The short and the long of it: Mainstay of the brand; Pajero Legend ll
The launch of the ever green Mitsubishi Pajero Legend II saw the Pajero with added accessories as a value add.
Being a second generation Pajero owner of a 2013 GLS, I looked forward to testing and trying the Legend II in both the long and the short formats. Except for cosmetic changes that enhances its looks inside and out, the real and only true value for me is:
the heavy-duty protection plate fitted below the engine and another below the gearbox assembly as well as heavy-duty rock sliders.
The centre diff lock.
The reverse camera in the display unit.
What I did expect but did not find as part and parcel of the Pajero’s was a built in Navigation system. That being said 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. I prefer this over any built in systems.
The Legend II builds on the success of its predecessor – the Pajero Legend 30-Years 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.
Wide range of extras fitted and more are available as options
Although the Legend II is already fitted with a fair amount of extras, Mitsubishi has not increased the retail price significantly. 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 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. It is also fitted with Yokohama Geolander dual-purpose tyres with a 265/60 R18 profile. The Pajero SWB is fitted with R40 000.00 of extras as part of the purchase price of R659 900.
“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.
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.
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.
I am glad to report that 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.
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. Fuel consumption for normal in town driving averages a respectable 10.8L per 100kms. Open road driving with load gives around 9.1L per 100kms.
The wide torque spread makes the Pajero ideal for 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.
Unique Super-Select II 4WD system standard
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.
Maybe I am bias, but I cannot fault the Legend II as an off –road vehicle. It goes where it is told to go and does so without any qualms what so ever. I also found the Legend II very comfortable on and off road. At Bass Lake I found the SWB a lot more agile over deep rutted steep inclines and coming through narrow ditches. Both the LWB and the SWB are excellent off road vehicles, both in sand, rock or rutted roads.
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.
Legendary Peace of Mind
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.”
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.
Yes, the Mitsubishi Pajero is long in the tooth, but it is still an awesome, capable and comfortable vehicle at a reasonable price and that can go anywhere due to it being able to use 500ppm diesel and because it is built for excelling off road.
Its title of being Pajerotough is well earned.