Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Overview
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Challenger (1996–2016)
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport
  • Mitsubishi Shogun Sport (United Kingdom)
Production1996–present
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size SUV
Body style5-door SUV
Layout
ChassisBody-on-frame
RelatedMitsubishi Triton

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a body-on-frame mid-size SUV produced by the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors using the Pajero nameplate since 1996. Based on the Triton pickup truck, the Pajero Sport has spanned over three generations. It is unrelated to the full-size Pajero, which is built on a unibody chassis since 1999 and was discontinued in 2021.

Mitsubishi has formerly used the Mitsubishi Challenger (Japanese: 三菱・チャレンジャー, Hepburn: Mitsubishi Charenjā) name for the vehicle in Japan and some international markets, but the name was dropped since the third generation in 2015 in favour of the Pajero Sport, Montero Sport, and Shogun Sport nameplates.

First generation (K80/K90/PA/PA II; 1996)

First generation
Overview
Model codeK80/K90/PA/PA II
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Challenger
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport
  • Mitsubishi Shogun Sport (United Kingdom)
  • Mitsubishi Strada G-Wagon (Thailand)
  • Mitsubishi Nativa
  • Beijing BJ2025
Production1996–2008
Assembly
Body and chassis
RelatedMitsubishi Triton (third generation)
Powertrain
Engine
Power output
  • 98.5 kW (132 hp; 134 PS) (4G64)
  • 130 kW (174 hp; 177 PS) (6G72)
  • 139 kW (186 hp; 189 PS) (6G74)
  • 103 kW (138 hp; 140 PS) (4M40)
  • 121 kW (162 hp; 165 PS) (4M41)
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,725 mm (107.3 in)
Length4,620 mm (181.9 in)
Width1,775 mm (69.9 in)
Height1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Curb weight1,845–1,920 kg (4,068–4,233 lb)
Chronology
SuccessorMitsubishi Endeavor (North America)

For the SUV sold alongside the first generation Montero Sport in Latin American markets, see Mitsubishi Montero Outlander.

Production began in Japan in 1996, and was available for most export markets by 1997, where it was variously known as the Challenger, Pajero Sport in Europe, Montero Sport in North America, South America, Spain and the Philippines, Nativa in parts of Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, Shogun Sport in the United Kingdom,[1] and Strada G-Wagon in Thailand. Based on the Strada pickup truck of the same vintage, sharing many components and some body panels (i.e. front doors), the first-generation Pajero Sport was also built on the second-generation Pajero wheelbase, and served as a smaller model to the larger Pajero.

Like the Pajero, it featured independent front suspension with torsion bars and a live rear axle. In addition to numerous facelifts over the years, there was a major suspension change from rear leaf to coil springs in late 2000. As its popularity increased, local assembly for foreign markets was introduced in China in 2003,[2] and Brazil in 2006.[3] Sales were discontinued in Japan in 2003. In the United States, where it was superseded by the Endeavor,[4] sales ended in 2004. In Canada the Montero Sport continued to be sold alongside the Endeavor until 2008. Sales in central and western Europe ended in 2008, with the introduction of the second generation Pajero/Montero Sport.[5] In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Car Plaza.

The 3-litre V6 is the most commonly used engine; it produces 175 hp (130 kW; 177 PS) at 5,000 rpm.[6] The North American market received petrol V6 engines during all years of production while a petrol 2.4-litre engine was offered on base models from 1997 through 1999 in the United States and for additional years in Canada. Markets outside of North America also had a variety of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines to choose between.

Gallery

Second generation (KG/KH/PB; 2008)

Second generation
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (pre-facelift)
Overview
Model codeKG/KH/PB
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport
  • Mitsubishi Nativa
  • Mitsubishi Shogun Sport
  • Mitsubishi Challenger (Australia)
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Dakar (Latin America)
Production2008–2016
Assembly
Body and chassis
RelatedMitsubishi Triton (fourth generation)
Powertrain
Engine
Power output
  • 162 kW (217 hp; 220 PS) (6B31)
  • 139 kW (186 hp; 189 PS) (6G74)
  • 100–131 kW (134–176 hp; 136–178 PS) (4D56)
  • 121 kW (162 hp; 165 PS) (4M41)
Transmission
  • 5-speed V5MT1 manual
  • 5-speed INVECS-II with Sport Mode SMART semi-automatic
  • 4-speed INVECS-II with Sportronic Mode
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Length4,695 mm (184.8 in)
Width1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Height1,840 mm (72.4 in)

The second-generation of the vehicle, based on the ladder frame chassis of the Triton, was gradually introduced to selected markets (Russia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East) through the autumn of 2008, following its debut at the Moscow International Automobile Salon. The design is partially influenced from the 4.7-litre V8 powered 2001 Pajero Evolution concept car. 2.5- or 3.2-litre diesel and 3.0- or 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines are available as before, while five- or seven-seat interior configurations are offered.[5][9] As with the Triton pickup on which it is based, production of the new Pajero Sport for all markets is concentrated in Thailand.[10]

