Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Verada - Ei sedan
Gutsy V6, refinement, comfort, family friendly
Room for improvement
Lacks the outright power of equivalent Aussie Holden/Fairmont V8s
20 Jun 2003
WHEN Mitsubishi released the Verada - effectively a V6-engined Magna - in 1991 it moved into direct competition with Ford and Holden and gave buyers an alternative Australian-produced front- wheel drive, six-cylinder, family-sized car.
The Verada and Magna were based on the Japanese Sigma with lots of improvements to withstand Australian conditions and suit our buying patterns and preferences.
The four-cylinder Magna and the Verada shared the completely new body, although the Verada has a different grille and bumpers to distinguish it from its cheaper sibling.
The Verada is not quite as big overall or as spacious inside as its rear-wheel drive rivals but there is not much difference and it is quite capable of carrying five adults and their luggage in comfort.
The Verada was offered in automatic transmission form only and came in two equipment levels, the Ei and luxury Xi.
The Ei was not as well equipped as its rivals although it did come with air-conditioning and power steering. This made the luxury pack option - electric windows, central locking and cruise control - a popular choice for the Ei.
Mitsubishi responded to buyers' demands in mid-1992 by incorporating the luxury option into the standard equipment list.
The Verada's 3.0-litre V6 engine - replaced by a 3.5-litre version when the KS model was released in March, 1994 - uses a single overhead camshaft per bank and two valves per cylinder.
The result is a power output of 120kW at 5500rpm and a torque rating of 235Nm at 4000rpm.
There is a noticeable improvement in power output, torque and fuel consumption when premium unleaded fuel is used.
In outright performance terms, the Mitsubishi did not match its Australian rivals but is more economical under normal driving conditions, although the advantage shrinks if driven hard.
This is partly due to the Verada's relatively heavy weight but a spin-off from the over-engineering is a strong cabin structure with a very good rating for occupant protection in crash tests.
The suspension carries over from the previous model with refinements to fine tune the ride and handling. The handling, steering and ride are all good for a front-wheel drive family car.
Mitsubishi pared down the service and parts costs to make the Verada more attractive to fleet buyers. The running costs per kilometre, excluding petrol, are among the lowest and almost match the Falcon/Commodore.
You need to look hard to tell the difference between the Magna and the more expensive Verada, which has had some effect on depreciation rates.
While the Verada lacks the outright power and size of its Australian rivals, it scores with good ride comfort, refinement and lower fuel consumption.
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