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The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been chosen as one of the 12 finalists of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ (SAGMJ) 2019 Car of the Year (COTY) competition!


The announcement was made by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists on Tuesday 20 November.


  • Competition now in its 33rd year
  • Pajero Sport chosen as one of 12 finalists
  • SUVs dominate finalists


The SAGMJ has been running the COTY competition since 1986, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport strongly features on the shortlist.

“The Pajero Sport is hugely popular in South Africa as it has been all over the world, supported by the Pajero’s long reign as Dakar king with no less that 12 Dakar Rally victories starting in the early 1980s,” says Nic Campbell, General Manager at Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.


“We are very proud to be in such sophisticated company as the other 11 finalists and are very confident.”


The new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, launched in September last year at the start of the 2019 COTY period of eligible models, has been punching way above its weight thanks to an array of cutting-edge technological enhancements.


These include its super-responsive 2.4L MIVEC Turbo Diesel Engine producing 133kW at 3 500 rpm and 430Nm of torque at 2 500 rpm, driving the wheels through its state-of-the-art 8-speed Automatic Transmission with Intelligent Shift Control.


The Pajero Sport boasts Mitsubishi’s Super Select II-4WD system which delivers performance in the most challenging driving conditions and rugged terrains. This advanced technology provides four driving modes: 2WD High Range, 4WD and 4WD High and Low Range with locked centre differential. An easy-to-operate four-wheel-drive selector dial allows switching between 2WD and 4WD on the move at speeds under 100km/h.


In addition, the selectable Off Road Mode maximises traction on unsealed surfaces. Hill Descent Control (HDC) can be initiated when you travel down a steep gradient more than 5% and can be set at any speed between 2-20km/h.


Adjusting engine output and automatically applying the brakes to maintain the set speed, it allows the driver to concentrate on steering without having to manually apply the brakes. The Pajero Sport boasts a rear diff-lock as well, making it virtually unstoppable.


Locally the Pajero Sport has recently been upgraded with additional safety features, including 7 airbags and ISO-FIX child seat anchors as part of Mitsubishi Motors’ trusted pedigree of providing progressive, robust, tough, reliable and safe products.


“The inclusion of this model as one of the 12 finalists proves the Pajero Sport remains a winning model,” says Campbell.


The 2019 COTY finalists will be put through a structured testing procedure from 10 to 12 March 2019 where they will be scored on the following aspects – in all of which the Pajero Sport shines: Exterior Design, Interior Design & Utility/Practicality, Engine Performance, Technology, Transmission Performance, Engineering Integrity, Build Quality & Noise Levels, Ride and Handling, Brakes, Driver Assistance and Safety Systems, Overall Excellence,  Affordability / Value for Money (automated score) and Vehicle Sales (automated score).


Apart from the overall winner, the 2019 COTY includes a new Category Winners format which will be part of the competition for the first time. The Pajero Sport 4×4 8-speed A/T derivative, retailing at R619 995, has been chosen by the SAGMJ as one of the 12 finalists in the competition. The winner will be announced at a banquet event early in April 2019.


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