A couple of weeks ago, I took the new Outlander SST Commercial for test across the country. It proved an interesting exercise because a week earlier I had spent a few days driving the Outlander's big tough brother, the Pajero.
First, the prices. The Outlander DiD SST Commercial sells for €35,995 including VAT and VRT (€29,995 ex VAT ) and qualifies for €310 annual road tax. It is powered by the new 2.2l DiD engine with variable valve technology. It delivers 156bhp and promises to give a return of up to 40mpg. Interestingly, I got better fuel economy on national primary roads (at around 100km/h ) than I did at on motorways (at about 120km/h ), despite less constant driving.
The Pajero SWB commercial sells for €39,636 including VAT and VRT (€32,262 ex VAT but inclusive of VRT of €200 ) and also qualifies for €310 annual road tax. It is powered by a 3.2 litre diesel that delivers 200bhp.
Mitsubishi boasts the new Pajero is the most powerful vehicle in its class. Under the bonnet, the power output of the 3.2 litre DI-D common-rail intercooled turbocharged diesel engine has certainly been increased by 25 per cent to 200bhp. Possibly even more important for Pajero buyers, torque has been increased by 16 per cent to 441Nm. This now gives the Pajero a towing capacity of up to 3,500kg (for the LWB, but 3,000kg for the SWB version ).
Mitsubishi says the Pajero offers the best in class CO2 emissions of 207g/km (that is down 15 per cent ), but is also more efficient in returning up to 36.2mpg (or 7.8 litre/100km ), which is an improvement of up to 18 per cent.
Standard equipment on the Outlander includes factory fitted Bluetooth, 18” sport alloys, a leather steering wheel, side and curtain airbags, climate control, hill start assist, cruise control, and electric heated door mirrors.
The new Pajero Commercial range, which will account for 90 per cent of overall Pajero sales in Ireland, also has a high level of standard equipment, which includes cruise control, Bluetooth handsfree system with steering wheel controls, automatic air conditioning, electric and heated folding door mirrors with integrated indicator lamps, remote central locking with keyless entry, leather steering wheel and gear stick, remote audio controls in the steering wheel, 18” alloy wheels, front fog lights, chrome grille, roof rails, and side steps.
Its super select four wheel drive system means that when it is not towing or driving off-road, the driver can simply and comfortably deploy 2 Wheel Drive, with the option to switch between the two at speeds of up to 100km/h.
Other standard safety features on all models include ABS with EBD, electronic traction and stability control with brake assist, driver, passenger, curtain and side airbags.
The Pajero has been a trusted workhorse for the last 25 years in Ireland with more than 10,000 sold. It has been popular with many because its performance, ability and dependability have been very well recognised.
With 4x4/SUVs being used extensively for business and farming use, it all comes down to personal taste and the suitability for the job. In the case of the Pajero and Outlander, I found it easy to make the distinction. For the tough off-road work and anything that a farmer could ask it to tow or go anywhere ability, the Pajero wins hands down.
However, for those who (like me ) spend all their time on road, the refinement, performance and the Mitsubishi’s twin-clutch transmission combine to make the Outlander a strong candidate for anyone looking for a good sized commercial SUV.
Thanks to the manufacturer’s sporting endeavours, the STT's ability to supply constant drive from the engine was originally employed in the high-performance Lancer Evo X. The constant drive has a positive effect on fuel consumption, and of course improves the smoothness of gear changes.
My personal choice is for the Outlander, but I'm not on the farm, on building sites, towing a horse-box, or working off-road, where I would most likely have a different view.