If you ever need to cart seven people across a rock face, through a slippery stream on top of a twisty ribbon of tarmac, SouLSteer has just the solution
The all-new Pajero Sports are conquering new terrain surfaces with tarmac and concrete. The Pajero Sport does not handle like an Fortuner, or even like its sportier cousins in the family. However, it handles incredibly well for an SUV. There’s some body roll if you belt it around corners, or if you suddenly change lanes, but it never threatens to topple over. It harks back to the time when off-roaders were meant to go off the road. Yet, it has the road manners of a typical family sedan.
The Paji uses an Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) Body design. So, you easily have powerful braking and front airbags for both, driver and passengers. It all started when we met Runchit Saxena, Managing Director, JR Automotives and handed over his Pajero Sport to us after saying, this SUV means business. We drove it and boy can it take torture. After climbing rocks, wrestling through moist mud, up steed inclines, down sharp drops, hard braking, the Pajero Sport had finally met its match. We seriously tortured it suspensions at a place where every inch of the road was amazingly uneven. Runchit suggested us the 4HLc (4WD high range with locked center differential). And the car simply went on.
The other coolest bit in the Paji was a Sony MPS25 with Touchscreen giving you the full GPS info on your dashboard. Runchit has specially fitted this screen for more driving engagement and neatly placed the Multi-mode center information display to the lower section of the dashboard. He also told us that he can fit this to any Pajero Sport for just Rs. 60,000.
Lets concentrate to the on-road credentials of this brute. The handling won’t bother the Nissan X-Trail, but it beats every true-blue off-roader out there. Including the mighty Toyota Fortuner. Ride is superb, the steering, though large, is true and flickable.
That apart, in modern times, a mile muncher that can also truly go just about anywhere and carry this much cargo – human and otherwise – in such utter comfort and luxury is the stuff that legends are made of.
True, we haven’t spoken much about the 175bhp, 2.5L 16 Valve intercooled turbocharged diesel. We did not tell you about the five-speed manual transmission. Or delve further into that incredible rally proven Super Select 4WD. The bottomline is: Off-roaders don’t go too far off the road anymore. And the ones that do are far, far away from civilisation, public attention and TV news cameras.
Since the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport exists, the nothing else we’ve driven comes close, we’ll have to conclude that what you just read about is a living legend. The engine, the nuts, the bolts don’t really matter.
2.5-litre 16 Valve intercooled turbocharged DOHC diesel engine | 2477cc | 175bhp | 400Nm | 2065kg | 5-speed manual gearbox | 70litres fuel tank | Common rail direct injection | VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) | 12 kmpl
Price: Rs. 23.12 lacs (ex-showroom)