Weekly Treasure: 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero Mini VR-II

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Suzuki Jimny owners will be jealous of this thing.

We're all familiar with the Mitsubishi Pajero, aka the Montero. Sadly, the Japanese automaker announced late last summer the Pajero SUV was being discounted with no direct successor planned. The Pajero/Montero hasn't been sold in the US since the end of the 2006 model year, leaving SUV duties to the Mitsubishi Outlander which is really a crossover. It has nowhere near the same off-roading capabilities as the Pajero.

The Pajero, like most old school body-on-frame SUVs, is thirsty for fuel and that made it unattractive to many buyers, even in its home country of Japan. Japan is also the one country that takes pride in ultra-small vehicles, called kei cars. Back in 2013, kei cars held a 40 percent market share in Japan, but have dropped ever since because the government increased the kei car tax by 50 percent in 2014.

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Cars And Bids

Kei cars are not limited to ultra-mini city cars but also include SUVs, such as older generations of the Suzuki Jimny and the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini. Sold only in Japan from 1994 until 2012, the Pajero Mini rode on a different platform than the regular Pajero but received very similar exterior styling. But don't let its diminutive dimensions fool you; it's a highly capable 4x4 powered by naturally aspirated and turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engines. It was also extremely lightweight, tipping the scale at around 1,900 pounds.

The Pajero Mini was also the perfect rival for the second and, later, third-generation Jimny. A few years after it debuted, Mitsubishi widened and lengthened the Pajero Mini in accordance with new kei car regulations.

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Beginning in 1998, Mitsubishi built a rebadged version for Nissan, called the Kix (not to be mistaken with the new Kicks subcompact crossover). Mitsubishi sold on average of 10,000 units annually for the Pajero Mini's final seven production years, and a few special editions launched throughout its lifetime. One of them was the VR-II. Few are still around, especially outside of Japan, but there happens to be one for sale on Cars and Bids.

This 1995 Pajero Mini VR-II, like all Pajero Minis, is right-hand-drive and has just 62,400 miles on the clock. Power comes from a turbocharged inline-four with 63 horsepower and 72 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to all four wheels through a three-speed automatic and a two-speed transfer case. The auction will end on January 11 and the highest bid is $2,100, as of this writing.

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Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids
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Source Credits: Cars And Bids

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