Mitsubishi Pajero

  (Redirected from Mitsubishi Montero)

The Mitsubishi Pajero (三菱・パジェロ, Japanese: [pad͡ʑeɾo]; English: /pəˈhɛr/; Spanish: [paˈxeɾo])[5][6] is a full-size sport utility vehicle manufactured and marketed globally by Mitsubishi over four generations — introduced in 1981 and discontinued in 2021.[1][2]

Mitsubishi Pajero
Mitsubishi V98 Pajero Long Body Super Exceed 3200 DI-D.JPG
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors
Also calledMitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size SUV[4]
LayoutFront-engine, four-wheel drive
PredecessorMitsubishi Jeep

Mitsubishi marketed the SUV as the Montero in Spain and the Americas (except for Brazil and Jamaica)[7] and as the Shogun in the United Kingdom, but it is no longer marketed in North America as of late 2006.[8] The Pajero nameplate derives from Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas cat.[9]

The Pajero, Montero, and Shogun names were also applied to other, mechanically unrelated models, such as the Pajero Mini kei car, the Pajero Junior and Pajero iO/Pinin mini SUVs, and the Mitsubishi Triton-based Pajero/Montero/Shogun Sport mid-size SUVs. The Pajero is one of three models by Mitsubishi (the others being the Triton and Pajero Sport) that share Mitsubishi's heavy-duty, off-road-oriented Super-Select four-wheel-drive system as opposed to their light-duty Mitsubishi S-AWC all-wheel-drive system.


The Pajero's history traces to 1934 with the Mitsubishi PX33 prototype commissioned for the Japanese Government. Mitsubishi presented the first Pajero prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1973 [10] then Pajero II prototype followed in 1978, five years later.[11]

First generation (L040; NA, NB, NC, ND, NE, NF, NG; 1982-1990)Edit

First generation
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Montero
  • Mitsubishi Shogun
  • Colt Shogun[12]
  • Dodge Raider
  • Hyundai Galloper
  • Jinhui Mitsubishi Pajero (China; JV)
AssemblyJapan: Sakahogi, Gifu (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd)
Philippines: Cainta (MMPC)[13]
China: Zhuhai, Guangdong
South Korea: Ulsan (Hyundai Precision Products)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door SUV
5-door SUV (not on Raider models)
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed Aisin automatic
Wheelbase5-door: 2,695 mm (106.1 in)
3-door: 2,350 mm (92.5 in)
Length4,650 mm (183.1 in)
3-door: 3,995 mm (157.3 in)
Width1,679 mm (66.1 in) & 1,692 mm (66.6 in)
Height5-door: 1,890 mm (74.4 in)
3-door: 1,849 mm (72.8 in) & 1,839 mm (72.4 in)

The first generation made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1981, and was launched in May 1982, officially replacing the Mitsubishi Jeep Delivery Wagon. Initially, it was a three-door, short-wheelbase model available with a metal or canvas top and three different engines options, although more were gradually added, ending with a 3.0-litre V6 on top of the range.

Mitsubishi Pajero rear
  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol (2000/2.0)
  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol (2000/2.0 Turbo)
  • 2.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol (2600/2.6)
  • 2.3-litre naturally aspirated diesel (2300 D/2.3 D)
  • 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel (2300 TD/2.3 TD)
  • 2.5-litre turbocharged diesel (2500 TD/2.5 TD)
  • 3.0-litre V6 SOHC petrol (3000/3.0)

It included features which were unusual for a four-wheel-drive vehicle: a turbocharged diesel engine, a front double wishbone suspension with torsion bar springs, power steering and suspension seats.

In January 1983, only a year following its launch, mildly tuned production Pajeros entered the world of motor sport.

Mitsubishi Montero LS 5-door (US)
Dodge Raider

In February 1983, Mitsubishi introduced a long-wheelbase, five-door model, available with a choice of two different engines; a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (badged as "2.0 Turbo" and "2000 Turbo" in some markets) and a 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel. It also came in Standard, Semi-High Roof and High Roof body styles. Outside of Japan there was also the 2.6-liter petrol four, which produced 103 PS (76 kW) in European trim.[14]

The long-wheelbase model increased seating capacity to seven, with available third row seats, which could be folded to the sides for additional trunk space or combined with second row seats to form a bed.

In 1984, the Pajero received turbo diesel engines with higher power/torque ratings, whilst the long-wheelbase models received standard four-wheel disc brakes and four-way adjustable shock absorbers as standard equipment.

Mitsubishi Pajero Intercooler Turbo Wagon 3-door

A flagship model was introduced in 1987 with two-tone paint, 15-inch light alloy wheels, front-seat heaters, wool seat covers, leather headrests, a three-spoke steering wheel and a sound system with radio/cassette. In 1987, a version of the Pajero/Montero was rebadged by Dodge as the Raider, which ran through 1989.

In 1988, a 3.0-litre SOHC V6 engine was made available, alongside a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine, with the first 4x4 intercooler. The long-wheelbase models received a coil link suspension system for better ride comfort and off-road ability.

