We tend to take for granted the sheer ubiquity of crossovers or small SUVs today, but there used to be a time when these vehicles were few and far between.
In the mid-nineties, Mitsubishi came up with the Pajero Mini, a striking three-door Kei car with SUV-style inspiration from the Pajero. It found moderate success in Japan, selling tens of thousands of units each year until it was discontinued in 2012.
Mitsubishi also struck a deal with Nissan in the mid 2000s for the production of an OEM version of the Pajero Mini called the Kix. Now it appears both manufacturers are looking to revive the Pajero Mini by 2024. According to a report by BestCar, Mitsubishi and Nissan will reportedly develop the vehicle jointly and sell it under their respective brands.
As the Pajero Mini revival is still in its early stages, not much is known about the new model. Rumors indicate that it could ditch its combustion engine history and become a battery-electric vehicle (BEV). If so, the Pajero Mini could launch as one of the few mainstream mini EVs worth buying. There’s still no word on which markets will get the new nameplate, as the original model was sold exclusively in Japan.
Some peg a resurrected Pajero Mini as a potential rival to the Suzuki Jimny, and we can see why, especially if the former retains its diminutive proportions and boxy styling. Add some four-wheel-drive (4WD) capability to the Pajero Mini as well as some attractive tech and safety features, and Mitsubishi and Nissan just might have a winner on their hands.
2024 is still far into the horizon, but we know more than a few people who would be interested in an electrified Pajero Mini with 4x4 capabilities. We can only hope that either Mitsubishi or Nissan pulls the trigger on a local release.