Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 (174)

Overview:

This week’s Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 is a car I’ve been wanting to test for a long time. Finally I get to drive it and it falls on my birthday. Boy did I feel my mortality when I noticed it is becoming a little harder to get in and out of small places. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not that old, but sports cars are more for the young…er guys and gals.

The sweep of the windshield brings the top closer to your head than I would like and the thought occurred to me that this is not for real big people. I have a keen sense of the obvious and you too will notice the tight feeling if you’re six feet or over. However, it was comfortable, when I got the seat adjusted, and once you’re in, the ride is wonderful.

This model is rated as a sub-compact and noted as a 2+2-seating car. In a pinch a medium sized person can sit in the back, but better for little people at best.

On the racetrack or for life in the fast lane the performance of this car is impressive. Don’t let the 3.0 liter V6 fool you. This car, on the track or on the streets will make driving fun and fast if that’s your thing. It is an all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering marvel of engineering. There are three GT’s to choose from and all are basically the same with the exception of the powertrain. Based on the same V6 engine, you can go from 161 horsepower for the base model, 218 horsepower for the SL model or the top of the line twin-turbocharged, all-wheel drive cranks out an impressive 320 horsepower in the VR-4 that I had the pleasure of testing.

The 3000GT was introduced in 1991 and today has very little competition with the departure of the Nissan 300ZX and the Mazda RX-7 from this market. I really liked the twin turbo Nissan 300ZX in particular and was sad they pulled it from the market. Oh well. The only real competition left is the Toyota Supra at $30,918 – $40,308, and the Turbo is the closest with specs that are almost identical. Two insignificant differences are the engine, which is an in-line 6-cylinder instead of the V6 and the sunroof is not available on the Supra. Other cars that are considered competition include the Acura NSX at $84,000 – $88,000 (not even close), the Chevrolet Camaro at $16,625 – $27,450, Pontiac Firebird at $18,015 – $29,715 and the Ford Mustang at $15,970 – $28,430, (not quite), Dodge Avenger at $14,930 – $17,310 and Honda Prelude at $23,200 – $25,700 (haven’t driven them).

An area where I have to nit-pick the 3000GT is with the rear spoiler. I don’t think people need the downward force on the rear wheels provided by the spoiler nearly as much as they need good visibility. That damn thing falls smack dab in the middle of the rear window, obstructing the rear view. But to end on a positive note, the good news is that at night the aggravating glare of headlights are blocked as well.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter twin turbo intercooled V6 engine, 6-speed manual trans, climate controlled air conditioning, power windows and door locks and sideview mirrors, cruise control and height adjustable leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, dual airbags, power 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, full-time all wheel drive, four wheel steering, stainless steel exhaust, security system with keyless entry, 7-way adjustable driver seat, leather seats, 50/50 split folding rear seat, AM/FM stereo cassette / CD / 8-speaker sound system, auto-off headlights, cargo cover, performance rated tires on 18″ chrome plated alloy wheels, rear wiper / washer, power antenna and power sunroof .

Gas Stats:

18 City / 24 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is $46,230 and the model I drove added a CD changer for $675 and after those dreaded destination charges of $470 the total comes to $47,375.

For the dealer nearest you call 1 800 222 0037.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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