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Dodge Raider

Mitsubishi Pajero
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Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Production 1982–present
Assembly Sakahogi, Gifu, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size SUV (1982-1999)
Full-size SUV (1999-present)
Layout Front engine, four-wheel drive

The Mitsubishi Pajero (/pəˈɛr/; Spanish: [paˈxeɾo]; Japanese パジェロ [padʑeɽo])[1][2] is a sport utility vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. It was named after Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas cat which is native to the Patagonia plateau region of southern Argentina.[3] However alternative names have been used for many markets overseas. It is known as the Mitsubishi Montero (meaning "mountain hunter"[4]) in Spain, India, and the Americas (except Brazil), and as the Mitsubishi Shogun in the United Kingdom. In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Car Plaza. Discontinued in the United States in 2006, the vehicle continues to be sold in the rest of the world in its fourth-generation iteration.

Thanks to their success, the Pajero, Montero and Shogun names were also applied to other, mechanically unrelated models, such as the Pajero Mini kei car, the Pajero Junior and Pajero iO/Pinin mini SUVs, and the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun Sport. Main rivals are the Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado SWB/LWB and Nissan Patrol Y61.


The first Pajero prototype was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1973. The Pajero II prototype followed in 1978, five years later. Mitsubishi’s aim was to create more of a recreational vehicle, not just an SUV.

In January 1983, the first Pajero made its debut at the Paris Dakar Rally, taking first place in 1985 at only the third attempt. To date, the Pajero is the most successful vehicle in the Dakar Rally (winning its class 7 out of the last 10 races, and 15 of the full 32 races).[5] This not only gave the Pajero an offroad reputation, but also helped in the sales department.

First generation (1982–1991)

First generation
Also called Mitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
Mitsubishi Pajero Sfx
Dodge Raider
Hyundai Galloper
Production 1982–1991
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door SUV
4-door SUV (not on Raider models)
Related Hyundai Galloper
Engine 2.0 L 4G63 I4
2.6 L 4G54 I4
3.0 L 6G72 V6
2.3 L 4D55 diesel I4
2.3 L 4D55T TD I4
2.5 L 4D56T TD I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed Aisin automatic
Wheelbase 4-Door: 2,695 mm (106.1 in)
2-Door: 2,350 mm (92.5 in)
Length 4,650 mm (183.1 in)
2-Door: 3,995 mm (157.3 in)
Width 66.1 in (1,679 mm) & 66.6 in (1,692 mm)
Height 4-Door: 74.4 in (1,890 mm)
2-Door: 72.8 in (1,849 mm) & 72.4 in (1,839 mm)

The first generation made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1981, and was launched in May 1982. Initially, it was a three-door, short-wheelbase model available with a metal or canvas top and three different engines options, although more were gradually added, ending with a 3-litre V6 on top of the range.

  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol (2000/2.0)
  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol (2000/2.0 Turbo)
  • 2.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol (2600/2.6)
  • 2.3-litre naturally aspirated diesel (2300 D/2.3 D)
  • 2.3 litre turbocharged diesel (2300 TD/2.3 TD)
  • 2.5 litre turbocharged diesel (2500 TD/2.5 TD)
  • 3.0 litre V6 petrol (3000/3.0)

It was loaded with features that had previously not been seen on a Japanese four-wheel-drive car: a turbocharged diesel engine, a front double wishbone suspension with torsion bar springs, power steering and suspension seats. This made the Pajero a four-wheel-drive vehicle which integrated all the amenities of a passenger car.

In January 1983, only a year following its launch, mildly tuned production Pajeros entered the world of motor sport. The Pajero, however, failed to appeal to everyone. In Japan it was seen as a commercial vehicle, and since it was only available in a short-wheelbase form, it didn’t really appeal to those with families.

Hence, in February 1983, Mitsubishi came out with a long-wheelbase, five-door model, to serve the needs of a larger target market. The long-wheelbase model was available with a choice of two different engines; a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (badged as "2.0 Turbo" and "2000 Turbo" in some markets) and a 2.3 litre turbocharged diesel. It also came in Standard, Semi-High Roof and High Roof body styles. A stripped down nine-seater version of the High-Roof variant was commonly used in UN Peace Operations.

