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Old 20th August 2006, 03:38   #1
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Exclamation Exclusive Test : Mitsubishi Pajero 2.8 CRZ Euro III...!

I could go on and on about the Paj, but it still wouldn't do justice to the real thing. So, no point in going to the histrionics. Right, then. Let's get on with the finer details. Before I begin, let me confess that this was a very BRIEF test. I didn't get to drive the beast for more than 50 kms...or so.

Styling :

One word. Butch. That's it. The looks of the car are very subjective. To some, it's outdated. Others quote it's styling to be classic. All in all, the Pajero is un-mistakeable. I for one, simply love it. Dunno why. Love the Endy and the Safari to death too. One annoying factor is the gap between the wheel arches and the wheel. The 2.8 could give the old Sumos a run for their money in the gap department.








Interiors And Equipment :

A mixed bag. It's a love-it-or-hate-it design. The dash and centre consoles are very minimalistic, simple, yet classy and dated. Pretty functional. Cubbyholes are not omnipresent, though. The driver's and co-passenger's seats are ultra-comfy, paralleling those of Safari's and scoring over the Endy. The middle bench is roomy, and thigh support is adequate. The Safari is still the big daddy in this area. Scores over the Endy, though. The equipment list is neither attention-grabbing nor displeasing. Adequate just about sums it up. The boot has enough space to swallow a country, though. So does the fuel tank. 92 Ltrs. Damn.








Engine And Performance :

Pretty good, actually. Naught to ton feels pretty quick, and even the roll-ons are absolutely superb. The damn car pulls from about 35 Kmph in fifth. And the bloody thing weighs two tons. Impressive. I didn't get the chance to check out the top end, though. But by the way the car seemed to pull, it's pretty safe to assume that the top whack will be hovering somewhere around 160.

The engine by itself is quite smooth and refined. Not petrol-smooth, but better than most in it's segment. The Endy's engine is slightly more refined, though. But the bulletproof reliability and sheer tractability of the Mitsu engine should make up for those shortcomings. The clutch feel is slightly lighter than what we're used to in this segment, and the clutch engagement takes place at the last few mm of pedal travel.



The 5-speeder is slick, and shifter feel is positive, yet engaging. Throws are effortless, although slightly long (-er compared to Endy). And that 4x4...Oh, what a beauty. The 4x4 gear lever is an absolute hoot to use, and is pretty neat in execution. I won't go into details, but this 4x4 mechanism incorporating a lockable centre diff. is by far the best I've come across.



Although I couldn't check out the fuel efficiency, actual users and showroom peddlers claim it to be in the region of 8-11 Kmpl. Under all conditions. Pretty decent.


Ride And Handling :

The best in the segment. That's about it. I don't wanna bore you with the details, but having owned a Safari and driven Endies for quite some distances, I can safely say that the 2.8 is the class leader in this area. The CRZ's ride quality is actually a tad lumpier than the Safari's, but far more pleasing than the Endy, and is as good a handler as the big Ford. Braking is superb, and the vehicle doesn't step out of line even under harsh braking. Lack of ABS is questionable here.

Overall :

I would give the car a thumbs up. But that's me. Is the car dated? Yes. It is overpriced? A little. Is it VFM? Debatable. Is the Endy or Safari better than it? Hell no.

This baby right here is a bulletproof piece of utterly reliable machinery. I, for one, love the old body-on-frame types. And this thing almost makes you ponder over the benefits of a monocoque. The Pajero isn't the prom queen, which's a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kinda affair. The Pajero is more like the girl next door, whom you can trust with your life, and depend on to be your life-mate. Perhaps that's exactly what we need....or at least me...

Before anybody asks; Price: 20L on-road, Thane.

More details on the 2.8 after the Monty test....
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Old 20th August 2006, 03:46   #2
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at that price its still competing with terracan and the expensive as hell x-trail.

Both are newer and better equipped but less capable.

A price war against the vitara at 17-18 should be even better.

what are the safety features available?
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Old 20th August 2006, 04:08   #3
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Hey, nice review. Thanks for sharing with us.

Yup - The old Pajero is one mean off-road beast. But it somehow lacks appeal. Looks very stripped and puny to me.
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Old 20th August 2006, 04:15   #4
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The Terracan's out of production. It was a heck of an SUV, though. Superb engine. Almost as good as the Pajero. Almost. The X-trail is 8 lacs costlier. You could get yourself a Paj AND a SBK for that price. Or a Scorpio for the odd wadi bashing.

The Vitara is a good car, and pretty capable too, but not as good an off-roader or a people carrier. It's only plus point is its petrol engine- grunt and smoothness. That's about it. Otherwise, the Pajero can run rings around the Vitara over rough conditions. The Paj is a mountain goat. Period. Besides, the old Vitara has been discontinued.

The 2.8 Pajero lacks the two most "necessiticed" safety features of the modern world- ABS and airbags. That's it. Rest are all good. Crumple zones, 3-point restraining type seat belt, child safety locks, auto-sense power windows, blah, blah. As for me, when I see no ABS or airbags, in an SUV, I see more driver involvement and less complications. But that's me. And might I mention that NONE of the above mentioned cars might run without so much as an oil leak. Except the Paj. I've seen it myself. My 2000 model Safari had more squeaks than a 95' model Pajero. The 2.8 Paj is bombproof. No two questions about it.

Last edited by veyron1 : 20th August 2006 at 04:17.
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Old 20th August 2006, 13:15   #5
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HEy Veyron1, as I am not into off-roading that insight was really helpful.

