Performance and luxury at a low price
Wipers failed - new mechanism required.
1999 Mitsubishi Magna Altera LS Sedan.
My Magna is coming up to 50 000kms and is still purring along beautifully. I have rarely travelled in a car that is so silky smooth to drive. I vividly remember the day when I picked up the Altera. Previously I had also owned a Magna, but one of the older models with a 2.6 litre engine. The difference between the 2 was startling. The Altera felt hugely powerful compared to the older model, but with a real silkiness about the 3.5 litre V6 engine.. People travelling in the car still comment often about how quiet the car is. Often I visit my mother In Melbourne who owns a 2000 model Audi A4 which is very noisy by comparison.
The 1999 Altera LS is a very good looking car, better than the Verada I feel. The grille is metal meshwork and there are nice " Verada like" touches such as the lower bodywork and the mirrors matching the colour of the car, interior map lights and rear headrests. The Verada seems to look a bit "chunky" by comparison to the Altera, probably due to the American style bumpers. The Magna really comes into its own on the motorway. I used to travel 100kms a day and motorway driving was a real joy. Effortless acceleration and cruise control make it the perfect road companion.
And after that glowing endorsement what about the downside? As with many of these "fleet cars" the sound system is pretty poor, especially the speakers. Do yourself a big favour (particularly if you do a lot of travelling) and invest in a good system with an amplifier. The amp not only will give you more volume, but more importantly a cleaner sound. The Altera LS also came with alloy wheels. The surface of these was a "spray finish" which attracts dirt and are very difficult to clean after a few years. I even tried a high pressure cleaner last year and it didn't do much. Other gripes - the seat adjustability isn't all I would like. I'm quite tall (190cms /6'3") and it doesn't go far down enough. The drivers seat always seem to be fully adjustable in almost every direction, but up and down! They tilt, give more lumbar support etc, but at the end of the day my vision is a little impaired as the seat doesn't go close enough to the floor. Also the back of the car is a little cramped. Three people can travel in the back, but it wouldn't be all that comfortable on a long trip. If you want more rear space go for the Commodore or Ford.
So, at the end of the day, would I buy another Magna? A resounding yes. For the money you can't go wrong
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 26th May, 2003