Traditional power

Mitsubishi has added a third engine variant to the Pajero Sport line-up in the guise of a 3.0-litre V6. Should you go for one?

WHAT'S NEW?

While six-cylinder petrol engines are becoming rather obsolete in SUVs today, Mitsubishi Motors Thailand has bucked the trend by offering a 219hp 3.0-litre V6 option for the Pajero Sport.

This is the third alternative in the Triton-based SUV lineup after the 178hp 2.5-litre diesel-turbo and 128hp 2.4-litre petrol.

As part of the 2013 model-year upgrade, Mitsubishi has added more features into the GT specification including a DVD screen for rear passengers, an updated sat-nav system, rear-view parking camera, more connections for digital features and black leather.

The V6 only comes with 2WD system and is priced at 1.305 million baht _ 96,000 baht more than the 2WD 2.5 VGT. Both have the same five-speed automatic transmission.

WHAT'S COOL?

The 219hp 3.0-litre V6 performs well but is thirsty.

For those who have never come to terms with the vocal note and coarse feel the diesel VGT produces, the V6 should provide an answer for it is quieter and smoother at practically at all times.

As well, the V6 yields an effortless performance right away from standstill and continues to do so at highway speeds where external noise suppression is more appreciative than in the VGT.

Ever since the Chevrolet Trailblazer came into existence, it defined a new benchmark for pickup-based SUVs in terms of road-holding ability and interior versatility.

Even so, the chassis of the Pajero Sport still has sufficient grip and the interior is adequately spacious to help _ to a certain degree _ maintain its competitiveness at such an age.

Mitsubishi has always been known for pricing its vehicles competitively, so expect this year's upgrade to further solidify the Pajero Sport's value-for-money factor.

WHAT'S NOT?

V6 goes for 1.305 million baht.

A traditional V6 petrol engine with no kinds of fuel-saving ancillaries found in modern cars certainly makes this Pajero Sport a gas-guzzler on the move.

Only single-digit figures were attainable with us behind the wheel, even when driving the Pajero Sport to Kamphaeng Phet province up north. You'd be going quite slow if you get 10kpl.

The other downside is an inherent trait since the Pajero Sport was launched in 2008: casually geared steering (good for off-roading) that doesn't feel direct enough on-road.

BUY OR BYE?

If you want more performance and refinement in the Pajero Sport, the V6 is the answer. But the inevitable compromise is the fuel consumption, which isn't surprising.

The VGT still offers a better balance between economy and oomph. In fact, it has 350Nm of torque compared to the V6's 281Nm (read: easier overtaking and uphill driving).

True, some people may go for the V6 because it can be converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Just be prepared to sacrifice some of the Pajero Sport's levels of practicality due to the need to fit a CNG tank. As well, the V6 isn't economical in the first place, so you need to do the right calculations on where and how you're going to use the vehicle.In the end, the natural choice still is the VGT. That's probably why rival makers aren't offering a V6 petrol in Thailand.

Left: DVD screen is part of equipment upgrade.

Right: There’s no 4WD option, just 2WD for the rear wheels.

Interior sees black leather for MY2013 vehicles.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor