Trolling craigslist for an off-road beater, like ya do, and this shining beacon of JDM 80s goodness showed up. The price is high, the condition is excellent, and the want is strong.
What we’re looking at here is a 1990 Mitsubishi Delica L300 Exceed Star Wagon, apparently. Rocking a 2.5L inline 4 turbo diesel, 5 speed manual transmission, and selectrable 4WD. Apparently this, a post-facelift 3rd generation model, is based on the Pajero underneath. Sounds like a good thing to me.
Inside you’ll find said engine under the passenger seat, rotating captains chairs, rear air, and that amazing panoramic roof.
Truly this is the thing Vanagons grow up to be.
Downsides? Price, mainly. Though prices for these things are certainly on the up as the overlanding craze reaches a fevered pitch. That said, I’d have a hard time parting with $16,000 of my hard earned cash unless I was certain I’d get it back down the road. While overlanding and off-road rigs are hot now, will they be in a year? Two?
Parking is another issue. While at one point my fleet was seven cars strong, I felt bad taking up that much street parking. Even at a modest six now (phrasing) playing car shuffle with my one car wide driveway is annoying, and I find myself driving my garage cars less than I would like.
Also I don’t really see anything this thing does that my Disco doesn’t do as well or better. Both have plentiful seating, buckets of style, offroad chops, and expensive, hard to source parts.
Also also: sixteen thousand dollars!
That said, this thing checks a number of boxes on the “cars I want to own” list. Specifically it checks the: diesel, 4wd van, and righ-hand drive boxes. (Yes, this is an actual list. It keeps me from buying every heap I see on Craigslist.)
Still, as cool as this is I can’t get over that it doesn’t really fill a gap in my lineup. It is way too nice, at least in pictures, to consider an offroad beater. It’s seating capacity is on-par with the Land Rover, though I imagine the Star Wagon is more comfortable.
Mostly the appeal is that it is very cool.
The boyfriend is pushing me to go take a look, because I’ll regret it if I don’t. He is not wrong.
What do you guys (and gals) think?