1997 Mitsubishi Legnum ST 2.5


Worst car I've ever owned


First WOF (5 months after ownership, had passed WOF on purchase 1 month earlier), all 4 shocks leaking, had to be replaced + replace right front suspension arm, replace timing belt.

1 week after first WOF, torque converter stripped gearbox.

Combined total = $2800 to fix after 10,000 km put on the car.

2 months after first WOF, A/C compressor crapped out after an additional 1,500 km put on the car.

Total = $1700 to fix.

Digital clock/ stereo display intermittently will not work.

General Comments:

Worst car I've ever owned. Coming from having a trusty 1997 Toyota Corolla that I put 120,000 km on with never a hiccup, only required regular oil changes and brake replacements. Defied Canadian winters and worked perfectly through -35 weather never a blip.

The Legnum was purchased for $5,500 from a friend who had it checked prior to selling, was deemed to be tidy and an overall good car. After putting 12,000 km on it after 7 months and having it crap parts left and right, guzzle gas at a horrendous rate (even with majority highway driving), I am getting rid of it and getting a Toyota. Will never purchase a Mitsubishi again. Do NOT buy a Legnum. Ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2010

5th Feb 2010, 02:21

There are a few of these coming into Australia now, used via Japan and are one of the (very few) cars on the governments list of approved 'enthusiast' cars. The prices are much higher than in NZ, and parts would be hideously expensive as the bog standard Galant version of this model wasn't sold new here. I have no idea where you would get them from, unless you had a mate in NZ who could send things over.

I contacted an importer to see if I could import a Mazda Atenza (higher spec version of Mazda6) and the woman said it wasn't on the governments approved list, and then she tried to convince me into a V6TT Legnum 'cause she had one herself and was raving about it. Needless to say the conversation ended there.

They might look nice and go fast (when working) but after my experience with Japanese import Mitsi's in NZ (Libero, Eterna), I wouldn't touch one again, especially over here.

1997 Mitsubishi Legnum VR4 2.5Ltr V6 twin turbo


Rocket ship


Brake disks may need replacing soon due to lead foot.

Water pump and cam belt replaced at 100,000ks.

General Comments:

Mine has all the badges removed, so that nobody know I've got the fast model.

There are multiple models of Legnum in New Zealand; this is the one you want!

Faster than a Subaru GTB, and more room too.

Before this I had a GT25S R32 Skyline; it was good for skids, but the Legnum drives much faster and won't let go!!!

Had to GROW UP, sold my skider and got a 206kw family wagon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2008

1999 Mitsubishi Legnum VR4 2.5 V6 twin turbo


One of the best Japanese wagons


So far, just the cam belt.

Also had to replace the in-tire handbrake system, as it just didn't work at all. I think the previous owner had worked it too hard or something.

General Comments:

I have wanted a VR4 for many, many years, and I'm certainly not disappointed with it.

The ride comfort could be better, but the fact is this car is set up for going around corners at speed, so ride comfort wasn't going to happen with this car. But at least it does go around corners with so much grip it pulls your eyes out. The AYC 4wd system in the VR4 is mind boggling; I have no fear going around corners in the wet or dry cos the car just takes care of it all, it's so advanced.

I'm able to put my foot right down on the gas on a corner, and there's no drama at all. The car will go sideways on the extreme wet conditions, but you have to do it on purpose, and even then it's easy to take back into control.

The VR4 beats any other car like it; it has twin turbo's, but there isn't even a hint of turbo lag, and the gear box in the 1999+ VR4's is much stronger and it make better use of the power than the older VR4's. Mitsubishi say the gear box in the 1999+ VR4's is made to keep up with the manuals. I think it does as well.

Stock intake and bov make great sounds, and the car certainly goes like nothing I have ever been in; instant power through the rev range and the chassis etc handle's the power well.

I have a tow bar on it also, and can tow my 18.5 foot boat like it's not even there.

This car easily will go to its limit speed of 180 before you know it, it never lets up when your foot is down to the floor.

The brakes are good, and being a wagon there is more than enough space.

I love the styling of it, only other wagons like a Legacy GTB can come even close.

The sun roof in the car is great; it's about a metre by a metre, you can stand up in the back seats and be out of the sun roof.

Steering is perfect; takes a little while to get use to it being a little heavy, but appreciate it when going around corners so well, unlike a Legacy which is far too light. The VR4 stays flat and doesn't make any trouble with corners.

Air con is a great system.

The back seats fold down flat (I can fit my kayak in the car easily).

The only real thing that I don't like about the car is the gear ratios. They are fine until wanting it to go into 5th gear. Being an automatic, I don't have any control over it until it decides its time (even tiptronic doesn't let me) it won't go into 5th until 58km's (4th gear is at 38km's). And seeing as the speed limits around my area are 50kms, it's rather annoying. I'm not sure why this is; I have tried resetting the gear box and re-teaching it, but it's still the same as before.

Apart from that I love jumping into the VR4 in the morning for the drive to work, and look forward to it when I wake up. I try to get away on road trips as much as possible; it's just so much fun to be in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2008

10th Sep 2008, 00:30

Awesome review. Exactly how I feel towards it. Exact! Especially "look forward to waking up" part hehe.

Nice one man. Congrats!

17th Nov 2008, 00:39

Why would you want to be in 5th gear at 60kph?

If I was in the passenger seat I wouldn't let you do it driving a manual.

Remember that 5th gear is an overdrive, doing 60 in 5th is more than likely labouring the engine and doing unnecessary damage.

31st Mar 2009, 06:42

Just to let you know, the VR4's tippy gearbox did not change mechanically through all models 96-02. They had a very slight change in the ECU in 98+ facelift cars, but nothing major.

Awesome boxes, but NEED to be well maintained and serviced regularly with the correct fluid.

Check on OZVR4.com or clubvr4.com for stacks of info on all aspects of the VR4s