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Pajero iO vs Pajero Jr: Which One is Right for You?

Mitsubishi Pajero iO: A Mini SUV with a Big Personality


If you are looking for a small SUV that can handle both city and country roads, you might want to consider the Mitsubishi Pajero iO. The Pajero iO is a mini SUV that was produced by the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi from 1998 to 2007. It is also known as the Montero iO, the Pajero Pinin, or the Shogun Pinin in different markets. The name "iO" comes from the Italian word for "me", which reflects the car's user-friendly and personal character.

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What is the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO is a mini SUV that belongs to the same family as the larger Mitsubishi Pajero, but with a smaller body and engine. It is based on the platform of the Mitsubishi Mirage, a subcompact car, but with a higher ground clearance and a four-wheel drive system. The Pajero iO was designed to appeal to young and urban drivers who wanted a car that could perform well on both paved and unpaved roads, without compromising on style and comfort.

History and evolution of the Mitsubishi Pajero iO

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO was first introduced in Japan in June 1998 as a three-door model, followed by a five-door model in August 1998. It was exported to Europe as the Pajero Pinin, named after the Italian design studio Pininfarina, which built the local versions of the car. It was also sold as the Montero iO or the Shogun Pinin in other regions, such as North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

The Pajero iO underwent several changes and improvements throughout its production run. In 1999, it received a facelift that included new headlights, grille, bumpers, and tail lights. In 2000, it was equipped with a new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that boosted its power output. In 2001, it got another facelift that updated its interior and exterior design, as well as its safety features. In 2002, it was launched in Brazil as the Pajero TR4, which became Mitsubishi's first four-wheel drive flexible-fuel vehicle that could run on gasoline, ethanol, or a combination of both. In 2003, it was produced in China by Changfeng Automobile under the Liebao brand.

The Pajero iO was discontinued in Japan and Europe in 2007, but continued to be manufactured in Brazil until 2015 and in China until 2014. It was replaced by the Mitsubishi RVR/ASX/Outlander Sport, a compact crossover SUV that shared some of its components with the Pajero iO.

Why choose the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO is a good choice for drivers who want a mini SUV that can offer them some of the benefits of a larger SUV, such as off-road capability, high visibility, and spaciousness, but without the drawbacks of a larger SUV, such as high fuel consumption, low maneuverability, and high maintenance costs. The Pajero iO is also a good choice for drivers who value reliability, affordability, and simplicity over luxury, sophistication, and innovation.

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Features and specifications of the Mitsubishi Pajero iO

Exterior and interior design

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a distinctive exterior design that combines the ruggedness of a traditional SUV with the elegance of a modern car. The front fascia features a chrome grille, angular headlights, and a large bumper with fog lamps and air intakes. The side profile showcases the flared wheel arches, roof rails, and side steps. The rear end has a tailgate-mounted spare wheel, vertical tail lights, and a rear spoiler. The Pajero iO is available in various colors, such as white, silver, black, red, blue, and green.

The interior of the Mitsubishi Pajero iO is spacious and comfortable, with seating for up to five passengers. The dashboard is simple and functional, with analog gauges, a digital clock, and a center console with a radio/CD player and climate controls. The seats are upholstered in fabric or leather, depending on the trim level, and offer good support and adjustability. The rear seats can be folded down to increase the cargo space, which ranges from 350 to 1,100 liters. The Pajero iO also has several storage compartments, cup holders, and power outlets for convenience.

Engine and performance

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO is powered by various petrol engines, depending on the market and model year. The most common ones are the 1.6-liter 4G18 inline-four that produces 98 horsepower and 137 Nm of torque, the 1.8-liter 4G93 inline-four that produces 128 horsepower and 181 Nm of torque, and the 2.0-liter 4G94 inline-four that produces 148 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. Some models also have a turbocharged version of the 1.8-liter engine that produces 165 horsepower and 255 Nm of torque. The engines are mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, and can drive either the rear wheels or all four wheels via a selectable four-wheel drive system with low range.

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a decent performance for its class, with a top speed of around 170 km/h and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in about 12 seconds. It also has a good off-road capability, thanks to its high ground clearance, short overhangs, skid plates, and limited-slip differential. However, it also has a low fuel efficiency, with an average consumption of around 10 liters per 100 km.

Safety and technology

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a basic level of safety and technology features for its age and segment. It comes with dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC), seat belt reminders, and child seat anchors as standard equipment. Some models also have side airbags, head-protecting side curtains, a reversing camera, and an advanced seat belt reminder as optional or additional features. The Pajero iO has received a four-star rating from ANCAP for its crashworthiness.

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO does not have many advanced technology features that are common in newer cars. It has a basic radio/CD player with four speakers, a digital clock, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, and air conditioning as standard features. Some models also have a HDD navigation system, leather seats, alloy wheels, sunroof, cruise control, and power steering as optional or additional features. $4,000 . The price of a new car in Japan was between $11,266 to $17,174.

  • How reliable is the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO is generally reliable and durable, as it shares some of its components with the larger and more robust Mitsubishi Pajero. However, like any other car, it may have some common problems and issues that need to be addressed and fixed. Some of the reported problems include oil leaks, engine overheating, transmission failure, suspension noise, electrical faults, and rust . To avoid or minimize these problems, it is advisable to follow the recommended maintenance schedule, use quality parts and fluids, and check the car's history and condition before buying.

  • How safe is the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a moderate level of safety, as it has some standard and optional features that can protect the driver and passengers in case of a collision or an accident. However, it does not have some of the advanced safety features that are available in newer and more expensive cars, such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, or blind spot detection. The Pajero iO has received a four-star rating from ANCAP for its crashworthiness, which means that it provides acceptable protection for occupants and pedestrians.

  • How comfortable is the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a decent level of comfort, as it has a spacious and ergonomic interior that can accommodate up to five passengers. The seats are supportive and adjustable, the dashboard is simple and functional, and the air conditioning is effective. However, the comfort level may vary depending on the road condition, speed, and load. The ride quality may be harsh and noisy on rough or uneven roads, especially at high speeds. The rear seats may be cramped and uncomfortable for tall or large passengers. The cargo space may be limited for carrying large or bulky items.

  • How fuel efficient is the Mitsubishi Pajero iO?

The Mitsubishi Pajero iO has a low level of fuel efficiency, as it has a high fuel consumption rate that makes it expensive to run and maintain. It also has a high carbon emission rate that makes it harmful to the environment. The averag


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