It was available with a 3-door body for a short wheelbase (SWB) or a 5-door body for a long-wheelbase (LWB). Engines included a 2.6 L I4 with 82 kW (111 PS; 110 hp), a 3.0 L V6 with EFI and 104 kW (141 PS; 139 hp) and a turbocharged 2.5 L OHC diesel I4 with 62 kW (84 PS; 83 hp) or an intercooled 70 kW (95 PS; 94 hp). Part-time four-wheel drive was standard on all models.

The first generation platform was later built under license by Hyundai Precision Products as the Hyundai Galloper from 1991 to 2003, and exported to Europe for a brief time. While it used first generation mechanicals, the Galloper's body was closer to the second generation Pajeros.[15]


The NA series was released to Australia during January 1983 in short- (SWB) and long-wheelbase (LWB) three-door wagon formats, with the 2.6-litre petrol or 2.3-litre turbo diesel, both mated to a five-speed KM145 manual transmission. Brakes were ventilated front discs and rear drums. The five-door, high-roof LWB model was introduced in May 1984 with the same powertrain options.[16] The five-door offered a luxury Superwagon trim and also had a shorter final drive than the SWB models, to make up for the increased weight.[17]

The NB of November 1984 included a revised grille, deleted the LWB three-door body style and the diesel engine for the remaining SWB three-door. Mitsubishi Australia released the NC series in November 1985, introducing optional power steering, while the long-wheelbase five-door switched to a low-roofed design.

A KM148 automatic gearbox became optional on the petrol Superwagon for the October 1986 ND update, while the 2.5-litre turbo diesel replaced the old 2.3-litre unit. For the October 1987 NE series, the Japanese 2.6-litre petrol was replaced with the Australian-made Astron II version. Brake dimensions were also increased across the range.

The NE three-door Sports and five-door Superwagon added a limited slip differential, front bumper overriders, spare wheel cover, side pin striping, 16-inch chrome wheels, and optional two-tone paint over the base cars. The most expensive models also received an inclinometer, volt meter, oil pressure gauge, stereo cassette player, remote fuel filler release, suspension driver's seat, carpeting, and tweed and velour cloth trim (over tweed cloth and vinyl).[18]

September 1988's NF facelift saw the introduction of a 3.0-litre V6 engine in the top-line Superwagon, delivering 105 kW (143 PS; 141 hp) and 228 N⋅m (168 lb⋅ft) via a five-speed V5MT1 manual or four-speed KM148 automatic. Suspension became a three-link coil spring design at the rear. Rear disc brakes were fitted to the V6 only.

The final NG refresh from September 1989 to April 1991 was a minor trim and equipment readjustment. The KM148 automatic transmission was replaced by the V4AW2 with lockup. High-end NG models (i.e. not the base Commercial trim) now received chrome, truck-style side mirrors. An intercooler was also added to the 2.5-litre turbo diesel models in 1990.

Camel TrophyEdit

The Camel Trophy was a vehicle-oriented competition that was held annually between 1980 and 2000, and it was best known for its use of Land Rover vehicles over challenging terrain. The event took its name from its main sponsor, the Camel cigarette brand. The first event was originally intended as a one-off publicity stunt for Camel tobacco. This came about after six Germans had the idea of driving the notoriously tough Transamazonica Highway in Brazil; 1600 km of dusty, rutted, broken dirt road with several treacherous river crossings through the Amazon.[19]

Though little information is available online, Mitsubishi entered several long wheelbase, first generation Pajeros in the Camel Trophy and even created a limited "Camel Trophy Edition" to commemorate the event and their participation. Interestingly the limited edition versions were short wheelbase whereas the actual competing vehicles were long wheelbase due to the need to carry large amounts of equipment. The competing and Camel Trophy Edition vehicles both featured 2.5L turbo diesel 4D56 engines with a 5 speed manual transmission.

Some of the special accessories these vehicles came with are the now iconic mustard yellow body and wheel paint, Camel Trophy logo on the driver and passenger doors, floor mats, seats and spare tyre cover, PTO winch, a recovery kit with shovel, black powder-coated roof rack and a special bush knife. Only 150 of this edition were ever made, though several enthusiasts have created replicas using their own SWB Pajeros from the time with spare parts that were still available from OEM part stockists. Currently many of these parts can still be found in dealer inventories, including the highly desirable PTO winch.

Original Camel Trophy editions can be identified by a yellow and black plaque inside the vehicle and a special chassis code (VNTX5).

