Mitsubishi Space Wagon Estate 1998 - 2003

Mitsubishi Space Wagon Estate 1998 - 2003

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • An accomplished good-quality car
  • Flexible and versatile ‐ ideal for family life
  • Good build quality
  • A well optimised petrol engine

Cons:

  • The interior design doesn't go with the Space theme
  • No diesel engine available

Overview

The Mitsubishi Space Wagon is one of those vehicles that keeps getting better and better with each generation. You can almost follow the learning curve that the manufacturer has followed. When the first generation appeared in 1983, it didn't look any better than a DIY kit-car. The second generation was a good improvement while the latest Space Wagon finally brought it home by offering all the right things (more or less) to the family-oriented customers.

Exterior and Interior

The Space Wagon is a good looking car and a considerable improvement on the 2nd generation's style. The car is completely different from its European competitors, it's longer and lower than the French or German MPVs, hence it looks sportier and more active. It finally lost the body on frame construction and now came with a monocoque body. That improved the comfort level and allowed Mitsubishi to make the new Wagon bigger. The 3rd generation has a seating capacity of six or seven seats.The 2nd and 3rd rows have solid seats and backrests that split in halve. That, in essence, makes it a 6-seater, but theoretically, the car is wide enough for the middle row to seat 3 adults. It's unlikely that they all would feel comfortable during a long journey, but it's good to have flexibility, anyway. When flexibility is concerned, the Space Wagon delivers as the middle row can be unfolded flat to provide good night sleep for 2 adults. The middle row is also capable of sliding forward and with the back seats removed the car opens up as a great luggage carrier that has 1930litres of boot space and can be put to great use. Unfortunately, the middle row cannot be removed, as the Mitsubishi engineers put it, the middle row is the centrepiece of the whole car, it can be used as a table and as a sofa so why would you want to remove it? It is a comfortable car and 6 adults will feel at ease in the largest Space Wagon to date. The manufacturer also supplies plenty of creature comforts. The exterior is designed with the family in mind and is convenient with door pockets, cup holder and many little compartments for storing things.

Performance and Economy

The performance of the car is very good, but as there no diesel engine variant available the Space Wagon cannot provide a high level of economy. This is disappointing as for a family car that you'd expect Mitsubishi to offer a more frugal version. However, the economy of the 2.4-litre petrol engine is not as bad as you may expect at 30mpg, which is better than a similarly powered Renault Espace. If you can look past the fact that the diesel option is simply not there, you'll like the car. The petrol engine is optimal for this vehicle and it performs well both in the manual and automatic gearbox versions. You wouldn't want to bother with the smaller 2.0-litre engine because it struggles to move the big car and the fuel economy is not much better than the 2.4-litre delivers.

Like to Drive

The car is pretty smooth to handle, and a particularly spacious and comfortable. The seats are easily adjustable especially the driver's seat. You cannot help but like your driving seat. All of the controls make perfect sense and the steering wheel and gearbox lever are easy to operate. Considering that the 2.4-litre engine produces a good amount of power, the Space Wagon is a joy to drive.

Faults and Repairs

Mitsubishi cars are pretty reliable and safe, and the reliability of Mitsubishi Space Wagon is exceptional. It has gone a long way from the very basic 1st generation and it feels like an accomplished car. There have been reports about faulty brake systems and broken suspensions on older cars so these should be checked before buying a Space Wagon. Large troubles are unlikely and the car is easy to maintain.