2001 Mitsubishi Pajero iO 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


The Pajero IO 3dr 2.0L manual is an exceptional car to drive both on and off-road with good fuel use


Clutch failure - replaced with a new clutch damper.

Super select - works but will not go into 4wdL.

General Comments:

Great car to drive.

Brilliant gearbox.

Could maybe do with a 6th gear?

Highly underrated off-roader (very capable even without low-range).

Central differential locker works great.

Not underpowered.

Fun car to drive.

Mostly comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2018

2000 Mitsubishi Pajero iO 2.0 petrol from Japan


All function, no fashion when you don't need to impress the neighbours


Not much.

Driver's electric mirror is a bit dodgy.

Hitting a bump caused a drip-drip water leak from the N/S. Rad sealer fixed it.

General Comments:

An all-function, no-fashion off-roader for bad conditions, especially snow. Buy assuming you will be the last owner. It's the sort of car you run on snow tyres year round.

- Transmission is over engineered

2WD/4WD, can switch on the move. O/D, LSD rear, central diff locking, crawler gear, auto and manual options. Dash light that shows 2/4WD can malfunction and flash, but no worries; it's just the electrics playing up. Better than a Forester in deep snow.

- Shielding

Sump shield, thin plate but foam rubber between sump. Totally inadequate for bad bumps, so you might as well remove it for extra cooling. Alternatively, get another from a donor and double-skin. Or as template for making a heavy duty guard.

Fuel tanks (there seem to be two) are shielded in the same thin plate material, but adequate as a stone guard.

Propshaft universal joint into rear diff has a H/D shield.

- Ground clearance

Good, but central diff cross-member sticks down. Could be an issue in deep snow.

- Suspension

Quite stiff in standard form. Steering alignment never seems to need adjusting.

- Brakes

Disc/drum. The plungers on the fronts need greasing when you change pads. Adequate, especially with ABS; drums on the rear are hardly a deal breaker.

- Power steering

Belt squeaks/slips so you briefly lose power steering when you go through water. Adjustment is not that easy.

- Electrics

The standard battery is small. Changing to a larger battery means you have to address that small/large terminal pillar terminal issue. Changing the headlight bulb on the battery side is a problem, especially as disconnecting the battery means you have to reset the tickover.

Discoloured headlight lenses exacerbates dismal performance. However, bumper-mounted fogs serve as cornering lights.

- Handling

A bit choppy, especially the short wheelbase version. Can't get it to handbrake turn.

Grips well in 4WD.

- Tyres/wheels

215/70/16 seems over-tyred, and for snow a narrower wheel/tyre would be an advantage. However, 21mm wheel nuts with deep fixing means that although 16" Toyota/Nissan wheels fit (if you drill out the holes), you will also need spacers. Best advice; don't go that route.

- Engine

The stem that takes HT to the spark plug shorted out, but even on three you can get around. Standard servicing is relatively easy once you get that useless sump guard out of the way. Note that the fuel filter is fitted above the fuel tank.

One tip: Use spacers on the seat belt buckles to prevent movement so you buckle up on the move.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2015

1st Jun 2017, 00:29

Regarding the dreaded flashing light issue: If you get an intermittent grinding noise in 2WD, which disappears when you come to a halt even with the engine running... which makes it difficult to identify the guilty component.

The alternator, power steering and air-conditioning all seem OK, and the belts aren't slipping...

Try engaging 4WD when the noise comes up. If the grinding noise instantly disappears you've found the problem. The shaft that engages/disengages the concentric gearwheels is malfunctioning.

So your options are to either constantly run in 4WD, or run in 2WD and flip to 4WD when the noise comes up.

Hardly the end of the world.

18th Sep 2017, 01:11

Try getting underneath, pull back the bellows on the front diff 2WD/4WD change rod and spray in lubricant to both ends.

Worked for me. Problem was refitting the bellows.

Jack, the Japan Alps Brit.

6th Aug 2018, 01:56

I've had four of these cars, and an issue on two of them was an engine misfire at around 100,000 km. Starts with hesitation when accelerating hard and progresses to running on three cylinders. Easy to find which cylinder is out by disconnecting each transformer in turn. Then change the stem on the offending cylinder and while you're at it, all spark plugs. This is a permanent fix. As a cheapo repair, you might want to try binding the original stem in insulation tape.

Jack, the Japan Alps Brit