In the Philippines, the Pajero Sport is officially named as Montero Sport. The Montero Sport was launched in the Philippines on October of 2008 and it was offered with only one engine, a 3.2 litre “4M41” Common Rail Direct Injection Diesel, putting out 163 PS and 343Nm of torque. Mated to the engine is an INVECS-II four-speed automatic transmission (with Sportronic mode) and two variants were offered: GLS and the top of the-line GLS SE. In 2011, The Montero Sport lineup received a powerboost equipped with a 2.5 litre “4D56”, it now produces a staggering 178 ps of power and 350Nm of torque (15 ps and 7Nm more than the previous 3.2 litre turbo diesel Montero Sport). In courtesy of a Variable Geometry Turbo equipped with a 2.5 litre common rail diesel engine with a variable geometry turbo (VGT), boasted of a 15% improvement in power over the previous 3.2 litre's 163 hp. Not only was it more powerful and responsive, the smaller engine also made for better fuel economy. Now called Montero Sport GLS-V, this midrange variant receives an additional accessory outlet, reverse sensors, tailgate cladding, 2DIN monitor Audio unit with bluetooth and GPS, and larger disc brakes aside from the stronger engine. In the same year, replacing the previous top-of-the-line GLS SE, The Montero Sport GTV now comes with new grille, DVD audio, emblems, carbon fibre rear spoiler, paddle shifters and new 5-speed automatic transmission.

In India, the Pajero Sport was imported in CKD kits, and assembled by Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi joint venture. It is equipped with a 4D56-T 2.5-litre turbo-diesel.[11] It was discontinued in 2019.[12]

In Bangladesh, the Pajero Sport is assembled by state-owned automotive industry Pragoti.[13]

The car has a leather interior, with a screen at the front dashboard that includes a clock, compass, fuel economy monitor, and more features. The 2nd row has individual air conditioning vents, and a control panel to control the air conditioning for the rear seats. The 3rd row comes with 2 cup holders and a power outlet.

Sudden unintended acceleration issue

Main article: Mitsubishi Montero Sport crash incidents

In 2011, Montero Sport owners in the Philippines reported that their vehicles suffered from sudden unintended acceleration.[14] Mitsubishi Motors Philippines later responded with a statement saying that they conducted tests on the Montero Sport's electrical systems and found no problems; furthermore, they stated that the accidents related to the issue were more likely caused by human error.[15][16] Owners of Montero Sport affected by the sudden unintended acceleration issue plan to file a class action lawsuit against Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.[17] The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) opened an investigation panel to probe the accidents and complaints from 2010 to 2015, and will recommend either a product recall or a total sales ban on the Montero Sport in the country.[18]

Third generation (KR/KS/QE/QF; 2015)

Third generation
2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS (Australia; pre-facelift)
Overview
Model codeKR/KS/QE/QF
Also called
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport
  • Mitsubishi Shogun Sport (United Kingdom)
Production2015–present
Assembly
DesignerAtsunori Mitsuda, Naoki Akita, Osamu Tsuchiya, Toshihiro Imaeda and Yutaka Iwata (pre-facelift)[19]
Tsunehiro Kunimoto (facelift)
Body and chassis
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Power output
  • 162 kW (217 hp; 220 PS) (6B31)
  • 133 kW (178 hp; 181 PS) (4N15)
  • 135 kW (181 hp; 184 PS) (4N16)
  • 100 kW (134 hp; 136 PS) (4D56)
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Length4,785–4,825 mm (188.4–190.0 in)
Width1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Height1,805 mm (71.1 in)
Curb weight2,045 kg (4,508 lb)

On 1 August 2015, Mitsubishi Motors unveiled the third-generation Pajero Sport in Thailand and would be released as the 2016 model and would be powered by the new 4N15 2.4L MIVEC engine. As a result, the smaller 4N15 makes two percent more power than the 4D56 at 181 PS (133 kW) (previous: 178 PS) and 23 percent more torque at 430 Nm (previous: 350 Nm) despite being of a slightly smaller displacement at 2442 cc (previously 2476 cc). Since the third-generation model was unveiled, it has no longer used the Challenger name, and used Pajero Sport/Montero Sport name instead.[21]

One of the highlighted features of the third-generation Pajero Sport is the Toyota-derived Aisin TL-80SN/TL-80NF 8-speed automatic transmission replacing the predecessor's 5-speed INVECS-II automatic. It vastly improves fuel efficiency compared to the 5-speed without sacrificing in-gear acceleration. The Pajero Sport is also available with a 6-speed manual for some variants. All variants come with 6-inch two-piston ventilated disc brakes in the front and 6-inch solid disc brakes in the rear and Mitsubishi's S-AWC all-wheel drive system for the four-wheel drive variants. Other features include a sunroof, dual-zone climate control system, power-adjustable leather-contoured seats with multi-layer cushioning, optional 7-seating capacity (vary by market), and a 7-inch infotainment system.

It is also has a lighter body compared to the predecessor because of the usage of CF plastics which are tough and lightweight and with the help of the 4N15 lightweight alloy block, the whole body has a low centre of gravity.

