1982 Mitsubishi Scorpion GK 2.6L petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Overall a very cheap, reliable and fun car
When I bought the car it needed some mechanical work, this is expected since the car cost $600.
Tail shaft had a busted uni joint that made the car vibrate quite a bit. ~$45.
Clutch was worn out and was replaced with a heavy duty clutch. $280.
All of the shocks were stuffed and I replaced them with heavy duty Monroe shocks. ~$150 for all 4 off ebay.
Front brake hoses were dried out and cracked so I changed them. $125 for all 4 hoses.
Front brake pads urgently needed changing. ~$35.
One outer tie rod end had a busted ball joint so I replaced both of them, the car now handles a lot better. $22 for both tie rod ends.
The clutch cable snapped recently leaving me stranded (the only time the car's let me down). Finding a replacement cable for a Scorpion was impossible as NO ONE stocked them, so took the cable to a mechanic who sent it away to get a new one custom made - cost $70 as they only replaced the cable and kept the old plastic/rubber cable housing.
Fan belt squealed very loudly under revs so changed that recently. $12.50.
The car has a fair bit of rust in the doors, and bottom corners of windscreen and rear window, along with several other places.
Windscreen cracked in bottom corners while the car was on jackstands and I was sanding rust off the A-pillar. The recent heat has made the cracks get bigger. - Was quoted $180 for new windcreen.
Very slight brake fluid leak in area of the diff (1 drop per day or so).
Front tyres (especially the left) are wearing abnormally fast on the outside edges even after a wheel alignment. The car also pulls to the left, this is most likely due to the incompetence of wheel aligners at Bob Jane T-Marts. I think the tyre wear is due to excess positive camber caused by saggy springs.
Voltmeter doesn't work. Fuel gauge is completely inaccurate as most of the time it shows E even when there's 3/4 of a tank. The fuel light works though, coming on with about 10L left (it's a 60L tank).
Rear muffler has a rusted out hole in it which gives the car a very deep growl that I love the sound of :D
When I first got this car I was amazed by the good condition and excellent comfort of the interior. Unfortunately the outside is a different story as there is a fair bit of rust.
After replacing the mechanical parts that needed changing I was very pleased with the car. It is very comfortable to drive. The car has fairly sloppy steering with a fairly large dead zone where you turn the steering wheel and not much happens at the wheels, but once I got used to it I found it OK.
I am not very pleased with the performance however, it has a 2.6L fuel guzzling engine and puts out only 78kW. I get an average fuel consumption of over 13L/100km with mildly quick driving which is a huge amount of fuel (almost V8 consumption), but the performance is not much better than my old 1.5L economical Holden Gemini. This is in part due to the very long gear ratios that the gearbox has, it is very low revving and if you drive it normally you won't need to ever rev it over 2000rpm.
Handling is OK, it easily out handled any Commodore I've come up against, but it still has a fair bit of body roll and understeers a lot. In the wet however it is very tail happy and a great deal of fun. You can drift it very nicely on wet roads.
It is a very good highway car as it is very stable at high speed with no shakes whatsoever, and the long gear ratios mean you do high speeds at fairly low revs - At 130km/h it's revving at 3000rpm in 5th gear. It's top speed is 165km/h and I was surprised at how well it drove at that speed.
The engine seems to be in very good condition for its age as it runs very smoothly, blows no smoke whatsoever, and has no oil leaks which is a nice change from my old Gemini.
Overall this is a very cheap (apart from fuel) and reliable car that is a great deal of fun and a pleasure to drive. Unfortunately I do a great deal of driving and am selling the car because I've had enough of paying $60-70 for fuel every week with average performance, when I would be paying half that with my Gemini. If it wasn't for the fuel consumption and lack of performance (relative to engine size and fuel consumption) I would definitely be keeping the car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th October, 2007