Plymouth Sapporo Reviews from North America

1982 Plymouth Sapporo 2.6L MCA Jet

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership1992
Engine and transmission 2.6L MCA Jet Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired151000 miles
Most recent distance200000 miles

Summary:

General Lee's little cousin!!

Faults:

The carburetor was glitchy, kept wanting to stall at stoplights. I revved it and peeled out a few times because of it. Great car to take apart in auto-shop.

General Comments:

My father bought this car brand new from the dealer right at the time Honda was starting to gain momentum on the small passenger car market, making most car makers compete for best power vs. gas economy.

My step-mother was stuck in the driveway for I don't know how long trying to figure out how to get it into reverse when we first got it. It was one of the first cars with the push-down lockout, little letters on the shift-knob read: push for R.

I literally grew up riding in the passenger seat. My father would have me change gears for him when I was 11 or so.

It was Black with Black and Red interior, so it reminded me of KITT. I couldn't wait to have it for my own.

I acquired the Sapporo when I was 16 and just started my second year of auto-shop class. I took most of it apart, being the only one in my 3 man group to have his own car. I stripped the engine down to the block the second year, only to find no wear!! I was planning to re-bore the cylinders, so I just kept it the way it was and changed the piston rings and bearings and whatnot. It was pretty easy to get to all the bolts that held everything together, I had plenty of room to maneuver in the engine compartment compared to other cars in shop.

I loved this car for how many races to school I won because of the great handling, medium/good suspension, and lowend torque to weight.

This car also had a high-rev redline at around 7500 or so, and in 5th gear it scooted around at like 115 mph. It just took a long stretch of straight road. So 85 mph was easy to get to.

I had a wreck after high school was out, and that is what made me decide to make it into a dirt road warrior! I was driving on what seemed to be a straight road for quite a while and suddenly came to a switchback like I've never seen, it looked at first like a lazy turn, but when I rounded the first part it switched direction and I flew right over a creek Dukes of Hazzard style and landed it. All that happened was I de-beaded all 4 tires and scraped an oak tree. It took some A-Team type McGuyvering to make a bridge to get back over the creek, and after a long time of grounding by my father, I set to beefing up the suspension and knuckling in a turbocharger.

What fun that car was, I wish to find one again, but probably never will get the opportunity.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2007

16th Dec 2007, 18:22

The Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Sapporo's are very rare cars and you sure don't see many around at all, I wish those cars would get more recognition, I thought those cars were way ahead of its time and it's a shame that they have to be so underappreciated.

1982 Plymouth Sapporo 2.6L I -4

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 2.6L I -4 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired135000 miles
Most recent distance169000 miles

Summary:

A neat little car

Faults:

Carburetor problems caused poor fuel economy: 15 MPG.

Air conditioning system leaked.

Noisy timing / balance shaft chain.

Occasionally the car would not shift into reverse when the temperature outside was cold.

Engine died due to balance shaft chain breaking, which caused the oil pump to quit working while the engine ran.

General Comments:

This was my first car. I got almost 3 years out of it. After a while the balance shaft chain kept making horrible noises at idle. This model is quite small, but comfortable.

The engine would have performed better if it had fuel injection as the carburetor was very complicated. There were way too many vacuum hoses.

The acceleration with this 3 speed automatic was leisurely.

The car eventually died. I took the engine apart to see the problem. The balance shaft chain broke. I was surprised on how thin the chain was. It reminded me of a child's bike chain. If you have a car with a similar engine and it makes noises at idle, get the chains replaced immediately. The engine seemed well-built otherwise.

I liked how the car looked. It sort of looked like a Mustang from the same year. The interior was quite plush for a small car as well.

It is also important to note that this car was actually built by Mitsubishi for Plymouth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th September, 2004

21st Apr 2005, 21:16

Re: comment made for Plymouth by Mitsubishi. This car has actually taken on many guises around the world. In England it was known as the Mitsubishi Sapporo, and considered a luxury coupe version of the Galant. While in Australia it was known as a Sigma Scorpion and came with a larger engine, and was first seen as a competitor to the popular Toyota Celica.

It seems this partnership with other companies and name changing around the world was common, the Dodge/Chrysler Conquest and Mitsubishi Starion being a good example.

Average review marks: 8.5 / 10, based on 2 reviews