Published on November 8th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Mitsubishi Pajero Considered A “Historic Car” By Japan Automotive Hall Of Fame
Now that the Mitsubishi Pajero is out of production, the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame gives it its due.
Most Malaysians will recognise the Mitsubishi Pajero and there are still many on the road today serving multiple roles. From family heirlooms to government utility vehicles – the Pajero was great particularly in its first and second generations as it struck a great balance between price, ability and ease of use. Unfortunately, it became too expensive and large in its later generations in an attempt to better compete against the dominant Toyota Land Cruiser models. Its popularity quickly declined and Mitsubishi Motors was eventually forced to abandon it altogether in 2021.
Now the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame has decided to give the Pajero its dues and see it off with some dignity and honour intact. They’ve announced that the first generation Pajero has been selected as one of its Historic Cars.
Launched in 1982, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero was a full-fledged off-road 4WD vehicle which excelled at off-road capability while still being comfortable and easy enough to use as a passenger vehicle. It came in a wide variety of body styles and with a range of engine options. These included a 3-door short wheelbase model, 5-door long wheelbase models, with Standard, Semi-High Roof and High Roof variants. Engine options included a 2.0L 4-cylinder petrol with or without a turbocharger, a 2.6L 4-cylinder petrol, a 2.3L 4-cylinder diesel with or without a turbocharger, a 2.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel and a 3.5L V6 petrol
The first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero competed in the Dakar Rally starting in 1983 and claimed an overall victory in 1985, which was the first for a Japanese vehicle.
The Pajero continued to do really well in the Dakar Rally, competing 26 times more and taking 12 overall victories including 7 consecutive wins and cementing its solid reputation worldwide. Mitsubishi Motors continued to develop the Pajero and ended up selling 3.25 million units across 4 generations over 170 countries, with interesting variants like the Pajero Mini kei car, as well as the Pajero Junior and Pajero IO compact SUVs.