1989 Mitsubishi Minicab
While we are not touting this Minicab as the Ferrari of microvans, it certainly seems to be the most fun to drive. This 1989 Supercharged 4WD runabout is the true definition of what a great driving, pocket sized, yet utilitarian passenger van should be. Its capable 4WD, great fuel economy, and fun demeanor make it a blast to own.
At only 128" long and 55" wide this compact cargo carrier can squeeze just about anywhere. The van shows incredibly well considering it's purpose in life is to be a functional hauler. The Everglade Green Metallic (G47) paint shines nicely and was freshened at some point with the OEM matching color. The exterior is sportier, and much more unique than the average MiniCab; as the supercharged version comes with more aggressive aero, even including an integrated rear valence with spoiler. The neat, 90's style OEM decals do denote that this van is force inducted, and is equipped with the most desirable drivetrain. Also of note are the OEM raingards, which have remained atop the doors, aiding the occupants with some additional airflow if needed in inclement weather and the chrome side mirrors for a touch more curb appeal.
Since the Mitsu was primarily designed for functionality the interior is where it really shines. Loading and unloading is exceptionally easy. With the full rear hatch opening completely parallel with the roof stacking up cargo is a breeze. It opens to six feet and the gas struts are still functional. Two full size sliding side doors open easily, so passengers can scoot in and out easily. The seat material is in better than average shape, and the interior offers some nifty storage options. The driver's side bottom cushion could use some seam repair, but nothing major. The same can be said for the door cards which are color matched and in good overall condition, along with durable carpeting. The prior owner even cared enough to add weather resistant floor mats for both rows, and the original manual is still in the glove box. Up front the driver and passenger experience great visibility thanks to the cab over axle design, and the tight turn radius is impressive. The dash is quite angular and actually provides a pseudo tray table for the passenger to place their valuables. Of note, the sporty three spoke steering wheel is easier to articulate than all other kei vans we have sold; it's nice to know the unassisted steering is light for convenient low speed city driving and three point turns. The speakers function well, and are connected to the OEM radio unit. Adjacent to the radio sits a manual climate control system, which includes functional A/C and heat. Behind the front passengers the Mitsubishi has lots to offer. For those times when you don't need the back seats they can be folded completely flat giving you 6' of usable space. Unlike most traditional vans the sliding doors actually has sliding rear glass to aid rear passenger air circulation. The headliner has a few stains, but more importantly doesn't sag and provides copious amounts of headroom. The rear cargo area has the normal scuffs and scratches you expect for a 25 year old light duty hauler and features more cargo storage options than the average kei van, as noted in the pictures.
Part of what makes the Kei trucks so practical is the fact that the 3G81 548cc 3 cylinder is mounted midship, between the drive axles. It's mid mounted layout is the best for overall vehicle stability. The mighty, fifteen valve, 3 cylinder has the ability to pull nearly 50mpg and still gets you down the highway. Plus with the 4WD system you have the reassurance of being able to get out of any sticky situations. Our expert technicians, who inspect and maintain all of our vehicles, have changed the oil and the vehicle has gone through the Virginia State safety inspection. The Minicab fires right up and idles smoothly with only 38k verified miles, this torquey little mill is barely broken in. The clutch engages cleanly and shifts smoothly through the five forward gears. The 5 speed being the real key as it aids tremendously with highways speeds. The brakes are very quick to react to inputs meaning the featherweight van stops on a dime. With such a small turn radius the unassisted, yet light, steering is wonderful in the city. The factory suspension is well sorted and handles bumps without feeling unstable. The OEM 12 inch wheels have some nice all season tires fitted, and it has less road noise than some other kei vans we have sold. Here's the thing, it actually is the best little van to scoot around in traffic. The supercharger really adds mid range power, while almost all of its competitors like the Acty and HiJet have to be revved out to nearly 8K RPM to wring out usable power.
Whether its putting around town, light duty off road adventures, or for marketing purposes, the Minicab is perfect. Its sporty nature and eye catching looks make this the ideal turn-key classic Japanese micro-van!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.