1997 Mitsubishi Legnum ST 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Good looking car, let down by reality


Clock doesn't work.

Coil issues.

Transmission issues.

Burns oil as well as ticking tappets.

Climate control screen doesn't work.

Temperamental central locking.

General Comments:

I brought this Legnum to replace our very faithful Subaru Legacy, and after 320,000kms it had had enough. We use this car to ferry the kids to sport, dogs to the beach etc.

It really is a family wagon, but also owning both a Honda Accord and a Mazda 3, this is our most unreliable car.

I purchased the Legnum for its pretty good looks, and being an 1800, I thought it would be economical. After a week we discovered it had a few quirks such as an intermittent clock, central locking and climate control. We could live with these considering it's not our main car, although my wife and kids don't want to be in it, because it now has no heater or A/C at all, plus the fact it's going through oil like petrol, and leaving a trail of blue smoke behind as you drive down the road.

Just 6 months ago we spent $1800 re-conditioning the trans because it lost reverse, which is nearly as much as we paid for the whole vehicle.

Although the vehicle is in a bit of a messy state, we have serviced it properly and recently had the cambelt done. Upon our first visit to our mechanic, he said "oh dear, you're gonna have fun with this one". That should've been a clear warning. Speaking to numerous people, it turns out most of our problems are unspecified Mitsubishi features.

On the plus side, it does handle quite well, has a good amount of room, looks good and is quite economical, but these aren't enough positives for us to justify spending money on it and keeping it, so out the door it goes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th September, 2013

1997 Mitsubishi Legnum VR4 2.5 twin turbo from Hong Kong


Great car if you find a well looked after one


Clutch, which I was aware of on the test drive.


Catalytic converter - failed emissions test with old one.

Exhaust manifold holed and rusted.

Bonnet release snapped.

General Comments:

Great car with performance and handling, plus practicality.

I had an inkling the clutch was on its way out on my initial test drive, but had been looking for a manual VR4 Legnum for ages, so hoped it was OK... it wasn't...

On replacement... what a great car to drive, loads of power and sticks to the road like s#@t to a blanket. The manual makes it lots of fun.

It runs on 18 inch rims, which improve the looks and handling. New tires all round helped too.

It is de-badged, but the telltale drainpipe exhaust gives the game away really...

Overall I think it has had a hard life with 11 owners in 16 years, but still sounds and looks great, from a distance.

Interior shows the hard use with tired front seats and a loose spotlight switch. Oily boot carpet too.

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

Review Date: 22nd August, 2013

2001 Mitsubishi Legnum VR4 2.5 V6 twin turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Wagon with balls that'll drain your wallet


Gear box seal blew; $1500 to reseal (120K).

Transfer box wore out; $1000 to replace (125K).

Steering rods stuffed out; roughly $900.

Front end suspension racks got movement and had to be replaced; $1000.

General Comments:


If you have the bucks to throw at it every time something goes wrong, this is a great car. Also good if you are looking for performance and space at the same time.

The AYC is awesome, the car handles like it's on rails.

The engine is the best thing about this car; it's got so much torque, you can just cruise around in third gear if you want, and you are king of the highway. Passing on hills with your car full of people and gear is no problem.

It's a fairly hard ride, but if you prefer a car that handles well, then it's worth it.

Owned the car for 6 years.


I lived in fear of the automatic transmission failing. The transmission mechanic that did the reseal said these gear boxes are notorious for failing. Jump on the VR4 forums and you'll see this is true. BAM, $4000 if you can be bothered fixing it, as these cars sell for so little second hand, it's hardly worth it.

Luckily mine held out, although the seal did go and so did the transfer box. Also you'll get 400kms out of a tank if you are lucky (but you will have fun).

If you get a paint chip, it will rust if you don't do anything. My Toyota doesn't do that, so makes me think Mitsi paint is rubbish. Remember, this is a performance car, it's not designed to last to 300,000k's without major work. I wouldn't own a complicated car like this past 150k's, as something big is likely to go, either the head, or the transmission, or the AYC.

Also, when you need the cam belt replaced, expect to pay about $1500, as there is so much labour pulling all the turbos off etc to get to the belt. All the front end suspension and steering rod stuff that needed replacing, I don't think there is an excuse for this; shouldn't fail this early.

Don't think I could buy another Mitsi after this, I'll stick with brands are designed to last.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th November, 2011