Mitsubishi Delica D5

Here’s my 2 cents worth on the Delica D5 (yes it’s a Phil Lee car review of course) !

OK – this is a true story- last week I sold my wife’s late model (2008) Elgrand E51 – I was in the doghouse of course – she really loved that car more than anything I have ever given her and our big family (3 kids plus mother in-law and sister-in-law in the one happy house and people mover)…

So with no other E51 Elgrands left in stock that weren’t already sold, I registered a Delica D5 for my darling to drive. When I presented it to her she was not impressed –

First impression: it didn’t have the feeling of luxury and power of the fully leather lined 3.5 V6 Elgrand, not as spacious or impressive – my poor deprived wife! However my wife is nothing if not direct and honest – after driving the D5 around for a few days – here is the amazing feedback I recieved:

“Darling I quite like this D5 now – it’s really solid feeling on the road – it feels safe and soaks up the bumps way better than the Elgrand – especially over potholes, gutters and speedhumps. It uses way less fuel and feels lighter and nimbler on the road even though it’s not as gutsy when you accelerate”

– Well for someone who’s not a car nut like me I think she’s sussed out the D5 pretty well. Today I drove it for 45 minutes across Sydney and I too was very impressed with the way the gearbox and engine worked together – if you are into efficient motoring this thing is quite clever and sophisticated for a larger people mover.

The MIVEC engine mated to the 6 speed tiptronic gearbox is amazing. At 80 km/h, this car in 6th gear is barely pulling 1500 rpm and scoots along nicely – it’s really torquey (long legs as they say) – and at such low rpms it really sips fuel. When you go to accelerate at first it feels like it’s going to be really gutless, but if you let it kick down (or use the paddle shift to select the right gear and use the revvy MIVIC motor to full effect, it really gets up and goes nicely for a 2.4 litre 4 cylinder! It feels way more responsive than a similar Toyota Tarago or Estima people mover which I think are a bit sluggish…

So in terms of driving dynamics, efficiency and handling these D5 Delicas are bloody good cars.

Here’s the rub though – I think this car is so radically different from the old Delica Spacegear that Mitsubishi will have surely lost many of their old brand loyal Delica followers… no Low Range on the 4WD system has dissapointed many Aussies (and no diesel option)… But for me (and Trevor our old customer in the video above)neither of these things are an issue: the MIVEC petrol does a brilliant job without the extra maintenance required by the diesel motors (and I reckon long term are more hassle free) – I spent a fortune fixing diesel Delica Spacegears with continual warranty claims on glow plugs, diesel injectors and very expensive diesel fuel pumps needing rebuilding -

The D5 will have non of these hassles…. As for the missing low range I have been told unequivocally by D5 owners tackling Fraser Island that the new D5 is better in the sand than the old Spacegears with a big weight advantage and and more usable gearbox… but perhaps not as good at rock-hopping or hardcore off-roading….

Anyway – I am now a true believer in the quality of the new D5 Delica – it definately has a place here in Australia and will suit a family that wants soemthing better and more versatile than a Tarago or Estima with that special edge of being a competant off-raod performer and rugged everyday vehicle.

To test drive a Delica D5 call us at Sun Rise Cars: 02 97440539 – we usually have a few D5s in stock or if we don’t have the exact D5 you are looking for – place an order with us to import one direct from Japan to the spec and budget of your choice – we offer this service with a money back guarantee that we will get a high quality vehicle according to your expectations…

Check out these recent D5s we have imported:

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