Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 18 September
As Mitsubishi withdraws from Europe, we nostalgically trawl the classifieds
Autocar
News
5 mins read
18 September 2020

It’s with some sadness that we’ve reported Mitsubishi’s decision to pull out of Europe next year. No doubt the immaculate example of the Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen from the firm’s UK heritage fleet will be sold to a collector and hidden away, leaving the world bereft of the greatest car this diverse company has brought to these shores.

A few years ago, £10k would have been enough for a good one, but now £25k or more is required, which is a lot for a car that’s over 20 years old.

But what a car it is. We should laugh at some of the comments made when it was new – the ones that suggested the active yaw control (AYC) and complex four-wheel drive system detracted from the purity of the driving experience, because where would the modern performance car be without them?

Probably behind an Evo VI in the real world. Even though it has ‘only’ 276bhp, the performance is so easily accessible because the car never feels twitchy or nervous and just breathes over even the worst of road surfaces; plus there’s pin-sharp steering, AYC to help mitigate understeer and oversteer and confidence-inspiring big Brembo brakes.

The tricky part is finding an unmolested example, because modified cars won’t be as reliable. You’ll also want to make sure the suspension bushes have been renewed and the vehicle has been rust-proofed. So it’s no wonder good examples like the 48k-miler we found cost so much. However, we’ll be looking out for when the UK heritage press car goes up for sale – and working out how many organs we will need to sell in order to buy it.

Back to top

Mitsubishi Shogun, £4490: Shoguns were everywhere in the 1990s, but by the time this one was built, people wanted their 4x4s to be luxury vehicles, not slightly crude like the Shogun. Still, it’s capable off road and typically reliable and this 73k-mile car seems like a bargain.

Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin, £3495: Small SUVs are all the rage now but you could argue that Mitsubishi got there first with the little Shogun Pinin. You can buy less expensive examples, but this 42k-mile Pinin with a full service history and lots of receipts looks too good to pass up.

Back to top

Mitsubishi Carisma, £750: There’s no getting away from it: the Mitsubishi Carisma is very, very dull. But for £750, this tidy 145k-miler with a full service history will probably carry on trucking without trouble. Plus, those patterned velour seats are oh so very ’90s.

Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version R, £6995: Don’t ring up your optician to get an eye test: that’s how this 60k-mile Ralliart Version R left the factory. The R came with a 159bhp 1.5 engine, stiffer suspension, sports exhaust and Recaro seats. The chassis was also seam-welded for extra stiffness.

Auction watch

Back to top

Maybach 57: In the early 2000s, two ultra-luxury marques returned to the market with brand-new models, but only one of them survives today. However, it is a shame that the Maybach is overlooked by many in favour of the Rolls-Royce because, at £37,000 (before fees), this 57 is basically half the price of an equivalent Phantom.

It’s not as if the 57 is lacking in luxury features since – dated infotainment aside – it could easily pass as a new barge. It certainly has the performance of one, with a 543bhp 5.5-litre V12 – which, incidentally, is nearly 100bhp more than the Rolls-Royce can muster.

Future classic

Honda CR-Z, £4500: Hybrid cars aren’t seen as the driver’s choice – the obvious exceptions being the LaFerrari, Porsche 918, McLaren P1 and, of course, the CR-Z. No, hear us out, because the performance of this Honda is boosted by electricity just like those exotics, except the CR-Z is rare in having a more engaging manual gearbox. It’ll be dependable because there are many around with 100k miles or more, and nobody would drive a car that much unless they enjoyed doing so.

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Can I have a T-bar roadster for £10,000, please?

Back to top

Fiat Bertone X1/9, £8995

Toyota MR2 Turbo GT T-Bar, £7995

Felix Page: All right, the Fiat X1/9 isn’t the most reliable or durable classic car on the market, but I’ll be darned if it isn’t one of the best looking. And a big part of it is down to that removable roof panel, which gives a sharp coupé-esque profile when attached and is removed in seconds for the full open-air experience. This 1988 one appears to be the cleanest example on the UK market, too. Which T-bar have you targeted, Max?

Back to top

Max Adams: I’ll admit mine is also susceptible to tin worm, but at least the mechanicals in my 1991 Toyota MR2 are solid. There’s a turbo, too, making it far faster than your pretty little Italian. That turbo does mean it’s a Japanese domestic market import, but at least my ‘JDM’ MR2 hasn’t seen much road salt in its life, so the gorgeous yellow paint is blemish free.

FP: My Fiat is also claimed to be pleasingly ‘zit free’, which means there’s nothing to spoil the view for the hordes of passers-by who will no doubt be transfixed by the car’s still-unusual form. While your cut-down Corolla has style on its side, there are plenty of them around…

MA: Since when has a Corolla been mid-engined? You’re just jealous that I’ll be busy enjoying mine in the sun, while you’ll be stuck with flaky ’80s Italian electrics and a leaky roof.

FP: As long as the windows go down and my rorty 1.5-litre fires into life, I know I’m in for a good time. That’s the whole point of a Targa-style top, surely? Open-roof motoring made simple. Let’s not forget, either, that my X1/9 tips the scales at just a shade over 900kg, whereas your Toyota lumbers in at more than a tonne…

MA: Pfft, 222bhp will make light work of that. Surely, the 85bhp in yours is a source of embarrassment?

Verdict: I will take the wedge-tastic Bertone X1/9.

READ MORE

Mitsubishi's evolution: Working for the Japanese brand in the UK 

Rally legends twin test: Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Makinen vs Subaru Impreza 22B 

Mitsubishi Shogun production ends after 37 years

Join the debate

Comments
3
Add a comment…
Pietro Cavolonero 21 September 2020

Maybach vs RR

As much as I dislike the Teutonic Tank style of the Phantom at least it is more regal and expensive looking than the Maybach! The Benz looks like a Hyundai cast off at best and a Chinese copy at worst. It may have lead the way on refinement, interior appointments and reliability but they could have made a better effort on the look of the thing...

Reminds me of what Volksvagen did with the Phaeton, dress your new Bentley chassis in a Passat XL body and watch the sales dwindle away...

LP in Brighton 18 September 2020

CR-Z

Nice to see a bit of enthusiasm on this site for the Honda CR-Z, pity there wasn't a bit more when the car was new. That, at least means that it is a cheap and entertaining used buy - but I can't help wondering how muxh better it might have become with say a more interesting, smaller petrol engine and a bigger battery, more powerful electric motor to propel it along. 

si73 19 September 2020

I loved my crz, great fun to

I loved my crz, great fun to drive, practical enough for me and plenty quick enough for spirited driving, the only issue I had was the clutch and biting point was difficult, it always seemed easy to bog down and could prove a bit jerky when crawling, as such it made stop start heavy traffic a chore, which frustratingly is part and parcel of my daily commute, it may have just been my car, I've not driven another, but it was frustrating. That aside, I loved it.