For the Indonesian market, the third-generation Pajero Sport was launched on 29 January 2016 in Jakarta. It was initially built in and imported from Thailand. Since April 2017, it is built and assembled at the Cikarang plant in Bekasi, West Java.

The Pajero Sport/Montero Sport has three engine options. The 4D56 DI-D common rail produces 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) and 324 N⋅m (239 lb⋅ft; 33 kg⋅m) (GLX and Exceed trims in Indonesia)[22] mated to a 5-speed manual transmission (GLX/Exceed) or 5-speed automatic transmission (Exceed) and 4N15 MIVEC with Variable Geometry Turbo producing 181 PS (133 kW; 179 hp) and 430 N⋅m (317 lb⋅ft; 44 kg⋅m) (Dakar trim in Indonesia and all variants in the Philippines and Thailand) mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic transmission and the 3.0L 6B31 MIVEC V6 petrol engine mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The petrol V6 engine was not available in Indonesia.

In the Philippines, it is marketed as the Montero Sport. As a mass market vehicle, it has added a lot of features compared to its predecessor. The Montero Sport is available in 4 variants: GLX 4x2 (6-speed manual), GLS 4x2 (8-speed automatic), Black Series 4x2 (8-speed automatic), and GT 4x4 (8-speed automatic). All variants are powered by the 2.4-litre 4N15 MIVEC VGT diesel engine.

In Bangladesh, it is marketed as the Pajero Sport and assembled by Pragoti in Chittagong.[23] It also manufactured the car.[24]

In the Middle East, it is available with a 6B31 3.0-litre V6 petrol version.[25]

In Australia, the Pajero Sport is available as a five-seater for the base model GLX or GLS variant or a seven-seater in the GLS and Exceed. The Pajero Sport only comes in an automatic transmission due to low sales of the manual transmission in the previous generation.[26]

In the United Kingdom, the Pajero Sport was released as the Shogun Sport and it is also available as a commercial variant without the second- and third-row seats.

With the company discontinuing the Pajero, the Pajero Sport now serves as the flagship frame-based SUV for the brand. [27][28]

Facelift (QF)

The first facelifted third-generation Pajero Sport was launched in Thailand on 25 July 2019. The updated Pajero Sport gets a new dynamic shield front fascia with dual-layer headlight configuration. Tail lights were made shorter, following customer feedback. Engine and transmission remained the same as the outgoing model.[29] Other notable improvements including Auto Hold parking brake, a new 8-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, 360-degree surround cameras and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and hands-free powered tailgate. It was released to overseas markets from October 2019, including Indonesia on 16 February 2021.

On 21 March 2024, a second facelift was revealed in Thailand with a refreshed front grille design and the interior gets a 3 spoke steering wheel.[30]

Safety

The Thai-made Montero Sport in its most basic Latin American market configuration received 5 stars for adult occupants and 3 stars for toddlers from Latin NCAP in 2015.[31]

Annual production

Fiscal Year Production
Japan Brazil Thailand Indonesia
1996 35,561 - - -
1997 51,594 - - -
1998 71,562 - - -
1999 95,914 - - -
2000 92,475 - - -
2001 78,337 - - -
2002 69,001 - - -
2003 34,258 - - -
2004 30,515 - - -
2005 23,773 600 - -
2006 17,455 5,370 - -
2007 19,349 6,120 11 -
2008 9,210 4,470 15,065 -
2009 2,364 4,560 37,179 -
2010 2,154 1,380 55,289 -
2011 42 - 67,966 -
2012 - - 82,712 -
2013 - - 49,438 -
2014 - - 42,207 -
2015 - - 68,361 -
2016 - - 59,993 107
2017 - - 62,201 17,940
2018 - - 51,411 21,120

(Sources: Facts & Figures 2000, Facts & Figures 2005, Facts & Figures 2008, Facts & Figures 2010, Facts & Figures 2013, Facts & Figures 2018, Facts & Figures 2019, Mitsubishi Motors website)

Sales

Year Thailand Philippines Indonesia[32] Australia Malaysia[33][i] Mexico[34]
2005 196 962
2006 30 736
2007 67 518
2008 18 152
2009 3,298 483 339
2010 11,024 1,442 536
2011 13,212 1,588 413
2012 13,936 1,296 391
2013 12,908 1,006 293
2014 6,394[35] 11,867 711 246
2015 18,975[36] 10,805 997[37] 370 194
2016 15,592[38] 10,768[39] 19,124 4,049[37] 188 69
2017 14,454[40] 19,917[39] 20,239 105 56
2018 12,932[41] 16,148[42] 20,975 6,566[43] 8 371
2019 13,558 12,861[44] 18,238[45] 6,477[46] 12 300
2020 9,342[47] 5,775[48] 9,344[49] 6,017[50] 1 599
2021 7,273[51] 4,195[52] 16,996[53] 6,804[54] 6 288
2022 7,405[55] 20,285[56] 5 440
2023 4,169[57] 13,118[58] 1 276
  1. ^ Figures based on registration, may include grey imports and used car imports

References

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