The "Classic Motor Sport Tour" includes visits to Goodwood Revival, Donington Grand Prix Collection, Grand Prix Historique de la Vienne, Manoir de L'Automobile and Museum de L'Automobile at Le Mans and, for a farewell dinner, Atelier Renault on Champs Elysees. Also included are city tours of London and Paris, Classic Team Lotus Works tour and Brands Hatch race master (with an opportunity of a drive in a high performance Renault). This great tour includes return economy air fares, departure tax, transfers, 13 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 13 nights accommodation.

See the brochure for more details ..... here.

Bookings close 25th June, 2008.

Sheryl Poulter
at Preston Travel on
(03) 9470.4737 for enquiries and bookings.

..... more

Elvis Festival
2008 Elvis Festival

Road Test

Mitsubishi 380 VRX

by Stephen Walker

1st May, 2008

Mitsubishi 380 VRX 
Click on the image for a larger view

Production of the Mitsubishi 380 has now ceased. This will please some, whilst at the same time it will disappoint others. As the Mitsubishi 380 gained a high degree of respect for design and build quality, you can be sure that the competitors will be pleased that this model will stop competing in the new car marketplace very soon. Although, many will be disappointed that the best built car in Australia, the Mitsubishi 380, will no longer be available once the current stocks have been sold.

Normally, the value of new cars would drop when it gets to the end of the line. Yet, the prospect of diminishing values is hardly likely in the case of the 380 just because production ended a month ago. Of course, with no new production, the market has to be content with existing stock. However, there is no concern that the 'passing' of the 380 would make the car an 'orphan'. That's because of the fact that all cars from all manufacturers on the current market will be 'old hat' in coming years. At that time, the Mitsubishi 380 will be no older than its competitors. On that basis, I suspect the value of the existing stock in the nation's Mitsubishi dealers will be worth a little more as buyers realise the final opportunity to buy a 380 is approaching very fast. Stocks will, no doubt, be all gone within months. Astute buyers will get in earlier.

Our most recent 'run' in a Mitsubishi 380 was in the sporty version, the VRX, which not only looks good but also pleases the driver with an excellent combination of driving qualities and comfort levels.

The Mitsubishi 380 is powered by a 3.8 litre single overhead cam 24 valve V6 engine. This powerplant provides 175 kW of power and 343 Nm of torque. The 380 VRX test car was fitted with the smooth 5 speed automatic transmission, which features a sequential manual override for those who enjoy a manual operation. The Mitsubishi 380 is especially pleasant to drive because the front wheel drive handles the power quite well. In fact, front wheel traction is so good it is often difficult to determine which set of wheels has the power. That traction makes driving the 380 a particularly pleasing experience. The ride quality is equally as pleasing. The steering feel is good and the braking is very good. The performance from the 3.8 litre V6 is more than adequate. So the time on the road in the 380 is noteworthy.

Stephen Walker with the Mitsubishi 380 VRX 
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The 380 VRX (Series III), subject to our drive programme, featured excellent seating for all occupants. Even back seat passengers had ample room, whilst upfront the roominess and comfort were obvious highlights. The driver's sports seat had lumbar support and featured a 6-way power operation. There was a footrest for the driver and steering wheel controls for the audio and the user friendly cruise control. The tilt adjustable steering wheel was pleasing to hold and the 6 CD stacker with the premium audio system which has 8 speakers was appreciated. The centre console contained 2 cup holders and the interior featured four airbags. A neat feature of the interior sun visors was the fitment of a 'slider' which effectively increased the size of the visor when deployed. Lighting upfront was good and the trip computer was handy, although the front door pockets were somewhat narrow. Leather was a feature of the steering wheel, the gear shift knob and the handbrake lever. All told, quite an attractive package from Mitsubishi, as this is certainly one dashing number.

Our drive programme covered some 629 kilometres around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

The stylish Mitsubishi 380 VRX is priced from a very competitive $36,990 (RRP) for the manual transmission model. The test car was fitted with several options, including an automatic transmission ($2,000), a sunroof ($2,000) together with metallic paint ($350). Therefore the test car was priced at $41,340 (RRP), which is a very reasonable figure when compared to the obvious locally-built competitors.

The Mitsubishi warranty is legendry and it applies to the new 380. It's for a 5-year period or 130,000 kms with 5-year roadside assistance (conditions apply, of course).

Mitsubishi 380 VRX 
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In recognising just how good the Mitsubishi 380 is, one has to wonder why this car didn't make it to success on the Australian new car market. After all, our new car market is a 1 million units per year market. However, the car industry takes no prisoners and as good as the Mitsubishi 380 is, it just didn't sell enough units to remain on the market.

That being the case, it is time to say goodbye to the 380. And, in reality, it is a good buy.

Not everything in life is black and white. But it is clear to me that the best made Australian car on the market today is the Mitsubishi 380. Quality build and quality components are integral with the Mitsubishi 380. But not all cars made in Australia can boast such attributes. The 380 was a good seller, but there weren't quite enough sales for Mitsubishi to plan for a successor. Clearly, the 380 will be missed, because the strengths (and the lack of weaknesses) of this car aren't on offer by other car makers.

The Mitsubishi 380 VRX I experienced in Queensland demonstrates just how good this car is and astute buyers will be on the lookout for the final stocks to ensure they don't miss out on one of Australia best cars.

History is not kind to all cars. In fact, history is littered with duds. However, the Mitsubishi 380 will be remembered well as the coming years unfold.

Click on an image for a larger view

Other Mitsubishi content: here.

Next Car Pty Ltd
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