The long-wheelbase model also increased seating capacity to seven, with available third row seats, which could be folded to the sides for additional trunk space or combined with second row seats to form a bed.

The Pajero was further refined in June 1984. The turbo diesel engines now had higher power/torque ratings, whilst the long-wheelbase models got standard four-wheel disc brakes and four-way adjustable shock absorbers as standard equipment.

A new flagship model was then introduced in early 1987, with a two-tone paint job, fifteen inch (38 cm) light alloy wheels, front-seat heaters, wool seat covers, genuine leather headrests, a three spoke steering wheel and a sound system with radio/cassette. Also in 1987, a version of the Pajero/Montero was rebadged by Dodge as the Raider, which ran through 1989.

Finally in 1988, a 3.0-litre SOHC V6 engine was made available, alongside a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine, with the first 4x4 intercooler. This translated to better acceleration in mid to high rev ranges. The long-wheelbase models got a coil link suspension system for better ride comfort and off-road ability.

It was available with a 3-door body for a short wheelbase (SWB) or a 5-door body for a long-wheelbase (LWB). Engines included a 2.6 L I4 with 82 kW (110 hp/112 PS), a 3.0 L V6 with EFI and 104 kW (139 hp/141 PS) and a turbocharged 2.5 L OHV diesel I4 with 62 kW (83 hp/84 PS) or an intercooled 70 kW (94 hp/95 PS). Part-time four-wheel drive was standard on all models.

The Gen I platform was later built under licence by Hyundai Precision Products as the Hyundai Galloper from 1991 to 2003, and exported to Europe for a brief time. While it used first generation mechanicals, the Galloper's body was closer to the second generation Pajeros.

Second generation (1991–1999)

Second generation
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Also called Mitsubishi Pajero Field Master (Philippines)
Mitsubishi Pajero SFX (India)
Mitsubishi National Montero (Colombia)
Production 1991–2000 (up to 2008 in the Philippines, up to 2012 in Colombia)
Assembly Sakahogi, Gifu, Japan (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, India
Bogota Colombia
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door SUV
4-door SUV
Engine 4D56 2.5L TD I4
4M40 2.8L TD I4
4G64 2.4L I4
4G54 2.6L I4
6G72 3.0L V6
6G74 3.5L V6
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed Aisin automatic
Wheelbase 4-Door: 2,725 mm (107.3 in)
2-Door: 2,420 mm (95.3 in)
Length 186.6 in (4,740 mm) & 185.2 in (4,704 mm)
Width 1998-2000: 69.9 in (1,775 mm)
1992-97: 66.7 in (1,694 mm) & 70.3 inches (1,786 mm)
Height 1992-94 4-Door: 73.4 in (1,864 mm) & 74.0 in (1,880 mm)
1995-2000 4-Door: 73.8 in (1,875 mm) & 74.6 in (1,895 mm)
2-Door: 72.8 in (1,849 mm)

Mitsubishi sold over three hundred thousand Pajeros from 1979 to 1990. However, the time for a redesign was long due and January 1991 saw the first Generation II Pajero, although exports did not commence until later. Just about everything was now new and further enhanced. A new, larger body was available in four different versions; Metal Top, Canvas Top Convertible, Semi High Roof Wagon and High Roof Wagon (long wheelbase). The short wheelbase models were stretched by 70 millimetres (2.8 inches) and the long-wheelbase models by 30 millimetres (1.2 inches). The available engines included a 3.0 litre 12-valve SOHC with ECI-Multi electronic fuel injection and a 2.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine (4D56T) with an intercooler.

The second generation also saw the introduction of Super Select 4WD (SS4) [known as ActivTrak 4WD in some markets] and multimode ABS, which were firsts on Japanese four-wheel drives. SS4 was ground-breaking in the sense that it combined the advantages of part time and full-time four-wheel drive with four available options: 2H (high-range rear-wheel drive), 4H (high-range full time four-wheel drive), 4HLc (high-range four-wheel drive with locked center differential) and 4LLc (low-range four-wheel drive with locked center differential). Another advantage of this second generation system is that it gave the driver the ability to switch between two-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph), whereas the first generation Pajero had to be stationary to switch from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive (but not from four-wheel drive back to rear-wheel drive). Multimode ABS, on the other hand, was equally innovative. This meant ABS would be fully functional in all modes of SS4, as braking with a locked centre differential requires completely different braking parameters.

