoming automatic 2WD. If I was going to spend so much money on an SUV, 4WD is a key feature to have.

Pros (that I considered at the buying time):
  • Pajero lineage.
  • Met almost all of my requirements.
  • Good space in all rows, second row slides. The folding options on the seats suited my various purposes well. Gives me space for the dog. Even if you put up the 3rd row, there is slightly better space than the XUV for luggage etc.
  • Build quality is amazing - everything is as it is supposed to be.
  • When you ride, you feel safe and in control. This was the main tipping point for me!
  • High speed handling was very good. Felt it gets better the faster you drive (how is that possible?)
  • Right set of features that I wanted (airbags, ABS, ICE, navigation, alloy wheels)
  • I liked the manual 4WD modes and the ability to switch between 2H and 4H.
  • It's a Mitsubishi.
Cons:
  • City driving was going to be more difficult - steering was not ideal for the city and clutch is also hard. The gear ratios were also not ideal for the city, and I would have to constantly downshift.
  • Main concern was the service. I had heard mixed reviews from people. What if something breaks when we are outstation? Within Bangalore, it will not be a problem.
  • It's a Mitsubishi (yeah, its a con as well)
  • Cost - I would have to take a loan!

Buying Experience

The buying experience was smooth. There is only one dealer. So there was no choice in terms of dealerships!! In terms of discounts and deals, I just took the same deal as my friend, who booked the car on the same day. The cost was Rs. 28.7 lacs (on-road) with teflon + branded mats. Since I took the Anniversary edition, it came with ICE, but the Multi Information Display (MID) has been taken out. I had them put that in, but it took away the space for wallet/mobile (oh well).

The colour chosen was black. I was informed that I would get the car in one week's time (good, I didn't want to wait 2-3 months and I wanted it before Diwali). I decided to take a loan for partial funding. The deal that the dealer rep offered on the loan was good enough compared to the market, so went ahead with it. They took care of the paperwork. Since I had joined a new employer just a few weeks back and did not have even one pay check, some extra docs were required.

The booking was done on the weekend and the expected delivery was next Sunday. Thursday night they came back with the final timeline, but said money has to be transferred via NEFT as the check clearing may not happen in one day for PDI etc. to happen. The amount was more than my NEFT limit, so had to run to the bank branch to get it transferred.

Sunday got the delivery. They could not finish the registration process so gave a TR registration. Got the final registration done on Monday (sent me the RTO Challan by whatsapp, neat). Car was ready in showroom, no crowd on Sunday. Had the usual priest around with Puja. Gave a decent demo of the key features needed.
I was just impatient to take it home, so did not pay much attention.

I wanted a number ending in 0, but did not want to pay the premium for a special number. I had the dealer's RTO agent call me once he finds out the available numbers....picked one of them. I got the number plate a few days later, dealer rep came over and fixed them. The insurance policy came in a week or so and RC Book (card) in 4-5 weeks.

I did not take any extended warranty or add any other accessory.

Ownership Experience

So its been more than 2 months now. As soon as I got the car, I had to travel for work (2 weeks) so could not drive much. Since then, I have been using it daily for my commute. Tried a mini trip of 70 kms one way on the highway, and another one of 20 kms. Drove in heavy rain once. Christmas weekend took the family of 4 and the dog for a 1100 km ride. I am not covering the features as they have been detailed in earlier posts.

Exterior I liked the exteriors; mix of SUV, but with sleek looks. I somehow didn't like the Fortuner's external appearance at all. I like the contrast that chrome mirrors give to the black body. I like the low bonnet look, and of course it gives better visibility. The side view is taken over by the stickers. I have mixed feelings about the tacky Pajero Sport stickers on the side. I might remove them at a later time.

Space and Comfort : Driver's seat is very comfortable and the visibility is very good. Having driven other large cars & SUVs (in India and US), I think this has among the best visibility for an SUV. It has electric adjustments for the driver's seat and I'm easily able to find a comfortable position.

2nd Row seats - very comfortable for 2 adults + 1 child, but not very comfortable for 3 adults. I have been able to take my dog along with 4 passengers- by using the 3rd row half folded.

Third row is comfortable for short rides. I tried the Bangalore-Ranganthittu trip with 6 adults + 1 child. Adjusted the middle row to give a bit more leg space to the 3rd row. 3rd row - max 2 people and the 'knee towards chest' position does make it a bit uncomfortable. Being able to adjust the middle row is very useful for me (not sure why they removed it in the new AT, that might have been a deal breaker for me).

Getting in and out for older people is slightly difficult - even in the second row - due to the SUV's height.

Small storage everywhere is conveniently placed. 3 charging points are useful as well. Small things like a tucking place for seatbelts on the 2nd and 3rd rows is a nice addition.

Found that my travel ice cooler doesn't fit in the trunk, if the 3rd row seats are being used :-(

A/C Climate control Having separate controls for the rear A/C is convenient- as I drive alone, turn off the rear vents from the driver console. The A/C works well. Somehow feel the rear A/C vent is a bit noisy, need to check it out.

Build/Finish: It gives a feeling of a well built car. Everything is done with thought and quality. Fit and finish is perfect, everything fits & works as designed. No extra noise, even when going over very rough roads. The doors close perfectly. The rear hatch is heavy...have to be careful when opening / closing. Interior panels are tightly fitted. Even the removable ashtray is heavy - planning to use as a paper weight

Engine, Driving and Steering: This is my first diesel, so still getting used to that. As expected, noisier than petrol, but it generates enough power to move this 2 ton beast with 7 passengers on board.

As expected, city driving with the turbo lag and gear ratios is a bit challenging. You have to constantly downshift to 2nd. This has been explained pretty well in other posts as well. Getting used to it. Otherwise, the gearshift is manageable. Its still a bit sticky in some places (like upshifting to 3rd). I think it will smoothen out with a bit of driving. It seems to be getting better with use.

Clutch is bit hard, but seems to get better with driving (or maybe I am getting used to it). For folks considering the Pajero Sport, I feel this is the biggest day to day issue you will face...a hard clutch with lots of shifting required in typical city traffic.

Engine is peppy enough. Other than the turbo-lag, power is enough at low and high rpms. I drove with 7 passengers and some luggage on the highway, and didn't even realize that the car is loaded.

Handling- What can I say other than 'Amazing'. I go through some bad roads on a daily basis and this car just drives so well on bad roads. Highway speed at 80-100 kph, amazing stability and control. It somehow transforms itself at highways speeds and handles really well. Braking is good too. This SUV should be called Highway Star (ref Deep Purple). The steering comes to life when driving at high speeds and coming from Honda City with an electric steering, it took me a bit of time to get used to. I ran over an unexpected pothole at 100 Kph and the passengers barely noticed.

I did try the 4H mode on the highway, still not conclusive if it gives any advantage on dry pavement. Not had a chance to try the 4L modes.

Braking was the biggest surprise. Even under hard braking, the car maintains its composure and doesn't let you down.

As mentioned earlier, I take some narrow roads, with some experience its manageable. The turning radius (5.6m) is very convenient for me as I have to take U Turns in a few inconvenient places.

Wheels and Tyres : Mitsubishi has shifted to giving Apollo H/T tires (rather than the A/T they used to give earlier). I didn't change as initially my driving will be mostly on normal roads. The car comes with Alloy wheels as standard.

Parking: Anniversary edition comes with both, a reverse camera and reverse sensor. The reverse sensor can be turned off if needed. The camera is definitely useful for such a big vehicle. I need to park in tight basement spots, so very very useful. If you are upgrading from a smaller car, for sure it takes a bit of practice to parking such a car, and the steering that Pajero Sport has.

