1998 Mitsubishi Chariot
Long before the days of crossover SUV's, multipurpose vehicles like this Mitsubishi Chariot set the standard for utility and capability in a tidy package. Chock full of amenities, space, and ample seating for six, this 1998 Chariot Grandis is comparable in size to a Subaru Outback and can haul a whole lot more! Finished in Galaxy White (W75), the exterior styling is undeniably Mitsubishi and looks surprisingly modern for being 25 years young. Save for a few dings, chips, and touch up spots in the paintwork, the outside is no worse for the wear and a factory rear spoiler and 3 piece lip package does a lot to enhance the chassis' visual appeal. Underpinned by an easy to service direct injected four-banger that's racked up a mere 123k on the clock, this Chariot may just be our best kept secret here, and for that reason, we're proud to introduce this Japanese Classic to the US market.
Put plain and simple, the interior is this Chariot's main appeal, and it is comfortable and spacious enough to be daily driven with ease. The seats are upholstered in a durable tan cloth, and have resisted nearly any major rips, stains, or tears over the years. The seating arrangements are also exceptionally versatile. The middle row can slide and stow vertically, and the rear bench can fold fully forward if cargo space is a priority. Front occupants gain some peace of mind with features like dual front and side SRS airbags, and ABS equipped as well. The prominent dash spans the width of the cabin and places all controls within arms reach in a simple and intuitive layout. Automatic dual-zone climate control works like a charm, and an adjacent factory audio system is at hand although the Japanese navigation is more of a novelty at this point. All four power windows slide up and down without hesitation, the power folding mirrors adjust at will, and all four power locks work to boot. Rearmost occupants can command control of their own climate zone, and Cold A/C and hot heat are available in droves for families in more seasonal climates. The headliner is tidy and taut and the carpets have been preserved by a set of thick carpet mats. Overall this cabin really impresses. It's about the coolest design we've seen from Mitsubishi, and aside from some blown hatch struts, it holds up incredibly well even in the 21st century. We've even retained the factory owner's manual and maintenance booklets to boot!
Under the bonnet, a gasoline direct injected version of Mitsubishi's popular 4G64 engine delivers plenty of ponies up front and is just as simple to service as its stateside equivalent. Ours has plenty of solid maintenance performed by our trained technicians and cranks over with haste care of a new 12v battery. A few pesky oil leaks were addressed, and we took care of a new front main seal, and oil pan gasket to ensure you'll stay topped up on lubricant. A fresh oil and filter service was performed and this hearty 2.4L was ready to hit the road. Acceleration is more than sufficient around town, and highway driving feels composed and comfortable. An automatic gearbox makes good use of this van's front wheel drive platform and we installed new front control arm bushings, front ball joints, and a new front swaybar endlink to keep handling in compliance. To assist the drivetrain, new inner and outer CV boots were installed on the right front, and we addressed a new axle seal and CV boot on the left front as well. This Chariot now drives, stops, and turns as you'd expect, and best of all we wrapped the 16" aftermarket alloys in fresh all season rubber to ensure you won't come up short on grip for tens of thousands of miles to come!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant 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.