Second generation (V20- / NH, NJ, NK, NL; 1991-1999)Edit

Second generation
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Shogun (UK)
  • Mitsubishi Montero
  • China:
  • Bamin CJY6420E[20]
  • Beijing BJ2032 Tornado (2002–2004)[21]
  • Changfeng Liebao Heijingang (2002–2014)[22]
  • Changfeng Liebao Qibing/6481 (2009–2014)[23]
  • Changfeng Liebao Q6
  • Guangtong GTQ5490 (JV)
  • Jincheng Pioneer GDQ6470/6471 (JV)
  • Jinhui Mitsubishi Montero (JV)
  • Sanjiu 3-Nine Mitsubishi Pajero (JV)
  • Sanxing SXZ6470/6471 (JV)
  • Shanlu CJY6421D (JV)
  • Wanli WLZ5030XLD (JV)
  • Xinkai HXK2020 (JV)
Production1991–1999 (Japan)
1993–2008 (Philippines)
1994–2012 (Colombia)
(China; Shanlu)
(China; GAC Changfeng)
2005–2007 (Iran) Bahman Group
Body and chassis
Body style3-door SUV
5-door SUV
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed Aisin automatic
5-speed V5A51 Mitsubishi automatic
Wheelbase5-door, Changfeng Liebao models: 2,725 mm (107.3 in)
3-door: 2,420 mm (95.3 in)
2,750 mm (108.3 in) (Beijing BJ2032 Tornado)
Length4,740 mm (186.6 in)/4,704 mm (185.2 in)
4,879 mm (192.1 in) (Beijing BJ2032 Tornado)
4,801 mm (189 in) (Liebao Heijinggang/Qibing)
Width1998–1999: 1,775 mm (69.9 in)
1992–97: 1,694 mm (66.7 in) / 1,786 mm (70.3 in)
1,829 mm (72 in) (Beijing BJ2032 Tornado, Liebao Heijinggang)
1,791 mm (70.5 in) (Liebao Heijinggang/Qibing)
1,796 mm (70.7 in) (Liebao Q6)
Height1992–94 5-door: 1,864 mm (73.4 in) / 1,880 mm (74.0 in)
1995–1999 5-door: 1,875 mm (73.8 in) / 1,895 mm (74.6 in)
3-door: 1,849 mm (72.8 in)
1,801 mm (70.9 in) (Beijing BJ2032 Tornado)
1,890 mm (74.4 in) (Liebao Heijinggang/Q6)
1,941 mm (76.4 in) (Liebao Q6 with roof rack)
1,946 mm (76.6 in) (Liebao Heijinggang/Qibing)

Mitsubishi redesigned the Pajeros for a second generation, which debuted in January 1991, although exports did not commence until later in the year. Just about everything was now new and further enhanced. A new, larger body was available in four different versions; Metal Top, Canvas Top Convertible (short wheelbase), Semi High Roof Wagon and High Roof Wagon (long wheelbase). The short wheelbase models were stretched by 70 millimetres (2.8 in) and the long-wheelbase models by 30 millimetres (1.2 in). The available engines included a 3.0-litre 12-valve SOHC V6 (6G72) with ECI-Multi electronic fuel injection and a 2.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine (4D56T) with an intercooler. The 4D56T used a top-mounted intercooler with an innovative method of providing airflow. Using two hidden scoops at the top of the grille, these guided air through two ducts in the bonnet that merged into one above the intercooler. This unique design provided several benefits. Firstly, by keeping the intercooler top-mounted, the piping was kept short, resulting in less boost lag. The top-mounted position also allowed for greater durability since it wasn't prone to damage from rocks and sticks when off road as front-mounted intercoolers were. Additionally, having a solid bonnet with no traditional intercooler scoop reduced drag and further enhanced durability in dense jungle by preventing branches from trees that brushed across the bonnet from damaging the intercooler fins. While enhancing durability, this method of airflow is less efficient than a standard top-mounted scoop as the air that flowed through these channels was warmed by rising engine heat, reducing the amount of heat the passive airflow could draw from the intercooler's charge air. This design was replaced by a standard top-mounted intercooler scoop in later 4M40 models.

The second generation also saw the introduction of Super Select 4WD (SS4) [known as ActivTrak 4WD in some markets], Multi-Mode ABS and electronic shock absorbers which were firsts on Japanese four-wheel drives. SS4 was ground-breaking in the sense that it combined the advantages of part-time and full-time four-wheel drive with four available options: 2H (high-range rear-wheel drive), 4H (high-range full-time four-wheel drive), 4HLc (high-range four-wheel drive with locked centre differential) and 4LLc (low-range four-wheel drive with locked centre differential). Another advantage of this second generation system is that it gave the driver the ability to switch between two-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive at speeds up to 80 km/h (49 mph), whereas the first generation Pajero which used a traditional 4WD system had to be stationary to switch from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive (but not from four-wheel drive back to rear-wheel drive). In addition to the SS4, a pneumatic locking differential was included as a factory option. The transfer case is required to be in 4HLc or 4LLc to engage the rear locking differential. Multi-mode ABS, on the other hand, was equally innovative. This meant ABS would be fully functional in all modes of SS4, as braking with a locked centre differential requires completely different braking parameters. Additionally, vehicles were fitted with load proportioning valves which used spring loaded levers on the differential that compressed when payload was increased, subsequently automatically providing more braking force when the vehicle was heavily-laden. The new electronic shock absorber was also factory option with three settings: S (soft), M (medium), and H (hard). This meant driver can change ride quality and handling depending on road conditions via a switch on centre console.

