1999 Mitsubishi Pajero NL Exceed 3.5 petrol
Very happy so far, great all round performer
Front wheel bearing failed, and wore out the hub in the process. The car did not strand me.
Has a weep from rear main seal I need to fix at some stage.
This is a rare Exceed manual version of the NL Pajero. Being the Exceed, it comes with leather, dual airbags and ABS brakes, which most of the NL and second series Pajeros don't have.
The car has been extremely reliable so far. It has a vibration at low revs under load, mainly in second. I tried greasing the uni joints, but it didn't do anything. Could just be one of those things.
The air conditioning works very well, which is important.
I fitted some Bridgestone Dueler D694 LT all round, and have been very impressed with them both on and off road. The car drives well on the highway, and the V6 provides ample power for 99% of situations.
The front seats aren't the best for me, but overall front and rear comfort is good. The back seats are better suited to 2 people than 3. The boot space is large, especially if you remove the boot seats like I did. The back seats fold up allowing a very large space to be created. There are gutters all along the roof, which makes for easy mounting of roof racks.
The engine is great, it is the SOHC V6. It has hydraulic lifters, so the main thing to look for is to make sure the timing belt is changed. I've heard from a mechanic friend that every now and then a crack can develop in the engine blocks, causing them to lose water. This fault would require an engine swap, but I don't think it's very common, and I think was more common on the 3.0 L models.
Spare parts are easy to get via Repco or Mitsubishi dealer.
Fuel economy, I can get about 12.5 L/100 on the highway, and anything between 15 and 20 L/100 in the city. Not the best, but in my opinion acceptable for a large 4x4.
The car can be driven in 4WD on sealed roads, which is brilliant. If it's wet, I always drive in 4WD for improved traction and handling.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 3rd January, 2010
The 1999 Pajero is generally a good vehicle, but it does have a few annoying traits. Here are my pet hates...
1) You can bump the auto shift lever from drive to neutral without the need to press a button. Not a good thing if you have engaged cruse control and then knock it into neutral! The engine screams and you are left wondering what the heck has just happened.
2) Turning off the engine while leaving the driving lights on causes them to switch to parking lights only. Just the thing if you want to have a flat battery after using your lights during the day. (ie after travelling in a tunnel or using lights during a dull day, etc)
3) The front seat doesn't go back anywhere near far enough. I'm 5'11" and can't stretch my legs at all.
This is the original poster again. I have since sold this car, but my experience with it was really great. I'll mention a few of the things I did to it to keep it in good shape. In the time I had it, I would have done about 60,000km.
That vibration I talked about in low revs under load, I replaced the transmission mount, which has two rubber parts in it that had worn, and the problem virtually disappeared. The part was about 200 and I did it myself; not a difficult job.
Replaced two camshaft o-ring seals at the back of each cylinder head. It's common for them to leak with age, as the seals go hard. Parts were about 12 dollars, a bit of a fiddly job, but not too bad. This fixed my oil leaks.
A rear shock absorber started to leak, so I replaced both rears.
Replaced the cruise control on/off switch, as the little light in it had blown and isn't replaceable. Cost about 40 from a wrecker. The cruise control didn't stop working at any time, just the little light on the switch.
Other than that, just routine oil and fluid changes. The car was really reliable and I'd have one again; only sold it to buy a newer model one.