Be the first to rate this article
This version of the Mitsubishi Starwagon has evolved from the demand by families for this type of vehicle, commonly known as 'people movers'. The quality of finish and the luxury fittings make the Starwagon a good competitor in the market place against other similar vans, like the Toyota Tarago and Mazda's MPV.
There are four models of the Starwagon (the GLS, GLX, GL and the 4WD), each with a similar degree of versatility and comfort, with the 4WD having a slightly firmer ride.
Mitsubishi have done away with the boxy look of the previous model and the styling of the Starwagon now follows the familiar wedge-shaped front end of the other people movers. This design not only improves the aerodynamic effect but also allows the engine to be mounted further forward and accessed through a bonnet instead of under a floor panel, like some other vans.
A lot of thought has gone into the convenient layout of the Starwagon. For example, it has centre armrests in the bench seats, air conditioning vents and controls for the rear passengers, and the centre seats are able to swivel allowing you to face forward or rearward.
The top-of-the-range GLS is priced at $55,700 (auto only), the GLX at $43,000 (auto) and $41,000 (man), and the GL at $37,900 (auto) and $35,900 (man).
The GL is fitted with a 2.0 litre engine (with carburettor) and the GLX, GLS and 4WD models have a 2.4 litre fuel injected engine. Each can be coupled with either a five speed manual or a four speed (column shift in the vehicle tested) automatic transmission.
Standard features included in the Starwagon range are tinted side and rear glass, central locking, tilt adjustable steering wheel, driver's foot rest, rear window wiper and washer, remote fuel lid opener, AM/FM stereo radio cassette system, speedometer with tripmeter, and tachometer. Power steering is optional in the GL and GLX, and fitted standard in the GLS and 4WD models. Additionally, ABS (for $2,700 on GLS and GLX only) and a driver's side airbag (for $1,500 on all) are available as options.
Seating is comfortable and roomy with enough leg room for the average sized person. In the GL, GLX and 4WD Starwagons there are two front reclining bucket seats (walk through if column shift is fitted), a two seater bench seat plus jump seat in the middle row and a three seater bench with a 1/3 split fold in the rear. With this seating combination they will seat up to eight adults. After removing the headrests, the middle and rear seats may be folded down to form a makeshift bed for those who like to go camping or need to stop over. The GLS however, has two reversible reclining bucket seats in the middle row, with adjustable armrests, and will seat up to seven adults.
Visibility from the driver's seat is good with very little interference from the various door pillars. All of the necessary controls and switches are easy to use, with the exception of the manual adjusters for the exterior mirrors. It was awkward having to adjust them manually. Another annoying feature was the driver's air vents not directing the air away from my face leaving no alternative other than to close them off!
Driving in a crosswind, the Starwagon tended to wander a little which can be disconcerting when it happens but it can be expected from this type of vehicle. While under test, the brakes performed well and maintained good control of the Starwagon, stopping it in a straight line.
Mitsubishi has provided access to the engine through a bonnet, making it easy to check the necessary fluid levels and to perform the routine service adjustments required.
This Starwagon is much better looking than its predecessor, and is comfortable on the road though a little noisy at highway speeds. The general performance of the Starwagon was good even when put to the test with five adults and one child up hill and down dale. If a people mover is on your shopping list then the Starwagon would serve you well.
Test vehicle supplied by Mitsubishi Australia.
By NRMA Motoring, December 1994.
|Body type||Station Wagon|
Comfortable to drive
Manual exterior mirrors
|Country of manufacture||Japan|
|Warranty||One year, 20,000 km|
GLS: $55,700 (auto only)
|Number of cylinders||4|
|Engine size||2.4 L|
|Claimed max power (kW)||81 kW @ 5000 rpm|
|Claimed max torque (Nm)||182 Nm @ 3500 rpm|
|Wheel size||14 "|
|Turning circle (measured)||11.5 m|
|Width (including mirrors)||1695 mm|
|Fuel capacity||55 litres|
|Max towed mass (trailer plus load)||600 kg|
NRMA Theft Rating
Acceleration - Test results
|50 - 80km/h||6.3 secs|
|60 - 100km/h||9.6 secs|
|0 - 80km/h||9.1 secs|
|0 - 100km/h||14.6 secs|
|Best recorded during testing||10.7 L/100km|
|Worst recorded during testing||13.2 L/100km|
|Average on test||11.4 L/100km|
|Distance to stop (from 80km/h)||37.8 metres|
|Interior noise at constant 80km/h||68 dB(A)|