In July 1993, two new power plants were introduced; a 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC with ECI-Multi and a 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel with an intercooler. A new, larger transmission and transfer case was also part of the upgrade.

1994 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS wagon
1993 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS hardtop

In 1996 the 3.0 V6 engine was revised, staying SOHC but changing to 24 valves. At the same time the ignition system was upgraded from the old distributor system to solid state coil packs. Power increased to 132 kW (177 hp). The 2.4 L engine was introduced as a smaller power plant; available only in the SWB with revised minor interior and exterior.

The Pajero Evolution was introduced in October 1997, which was developed in specifically in response to new entry requirements for the Paris – Dakar Rally's T3 Class, mandating a minimum volume of production vehicles to be produced on which the rally car would be based on. The Pajero Evolution was designed from the ground up as a dedicated rally vehicle. It came standard with a 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC V6 with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (MIVEC). A new, dual plenum variable intake helped increase power and a new, long-travel independent rear suspension made the ride even smoother. This fully independent suspension design set the underpinnings for what would be implemented in the third generation Pajero.

In 1998, vehicles destined for General Export and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council countries) received a facelift. Wider fenders, new headlights, grille, bumper, fog lights and sidesteps were all part of the redesign. The wide fenders are often called "blister flare fenders". Driver and front-passenger SRS airbags were made standard on models equipped with the 3.5-litre DOHC V6 engine, whilst still remaining optional on GLS models with the 3.0-litre SOHC V6. 1080 of these units were also assembled in Iran by Bahman Khodro Group before being taken off production. An upgraded interior wood trim was made available on 3.0-litre GLS and 3.5-litre models. A leather-wrapped or leather and wood trim steering wheel was also made available, alongside an upgraded suspension and steering system. The 3.0-litre 12-valve SOHC engine was now available with a 24-valve configuration. Models without wide fenders remained as base models (GLX), available with a 2.4-litre 16-valve DOHC engine, producing 110 kW (147 hp). The 3.0-litre 12-valve engine was optional on these GLX models, and remained the base engine on the GLS.

The second generation was introduced on 22 January 1991 and manufactured until 1999. It retained the two body styles, but design was rounder and more city-friendly than the previous bulky model. The 3.0 L V6 petrol engine was retained, now available with a 24-valve head, capable of 136 kW (185 PS; 182 hp), while the 2.5 turbodiesel's power was slightly increased to 73 kW (99 PS; 98 hp). In 1993, the Pajero was slightly restyled, and larger engines were introduced, a 3.5 L V6 with 153 kW (208 PS; 205 hp) and a 2.8 L SOHC turbodiesel rated at 92 kW (125 PS; 123 hp). These versions introduced Mitsubishi's Super Select four-wheel-drive system (known as Active-Trac in the United States), with an electronic transfer shift that could split power between both axles without the need to stop the car. It worked at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph).

The first generation Pajero was also marketed as the Hyundai Galloper in Korea, Europe and GCC Countries, while the second generation was in production elsewhere.

This model Pajero remained in production in India till 2012 as the Pajero SFX; the latest generation is sold as the Montero. In the Philippines it is marketed as the Pajero "Field Master" 4x2 with the 2.8L TD engine, alongside the fourth generation Pajero. The 4X4 version was taken out of production in 1999. It is also produced in Colombia from Complete Knock Down parts (CKD) till 2012, with a 2.4l 16 valve SOHC (130 PS) or 3.0l 12 valve V6 (148 PS), both engines are available as a three-door hard top, the five-door wagon only with the 3.0-litre V6.

In Venezuela, the second generation was manufactured from 1992 to 1995 under the name of Mitsubishi Montero, it was available in long and short wheel base. From 1996 to 2009 its name was changed to Mitsubishi Montero Dakar, it was only available in short wheel base with 6G72 engine and manual five-speed transmission.

In China, the second generation Pajero remains popular as it was involved in early joint ventures from the 1990s. Companies include Guangtong Motors, Jincheng Motors, Jinhui Motors, Sanjiu Motors, Sanxing Motors, Shanlu Motors and Wanli Motors.

Chinese car manufacturer Shanlu Motors made their version of the Pajero known as the CJY 6421D and was produced from 1997 to 2001 and came standard with the 4G64 engine.[25] Beijing Automobile Works followed suit and produced their version known as the BJ2032 Tornado from 2002 to 2004. The BJ2032 came standard with a 2.2-litre engine sourced from General Motors paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Tornado is 4880 millimetres long, 1830 millimetres wide, 1800 millimetres high and utilizes a 2750 millimetre wheelbase.

