1 Apr 1985
Arguably the most revolutionary Australian car of the 1980s, Mitsubishi’s idea of taking the aerodynamically styled, front-wheel drive, Mk4 Sigma/Galant sedan, widening it by 65mm and then beefing it up for our conditions proved hugely successful.
It also helped influence Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and Honda to do the same for other markets.
The resulting Magna embarrassed the contemporary Commodore for cabin space and most others for refinement. The only weak links were the early four-speed auto transmission’s fickle reliability and the hoary 83kW 2.6L Astron 4-cylinder engine, which dated back to its 1977 Chrysler Sigma predecessor and met with some buyer resistance in a land where the “Big 6” ruled.
A five-speed manual was also available. The fleet-chasing Executive joined the base (but well equipped) GLX, SE and luxury Elite in September ’86, and featured power steering and auto as standard.