In July 1993, two new power plants were introduced; a 3.5 litre 24-valve DOHC with ECI-Multi and a 2.8 litre turbocharged diesel with an intercooler. A new, larger transmission and transfer case was also part of the upgrade.

In 1996 the 3.0 V6 engine was revised, staying SOHC but changing to 24v. At the same time the ignition system was upgraded from the old distributor system to solid state coil packs. Power increased to 177 bhp.

The Pajero Evolution was introduced in October 1997, which was developed in response to new entry requirements for the Paris – Dakar Rally’s T3 Class. The Pajero Evolution came standard with a 3.5 litre 24-valve DOHC V6 with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (MIVEC). A new, dual plenum variable intake helped increase power and a new suspension made the ride even smoother.

In 1998, vehicles destined for General Export and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council countries) received a facelift. Wider fenders, new headlights, grille, bumper, fog lights and sidesteps were all part of the redesign. The wide fenders are often called "blister flare fenders". Driver and front-passenger SRS airbags were made standard on models equipped with the 3.5 liter DOHC V6 engine, whilst still remaining optional on GLS models with the 3.0 litre SOHC V6. An upgraded interior wood trim was made available on 3.0 litre GLS and 3.5 litre models. A leather-wrapped or leather and wood trim steering wheel was also made available, alongside an upgraded suspension and steering system. The 3.0 litre 12-valve SOHC engine was now available with a 24-valve configuration. Models without wide fenders remained as base models (GLX), available with a 2.4 litre 16-valve DOHC engine, producing 147 hp (110 kW). The 3.0 litre 12-valve engine was optional on these GLX models, and remained the base engine on the GLS.

The second generation was introduced on January 22, 1991 and manufactured until 1999. It retained the two body styles, but design was rounder and more city-friendly than the previous bulky model. The 3.0 L V6 gasoline engine was retained, now available with a 24-valve head, capable of 136 kW (177 hp/185 PS), while the 2.5 turbodiesel's power was slightly increased to 73 kW (98 hp/99 PS). In 1993, the Pajero was slightly restyled, and larger engines were introduced, a 3.5 L V6 with 153 kW (215 hp/208 PS) and a 2.8 L SOHC turbodiesel rated at 92 kW (123 hp/125 PS). These versions introduced Mitsubishi's Super Select four-wheel-drive system (known as Active-Trac in the United States), with an electronic transfer shift that could split power between both axles without the need to stop the car. It worked at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph).

The first generation Pajero was also marketed as the Hyundai Galloper in Korea, Europe and GCC Countries, while the second generation was in production elsewhere.

This model Pajero remains in production in India as the Pajero SFX; the latest generation is sold as the Montero. In the Philippines it is marketed as the Pajero "Field Master" 4x2 with the 2.8L TD engine, alongside the fourth generation Pajero. The 4X4 version was taken out of production in 1999. It is also still produced in Colombia from Complete Knock Down parts (CKD), with a 2.4l 16 valve SOHC (130 PS) or 3.0l 12 valve V6 (148 PS), both engines are available as a 3-door hard top, the 5-door wagon only with the 3-litre six.

In 2006, the second generation Japanese Domestic Market Pajero became eligible for importation to Canada. As gas prices in Canada spiked in late 2005 and dedicated vehicle importing businesses emerged, visibility on the turbo diesel Pajero was increased.[6] Off road enthusiasts and postal workers began to take notice of the Pajero, even though imports had started years before, and soon thereafter demand for the turbo diesel Pajero rose.