The most well known variants of the Pajero sold in China were built by GAC Changfeng since 1995. The first known model was produced from 2002 to 2014 and marketed under the name Liebao Heijinggang (猎豹奇兵-黑金刚 Leopaard Black King Kong, whereas 猎豹 can be translated to 'cheetah' instead of 'leopard') for the 2002 model year. The Heijinggang was available with four engines, the 2.2-litre 4RB3 based on the 2RZ-FE engine from Toyota, the popular 2.4-litre 4G64 engine and 6G72 V6 from both Mitsubishi and a 2.5-litre turbo diesel. All engines were paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The 4 speed automatic was only available on the 2002 Heijinggang with the V6 engine. Throughout its production run, pricing ranged between 109,800 and 302,800 yuan (15,930 and US$43,930).

GAC Changfeng-Leopaard Pajero

The sister model, known as the Qibing/6481, was produced from 2009 until 2014. The 2.2-litre 4RB3 was the only engine available paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Two models were available priced at 99,800 and 124,800 yuan (14,480 and US$18,100).

Both models were replaced by a face-lifted version called the Leopard Q6 (猎豹Q6) that year and is still in production today.[26][27][28][29] The Q6 used the 4G63 for 2015 and 2017 models paired to a 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox. The 2TZ-FE engine from Toyota was also available alongside it paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox. For 2019 onwards, the Q6 currently uses the 4G64 like its predecessors and uses a 5 speed manual gearbox. Two colours choices known as: Wild Green and Glacier White are available as standard.[30]

The second generation Pajero was discontinued in 1999 (with the exceptions mentioned under Production), and replaced by a new-generation Pajero. After ending production, the second generation Pajero gained unwanted attention in 2002 when TLC member Left Eye was killed in a car crash involving a second generation Mitsubishi Pajero, on a highway in La Ceiba, Honduras. She was the only fatality in the crash. A camera man was filming from the front passenger's seat, and his camera was destroyed on impact.[31][32]

Third generation (V60- / NM, NP ; 1999-2006)Edit

Third generation
Also calledMitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
2004–2011 (China)
AssemblyJapan: Sakahogi, Gifu, (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
China: Changsha, Hunan (GAC Changfeng Motor/GAC Mitsubishi)[33]
Body and chassis
Body style3-door SUV
5-door SUV
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase3-door: 2,545 mm (100.2 in)
2001–02 5-door: 2,781 mm (109.5 in)
2003–04 5-door: 2,786 mm (109.7 in)
2005–06 5-door: 2,779 mm (109.4 in)
Length3-door: 4,219 mm (166.1 in)
2001–02 5-door: 4,798 mm (188.9 in)
2003–06 5-door: 4,831 mm (190.2 in)
Width3-door: 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
2001–02 5-door: 1,877 mm (73.9 in)
2003–06 5-door: 1,900 mm (74.8 in)
Height3-door: 1,844 mm (72.6 in)
2001–02 5-door: 1,857 mm (73.1 in)
2003–04 5-door: 1,816 mm (71.5 in)
2005–06 5-door: 1,885 mm (74.2 in)
Curb weight5-door: 2,060 kg (4,542 lb)

Designed in house, the third generation Pajero debuted in the Japanese domestic market in 1999, and in other markets in late 2000 as a 2001 model — and in the Philippines and other developing nations in 2003.

The third generation was redesigned with a lower, wider stance and unibody (monocoque) construction with integral ladder frame chassis for increased torsional rigidity and drastically improved cabin strength when compared to typical body-on-frame (ladder frame) designs. This was in part due to Mitsubishi's RISE reinforcement system which resulted in a chassis and body combination that exhibited impressive structural integrity in rollover accidents and was completely unaffected by severe chassis loading as would typically experienced during off-road recoveries.[34] The fuel tank was relocated between the front and rear axles to improve weight distribution and improve ground clearance. This generation featured a fold and tumble, reclining second row 60/40 split seat and a stowable / removable third row seat.

The Super Select 4 (SS4) system was also further refined: bevel gears were replaced with planetary gears. This meant the front-to-rear torque setting ranged from 33 to 67, with the ability to adjust to 50/50 depending on surface conditions. The system was also made fully electronic, meaning the vehicle didn't have to be in gear to switch between drive modes. After all the upgrades, the system was renamed to Super Select 4WD II (SS4-II).

Alongside rack and pinion steering (as opposed to the recirculating ball system on previous generations), the Pajero also offered a choice of three transmissions; a five speed manual, a four speed INVECS-II automatic and a five speed INVECS-II tiptronic.

An all-new 3.8 litre SOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant was also introduced on this generation. This engine utilized an Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV), to deliver a refined cruising power with power to spare for off-road ventures.

The third generation was introduced on 2 August 1999 and was scheduled[35] to be replaced by the Autumn of 2006. It received a minor facelift in 2003. The 3.0 L engine's power was increased to 130 kW (180 PS; 170 hp), and the 3.5 L engine was given petrol direct injection, increasing power to 162 kW (220 PS; 217 hp) in the Japanese market (export versions kept the standard EFI engine, now with 149 kW (203 PS; 200 hp). The 2.8 L Diesel was retained only for developing markets, and was replaced by a new 16-valve direct injection engine, with 3.2 L and 120 kW (160 PS; 160 hp).

