Thursday, May 23, 2013

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Adventure (1998-Current)

Running for numerous terms, Myk Belmonte delves more on why this vehicle continues to win the slot during elections and the buyers around the country.

1998-Current Mitsubishi Adventure

There are reasons why some senators stay in their seats for numerous terms and some cars sell well for years despite the influx of new competitors. Despite some old school mechanicals and tons of cosmetic and equipment changes, the Mitsubishi Adventure still attracts some buyers. More on this later.

With the collaboration of Mitsubishi Motors and China Motor Corporation, the Adventure (or Freeca in its hometown in Taiwan) was first released in September 11 1997. Other names used include the Kuda (Indonesian for horse) in the Indonesian market and Jolie for Vietnamese consumers. Some markets placed the vehicle in the graveyard, which in turn senators retire after years of service.

With the growing market for AUV's during the late 90s, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines decided to join the party by assembling the Adventure locally and because of this, the three diamond brand became the number one brand in 1998 due to this (Toyota dominated later on with skyrocketing sales of the Revo). After numerous under the surgeons knife treatments done in 2001, 2004, and late 2009, the Adventure has a customer base ranging from OFW families to UV Express operators. Variants available throughout the years include the taxi exclusive TX, GX, GLX, GLS Sport, Grand Sport, and Super Sport. In 2012, an SE suffix was added to GLX, GLS Sport, and Super Sport trims that added a touch screen monitor with GPS function.

Value and Costs
Scouting for an affordable family vehicle? Place in the Adventure in your list since second hand models cost P230,000-P670,000 that encompasses different model years and variants. So, focus on the condition rather than a year model since there are minimal changes.

Having one in your garage does not bring you headaches, especially if you purchase a diesel model, parts are interchangeable with the L300 and you can purchase them anywhere. Just keep some funds for replaceable items.

Exterior and Interior
With various cosmetic changes, let's discuss them one by one. Earlier models possess a grille similar to the Pajero, and high models have design cues to resemble an SUV. Body stickers come standard in the Super Sport, Grand Sport, and Super Sport (until 2007). GLX trims have them from 2012 onwards; if you can't live with them, there is an option of removing them. The side hinged doors for some Grand Sport and Super Sport models is complicated to open as it hogs space (this does not include the FX type door) and this includes opening the spare tyre cover sideways that is a bane in mall parking lots. If you got a 2004 and later Super Sport, worry less since they have their third rows facing front.

Interior quality is a mixed bag, depending on what year model you are eyeing on. Early models are crude while later ones are decent enough. Higher models have wood panels that can be described as luxurious or tacky, depending on who you are asking. Controls are within the reach of the driver and gauges can range from the white of pre-2007 to the blue of later ones. A two spoke steering wheel is standard among trim lines below the GLS Sport but they get a four spoke one in 2007, save for the GX. An entertainment system comes standard but haphazardly located since the rear view mirror gets blocked when in use. Squeezing three bodies in the first row is a violation of human rights while bucket seats are a relief. If you are unlucky to seat in the middle, your knees would hit the dashboard. Three is an ideal number in the middle row but four is a tight fit. Going for those models with a side facing jump seat would mean limited head and leg room; the front facing ones have nonexistent space for their legs, it is best left for the kids.

Choosing your Adventure is like choosing a candidate in the UNA or Team PNoy senatorial slate with a number of trims, but you have an option of two engines. The popular one is the 4D56 2,476cc that carries 62hp at 4,200rpm and 165Nm at 2,500rpm for models prior to 2004, later models get a power update to 73hp at 4,200rpm but has its torque downgraded to 143Nm at 2,500rpm. Hate being flagged by the money hungry ASBUs unauthorized by the MMDA? Then you have the 4G63 1,997cc which possess 114hp at 5,500rpm and 165Nm at 3,000rpm. What shall you pick then? For all intents and purposes, the diesel is the top choice since parts availability is wide spread. If compared with the Crosswind's 4JA1 powerplant, the 4D56 feels muted and quiet. You can speed up a bit due to the low gear ratios, but fuel efficiency is somewhat lower and you have to thrash the gear for an acceptable performance. The Galant sourced 4G63 engine, on the other hand, is rough when started but once things get through, it becomes smooth. Fuel economy isn't to be proud of, but still better than the Revo's 2.0 one (and even the 1.8 when paired with a slushbox).

Driving Impressions
A well behaved chassis comes standard since body roll is controlled and turning is stable, but high speeds must be planned carefully since the rear can get twitchy. Ride quality can get bouncy and firm when driving solo but since it has a suspension setting tuned for cargo hauling, don't expect a sedan comfort feeling. For a passenger like you, you'll like riding in this more than a Toyota Hiace or worse, an Isuzu iVan since getting your head hit is a bigger chance, especially for the latter and ride quality is more worse. Wait, why do I compare an AUV to a heavy purpose van?

Still a veteran in the car market, the Adventure still has a following despite not having some new ideas. New ideas from new but unknown faces are encouraged, but there is a reason why old names are still voted. The Adventure still has that name recall, especially if you prioritize your family over yourself.

The Good:
  • Affordable to own
  • Seating options of 7 or 9
  • Quiet diesel engine
The Bad:
  • No safety kit
  • Limited interior space
  • Opening the Super Sport's rear is complicated
The Pick: 2.5 GLS Sport

Engines: 1,997cc 4G63 I4 gasoline and 2,476 4D56 I4 diesel
Power: 114hp @ 5,500rpm (2.0 gas), 62hp @ 4,200rpm (2.5 diesel, 1998-2003), 73hp @ 4,200rpm (2.5 diesel, 2004 onwards)
Torque: 165Nm @ 3,000rpm (2.0 gas), 165Nm @ 2,500rpm (2.5 diesel, 1998-2003), 143Nm @ 2,500rpm (2.5 diesel, 2004-onwards)
Fuel Consumption: 6-10km/L (city), 8-12.5km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs

Price (New): P600,000-P980,000 (range from 1998 to 2012)
Price (Now): P250,000-P680,000
Rivals: Isuzu Crosswind, Isuzu Hilander, Toyota Revo, Toyota Innova
On Sale: 1998 to current

Citimotors Makati - (02) 892-0331
Diamond Motors Valle Verde - (02) 671-9590
Union Motor Paco - (02) 563-8481

Photos courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Petronas and Warner Music tied up for a project,, inline with this, may we invite for a press conference of this, you may reach me at 09194933825. Thanks