2003 Mitsubishi Magna Solara 3.5L SOHC
Reliable and good value
Nothing major has gone wrong with the car in the 12 or so months I have owned it. The timing belt tensioner was causing a low groaning noise while the engine was cold, a problem it had since I purchased it used. This was replaced with the timing belt at 94,000kms.
A/C button for the climate control was a little dodgy, and often would require a lot of force to use. This was also fixed by replacing the whole unit.
Driver's side seat rocks and moves under heavy breaking, which has partly been rectified by adding thicker washes under the seat, and is a common problem with these cars.
As the last of the Magna's produced (with the TW) this is quite a nice car to drive. The 4 speed auto is reasonably smooth, but I would prefer the 5 speed.
Interior plastics are a little flimsy/average quality, and the interior of the car is, on the whole, somewhat drab and uninspiring with its grey trim. However, I quite like the appearance and layout of the interior, minus the power window switches in the centre console, which aren't always convenient.
With standard traction control and 4 airbags, it provides a reasonable level of safety. Also comes standard with drivers side power seat.
One annoying aspect of the car is the difficulty in changing headlamp globes - without dismantling the car (removing wiper bottle on drivers side, and via the wheel arch on the passenger side). This is a very poor design and quite strange.
The engine/drivetrain are consistently regarded as better than either those on the equivalent Commodore and Falcon. And with power output of 155kw and 317nm of torque, this car is fairly comfortable on the open road as far as overtaking. Currently getting 10.5-11l/100kms, which is fine, and the car is designed to run on 91 RON fuel.
The styling of the car is not for everyone - but these models have aged better than the earlier TJ series. The appearance of the car is greatly improved with a larger set of wheels and some lowering, if you're that way inclined.
Having also owned a 380 this car is inferior in some ways, having a less modern interior, smaller engine (but not by much) and the 380 had a 5 speed box across the entire range. However, the used value of these - under $10K for a car with fairly low kms - is quite good.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th September, 2010