In the North American market, the 3.5 L engine was replaced for 2003 by a more powerful 3.8 L unit, with 160 kW (220 PS; 210 hp). This engine was later made available to export markets such as South America, Australia and New Zealand, whilst it replaced the GDI V6 in the Japanese lineup in 2005. The short wheelbase model is not available in North America, where the Montero was the only SUV in Mitsubishi's lineup with standard four-wheel drive as opposed to all-wheel-drive. The Montero was discontinued in the US market after the 2006 model year.

This generation Pajero was released for the Chinese market in 2004 and continued production until 2011. Engine choices consisted of the 3- and 3.8-litre V6s which were paired with the 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic gearbox for the smaller units and only a 5-speed automatic available on the larger engine. The trim levels were known as GL, GLS and GLX.[36]

Fourth generation (V80- / NS, NT, NW, NX; 2006-2021)Edit

Fourth generation
Also calledMitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
AssemblyJapan: Sakahogi, Gifu (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door SUV
5-door SUV
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Engine2.4 L 4G64 I4 (China)
2.8 L 4M40 TD I4
3.2 L 4M41 Di-D I4
3.0 L 6B31 V6 (China)
3.0 L 6G72 V6
3.5 L 6G74 V6
3.8 L 6G75 MIVEC V6
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase5-door: 2,780 mm (109.4 in)
3-door: 2,545 mm (100.2 in)
Length5-door: 4,900 mm (192.9 in)
3-door: 4,385 mm (172.6 in)
Width2007–2009: 1,895 mm (74.6 in)
2010–2021: 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
Height2007–2009 5-door: 1,900 mm (74.8 in)
2007–2009 3-door: 1,880 mm (74.0 in)
2010–2021 5-door: 1,890 mm (74.4 in)
2010–2021 3-door: 1,840 mm (72.4 in)
Curb weight5-door: 2,110–2,165 kg (4,652–4,773 lb)[37]

The fourth generation debuted at the Paris Motor Show on 30 September 2006 with the series code "NS", revised interior and exterior styling, dual-stage SRS front airbags as well as new side-impact and curtain airbags. The chassis was a slightly revised monocoque with Mitsubishi's RISE technology as featured in the previous generation. The Super-Select 4WD II system was retained, with an improved Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC) system and electronic brakeforce distribution with 220 millimetres (8.7 in) of ground clearance and a 700mm wading depth — as well as more extensive skid plating, a carbon-fibre-wrapped rear driveshaft and aluminium bonnet to reduce weight.[38] The fourth generation retained the fully-independent suspension as the previous generation, with revisions to the rear axle assembly for strength and reliability off road as well as 17" alloy wheels on GLS trim. Brakes were upgraded to larger 332mm front rotors on LWB versions. SWB versions retained the 289mm rotors from the previous generation until later in production.

Engines were upgraded with the 3.2 L diesel gaining Common Rail technology, a DPF for cleaner emissions and producing 125 kW (170 PS; 168 hp). The 3.8 L V6 gained MIVEC variable valve timing to boost power to 184 kW (250 PS; 247 hp) using the factory recommended 95 RON. Both engines met Euro IV emissions standards. The 3.0 L V6 is retained for the Japanese and GCC markets. In Indonesia, this model was only marketed in Super Exceed trim.

Pajero 3-door

From 2009 a new series was introduced; "NT", the 3.0L V6 engine was dropped in the GCC markets, and was replaced by a 3.5L V6 engine, rated for 141 kW (192 PS; 189 hp) and 306 N⋅m (226 lb⋅ft) torque. Further revisions to the 3.2 L Turbo Diesel in the 2011 model year saw the power and torque increased to 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) and 441 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft) respectively. Both engines met Euro V emissions standards. The 3.8 L petrol engine remained at 184 kW (250 PS; 247 hp) and 329 N⋅m (243 lb⋅ft) (using 95 RON fuel). There is also a panel van version available in markets where such a model can be registered at a lower tax rate. Vehicles also received a rear locking differential as standard and towing was increased to 3,000 kg braked with 180kg of ball weight.

For the 2010 model year the Pajero gained a Rockford acoustic sound system and two interior color options, black and beige, in some markets.

For 2012, the Pajero model was minimally restyled and given an improved monocoque body and suspension with the series designation "NW".

For the 2015 model year the Pajero received an updated front fascia with a revised grille, LED daytime running lights and a new spare tire cover under the series "NX". This series is the most recent, and the last to be produced. The interior was revised to include metallic trim, piano black accents for the VR II, wood grain trim for the Exceed and Super Exceed and additional sound deadening material. Other features on Exceed models and above included automatic headlights and wipers, auto-dimming high beams, a new "Smartlink" capacitive touch screen entertainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, a reversing camera, radar reversing sensors, LED daytime running lights, HID headlights and halogen fog lights. The engines were carried over and include the 3.0 L 6G72 V6, the 3.5 L 6G74 V6, the 3.8 L 6G75 MIVEC V6, the 2.8 L four-cylinder turbo diesel 4M40, and the 3.2 L 4M41 common rail four-cylinder turbo diesel.