Third generation (1999–2006)

Third generation
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Also called Mitsubishi Montero
Mitsubishi Shogun
Mitsubishi Pajero Sfx
Production 1999–2006
Assembly Sakahogi, Gifu, Japan (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Designer Pininfarina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door SUV
4-door SUV
Engine 4D56 2.5L TD I4
4M40 2.8L TD I4
4M41 3.2L Di-D I4
6G72 3.0L V6
6G74 3.5L V6
6G74 3.5L V6 GDI
6G75 3.8L V6
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2-Door: 100.2 in (2,545 mm)
2001-02 4-Door: 109.5 in (2,781 mm)
2003-04 4-Door: 109.7 in (2,786 mm)
2005-06 4-Door: 109.4 in (2,779 mm)
Length 2-Door: 166.1 in (4,219 mm)
2001-02 4-Door: 188.9 in (4,798 mm)
2003-06 4-Door: 190.2 in (4,831 mm)
Width 2-Door: 73.8 in (1,875 mm)
2001-02 4-Door: 73.9 in (1,877 mm)
2003-06 4-Door: 74.8 in (1,900 mm)
Height 2-Door: 72.6 in (1,844 mm)
2001-02 4-Door: 73.1 in (1,857 mm)
2003-04 4-Door: 71.5 in (1,816 mm)
2005-06 4-Door: 74.2 in (1,885 mm)

Designed in house, the third generation Pajero hit the Japanese Domestic Market in 1999, whilst it was made available to other markets in late 2000 as a 2001 model. The Philippines and other developing nations received this third generation Pajero in 2003. The vehicle was completely redesigned, inside and out and had a lower, wider stance. A lower center of gravity meant the Pajero had better on-road handling manners and the newer body had over three hundred percent more torsional rigidity. The biggest change to bring this about was that the Pajero utilized a unibody construction, as opposed to the previous body-on-frame (box-ladder). This also permitted a longer suspension stroke. The fuel tank was also relocated to between the axles for better safety. The third generation Pajero moved one size up from mid-size to full-size SUV. On May 17, 2004 Mitsubishi announced that they were considering shutting down the Gifu plant but decided not to after negative feedback. The Gifu assembly plant is surrounded by Mitsubishi's other buildings in which manufacture electronics for Mitsubishi's other divisions. The Gifu plant is known as Pajero Manufacturing Co. and exclusively builds the full-size Pajero.

The SS4 system was also further refined, as bevel gears were replaced with planetary ones. This meant the front-to-rear torque setting ranged from 33 to 67, with the ability to adjust to 50/50 depending on surface conditions. The system was also made fully electronic, which meant the vehicle didn’t have to be in gear to switch between drive modes. After all the upgrades, the system was renamed to Super Select 4WD II (SS4-II).

Alongside rack and pinion steering (as opposed to the recirculating ball system on previous generations), the Pajero also offered a choice of three transmissions; a five speed manual, a four speed INVECS-II automatic and a five speed INVECS-II tiptronic.

An all-new 3.8 Liter SOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant was also introduced on this generation. This engine utilized an Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV), to deliver a refined cruising power with power to spare for offroad ventures.

The third generation was introduced on August 2, 1999 and was scheduled to be replaced by the Autumn of 2006, having been restyled in 2003. This was the most luxurious of the three generations, moving to a more upscale segment to compete against the Land Rover Discovery, but more importantly, to counter its home rival Toyota Land Cruiser's growth. The 3.0 L engine's power was decreased to 130 kW (175 hp/177 PS), and the 3.5 L engine was given gasoline direct injection, increasing power to 162 kW (217 hp/220 PS) in the Japanese market (export versions kept the standard EFI engine, now with 149 kW (200 hp/203 PS). The 2.8 L Diesel was retained only for developing markets, and was replaced by a new 16-valve direct injection engine, with 3.2 L and 120 kW (161 hp/163 PS).

In the North American market, the 3.5 L engine was replaced for 2003 by a more powerful 3.8 L unit, with 160 kW (215 hp/218 PS). This engine was later made available to a few export markets such as South America and Australia, whilst it replaced the GDI V6 in the Japanese lineup in 2005. The short wheelbase model is not available in North America, where the Montero is the only SUV in Mitsubishi's lineup with standard four-wheel drive. Faced with falling sales, the Montero was pulled from the US market after the 2006 model year.

