CC Capsule: Mitsubishi Pajero Mini XR-II – The Shrunken Pajero

(first posted 1/5/2018)     The odd thing about the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini is that it does not look all that small until you get close to it or compare it to a more full sized SUV. All the normal Pajero styling cues are there but just at 2/3 scale. Even the wheels and tires, which are often a giveaway in pint sized vehicles, seem to be in direct proportion to the rest of the vehicle. But make no mistake the Pajero Mini is in fact miniature with an overall size comparable to a Suzuki Samurai.

Below are the dimensions compared to the Suzuki Samurai. Only width is significantly different.

Mitsubishi Pajero Mini vs Suzuki Samurai

Wheelbase: 86.6″ vs 79.9″

Length: 129.7″ vs 135″

Width: 54.9″ vs 60.6″

Height: 64.2″ vs 64.4″

Weight: 1874lbs vs 2059lbs


Based on the Minica Kei class car the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini is a true Kei class vehicle as it is equipped with a 659cc four cylinder engine. The base engine is an SOHC design with four valves per cylinder developing 55hp. An optional DOHC engine with five valves per cylinder and a turbocharger boosts power to 64hp. The Pajero Mini features an “Easy Select” four wheel drive system with both high and low range four wheel drives modes as well as two wheel drive. Suspension consists of MacPherson struts at the front and an independent five link at the back.

The non-flush headlights peg this one as a Nineties example but despite the age the interior looks to be in remarkable shape This one is equipped with an automatic gearbox which could be either a three or four speed unit.

Built from 1994 to 2012 the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini was built to capitalize on the SUV boom but offer frugal fuel economy and ease of parking associated with the Kei class in Japan. A refresh in 1998 added some extra width, length and flush mounted headlights. While the Pajero Mini was not sold here new thanks to Canada’s import laws we get to see the occasional well preserved example.