The Pajero was discontinued in the Japanese market in August 2019 with the release of a "Final Edition" model, which was limited to 700 units.[39] Production for international markets where demand remained high such as Australia, Africa the Middle East and South America (among others) continued for some time, however production has now fully ceased as of March of 2021,[40] with the last vehicles (Final Edition) to roll off the production line being delivered as MY2022 vehicles.[40]

The changes in the Final Edition over the standard model are primarily cosmetic only, and include a hood protector, carpet floor mats, cargo lip cover, and a leather-wrapped owner's manual and service book. Other features include a rubber cargo liner and the Final Edition badging. Flagship Exceed models add a full leather interior, brushed aluminum pedals, and a sunroof.[40]

Widely regarded as one of the best 'true' 4x4s in the world, the Pajero has been around since 1981 and has generated more than 3.3 million sales in its 40-year run.[40] The name will live on with the smaller Pajero Sport, which is based on the Mitsubishi Triton/L200/Strada, Fiat Fullback, and Ram 1200 pickup trucks.[40] Despite the similarity in name, these vehicles share none of the same underpinnings as the original Pajero and are smaller in overall size.


First faceliftEdit

Second faceliftEdit


2013 - 2021 (NW - NX Models)Edit

ANCAP - Tested 2013
Test Rating
Frontal Impact 84%
Side Impact 100%
Pedestrian Poor
Overall 90%
ANCAP 5 Star ★★★★★

Safety was significantly improved in the 2013 and onward models (which includes vehicles produced to present day).

Particularly, Mitsubishi improved on the potential for knee injury noted in the previous test for NS and NT models.

Frontal impact testing showed excellent protection for the passenger all over, with the highest rating 'good' and full marks given for all areas of the dummy. This rating was also given to the driver's head which the testers noted the airbag cushioned very stably. Head, neck and upper leg protection was flawless, receiving the full 4 marks.[41] Chest protection received 3.90 out of the maximum possible 4.00 points.[41] Improved upon from the earlier models was the knee protection noted in the previous test for NS and NT models, with much less chance for injury from dashboard components.[41]

Side pole impact testing was similarly excellent, receiving the full 4 marks across all areas and a subsequent 100% rating.[41] Protection for the head and neck received the highest possible marks of 'good' and 4.00 out the possible 4.00 points.[41]

Pedestrian protection was considered poor.[41] As with most SUVs and 4WDs, pedestrian impacts are generally much worse than with sedans or smaller vehicles due to the higher area of impact on the pedestrian resulting in more head and chest damage than lower-height vehicles.

As an occupant, the Pajero demonstrated great cabin integrity and passenger safety in all main seats with low risk of serious injury in both front and side impacts - of particular note is the solid side pole impact test results. Cabin integrity is in part due to Mitsubishi's RISE monocoque chassis design that provides a markedly stiffer frame and cabin structure over typical body on-frame (ladder-chassis) vehicles. Monocoque / unibody chassis designs typically offer excellent roll over protection as a result, though this was not an officially measured feature of the ANCAP test criteria at the time.

2006 - 2013 (NS - NT Models)Edit

ANCAP - Tested 2011
Test Rating
Frontal Impact 71%
Side Impact 100%
Pedestrian Poor
Overall 77%
ANCAP 4 Star ★★★★☆

The redesigned, 4th Generation Pajero showed a significant focus on enhanced safety and crash performance over the previous generation.

Frontal impact testing showed excellent protection for the passenger all over, with the highest rating 'good' and full marks given.[42] This rating was also given to the driver's head which the testers noted the airbag cushioned very stably.[42] Chest protection was considered adequate.[42] Protection for the knees was considered marginal due to components of the steering column potentially causing damage.[42]

Side protection was excellent due to the model's addition of side curtain airbags. A side pole impact test was carried out and the Mitsubishi received full marks in all areas, with protection for the head and chest receiving the highest rating of 'good'.[42]

Pedestrian protection was considered poor.[42] As with most SUVs and 4WDs, pedestrian impacts are generally much worse than with sedans or smaller vehicles due to the higher area of impact on the pedestrian resulting in more head and chest damage than lower-height vehicles.

