Words Angus Boswell, Images Andrew Middleton
The good thing about a runout model is that you know it won’t get any better: this is the pinnacle. The trouble is that you know the arrival of a new version will devalue your purchase.
Case in point, Pajero Sport: launched here in 2009 with a 3.2 diesel, revised with a better 2.5 diesel in 2013, and then repackaged for 2015 as the Shogun, with a series of off-roading upgrades worth R70 000.
But a brand-new one is due mid-year, and set to raise the fight against its far more popular arch-rival, the Toyota Fortuner, which is also about to be updated yet again. So, here’s a R515 000 conundrum… because the Pajero Sport is definitely good value.
The packaging is a mixed bag; it’s looking dated. There are too many textures on the dash, a strangely-shaped gear lever, a steering wheel that does not adjust for reach, and a driver’s seat that seems too flexible on its mountings. It also feels a tad narrow, so the big guys are going to struggle here.
On the plus side: full-leather is standard, the second row offers plenty of leg- and head-room, and the third row, while cramped, folds flat into the boot floor when not required for those tiny members of the teen soccer team. It is well-equipped with a power point and tie-down points in the boot, the
drinks holders in the doors are sensibly sized, there are rubber carpet protectors, and the controls and switchgear are solid and simple.
A multi-function computer gives basic info, the sound system is decent, and an added extra is a Garmin Nuvicam with the T4A mapset loaded.