2001 Mitsubishi Magna VR-X Limited Edition 3.5 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Quality performance sedan


The car has been pretty much bullet proof from day 1, except for a recall, which was minor and quickly fixed.

Only 2 annoying problems in its first 3 years:

- Malfunctioning ECU unit, making the traction control light come on and off with any application of the accelerator (eventually found to be a wiring problem).

- Rattling sunroof componentry.

Both were eventually fixed under a 5-year extended warranty at no cost.

The other faults have occurred only from its 9th year:

- Broken electric antenna cord.

- Blown foglight lamp.

Other nagging functional problems is rattling from plastic components, but after 9 years (to be expected) and shuddering brakes from new - in some cars, more obvious than others, but no fault at all, as it is simply the ABS unit doing its start-up check.

Overall, it has been a very reliable car going by this list. Mitsubishi's call centre is second to none, but their dealer network sucks majorly, thanks to poor branding, facilities and customer service.

Also just failed in its 9th year:

- Cruise control.

General Comments:

Fantastic car over flowing high-speed roads, with an awesome free revving engine and Australia's first 5-speed auto with tiptronic shifting.

Fastest Aussie 6 cylinder (atmo) car of its time, leaving in its wake the Ford XR6 and the Commodore S, with MOTOR magazine considering it even a better proposition than the supercharged HSV XU6.

Drive silly and it will ultimately lose its composure through understeering, but traction control is there to help without completely killing all joy (it is also switchable). The same automatic transmission and TC combo were deemed appropriate for the more powerful Ralliart - unlike the manual Ralliart, which differs from the manual VR-X by having a front limited-slip differential.

Steering wheel is somewhat large, feel is somewhat remote and the turning circle is large (not unusual for a FWD with big wheels).

Great comfort inside except for high belt line, but no issue with this model, because it is a limited edition of some 225 models featuring:

- Colour-matched instrument panel with part - Howe leather trim on seats and doors (blue or red leather only, depending on exterior colour).

- Silver/aluminium accented dash and tunnel components, plus silver/black leather steering wheel.

- Upgraded 8-speaker stereo sound system with in-dash 4 CD stacker (good, but not excellent sound quality).

- Black painted door metal door handles and black calipers in classy 17" alloys, that were later fitted to subsequent VR-X (previously 16" only).

This specific car was also optioned with a sunroof (first time on Magna) and upgraded interior lighting.

Relatively well executed bodykit (especially compared to Ralliart) with all important chrome exhaust tip. Some complain about the drone of the 2' exhaust system, but it is sporty and bearable.

Massive boot for its time and well finished componentry overall, apart from really plasticky secondary trim.

Relatively cheap to maintain, and though low mileage, it has been driven extremely hard all its life... testament to its mechanical reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2010

27th Oct 2010, 22:32

As an update to this review:

- Average fuel consumption has been 14L/100km (due to primarily city driving).

- Tyres replaced & front brakes replaced only once so far, despite the hard driving.

- All work required has otherwise only been normal scheduled servicing.

2001 Mitsubishi Magna V6 Si 3.5L V6 24v from Australia and New Zealand


Powerful, stylish and comfortable sedan with a sporty touch


None yet.

General Comments:

I only got the car last week, so I can't really comment too much about it. For the moment, I love this car.

I've never been a big fan of Magnas and I always considered them to be dagy looking cars for old farts. Last week, We've been out car hunting and that was the first time I actually had a closer look at Magnas. The older models still seem to fit my above description, but from the TJs onwards, they seem to have evolved into something different.

When I saw the one I eventually bought, I knew that this was the car for me. The egg-carton grille and the wide nose give the front much more character and the newer tail lights and the slightly restyled rear end also seem to give the car a much more modern look. The five-spoke mags and the massive rear spoiler give the car a pretty sporty appearance.

The interior is very nice and spacious, there's plenty of storage space in the cabin, the dash is rather stylish and the instruments are very functional and good to read.

What I can tell so far, the handling of the car is excellent. I was pleasantly surprised, when I heard the car was a front wheel drive. This is very unusual for a car this size and power, but doesn't really hurt the driving experience. There's minimal torque steer, but if you like to beat the others at the lights, you need to either get used to squealing tyres or develop a feel for the accelerator.

The 3.5l 24V V6 engine with its 155kw power offers a steady acceleration, is very responsive and runs very smooth. It's pretty quiet throughout the lower rev range and develops a bit of an aggressive sound when revving higher, but is never annoying or even loud. Since I haven't driven her long distance yet, I can't say too much about the fuel consumption yet, but in mainly peak hour city traffic, she's happy with about 12 litres/100km. That's to be expected from an engine this size and I also have to add the "lead foot bonus" you have to pay if you're a bit heavy on the accelerator.

The 4-speed automatic suits the engine well. It is pretty smooth shifting, even if you kick the car back into fairly high revs. Of course it would be nice to see this car with the 5Speed auto with sequential shift :)

The suspension is soft enough to be comfortable and hard enough to let you feel the road beneath you and allows decent cornering speeds without leaning much towards the outside wheels. It could be a bit harder, without compromising too much on the comfort I suppose that's what you get in the Sports or VR-X models.

The car comes with heaps of goodies like power-steering, -windows and -mirrors, ABS brakes, drivers airbag, cruise control, central locking, key-less entry and whatnot. There's only two things I miss and that's a passenger airbag and traction control.

There's not much negative to say about the car. The button to release the boot could be better placed than inside the glove box and a button to lock/unlock all doors would be nice. The rear spoiler looks pretty good from the outside, but limits the rear view a bit and the frame-less doors may look good, but don't allow weather shields to be mounted. For somebody like me, who likes to drive with the window open, that's a bit of an issue.

Other than that, the V6 Si is a very powerful, comfortable, spacious and stylish car with a touch of a sports car.

You gotta love it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2006

2nd Dec 2010, 07:27

I have got an transmission cooler; I believe it is important in any car. I have not yet tested my fuel economy, but I have a bigger exhaust, extractors and some platinum spark plugs; all are suppose to increase your fuel economy, so it will be interesting to see what it gets on a 500k trip.

30th Aug 2011, 06:33

Hi wondering if anyone could give me any advice on the 2001 MITSUBISHI MAGNA TJ MY02 SPORTS.

Sorry, this is for my first car, so I'm a little clueless! Would you recommend I buy it for $6900? Have been searching for a smaller car, but haven't been able to find anything that is around $5000, after 2001, and under 100000KM. (I know, tough ask!)

Any thoughts/suggestions and reasons why to or not to buy it would be great. Cheers!!!

21st Jun 2013, 00:43

A little follow up to my original post.

7 years and about 130,000km later, Maggie as she's lovingly called is still going strong. She's got a few minor battle scars, and you can tell she's getting old, but everything still works well.

She's got about 270,000km on the clock now, but the engine is still purring like a kitten, and bites when pushed.

Other than for regular services, the car has seen a workshop twice: once to repair some damage suffered in a little prang, and once to replace the rocker cover gasket as she was leaking a bit of oil.

I've had a fair few cars in my life, but this is by far the most reliable of them all. It'll be sad to see her go when she's due for replacement, but luckily that's still a few years in the future.