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Mitsubishi Pajero Sport gets More Tech, Safety, Memorable Face

John Law

Mitsubishi has released an updated Pajero Sport for 2020. First spied back in July 2019, the refreshed off-road focussed SUV is available now and brings with it added safety and in-car tech, a tweaked interior and the new – if somewhat divisive – corporate front bumper.

For 2020 the Pajero Sport will continue to battle with other ute-based SUVs like the Isuzu MU-X, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest while offering greater off-road capability than lifted hatchback-type SUVs a la Mitsubishi’s Outlander.

The update comes at a price though; the base-model GLX five-seater now starts at $45,990 ($46,990 driveaway), the 2019 model is currently selling for $44,900 driveaway.

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Updated exterior styling is the first thing you’ll notice, the front end receives the same Ridley Scott Alien treatment first seen on the facelifted Triton and later the ASX. It’s not a face you’ll miss, with plenty of imposing chrome around the grille and sleek looking LED light features.

From the rear the Pajero Sport is largely identical which translates to a slightly ungainly look, you can tell from the extended rear overhang the Sport was a ute first, SUV second. But, most buyers will be more concerned with the Pajero’s off-road chops.

The interior receives a larger eight-inch touchscreen across the range that sits above a redesigned floating centre console which looks swish and adds storage space. Scratchy plastics have given way to soft-touch items in key places throughout the cabin to give a more upmarket feel to the rugged beast.

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Safety has improved for the 2020 Pajero Sport too, with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist added as standard. All variants are still equipped with AEB and blind-spot monitoring, while the GLS and Exceed retain standard radar cruise control.

For 2020 the Pajero Sport’s powertrain remains the same, a reliable 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel unit preserves reasonable outputs of 133kW and 430Nm. It’s mated as standard to an eight-speed torque converter with wheel-mounted paddle-shifters, a handy function when off-roading. No manual is available for Australia.

The calling card for the Pajero Sport over Mitsubishi’s other SUVs has always been its off-road capability. It should remain that way for 2020 with the same Triton derived ladder chassis, an impressive 218mm of ground clearance and switchable four-wheel drive system with high and low range and a locking centre diff, so it won’t be the car holding you back from exploring the wilderness.

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In addition to the switchable four-wheel drive system, the Pajero Sport has set modes for sand, gravel, mud/snow and rocks which can automatically select the combination of high or low range and four-wheel drive the car thinks is best for the situation. 

The entry-level GLX model is well-equipped for the price but is only available with five seats, if you need the extra seating then the GLS with the option ticked starts at $51,490 ($52,490 driveaway). 

A range-topping Exceed model is available from $57,190 ($59,990 driveaway) which gets all the goodies including a 360-degree vehicle display, metallic paint ($740 on other grades), digital dashboard and an Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), a cool piece of safety tech that will cut engine power if the throttle is pressed when behind another vehicle. 

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The facelift certainly modernises the Pajero Sport – we’ll have to see it in the flesh before passing judgement. Thankfully the rugged off-road potential looks to be in-tact, with safety and tech updates welcomed for 2020.

2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Pricing

Pajero Sport GLX 5 Seats $45,990 ($46,990 driveaway)
Pajero Sport GLS 5 Seats $51,490 ($52,490 driveaway)
Pajero Sport GLS 7 Seats $52,490 ($53,990 driveaway)
Pajero Sport Exceed 7 Seats $57,190 ($59,990 driveaway)