1999 - 2006 (NM - NP Models)Edit

ANCAP - Tested 2004
Test Rating
Frontal Impact 62%
Side Impact 100% / 0% (See Notes)
Pedestrian N/A
Overall 70%
ANCAP 4 Star ★★★★☆ (2004 Standards)

The 3rd Generation Pajero performed acceptably (for 2004 standards) in the frontal offset crash test, conducted by the IIHS (an NCAP testing partner). The cabin structure retained its shape very well with the cabin showing virtually no deformation. All doors were able to be opened with only moderate effort. The Pajero received 9.88 out of the possible 16.00 points for this test. Protection for the driver's chest received the highest rating, while head protection was one step down, considered 'acceptable'[43] as the steering wheel moved upwards too much, causing the dummy's head to contact the steering wheel and the B-pillar on rebound.[43] The steering column, though releasing from its mounts during the crash, produced a source of injury for the driver's legs and the passenger's knees impacted the glove box. Upper legs of the driver and passenger also showed some stresses while the lower leg was impacted by the clutch pedal for the driver.[43]

The barrier side impact protection (intended to replicate a side-on impact by a vehicle) was not assessed as the seat heights were far higher than the impact height would have been and as such were not regulated to be tested for under ANCAP regulations at the time. However, ANCAP awarded the Pajero 16.00 points for this section noting that vehicles of similar design and size have faired similarly well in these types of crashes.[43] While it was awarded full marks for this section, it is important to note that no test has been carried out so real-world performance may be significantly varied.

Though optional, side pole impact testing was carried out and can be considered a 'worst case' side impact. The 3rd Generation Pajero has side thorax airbags on Exceed models (optional on others), but does not have curtain airbags, and as a result performed poorly in this test receiving 0.00 points for head protection.[43]

Pedestrian impact was not tested and as such the Pajero was awarded no points for this portion of the test.[43]

Head restraints were considered poor in protecting against whiplash.[43]

Production and salesEdit

The 4th Generation Pajero received no major redesigns or significant feature improvements since its 2007 launch. While it had a rugged driveline and excellent off road capabilities underneath, its market positioning as a luxury vehicle was waning as other brands began offering more standout features such as radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring on top of much shorter turnaround times between new model releases. The aging 4th Generation platform and significant investment required to compete with well established luxury brands through a new model redesign, in addition to the decreasing demand for this segment of vehicles meant Mitsubishi made the decision to cease production of the Pajero. Global Chief Operating Officer of Mitsubishi Motors, Ashwani Gupta stated “We don’t see a great opportunity (to invest in a vehicle such as a Pajero replacement) as compared to the other opportunities we have";[44] referring to the booming crossover / urban-SUV market. While there were rumours of a Patrol/Pajero being re-released sharing a same common platform thanks to Nissan's significant shareholding in Mitsubishi Motors, this proved not to be the case.

The Pajero was discontinued in the Japanese market in August 2019 with the release of a "Final Edition" model, which was limited to 700 units.[39] Production for international markets where demand remained high such as Australia, Africa, the Middle East and South America (among others) continued for some time, however production has now fully ceased as of March of 2021,[40] with the last vehicles (Final Edition) to roll off the production line are to be delivered as MY2022 vehicles.[40]

Widely regarded as one of the best 'true' 4x4s in the world, the Pajero has been around since 1981 and has generated more than 3.3 million sales in its 40-year run.[40] The name will live on with the smaller Pajero Sport, which is based on the Mitsubishi Triton/L200/Strada, Fiat Fullback, and Ram 1200 pickup trucks.[40] Despite the similarity in name, these vehicles share none of the same underpinnings as the original Pajero and are smaller in overall size.

Year Production Domestic sales (Japan) Export sales
1982 16,930 8,059 7,023
1983 33,605 8,076 25,886
1984 41,422 9,176 32,341
1985 59,770 11,770 49,249
1986 87,252 16,636 70,594
1987 89,456 22,170 67,021
1988 107,157 25,225 79,699
1989 116,883 36,483 82,176
1990 108,730 36,061 71,206
1991 144,988 64,381 80,882
1992 174,708 83,685 89,835
1993 158,922 67,899 88,788
1994 161,238 54,329 106,570
1995 152,102 44,933 110,365
1996 128,593 28,851 99,200
1997 136,941 26,181 111,144
1998 95,675 9,412 90,416
1999 90,524 20,189 65,212
2000 138,315 12,701 129,198
2001 91,700 6,725 85,324
2002 112,161 5,681 106,376
2003 90,929 6,035 85,863
2004 79,152 4,196 74,347
2005 69,142 2,781 66,773
2006 75,933 6,025 68,563
2007 112,103 3,818 108,982
2008 57,903 2,738 58,000
2009 48,055 2,198 44,896
2010 66,569 2,948 64,207
2011 61,603 3,209 58,842
2012 39,759 2,029 38,300
2013 55,066 2,213 52,199
2014 54,267 2,948 52,548
2015 53,393 1,665 51,340
2016 45,406 1,062 44,030
2017 36,142 1,000 35,150
2018 46,637 1,823 44,430

Sources: Pajero 4WD 20 Year History (Japanese), Facts & Figures 2005, Facts & Figures 2008, Facts & Figures 2011, Facts & Figures 2015 Mitsubishi Motors website, Facts & Figures 2018 Mitsubishi Motors website, Facts & Figures 2019 Mitsubishi Motors website)


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External linksEdit