Mitsubishi Challenger, Pajero or Pajero Sport

KOPTHAT

New Member
Hi All,

I'm looking to buy a second hand 4WD, ideally for around $25k but can stretch to 35k if needed. Based on my research so far I have narrowed it down to either a Mitsubishi Challenger, Pajero or Pajero Sport but am looking for some advice and recommendations on what to go with.

For my price point I'm looking at a 2010-2015 Challenger with 90,000-150,000km, a 2008-2013 Pajero with 130,000-160,000km or a 2015-2016 Pajero Sport with 140,000-160,000km.

I will be using it as a daily driver with weekend family trips (1 year old and 3 year old children) and occasional light off roading. The biggest considerations for me are reliability/longevity and boot storage space, I'm not too bothered about the external looks of the vehicle or internal features. I gather that the ride in the Challenger is not as refined as the Pajero/Sport but that's not too much of an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice on these three vehicles that will help my decision and whether you think it's best to go with an older model (within the date range above) with lower km's or a newer model with higher km's?

Any other recommendations on particular year's to avoid for any of these models or any other things to consider? Were there any standard upgrades that will make later models a better option than earlier models?

Thanks in advance.
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
A normal Pajero is pretty bullet proof, good on fuel, has the 2wd, Awd, 4wdH and 4wdL drive train and a rear diff lock, decent boot space and my fussy wife can handle the drive quality on long drives. They're dated and been around forever and my mechanic says the cops use them and can't kill them like they do the Ford Rangers that they also have locally. I don't like the ride on a Challenger and the Pajero Sport is great on paper but I don't know anyone that has one. The driver seat seems cramped on a Pajero Sport and I found it more difficult to get into the car when I tested one some years ago. My wife didn't like the ride, so I wasn't allowed to buy one. :( Another small thing, the spare is on the back door of a Pajero but underneath on the other two cars. This is both a blessing and a problem depending on your circumstances. It's good if you have to change a wheel in difficult circumstances but bad if you want to carry bikes on a rack at the back. I think all of them are pretty reliable so you can't go wrong there.
 

smwhiskey

Active Member
I may be biased (I drive a 2003 Pajero), but I'd lean towards the Pajero. Definately an underrated 4WD, great tow vehicle and if remove the 3rd row of seats, you've got plenty of room in the back. 4WD of choice for Grey nomads (who can't afford a Cruiser), Police departments and rental companies everywhere.

Only downside to the Pajero is sometimes its difficult to buy stuff off the shelf if you're planning to modify it for touring. Highly unlikely that your local ARB, TJM or Ironman 4x4 will have a drawer system or bash plates specifically designed for a Gen4 Pajero. Although this issue will probably also apply for the other 2 options.

Would definitely recommend getting decent bash plates if you intend heading off the blacktop on a semiregular basis. No idea what the Gen4 Pajeros have but the sump "guard" on the 2003 Pajero is plastic and is more likely to fall off than stop a flicked up stick. The inter-cooler protection isn't much better. I'm currently running 4mm steel bash plates and I'm glad I've got them.

From memory the Challenger and Pajero Sport (aka next Gen Challenger) are both built on a Triton chasis and apparently drive like a small dual cab ute but thats only a hearsay opinion.

Photos are from Moreton Island and Landcruiser Mountain Park.

IMG_1742_sml.jpg
DSC_0205_sml.jpg
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
My Gen 4 Pajero has front, middle and rear bash plates plus rock sliders so no problem getting them. The rear plate fixes the plastic sand scoop issue if you know what I mean. :)
 

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
Another one for the NT-NW Pajero. Drive line longevity and the independent suspension all round make it nicer to drive in the conditions you describe.
 

Fisho1

New Member
Hi All,

I'm looking to buy a second hand 4WD, ideally for around $25k but can stretch to 35k if needed. Based on my research so far I have narrowed it down to either a Mitsubishi Challenger, Pajero or Pajero Sport but am looking for some advice and recommendations on what to go with.

For my price point I'm looking at a 2010-2015 Challenger with 90,000-150,000km, a 2008-2013 Pajero with 130,000-160,000km or a 2015-2016 Pajero Sport with 140,000-160,000km.

I will be using it as a daily driver with weekend family trips (1 year old and 3 year old children) and occasional light off roading. The biggest considerations for me are reliability/longevity and boot storage space, I'm not too bothered about the external looks of the vehicle or internal features. I gather that the ride in the Challenger is not as refined as the Pajero/Sport but that's not too much of an issue for me.

Does anyone have any advice on these three vehicles that will help my decision and whether you think it's best to go with an older model (within the date range above) with lower km's or a newer model with higher km's?

Any other recommendations on particular year's to avoid for any of these models or any other things to consider? Were there any standard upgrades that will make later models a better option than earlier models?

Thanks in advance.
I have a pajero sport 2016 with 90k ,is fantastic, tows boat ,4x4 in high country and has plenty room for our 5 dogs ,highly recommended and has been super reliable
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Pajero would be my choice. My old one never let me down.They are a bit drummy on dirt roads but I think they will all be the same with their monocoque chassis.
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
I’ve also got a 2012 NW Pajero with about 180,000km on it now. It’s done some tough off-road trips over the years and the only real issue we’ve had is the oil cooler failed at around 160,000 km. This cost around the 4K mark to fix.

The dashboard is terrible when on severe corrugations, I’ve applied all the known dash board fixes but it’s still pretty crap.
I love the super-select transmission, great to be able to change from 2wd-4wd etc on the fly. They really are an under rated vehicle, but not so good if you’re into rock crawling type stuff.

The dust ingress is not great either when offroad. It gets a hell of a lot messier than my Patrol inside.

It’s the wife’s daily now and she loves it. I wanted to sell it, but she won’t hear of it!
 

RBJET

Well-Known Member
+1 for the Pajero just for the back seat room for the kids and their seats.
Take a child seat with you if you're trying them out. I have child seats in my dual cab and it's ok but there is much more room in a big wagon.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
+1 for the Pajero just for the back seat room for the kids and their seats.
Take a child seat with you if you're trying them out. I have child seats in my dual cab and it's ok but there is much more room in a big wagon.
You just reminded me.

My kids hated how the rear door windows didn't go all the way down. Not a biggy but is was annoying.
 

dirvine

Well-Known Member
If you are after a tow tug then I suggest you dismiss the Pajero. It has a 3000kg limit and many people complain you cannot open the rear door with a trailer attached. Also once hooked up they seem to really drag their bum. I was in the Pajero club when I had a Great Wall. They are capable off road. A few people had issues with diesel motors running bearings and blowing pistons. Hard to establish if this was due to lack of service or a known issue. Whilst considerably cheaper than the car I purchased to tow my van, I found them noisy, a bit smaller inside and the rear door would drive me crazy. Also I like to have a lot of spare weight capacity when towing (ie the tug being +10% heavier than the van). If not towing then they are a great vehicle and spares are everywhere, and the pick of the bunch you are considering IMHO.
 

linuxfan66

Active Member
i miss my pajero. only downside is not body on frame. so less damage resistant than body on frame design(this also applies to the cherokee). so i wont say its a bad choice, i wish mine hadnt been written off
 

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