Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 1997
There are SUVs here and SUVs there on the roads worldwide these days. It’s a very successful class of vehicle that didn’t even exist when I was first in the market for a car, but now they are everywhere. And here in Japan, too, the SUV has really caught on because of its higher driver’s seat position and better view, because of its good load capacity, and, because in the snow county areas and for those people who need some 4wd capability but don’t need a full-on off-road brute like a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Suzuki Jimny, the SUV is the perfect choice.
But in this now very popular class of vehicle, there is nothing quite like the Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution: This SUV is really a homologation special that was originally purpose built for the Paris Dakar Rally. The engine is a special tuned version of Mitsubishi’s 3.5 liter V6 with the addition of DOHC, 24-valves and MIVEC (Mitsubishi’s take on variable valve timing). The engine is non-turbo but has good power output and a seriously high redline.
While many SUVs are full time All Wheel Drive (AWD) the Pajero Evo is Part Time 4WD, so it’s rear wheel drive for on road but when you need it you’ve actually got a choice of three settings to power all the wheels: Four Wheel Drive High, Four Wheel Drive High with Differential Lock (diff-lock), and Four Wheel Drive Low with Diff-Lock. So you’ve got a lot of solid off-road capability here, as you would expect, and a choice of manual or automatic transmission is offered. But don’t think for a minute that this SUV (nearly tipping the scales at 1,800kgs) is any slouch in on road performance: Nothing is sacrificed, 0-60 is polished off in something around 7 seconds in the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo.
This is certainly one of the most unique cars that you cars import direct from Japan when you are looking for a good fresh import to the UK, Canada, or Ireland. (The import regulations of these countries now make the Pajero Evo an easy car to import.) There are good low mileage examples here in Japan these days but just keep in mind that, while the Pajero Evo is classed as an SUV, it’s really a performance car and so we recommend that you have any of these units you want to buy from Japan inspected pre-purchase. Of course, as a Japan-based used car exported, we’ll arrange all that for you.