1 May 1984
MITSUBISHI'S under-appreciated Nimbus is more influential than most people give it credit for.
The 1984 original – along with the slightly earlier but more utilitarian and flawed Nissan Prairie – did what the Renault Scenic allegedly did first a dozen years later: offer a compact wagonoid body style for “lifestyle” orientated urban families.
Key features were its high roofline, assorted three-row seven-seat arrangement, an elevated ride and cab-forward design.
The Japanese company based its lifestyle mini-MPV on the front-wheel drive Colt/Mirage-derived Cordia platform.
Performance was fairly strong thanks to a lusty 70kW/140Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine pulling the 1065kg four-door wagon around. Gearbox choices were a five-speed manual or three-speed auto.
Although no tearaway success, the package was novel enough for Wheels magazine to award it the 1984 Car of the Year.