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

1998 Mitsubishi Pajero iO 1.8 petrol from Uganda


A good car


First burnt one coil; I replaced it. After some 315 km it burnt all the four coils and their plugs! I replaced all the four coils and the four plugs. Now after 2650km again all the four coils are again burnt. Now I have parked it and I'm seeking advice.

General Comments:

It has been good for all terrains, and being a 4WD and high, it can go over all roads.

Fuel consumption is good.

Charles Lubega.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th September, 2015

30th Sep 2015, 09:23

Hi Charles.

Do you have any other comments about repairing and maintaining it in Uganda? How about its comfort? I am planning to get myself one!

Joseph, Kampala.

1999 Mitsubishi Pajero iO 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


There are a couple of rattles here & there, the most annoying being the rattle on start up from the rear muffler, as it sounds like a broken baffle, & affects performance on & off (soon to be replaced). Other than that, everything is in perfect working order!

General Comments:

I used to keep cars for up to two years, but a great experience with my Suzuki Baleno Baleno GS changed that... by the time it's sold, it will be ten years! I also bought a Toyota MR2 two years ago as my fun car. Then I went looking for something that added to the Baleno's practicality, while adding a little crudity; I love to feel the mechanicals working around me! After looking at Feroza's, Rav's, Vitara's & the like, I came across this little gem. He (his name is Scrat after the Ice Age character) is just fabulous!

OK, performance is lacking with a 75kw 1.6, but he gets up to cruise readily. He can also tow a trailer, climb everything I'm likely to encounter. & is so rare it gets a lot of looks.

It also feels like a proper little truck, but if you want a family car on stilts, go for a CR-V or Rav4. This little fellow can get quite seriously dirty if required.

Value of these secondhand is fabulous. I also recommend that if you buy one you look under the following headings on Ebay; Pajero io, Pajero Pinin, Pajero TR4, Shogun Pinin. Yes, it was sold under many names worldwide, but Ebay is your friend for hard to find bits. Heck, I've just landed an interior trim kit from there! If you're in Melbourne & you see a burgundy over silver 3 door io with tinted windows, it's probably me... with my Scrat character in the back window :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2010

3rd Oct 2016, 01:54

The dreaded 2WD/4WD lights flashing is often down to the rubber hose from the front diff failing/disconnected. But you can sleeve the rubber to the diff and apply plenty of that HD (Semedyne 3000) adhesive. Spelling in doubt as I'm transliterating directly from Japanese.

Last owner, right!

Jack, the Japan Alps Brit.