1999 Mitsubishi Pajero NL Exceed 3.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


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.

General Comments:

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

12th Feb 2010, 01:12

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.

29th Mar 2013, 13:48

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.

1999 Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed 3.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


It does the job I bought it for - towing


The auto gearbox was replaced at 200,000kms, just before I bought it.

Some overheating occurs when towing uphills.

A slow water leak has just been traced to the water pump.

The vehicle just started to vibrate quite badly at idle.

The leather driver's seat is starting to wear.

General Comments:

Receipts for work done at 200,000kms included a re-built auto gearbox and radiator. At 220,000 kms the TPS on the gearbox now requires adjustment due to slight flaring in lower gears.

Up hills, when towing a half-tonne boat, the temp gauge goes up to about 3/4 but comes down to 1/2 once you level off. Not sure if this is the "new" radiator not being up to the task, or if the temp sender is faulty as the engine doesn't seem to get overly hot. Radiator is always full of water even though I may lose water in the overflow bottle over a week (see next paragraph). I think this car needs a bigger header tank on the radiator, just not sure if one is available.

Re the water pump gasket leak. My mechanic said that the water pump replacement is a fairly big job. It is located behind a pile of shrouding and also may require the removal of the radiator. I just need to top-up the water level in the overflow bottle every week until I can get a mechanic to do the job - it's Xmas week 2007 after all!

Regarding the inlet manifold leak, you can hear the sucking wind noise under the bonnet, just cannot figure out the exact source of it. It may also be coming from a split vacuum hose located under the manifold? It has also lost a little power. Removal of the complete inlet manifold is a largish job on a V6, so this has to wait until mid-January 2008 when I can get a mechanic back from holidays. Car still goes reasonably well although down on power a fraction. I've been advised by my mechanic not to do long distances or tow anything until they can fully diagnose what went wrong with it. This caution is to prevent further damage.

Front leather seats should last another year before they need recovering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2007

28th Apr 2010, 16:44

Hi, I am looking at a 1999 NL GLS Pajero which is in a car yard. It only has 76,000 klms on it. It looks a very tidy car in the photos. It is auto and they are asking $17,900.00. It has a winch on the front.

Can anybody advise on what to look for with the age of the vehicle?

21st May 2011, 03:17

I would say the rough idle is due to the leaking manifold gasket.

17th Oct 2014, 22:41

If you want to trace the location of a vacuum leak, get something like Start Ya Bastard or ether or carburetor cleaner, and spray it around your hoses and gaskets. When the motor sucks in the spray, the vapours will cause it to rev.

17th Jul 2016, 07:12

With regard to the overheating, mine always gets hot if I am in the soft sand and leave the auto in "drive". I found that dropping it back to 2nd works, and if really soft I use low.

I know from previous that overheating is not always the radiator, it can be the auto cooler, so if the oil in the auto cooler gets hot, it also heats the radiator up and then the temp goes up etc etc. You can always put on a bigger auto cooler which will help, or a switch to control the electric fan or a bigger one.

In another car I owned, I had to put in an auto cooler and run it in a lower gear towing a 2 tonne load, otherwise it got that hot it spewed oil out the breather and onto the exhaust (spy car, with built in smoke screen), people used to say, do you know your car is smoking, not sure what gave it away...