Fourth generation (2006–present)

Fourth generation
Also called Mitsubishi Pajero Super Exceed (Indonesia)
Mitsubishi Montero (North America)
Mitsubishi Shogun
Production 2006–present
Assembly Sakahogi, Gifu, Japan (Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door SUV
4-door SUV
Engine 4M40 2.8L TD I4
4M41 3.2L Di-D inline 4 cylinder
6G72 3.0L V6
6G74 3.5L V6
6G75 3.8L V6
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 4-Door: 2,780 mm (109.4 in)
2-Door: 2,545 mm (100.2 in)
Length 4-Door: 4,900 mm (192.9 in)
2-Door: 4,385 mm (172.6 in)
Width 2007-09: 1,895 mm (74.6 in)
2010-Present: 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
Height 2007-09 4-Door: 1,900 mm (74.8 in)
2007-09 2-Door: 1,880 mm (74.0 in)
2010-Present 4-Door: 1,890 mm (74.4 in)
2010-Present 2-Door: 1,840 mm (72.4 in)

The fourth generation was introduced at the Paris Motor Show on September 30, 2006 (although some would argue that it was not a new generation at all, but simply a makeover of the existing vehicle, which has been around since 1999). New interior and exterior styling were accompanied by enhanced safety with dual-stage SRS front airbags as well as new side-impact and curtain airbags. The Super-Select 4WD II system was retained, complemented by an improved Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC) system and electronic brakeforce distribution. With skid plates, heavy weight components and 8.7 inches of ground clearance the vehicle retains its reputation as one of the toughest and most capable 4x4s.[7]

The engines were upgraded with the 3.2 L diesel gaining Common Rail technology, a DPF for cleaner emissions and producing 125 kW (167 hp/170 PS) and the 3.8 L V6 gaining MIVEC variable valve timing to boost power to 184 kW (247 hp/250 PS). Both engines meet new Euro IV emissions standards. The 3.0 L V6 is retained for the Japanese and GCC markets.

From 2009, the 3.0L V6 engine was dropped in the GCC markets, and was replaced by a 3.5L V6 engine, rated for 141 kW (189 hp/192 ps) and 306 Nm torque. Further enhancements to the 3.2L Turbo Diesel in the 2011 model year saw the power and torque increased to 147 kW/197 hp/200 PS and 441Nm respectively. The 3.8L petrol engine remained at 184 kW and 329Nm (using 95RON fuel). There is also a panelled Van version available in markets where such a model can be registered at a lower tax rate.

For the 2010 model year the Pajero gained a Rockford acoustic soundsystem and two interior color options, black and beige, in some markets.

For 2012, this model has been minimally restyled and given an improved monocoque body and suspension.

Production and sales

Year Production Domestic sales Export sales
1982 16,930 8,059 7,023
1983 33,605 8,076 25,886
1984 41,422 9,176 32,341
1985 59,770 11,770 49,249
1986 87,252 16,636 70,594
1987 89,456 22,170 67,021
1988 107,157 25,225 79,699
1989 116,883 36,483 82,176
1990 108,730 36,061 71,206
1991 144,988 64,381 80,882
1992 174,708 83,685 89,835
1993 158,922 67,899 88,788
1994 161,238 54,329 106,570
1995 152,102 44,933 110,365
1996 128,593 28,851 99,200
1997 136,941 26,181 111,144
1998 95,675 9,412 90,416
1999 90,524 20,189 65,212
2000 138,315 12,701 129,198
2001 91,700 6,725 85,324
2002 112,161 5,681 106,376
2003 90,929 6,035 85,863
2004 79,152 4,196 74,347
2005 69,142 2,781 66,773
2006 75,933 6,025 68,563
2007 112,103 3,818 108,982
2008 57,903 2,738 58,000
2009 48,055 2,198 44,896

(sources: Facts & Figures 2008, Mitsubishi Motors website)


External links

  • Official global website
  • Official European website

See also

  • Mazda Laputa, whose name means "the whore" in Spanish
  • Urban legends about the Chevy Nova and Vauxhall Nova, whose names, spaced no va, mean "doesn't go" in Spanish
  • Honda Jazz (similar rename)
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