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…
7th of July 2003
Mitsubishi 2003 Magna AWD sedanMitsubishi builds Australia's first all-wheel drive. Is it worth another $3700?
When it was new
15th of August 2003
First drive: AWD Magna ready to go - againMitsubishi has given its all-paw Magna a new look just months into its life
26th of June 2003
New Magna: 'Nice' not right for design bossMitsubishi world design boss says the TL Magna is intended to make a styling impact