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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport handed likely final polish and new heart

Mitsubishi's almost decade old three-row Fortuner and Everest rival is expected to bow-out next year.

The recipient of a mid-life refresh nearly five years ago, Mitsubishi has given its nine-year old third generation Pajero Sport another handful of tweaks in Thailand in what is anticipated to be body-on-frame seven-seater’s final makeover.

What has changed?

Seemingly on-track to be replaced next year by an all-new model based on the underpinnings of the new Triton bakkie, the internally named QF Pajero Sport’s additions mostly involves more standard equipment, plus improved efficiency as a result of it now sporting the same turbodiesel engine as the Triton.

ALSO READ: Next Mitsubishi Pajero Sport seemingly only due in 2025

Its successor set to use a platform Mitsubishi alliance partner Nissan will also use for the next generation Navara, the Pajero Sport’s exterior revisions comprise mono-tone black 18-inch alloy wheels on the top-spec Elite, new front and rear bumpers, a reshaped Dynamic Shield grille and black mirror caps and door handles on the Elite only.

Facelift Mitsubishi Pajero Sport revealed
Steering wheel now originates from the new Triton. Image: Mitsubishi Thailand

Inside, the updates are more prominent as both the Elite and step-down Ultra receive a two-tone red-and-black leather upholstery finish, a new eight-inch digital instrument cluster, a flip-down 12.1-inch screen as part of the rear seat entrainment system, and an eight-speaker sound system.

While the centre console is unchanged, the steering wheel from the Triton has now been fitted, along with an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Facelift Mitsubishi Pajero Sport revealed
A two-tone interior colour features on higher-end trim grades. Image: Mitsubishi Thailand

New on the safety side, albeit for the Ultra and Elite, are seven airbags, front parking sensors to go with the already fitted rears, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Mitigation, a surround-view camera system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Reverse Braking.

More ground clearance, new powertrain

As mentioned, the biggest change involves the 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine being uprated from the previous 4N15 unit to the new 4N16 that debuted underneath the Triton’s bonnet.

Unlike its sibling though, Mitsubishi has opted against offering the twin-turbo option as a direct alternative to the twin-blown Ford Everest.

Facelift Mitsubishi Pajero Sport revealed
Instrument cluster is a new eight-inch digital setup. Image: Mitsubishi Thailand

Instead, the range-topping single turbo variant has been opted for with outputs of 135kW/430Nm, an increase of two kilowatts over the 4N15 with torque remaining unaltered.

While again offered with rear-wheel-drive on the entry-level Prime and Ultra with the Elite having the option of the selectable four-wheel-drive system, the 4N15’s eight-speed automatic gearbox falls away in favour of a new six-speed automatic with apparent better calibrated ratios.

In addition, the claimed ground clearance increases from 217 mm to 222 mm, with the four-wheel-drive still having access to the SuperSelect-II system, plus four new off-road modes; Gravel, Sand, Mud/Snow and Rock.

Not yet for South Africa

On the colour front, the Pajero Sport comes in five hues; White Diamond, Graphite Grey, Blade Silver, Deep Bronze, Jet Black and, exclusively for the Ultra, Medium Red.

A two-tone option comprising a black roof can be had with the White Diamond, Jet Black and Medium Red as a cost option.

Mitsubishi updates Pajero Sport for second and likely last time
A new bumper has been fitted to the rear facia. Image: Mitsubishi Thailand

Now available priced from 1 389 000 baht (R732 662) for the two-wheel-drive Prime to 1 689 000 baht (R890 904) for the four-wheel-drive Elite, the facelift Pajero Sport remains a no-no for South Africa, though expect this to possibly change before year-end should approval be given by Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.

Confirmed though is the Triton, which will premiere alongside the Xfroce in the third quarter of the year.

Additional information from: headlightmag.com.

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