Mitsubishi Pajero Legend II (2016) First Drive

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The long-standing Mitsubishi Pajero is now available with more add-ons to improve its value offering.

The Mitsubishi Pajero has been around for a while; the current generation was introduced in South Africa back in 2007 and has had various additions and garnishes added to it since. What has always remained intact is its perceived off-road ability, so we headed to the outskirts of Pretoria to a 4x4 course to see what it was really capable of.

Legend II

The Legend II limited-edition adds several useful accessories to both the short- and long-wheelbase derivatives. Mitsubishi says its buyers are hardcore off-road fanatics and buy the Pajero because it can cope with almost any obstacle in its path. Pajero buyers also like to fit off-road accessories to their vehicles, but, in the past, some of the accessories were not always certified by Mitsubishi. The Legend II's accessories are all certified, which means the warranty covers the entire vehicle.

The additions include proper off-road tyres, engine/gearbox protection plate, rock sliders, nudge bar, tow bar, rubber mats and a Garmin nuviCam navigation unit. The short wheelbase model foregoes the rock sliders as Mitsubishi says the SWB doesn’t need them because it has an excellent break-over angle.

The extras are said to be valued at around R50 000, but Mitsubishi includes them on Legend II models for a premium of about R30 000. More accessories, such as a roof rack, spotlights, headlight and bonnet protectors, are extra-cost options.

Off-road time

We were set a number of tricky challenges in which to test the Pajero SWB, which included steep inclines/declines, dune sand and axle articulation scenarios. Changing between 2- and 4-wheel-drive is done simply with a lever that electronically engages the selected mode. The centre diff is also engaged with the lever and selecting low range requires a further push of the lever. Rear diff lock is engaged at the press of a button and can be engaged and disengaged at any time.

The Pajero coped with every obstacle that was thrown at it... and with ease. Even the tricky soft sand section that was turned into a gymkhana course didn't pose a problem. The Legend II confirmed its reputation on the dirty part of our drive.

The tar stretch

Out on the tarmac and freeways, the Pajero feels comfortable thanks to a (relatively) pliant suspension setup. There’s a bit of roll in the bends, but that’s hard to get away from when you’re driving a proper off-roader. The cabin is showing its age, but at least the leather seats (in tandem with cruise control) will make longer trips in the Mitsubishi pleasant.

From a technical point of view, the Pajero falls a bit behind the likes of the Ford Everest, Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Prado, all of which offer more updated cabins and features. The "dot-matrix" upper screen has interesting information, like altitude and fuel economy, but it looks dated. To the Legend II's credit, there is a touchscreen below the upper screen that deals with audio functions/media connections and turns into a reverse-view camera monitor when you engage reverse. 

Summary

Mitsubishi has introduced the Legend II to add a bit of extra value for the Pajero's loyal following. The parts added will keep your warranty intact and make the SUV primed for bush explorations and other hardcore off-road activities. Even with the extras added to the price, the Pajero still offers excellent value compared with the Toyota Prado and Land Rover Discovery.

Mitsubishi Pajero Legend II prices in South Africa

SWB                              R659 900
LWB                               R759 900

Related content:

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.5 Shogun Auto (2015) Review

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