The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been in the market for some time now, but the burly SUV hasnt really caught the fancy of a great deal of SUV buyers the way its rival, Toyota's Fortuner, has. Why is that, you ask? Well, there are two issues here. Firstly, Mitsubishi's sales and service network in India, which is nothing to write home about when compared to its Japanese counterpart's. And, secondly, there arent many options to choose from, as the Pajero Sport, up until a few months ago, was only available as a four-wheel drive, manual gearbox-equipped variant.Last winter, a few things changed when a 4x2 automatic variant was added to the Pajero Sport line-up, at a price point lower than the manual 4x4's, and Mitsubishi's outreach has, since then, grown by a small margin, too. So, does it warrant your attention, SUV buyers? Yes, it would be worth the effort of finding a dealer and giving it a look, as, at least on the showroom floor, its a slightly better package than the Fortuner. And, the reason for that is the Pajero Sports overall fit and finish, cabin quality and a decent mechanical package.With the Pajero Sport 4x2 AT, there arent many changes on the inside, and quite frankly, it didnt need any. The quality of plastics, the choice of materials, and the leather upholstery – it all feels good. Mitsubishi has, however, added a few bits like the new, two-DIN infotainment system, and a tiny information bar on top of the centre console, à la Pajero SFX. On the outside, there are subtle changes like the new chrome grille design, and ORVM-integrated turn indicators.The biggest talking point, however, is the addition of a five-speed automatic gearbox, that sends power to the rear wheels only. For now, theres no 4x4 AT, if thats what you wanted to know. It continues to be powered by the same 2.5-litre turbo-diesel, churning out a decent 176bhp and 350Nm of torque (50Nm less than the 4x4). So, how good is the auto box? Well, its a decent attempt, in our books. The gearbox isnt all that sharp or lazy, and does its job adequately. Yes, there is a sense of leisure in the way it shifts, but it isnt disconcerting. And, if you are in the mood for a spirited drive, you can take charge of the shifts by using the paddle shifters placed behind the steering wheel.However, the worrying bit is the manner in which the torque convertor works. Its an old-school box that, has a peculiar way to save fuel. The moment you go off the throttle, the revs take a nosedive and motor starts idling around 1200rpm. And the feeling of having a 2.5 tonne mammoth sailing down the highway with zero assistance from the engine (no engine braking) isnt the most reassuring one. Talking of saving fuel, Mitsubishi claims the AT will run 11.81km to a litre of fuel, which is slightly less than the 12.8kpl of the manual variant.Leave that bit aside and there were a couple of things about the Pajero Sport that impressed us, like the overall engine performance and its willingness to build speed, the ergonomics and the ride comfort in general. There are a few things that need attention, though\: the diesel drone that filters into the cabin, excessive body roll around corners, the spongy brake feel, and, despite having the shortest turning radius of 5.6m, theres need for an extra lock-to-lock turn of the steering wheel, which is annoying at times.Overall as a product, the Pajero Sport 4x2 AT feels at par with the Fortuner mechanically, and offers a better cabin experience by a fair margin. Priced at ?23.55 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the 4x2 AT is ?30,000 cheaper than the 4x4 variant, and in our opinion, makes more sense than a manual. The AT offers the much-needed convenience while driving in urban conditions, and, lets face it, you wouldnt really miss the 4x4 tech in town. So, if thats a deal-maker for you, march towards your nearest Mitsubishi dealer right away.The numbers4cyl, 2477cc, 176bhp, 350Nm, 5A, RWD, 2600kg, 70 litres, 265/65 R17 tyres, ?23.55 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)The verdictFeels better built than its rivals. Is a better purchase than the 4x4 variant.