2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan: Buying used

By: Joe Kenwright

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2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan
2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan
2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan 2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan

Mitsubishi’s all-paw sedans deliver where it matters

2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan: Buying used
2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan

 

2003-05 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada AWD Sedan

HISTORY

By offering Australia’s first accessible all-wheel-drive sedan range based on the Magna and Verada, Mitsubishi went where Toyota wouldn’t with the now dropped front drive TRD Aurion. Although fuel consumption rose slightly, only HSV’s exclusive Coupe4 could match its all paw grip and passenger car feel.

Unlike similar Subaru models which didn’t have the torque or modern auto to exploit the extra cost, weight and complexity of AWD, the Magna/Verada AWD models first seen from January 2003 had 154kW/310Nm in base models and 159kW/318Nm in the sportier models, all feeding through a clever five speed auto with sequential shift. The full-time AWD system from the EVO made an immediate difference to the way the Magna/Verada drove while retaining the model’s exceptional engine smoothness and refinement.

Think of it as a bargain-priced Audi A6 rival without the big repair costs and difficult mechanical access and the owner loyalty and growing interest in these local AWD Mitsubishis soon make sense. The Magna/Verada engines sit between the front wheels for slightly better weight distribution than the Subaru and Audi engines ahead of the front axle. The big decision is whether to buy the more conservative TJ/KJ Series II from January-August 2003 or opt for the like-it/hate-it TL/KL series which ran until July 2004 or the final TW/KW Series II which ended in September 2005. The original AWD range consisted of a base Magna, Sports or Verada AWD. The Sports was later split into Magna VR and VR-X AWD models while the final Veradas became the GTVi AWD.

 

PRICES

Magna name and low awareness bring early base AWD models back to around $10,000 while the later sporty models top $15,000. Veradas start from around $13,000 and peak at just over $20,000 for outstanding value.

 

CHECKPOINTS

All surveyed repairers reported little goes wrong with this model and repairs, when needed, are reasonable. Even the auto, a former Mitsubishi weak point, is lasting two to three times its main local rivals. Correct service history including oil and all fluid changes therefore is essential when it is more than capable of 350-400,000km.

Differences under the bonnet and rear section mean that stock Magna LPG conversion will require modification. Underbonnet heat from LPG and unleaded dictates valve stem seal replacement from 120-130,000km to counter sudden rise in oil consumption. Specialist repairers can replace them without dismantling engine for relatively little cost.

Rear three plugs are expensive platinum items that require replacement with the timing belt at 100,000km. Rocker cover gaskets harden and leak at around the same time so it is worth replacing them while they are accessible.

Brake rotors last well and will take machining two or three times to remove rotor shimmy, so check that they meet minimum thickness on higher mileage cars. Brake recall on early TJ/KJ AWD models addressed possibility of RHS rear brake hose chafing on wiring harness bracket. Check that it has been fixed.

A loose connector between the main body computer and engine control unit (ECU) can cause starting problems and stalling after start-up. This problem often only shows-up as battery starts to weaken and can be misdiagnosed as a battery problem.

Drivetrain strength, conservative engine output and weight were carefully balanced for long life. Heavily modified or aftermarket supercharged cars will change that.

Thanks to Mitsubishi specialists Des and Gray’s Automotive Services (03) 9758 0620.

 

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