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Mitsubishi adds equipment to revised 380 range

Take three: Updated 380 sedan brings standard traction control and alloy wheels across the range.

Series III upgrade and special-editions aim at private buyers for Mitsubishi's 380

17 Jul 2007

MITSUBISHI Australia has added extra features in an effort to revitalise its struggling 380 large-car range, as well as two limited-edition models and an LPG dual-fuel option.

The 2007 model year 380 Series III will officially go on sale around Australia on July 29.

Traction control and alloy wheels are now standard across the range, starting with the entry-level ES and moving through SX, VRX and GT.

In addition to the six-spoke alloy wheels, the ES model now has the same grille as the higher-grade models – no more horizontal bars – and gains the more stylish front air-dam that includes standard foglights.

Otherwise, the Series III looks much the same as before, apart from the badge on the back.

Inside are some minor trim treatment changes and chrome instrument cluster highlights, while the SX also benefits from revised trim and new alloy wheels.

The biggest visual change is to the VRX, which gains racy lower front and rear bumper inserts as well as a chunky bootlid-mounted wing that fits well with the edgy rear-end.

The VRX also sports new five-spoke alloy wheels, new seat trim embossed with the VRX logo and a restyled four-spoke steering wheel. An optional luxury pack includes a sunroof and leather upholstery, the latter also embossed with the VRX logo.

Restyled alloy wheels distinguish the 380 GT, while an optional luxury pack called the “GTL” has been introduced – including leather interior, sunroof and various trim items – which replaces the now discontinued LX variant as the range’s premium luxury model.

Sales of the 380 have struggled over the past year in the face of new models from Holden and Toyota, but Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited president Rob McEniry is confident that the Series III upgrade – as well as the two new limited-edition models – will increase volumes.

In the first half of this year, 380 sales were down 18.2 per cent over the first half last year, averaging just 920 units per month.

Mr McEniry said he expected to swing more private buyers into the 380, which would boost sales to around 1100 a month.

21 center imageHe said the previous Platinum models had been very successful – with half going to private buyers – so we can expect further limited edition packages, starting with the two announced this week.

The ES Sports carries the same price as the regular ES but additionally comes with a rear wing, 17-inch alloys, sports suspension, a sunroof and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

With these features on top of the latest ES additions of traction control and foglights, as well as the already standard climate-control air-conditioning, ABS, dual front and side airbags, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, cruise control and powered driver’s seat, the ES Sports comes with a staggering level of equipment for $28,990.

The second special-edition is the “380 Fusion Burst”, which is based on the VRX and comes in a lurid orange duco with matching (though not as loud) seat trim and a sunroof for no extra cost.

“The 380 sedan has always been recognised as offering excellent driving comfort and style at a very attractive price, and the 380 Series III just takes that whole value proposition one step further,” said Mr McEniry.

“I think you would have to look long and hard to find a vehicle that comes close to matching the features and specification levels of our 380 line-up – particularly the special launch edition ES Sports model.”

All 380s are now dual-fuel compatible and Mitsubishi is offering a factory unit for $4050.

The LPG cylinder is located in the boot, so there is a loss of cargo carrying capacity, but the filler is located neatly behind the regular fuel flap alongside the petrol filler neck.

2007 Mitsubishi 380 Series III pricing:
ES $28,990
ES (a) $30,990
SX (a) $34,990
VRX $36,990
VRX (a) $38,990
GT (a) $44,990

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