I’ve spent a bit of time in the Pajero before and enjoyed it, not because of what it was, but because of what it wasn’t.
Let me explain: Most SUVs feel pretentious, especially the AWDs who think they stand a ghost of a change in a serious off-road beat-down. They have more front than Myer but little to back it up. Sure they have delicious interiors replete with leather, woodgrain and deeply piled carpet worthy of Buck House, but off-road they’re truly catastrophically useless. They lull you into a false sense of security, but fall badly at the first barrier. Pajero is the real deal.
There are loads of proper 4-wheel-drives of course. They all traverse continents in a single bound, probably. When you’re life is on the line, you want to make sure the car you buy will take as much care of you as you take of it. You want to know that when you leave home in it, you’ll also make it home again.
I’ve written previously about how I like the butch yet elegant look of Pajero, despite my lack of comprehension at the world’s continuing love affair with SUVs. The exterior speaks for itself. There is a sense that at any moment panels will fling themselves in all directions as it transforms into a 5 metre tall world-saving robot. I should never write after I’ve been watching the tellie right?
But I digress; there are sacrifice panels which cover the lower third of the doors, and can be easily replaced should you encounter scratchy branches while out in the wilds. While minor blemishes can be buffed out, you can save a lot of money by putting new plastic bits on rather than a spot of light panelwork. It’s worth noting they still require the gentle touch of a man with a paint can as they come in grey plastic.
The interior features 7 seats, handy should you need to accommodate sundry freeloaders. The sturdy leather feels like it will outlast time. It’s the kind of upholstery that makes a rugged man less afraid to jump onto the driver’s saddle, even if he is a trifle damp from doing all those butch out-doorsy things. It doesn’t feel at all precious despite the fancy wood-look steering wheel and aluminium highlights throughout. For those frosty nights, there is seat heating to keep your meat and 3 veg warm. We’ve all jumped into steaming hot black leather seats on a summer’s day, but winter nights can be almost as bad. The cabin’s rugged ambience is quite atmospheric. I can’t understand how it feels so much better this time than it did last time. Such is the life of a fickle writer.
There are a few disappointments however; there is no smart entry/start, or lane watch,