Mitsubishi has given its Pajero Sport large 4WD an update for the 2020 model year, adding further ammunition with which to battle the Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X, Toyota Fortuner, and Holden Trailblazer.
Like the MY19 Triton ute upgrade (the Pajero Sport shares much of the pickup's running gear), the revised SUV looks tougher thanks to its 'dynamic shield' grille and headlight combination, higher bonnet, and new running lights and bumpers.
The polarising old vertically-arrayed tail lights have been reduced in size and the bumper made larger. The alloy wheel design is new, and side steps are apparently slightly higher-mounted to bolster ground clearance.
Finally, the company has added new White Diamond and Graphite Grey paint options.
On the inside, there's a new 8.0-inch touchscreen unit still running Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the top-of-the-range Exceed variant gets TomTom satellite navigation. Augmenting this a digital instrument screen behind the wheel showing vehicle data and the status of active safety equipment.
The centre console has new storage areas ahead of the gear shifter, and under it. A power tailgate also opens via a hands-free kicking motion, or remotely through a new Mitsubishi Remote Control phone app with Apple Watch integration. This tech is only on the flagship Exceed.
This new app also informs you if you've left the headlights on after leaving the car, left a door open, a window down, or the hazard lights on. You can also remotely check your fuel use, and tell your car to turn its headlights on remotely if you can't find it in a car park.
In terms of driver assistance, all Pajero Sport models get forward collision mitigation (autonomous emergency braking) powered by radar. There's also a new radar-based blind-spot monitoring system available, plus lane-change warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
There are seven airbags on board and a retained five-star ANCAP crash rating.
Mitsubishi claims to have played with the carryover 133kW/430Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine's combustion chamber and fuel injectors, lowering the compression ratio. A new aluminium alloy cylinder block cuts mass. The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddles carries over.
The Pajero Sport's Super Select 4WD-II system electronically switches between drive modes and splits engine torque 40 per cent front and 60 per cent rear when in full-time 4WD mode.
You have two-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive modes, a 4HLc mode that locks the centre diff, and a proper low-range gear set, which itself unlocks various engine/transmission/brake settings for gravel, mud, sand, snow and rocks.
It retains ventilated disc brakes at either end, and three-link rear suspension with coils in place of the Triton's leaves.
List pricing has increased by between $500 and $2700, with the GLX five-seater starting at $46,990 before on-road costs, the GLS five-seater from $51,490 plus another $1000 for seven seats, and the Exceed seven-seater $57,190.
However, the private-buyer drive-away pricing is more relevant.
2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport drive-away pricing:
- GLX 5-seat auto - $45,990
- GLS 5-seat auto - $52,490
- GLS 7-seat auto - $53,990
- Exceed 7-seat auto - $59,990
In terms of sales, the Pajero Sport found 6477 buyers in 2019, giving it 6.2 per cent large SUV market share. It was outsold by the Isuzu MU-X (8419), but outgunned the Everest (5333), Trailblazer (2813) and Fortuner (3033).
2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX standard features:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Speed limiter
- Hill descent control
- Trailer stability control
- Seven airbags
- Rear-view camera
- Rear parking sensors
- Digital radio
- 2 x front USBs, 1 x HDMI sockets
- 1 x 220V socket, 3 x 12V sockets
- Proximity key fob
- Rear AC vents, 2 x rear USBs
- Side steps and roof rails
- LED headlights high/low
- Fabric seats
- 8.0-inch touchscreen
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Four speakers
2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS extras:
- Active cruise control
- Electrochromatic rear-view mirror
- Dusk-sensing headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Six speakers
- Power tailgate
- Privacy glass
- Leather-appointed, power-adjusting seats
2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed extras:
- Blind-spot monitor
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Ultrasonic misacceleration mitigation system
- Colour digital instrument readout
- 360-degree parking camera
- Front parking sensors
- TomTom satellite navigation
- Eight speakers
- Remote Smartphone App integration
- Heated front seats