Noise NVH- You are insulated from the outside world, and I don't get much road or engine noise. Even at highway speeds, its calm and quiet.

FE I am getting between 8-9 kmpl as per the MID. On highway drives, I got 10-10.5 kmpl. I see some other folks saying they are getting 10+ in regular driving. I don't know if its my driving style or my traffic pattern or my car.

Sound System/ICE ICE is average quality, nothing to write home about. I didn't like the controls much, it has a few key buttons and a volume knob. The rest is a touchscreen.

Please note the ICE in the Anniversary ed is like a dealer add-on fitted later. The bluetooth mic is stuck below the mirror, and the GPS is stuck on the dash (passenger side). It came out for me and I had to stick it back.
As expected sound quality is average, but not a big issue for me. I am not looking to upgrade it for now.

Bluetooth phone connector is flaky- it sometimes connects and sometimes doesn't. Need to look into the issue.

Accessories The only accessory I got added was the Multi Information Display Unit. It was not fitted properly and came out once I went on a rough road near my office. I had to put it back in the slot and got it fixed in the first service. The main problem I see is the space for keeping wallet/mobile is gone. I think the new model has the integrated set.

Mats put in by the dealer are regular mats, but Pajero branded. Good quality soft carpet kind (not the 3D).

Service Just had the 1 month service. Nothing out of ordinary.

In Summary
What I liked
  • True blood SUV
  • Handling bad roads and on the highway is very good
  • Well built and top class quality
  • Spacious. Well designed cabin & space usage. 2nd and 3rd row comfort. Multiple options for seating arrangements
  • Nice clean looks
  • Parking camera, sensor, Navigation built in
  • Excellent visibility and driving comfort

What I did not like
  • Turbo lag with gear ratios - constant downshifting in city traffic. That, with a harder clutch, can be a bit tiring in stop and go traffic.
  • Service support will always be at the back of your mind
  • Tyres- now H/T has become standard (no longer A/T)
  • Average quality ICE. Quality could have been better

Some Pictures- not very good as compared to some of the other posts- oh well.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3200.jpg

Chrome Mirrors and Handles give it a good contrast with the black body colour.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3201.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3202.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3203.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3204.jpg

Standard ICE with navigation and reverse camera display, and the climate control.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3205.jpg

Optional MID, switch for the rear A/C & reverse parking sensor.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3206.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3209.jpg

Door Panels
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3207.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3208.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3210.jpg

Vents for the 2nd and 3rd rows.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3211.jpg

3rd row seat has a cup holder and small space to store meds/chocolate which receives A/C flow.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3212.jpg

3rd row is spacious, but with knees towards the chest.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3213.jpg

Tailgate with Anniversary Edition sticker.
My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3214.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3215.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3216.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3217.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3218.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3219.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3220.jpg

My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4-img_3221.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 30th December 2014 at 14:51. Reason: Taking live :)
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Old 30th December 2014, 14:53   #2
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th December 2014, 15:32   #3
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Nice, neat and crisp review. Thanks for sharing with us. The brute looks great in black. The only things I would do are swapping those tacky wooden trim on the inside with a piano black trim and removing the decals on the outside. I see that you don't like the latter either. Don't wait to remove it though, will cause a mismatch in color and you will have to get the whole car detailed again. The best bet would be to take the car to 3M for a paint treatment and let them remove it before detailing.

Congrats on the car! Have fun! And some more pics please.
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Old 30th December 2014, 15:37   #4
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Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Nice, neat and crisp review. Thanks for sharing with us. The brute looks great in black. The only things I would do are swapping those tacky wooden trim on the inside with a piano black trim and removing the decals on the outside.
Thanks @deetjohn. Being an engineer makes me write to the point