But dont you think that at 20lacs the price is on the higherside? that was my whole point.

Last edited by devarshi84 : 20th August 2006 at 13:25.
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Old 20th August 2006, 18:08   #6
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Well, I'm a SUV fanatic. I'm a petrolhead too, but oil burner SUV's have a certain charm quotient that lures me far more than any sedan or hatch...

As I said before, 20 lacs IS on the higher side. But I feel it's worth it. Not for the technology on offer, but more so for the lack of it. That's because I know for sure, that this baby will last 10 years under 'xyz' conditions without so much as a hiccup. And that, I feel, is worth every penny....

Besides, the engine tech isn't THAT bad now, is it. The almost 15 year old 2.8litre powerplant produces more power than the second generation common rails on offer today, under the hoods of the Safari and the Scorpio. There are instances where I feel old is gold. This is one such instance. There's a certain "punch quotient" about the old Pajeros, Contys, Ambys, 71 Cudas, Pontiac GTOs, etc.....love at first drive, if I may conjure a phrase....

If only Toyota would offer the LC for 20-22 lacs max. here....aah, I wouldn't blink twice.
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Old 20th August 2006, 19:39   #7
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Veyron1...you just made my day by giving this review
I just got back from a weekend getway in my Endeavour and decided that it is high time i get rid of it since it has done 57,000kms and i can see its slowly developing problems, moreover the suspension just sucks from the begining. Was debating on the 2.8 Pajero today and was gonna call it for a test drive tomo...
BUT i am glad you mentioned that it does not have ABS or Airbags........out the window for me! A SUV for me has to be high up on safety for me as my family widely uses it on the highway several times a month.
Is there anyway ABS and Airbags can be added as an option for some extra $$
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Old 20th August 2006, 19:48   #8
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Good review. Pajero 2.8 is the only real SUV in its segment. Everything is just a pretender.

20 lakhs is steep though. I thought it was 18.5, which made a lot more sense. HM should really start acting intelligent now, it's high time.
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Old 20th August 2006, 22:41   #9
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However reliable and able vehicle it maybe.

It's not got alloys, airbags and ABS, leather etc.

Veyron1 I understand that you may find it worth to pay 20lacs.

But what's HM charging the 20lacs for?

Does any1 have the sales figures for this car? I hardly think they would be selling 12+ yearly which again would be a great achievement.

http://www.pajeroindia.com

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Old 21st August 2006, 00:35   #10
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@Sahil: Sorry, no airbags or ABS, even as an option. If you are interested in another SUV, you could go for the Terracan- there're quite some still left for sale. Last I checked, these were going for 23.1 on-road Thane. Else, you've got the 5-seater X-Trail. Better yet, arrange your finances and go for the Montero. You won't regret it. I've sampled one, and B-O-Y....

@Boom Shiva: Well, even that's what I thought when they mentioned the prices. A Rs 1.5 lac jump in expected prices is not exactly justifiable. Still....

@devarshi84: Check the pics again, pal. It DOES have leather and alloys as standard. No ABS or airbags. Rest all are available; power steering, remote/central locking, dual A/C, automatic power windows. No power seats or fog lamps, though.

The point is, unless toyota decides to launch the LC for under 25 lacs, I don't see competition for this car. Not for a LONG time to come.
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Old 21st August 2006, 02:31   #11
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http://www.pajeroindia.com/qcar/prod...cs/default.asp

http://www.pajeroindia.com/qcar/styl...R/interior.asp

But on the website they are only talking about the GL model. I suppose GL still goes for 18.5 while its the GLX you test-drove.
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Old 21st August 2006, 03:04   #12
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For its dated design & lack of standard safety features (SRS/Air bags, ABS) I think HM is taking the prospective buyers for a huge ride at around the 20 Lakh price point.
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Old 21st August 2006, 12:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron1
The point is, unless toyota decides to launch the LC for under 25 lacs, I don't see competition for this car. Not for a LONG time to come.
If they put the current innova diesel engine, it will not fly, but i see a possibility of a more powerful engine with local manufacturing and if the fortuner can be brought to around the current endeavour prices of around 16L on road, it would be a killer (for endy, tuscon, pajero).. But a number of us wait in anticipation of what Toyota would do..
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Old 21st August 2006, 13:34   #14
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I like the Fortuner's body-on-frame design as well, and favour it's 3.0 D4D powerplant too. If and when it is launched, it'll have people from timbuctoo queueing up to buy it. Here in India, that is. If priced below 17, there's no stopping the Fortuner.

But there's a hiccup. Toyota says it's not gonna bring it in till 2008. Insiders say it'll be out before the first half of 07'. What are we to believe? The 2.5/3.0 Endy TDCi will DEFINITELY be out by the first half of 07'. So will the Safari 2.2 CRDi. And perhaps the Chevy Captiva, and if Hyundai sees the light, the Santa Fe as well. Also in queue is the new Vitara, Outlander, and the CR-V diesel (not exactly my cuppa tea-"soft-roaders"). All aforementioned models will be out before 2008.

But, none of these models would be AS reliable as the Paj. The new Endy and Fortuner are perhaps the only contenders who might be able to parallel the Pajero in all aspects including off-roading.

Let's wait and watch. The new Endy will be out soon. A clash, is but inevitable.
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Old 21st August 2006, 22:14   #15
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reliability is strongly an asset for the pajero. I suppose though dated the quality would be good. what do you think?
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