1 Jun 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
No amount of nose or tail lifting could hide the seven-plus year age of the competent but ageing Magna and Verada.
The fact that Mitsubishi international forced the Adelaide engineers to graft a nose that divided buyers was no help, especially as the reborn BA Falcon and always-popular Commodore were flying high, along with a fresh Toyota Camry.
Cabin trim was revised, and Executive and Altera vanished for ES and LS nomenclature.
There were worthwhile improvements to the steering, ride and handling, the long-lived 155kW/316Nm 3.5 V6 was always a peach (143kW/296Nm in LPG models), while up-spec models like the sporty 163kW/317Nm VR gained the luxury Verada’s five-speed Tiptronic-style auto instead of the four-speed version.
And then, two months later, there was the Magna’s unique all-wheel drive Magna sedans (154kW/310Nm AWD and 159kW/318Nm VR and its VR-X AWD replacement from August ’04).
But despite massive discounting and glowing AWD reviews, buyers lost interest and faith in a company that constantly lived under the spectre of shutting up local manufacturing.
And the 2005 all-new Galant replacement was still too far away…
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