I am still debating removing the decals. I think they are tacky and bring unwanted attention. But better half think otherwise. Good point about not waiting too long or there might be differences in color. Thanks for the input.
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Old 30th December 2014, 15:39   #5
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Congratulations on the Black Beauty (or shall i refer to its as a Beast!).
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Old 2nd January 2015, 10:55   #6
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Update on the Bluetooth connectivity- I had noticed problems in auto-reconnect with my backup phone (MotoE), but once I connected my primary Iphone- no problems with auto reconnect once pairing is setup.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 13:29   #7
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Congratulations on your new possession and welcome to the club

You'll love this vehicle more as the time goes by. Fuel efficiency will increase after some time.. for me the MID doesn't give the clear picture so I would suggest to start noting down the tank full to tank full mileage, there are some good iOS apps which will help you maintain that log.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 13:39   #8
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Fuel efficiency will increase after some time.. for me the MID doesn't give the clear picture so I would suggest to start noting down the tank full to tank full mileage, there are some good iOS apps which will help you maintain that log.
Thanks @Satpalsharma. I think so, I feel already has improved over the last few months- maybe I am getting used to the car as well.
Ya, I should do the tank calculations. Any recommended iOS App?
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Old 2nd January 2015, 15:58   #9
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Originally Posted by asinghal View Post
Any recommended iOS App?
What I use is the Road Trip app by Darren Stone. There's been a hike in the price for this app recently.
There is a lite version of this app as well which is free, you can try that first.. here's the link - Road Trip Lite

There might be number of other similar apps as well, just search on the app store for that.

Last edited by satpalsharma : 2nd January 2015 at 16:00. Reason: lite version link included
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Old 5th January 2015, 10:00   #10
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

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Originally Posted by asinghal View Post
I feel already has improved over the last few months- maybe I am getting used to the car as well.
You are correct. I could not get more than 9.5kmpl for the initial 15k kms in spite of taking it slow and running it in for many tankfuls of fuel with Sys-D.

However, the FE saw a significant leap once the 15k km mark was crossed.

In fact, in my current drive to M.P. & U.P. from Bangalore, I have been constantly getting around 11.5-12.25kmpl depending on the speeds. The speed on the needle has been between 100-110kmph for most of the time.

Further, I do not have the MID and even though I have an MID with me, I do not intend to install it since it takes up valuable storage space on the centre console. I do simple trip meter based tankfull to tankfull calculations and they are accurate.

How many kms have you clocked so far?
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Old 5th January 2015, 10:34   #11
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Default Re: My Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Black, MT, 4x4

Arun, good to see your review finally on TBHP, congrats on the black beauty!

I have been averaging 10 kmpl irrespective of how/where I drive so far. In my last tankful, I have got 10.5 kmpl (empty tank method). So the FE improves for sure.

Enjoy the beast and all the best. After all great minds think alike, eh? ;-)

Oh and by the way: I bought a nice Jopasu brush duster off ebay. It works pretty nicely, and also fits in the Jack compartment (your last pic). It takes exactly 3 minutes to brush off any dust off the black beauty when you need to - so a handy thing to have.

Last edited by anshuman_v : 5th January 2015 at 10:36. Reason: Added Tip
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Old 5th January 2015, 12:04   #12
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However, the FE saw a significant leap once the 15k km mark was crossed.

In fact, in my current drive to M.P. & U.P. from Bangalore, I have been constantly getting around 11.5-12.25kmpl depending on the speeds. The speed on the needle has been between 100-110kmph for most of the time.

How many kms have you clocked so far?
Thanks @n.devdath - I have done only 3.5K , so I have bit of time to go! Ya the MID does take up very useful space, but I use the cup holder space for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshuman_v View Post


Oh and by the way: I bought a nice Jopasu brush duster off ebay. It works pretty nicely, and also fits in the Jack compartment (your last pic). It takes exactly 3 minutes to brush off any dust off the black beauty when you need to - so a handy thing to have.
Thanks @anshuman_v. I feel the car is becoming easier to drive, with clutch and gear shift becoming easier and FE seems slightly better. Thanks for the tip on the duster.
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