The Pajero Sport is the 7-seater offering by Mitsubishi, a worthy entrant into one of the most competitive segments in the industry.
Branch Manager and Dealer Principal of Mitsubishi East Rand, Kobus Jacobs, is a veteran in the motoring industry. With more than 30 years of experience, Kobus is the poster-child for following your dreams and taking the opportunities offered to you; having leapt at the chance to be in the motoring field since he was a youngster, Kobus has racked up many years of experience across various brands and in numerous positions that empowered him to move up into Management. He feels fortunate to be able to do what he loves on a daily basis.
At Mitsubishi East Rand, the showroom is managed by Jaco Odendaal (Sales Manager) who has been in the industry for the past 12 years. Naming product and service excellence as his reason for being so dedicated to the Mitsubishi brand, Jaco loves the fact that Mitsubishi brings out creativity, inspiration and loyalty among those who work with it. Situated on the East Rand, this Dealership has grown a big following and has numerous repeat customers, which Jaco is proud to serve. This is underscored by the simple statement from Christo Pruis (New Vehicle Sales Executive) who summarises that “you can’t fault a Mitsubishi”, and this is evident in the smooth running of the Dealership where I am always so warmly welcomed.
Looking at the Pajero Sport, I am immediately attracted by the fluid, sleek lines that highlight the husky and rugged nature of the vehicle. It’s big – there’s no doubt about that – but it’s smart, elegant look makes a great statement about the marriage between luxury and strength. It has an impressive stature, yet still manages to look classy and elegant with an underlying theme of edginess and sports-ability.
The gorgeous Pajero Sport is released in two different variants: standard as a 2.4 litre diesel with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, either as a 4×2 variant, or the more adventurous 4×4 version. I was afforded the luxury of driving the 4×2 derivative and was immediately impressed by extent of luxury present in the cabin. Nodding back to its SUV-DNA, the Pajero Sport boasts a full-on leather interior, and masses of room in the cabin. Space is more than sufficient in the cockpit and second row seating, with ample head and leg room. Jaco shares with me that his wife and kids (a set of twins and a teenager) also love the comfort of the spacious Pajero Sport, and it proves to be an excellent vehicle for loading school bags and the like in the back. The third row of seats is a little tight, but this is a standard complaint in 7-seaters. With these seats folded away, the boot is large and spacious and lends itself towards being a brilliant big-family vehicle.
Nothing is lacking in terms of infotainment and on-board features. A touchscreen audio/radio combo and reverse camera come standard across all variants (which for me is a must in such a big vehicle) and all the bells and whistles are present with the exception of Sat Nav which must be added as an extra. I find the infotainment system easy to use, and I feel quite confident and content in the driver’s seat.
The 2.4 litre engine produces a satisfying 133 kW of power and 430 Nm of torque which creates that lovely throaty rumble I like so much; thankfully, the cabin is effectively sound-proofed and road noise is minimal. There is little to no lag when the accelerator is pressed, and I like the that the vehicle kicks out instant power when I need it. There is an 8-speed gearbox that effectively keeps torque within range and the resulting fuel consumption for the Pajero Sport is notes at around 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres, although both Jaco and I have noted it at closer to 8.5 in traffic-laden driving conditions, with more efficient rates expected on the long road.
Although I found myself to be slightly nervous at the thought of driving such a big vehicle (as I usually am), as well as finding my way around an 8-speed gearbox which I have not done before, I am gobsmacked at the easy, light feel with which this massive vehicle manoeuvres. Handling like a charm, and with velvety gear transitions, there is only a glance in the side-mirror that reminds me I am driving a large vehicle. Giving off the impression that you are actually piloting a sedan that has been working out, I feel the drive is refined and truthfully, enjoyable.
With a starting price of R569 995 for the 4×2 variant, and R599 995 for the 4×4, the Pajero Sport is competitively priced. Mitsubishi Motors East Rand prides themselves on giving incredible follow up customer service in relation to each purchase. I note that as the focus of this Dealership is not split between brands (as this dealership is the only stand-alone dealership in South Africa) and the result is a sublime experience characterised by attention to detail and individualised client care.
Mitsubishi East Rand also promote their exceptional Parts department and Workshop, where knowledgeable and hard-working teams work together to ensure the client’s needs are always met. With the Dealership’s solid, positive reputation in the local community, Kobus attributes their good name to the belief that trust relationships must be established throughout the Dealership and the customers around them. There is an underlying philosophy that each team member of this Dealership contributes to being part of a special family, and thus the growth and investment in the team itself form part of the core plan of this Dealership.
In anticipation for the remainder of 2018, Mitsubishi East Rand are looking forward to the launch of the new crossover, the Eclipse, towards the middle of the year. Kobus mysteriously also hints at two exciting new releases that are in the pipeline additionally.
For more information, click on this link to visit this dedicated dealership: Mitsubishi East Rand
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson