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Ever since 1968, the Delica has been Mitsubishi’s reply to the van and pickup truck. Its large success has seen fashions being exported everywhere in the world. The identify Delica got here from the English phrase “Supply automobile”. In different markets nonetheless, the Delica was provided beneath totally different names. For instance, in Europe, Jamaica, and New Zeeland it was often called the “L300” (later renamed the L400), whereas in Australia they known as it the “Specific” and “Starwagon”. They saved it easy for the American market and named it the “Mitsubishi Van”. This utilitarian automobile did are available in a passenger var model as effectively, and that was often called the “Delica Area Gear”, which later turned simply “Area Gear” in Europe.

Presently, the Delica is one among Mitsubishi’s longest working manufacturing automobile spanning over half a century, and it’s nonetheless in manufacturing to this very day. Since 1968, the Delica has been produced over 5 generations, each being barely higher than the over. Whereas it has obtained quite a few upgrades over time, it’s nonetheless a utility automobile at its core, which individuals have turn out to be accustomed to. Drastically smaller than its American counterparts, the Delica was initially created for the tight streets of Japan. The European market additionally cherished it attributable to its small measurement and reliability.

The Delica is the last word 4X4 van:

Now we have created this in-depth shopping for information so that you can offer you as a lot data as potential earlier than you go forward and pull the set off on this small sensible little van.

Execs and Cons


  • Surprisingly roomy
  • Turbo-diesel gas financial system
  • Nice 4×4 functionality
  • Low-cost buy value
  • Matches wherever
  • Non-compulsory crystal gentle roof


  • The engine may be undersized in sure fashions
  • Could also be troublesome to return throughout substitute elements
  • Comparatively heavy because of the correct truck chassis
  • Troublesome to work on (attributable to being a cab-over)
  • Uncomfortable seating place
  • Early fashions don’t have the identical security requirements as trendy minivans

Widespread Points

Though Japanese vehicles are well-known for
their sturdiness, they aren’t exempt to points. Such is the case with the
early variations of the Delica. Early mannequin Delica’s (L300) have been recognized to have
their entrance brakes fail at excessive speeds. This wasn’t attributable to mechanical failure,
however moderately as a result of the brake pads would overheat and turn out to be nearly ineffective.

One other situation that plagued the L300’s was
their sluggish, and trouble-prone 2.5L diesel engines. Everyone knows diesels to be
extra strong and dependable than their gasoline counterparts. This sadly
was not the case with the Delica’s 4D56 four-cylinder turbodiesel because it precipitated
exhaust gasoline temperatures to rise to a stage the place it began cracking head
gaskets. To make issues worse, the 4D56 is an interference engine, which implies
that if the timing belt snaps, the pistons and valves would meet in probably the most unfavorable
of circumstances, thus destroying the engine.

Different points that have been reported, however not
that widespread, have been turbo failure and steadiness shaft belt failure. Most small
diesel engines have a steadiness shaft to remove among the vibrations from
the unbalanced engine. If the belt that drives this steadiness shaft lets go, it
may also trigger important harm to different elements of the engine.

Now we aren’t attempting to scare you off from
shopping for your dream minivan, we’re merely informing you of the widespread points
which are related to these fashions in order that when it comes time to buy
one, what to search for.

Common Costs

Attributable to the truth that Mitsubishi has been
producing the Delica for over 50 years, costs can fluctuate fairly a bit. After all,
choices, present state, and mileage play an important function within the value. It
looks like the 90’s Delica’s have developed a cult following right here in North
America, and a few may be purchased beginning at simply over $5,000, whereas a first-rate
instance can set you again as a lot as $25,000.

View all Mitsubishi Delica vehicles listed for sale.

Comparable Options

Due to the recognition of those Japanese minivans, different auto producers have jumped on the alternative to try to get a chunk of the motion. Beneath, we’ve got compiled a listing of different fashions just like the Delica.

Fashions and Specs

First Technology (1968-1979):

The primary era Delica rolled off
Mitsubishi’s meeting line in mid-1968 as a cab-over pickup and was given the
chassis code T100. It got here geared up with both a 1.1L or 1.4L gasoline engine
with a prime velocity of 115km/h (71mph) and a complete payload of 600kg (1,323lbs.).
Given the dimensions of the primary Delica, these numbers have been spectacular. Fortunately, a
yr later the famed automaker launched a cargo and passenger van model due
to elevated demand for these physique kinds. Sadly, the passenger van was
discontinued in 1974, after simply seven years.

In 1971 the Delica obtained its first
facelift. This included a smaller, extra interesting grille and a brand new 1.4L engine
that produced 86hp. The 1.1L engine was nonetheless accessible at the moment, however
shortly after it was phased out of manufacturing.

1974 noticed the Delica obtain one more facelift. This time the front-end was dressed up with a variety of plastic cladding and the addition of double headlights. Furthermore, the identify received modified to “Delica 1400” being as that was the one engine accessible at the moment. Lastly, an extended wheelbase one-ton truck was added in 1976 and it glided by the chassis code T121.

Second Technology (1979-1986):

With the arrival of the second era,
the Delica noticed main upgrades, each inside and outside. Engine clever, there have been a
whole of 9 engine selections. 4 of these engines have been gasoline and ranged
from 1.4L to a 2.0L. The remaining 5 have been diesel variations which began from
2.2L 16-vavle turbodiesel and went all the way in which as much as a 2.5L 8-valve
turbodiesel. All engines have been provided in a inline four-cylinder configuration

Width was additionally elevated to measure a complete
of 1,690mm (67”), due to stricter laws put in place by the Japanese
authorities. The suspension wasn’t forgotten both. A brand new impartial wishbone
suspension was launched within the entrance, whereas the rear received leaf springs. Additionally
accessible was a sliding aspect door alongside a one-piece gasoline strut that assist up
the rear hatch.

1982 was the primary yr that accessible
four-wheel drive was accessible on the Delica. Mitsubishi took the 4WD system
from the Pajero and tailored it to the Delica. Individuals went loopy for this new
function, and for good causes too. It was a small, economical van that might
now go basically wherever.

In Australia, Chrysler launched the Delica beneath the identify “Chrysler L300 Specific” on the Adelaide motor present. The Philippines additionally go the van and named it the “Mitsubishi L300 Versa Van”. It was accessible there till the start of 2012. In Indonesia, the Delica glided by “Colt 300” and was solely accessible with the two.5L turbodiesel. A gasoline engine was provided for a brief time period, however attributable to poor demand it was rapidly taken off the market.

Third Technology (1986-1994):

via wiki media

In June of 1986, the all-new Delica was
unveiled to the world. The aerodynamic, rounded edges turned affectionately
often called the “delicate dice” by Mitsubishi. Its elevated security and monocoque physique
additionally turned highly regarded with the RV phase in Japan.

In 1990, Australia obtained a naturally
aspirated diesel as an possibility and the “Delica Star Wagon” was simplified to
simply “Starwagon”. Moreover, two wheelbases have been now accessible to decide on
from, and the industrial model was now often called merely as “Specific”.

So far as efficiency goes, Mitsubishi
launched a wide variety of each gasoline and diesel engines to select from,
including as much as a complete of 11 engines. Out of these 11 engines, 5 have been gasoline
powered and the remaining diesel. They ranged from a 1.4L gasoline engine all the way in which up
to a 3.2L diesel specifically made for the Chinese language market. Mix that with the
accessible two-wheel or four-wheel drive and the varied physique kinds to decide on
from and the probabilities have been nearly countless.

In China, the Delica was licensed by Hyundai beneath the identify “Hyundai Grace” or “Hyundai H-100”. In 1986, a model named “New Grace” was launched and it was provided with a 2.4L gasoline or 2.5L turbodiesel inline-four. Each engines have been from Mitsubishi.

What it’s prefer to drive a L300 Delica:

Fourth Technology (1994-1997):

via flickr

Mitsubishi’s fourth era Delica obtained probably the most excessive and aerodynamic styling improve to that time. Sadly, no truck fashions have been accessible for this era, however they made up for it by introducing larger gasoline and diesel engines in addition to a extra succesful 4×4 system that Mitsubishi shared with the Pajero.

Offroading with the L400 Delica:

The passenger fashions have been often called the
“Delica Area Gear” in Japan and have been accessible with six trim ranges in each
brief and long-wheeled variations. Export markets noticed the Delica nameplate
fully disappear and changed with the “L400” badge whereas passenger vans
have been merely often called “Mitsubishi Area Gear”.

The Mitsubishi Delica is a well-liked off-grid / tenting automobile:

Australia nonetheless obtained the cargo and passenger variations with 4 accessible trim ranges, whereas South Korea took the Delica and rebadged it because the Hyundai Starex. It was produced for a complete of 10 years between 1997-2007.

Fifth Technology (2007-present):

via wikimedia

In late October 2006 Mitsubishi revealed
that there shall be a brand new model of the beloved Delica popping out. They named
it the “Delica D-5” and it was unveiled on the 39th Tokyo Motor
Present. The monobox minivan was an eight-seater, four-wheel drive automobile
that includes a repeatedly variable transmission coupled with a 2.4L inline-four
engine. It was placed on sale on the final day of January 2007.

2013 noticed the introduction of a 2.2L
turbodiesel that produced a complete of 177hp and 280ft. lbs. of torque.
Mitsubishi claimed that this engine produced easy acceleration all the way in which
although the rev vary and it achieved a low compression ration of solely 14.9:1.
The gas mileage was an estimated 13.6km/L. Indonesia additionally received a style of the
D-5 Delica between 2014-2019.

A radically totally different facelift model was
launched in 2019 beneath the design language often called “Dynamic Protect”, and it
was most positively dynamic. The within now featured a ten.1” infotainment
system alongside e-Help. This model was first unveiled on the 2019 Tokyo
Auto Salon.

Manufacturing Figures

Yr Japan Philippines Taiwan China
1995 109,930 n/a n/a
1996 88,978 n/a n/a
1997 69,495 n/a n/a
1998 34,614 n/a n/a
1999 17,758 n/a n/a
2000 28,242 2,918 8,125
2001 12,965 2,079 5,133 690
2002 17,456 2,925 4,192 600
2003 13,011 3,529 5,166 13,710
2004 16,432 2,826 3,862 16,074
2005 16,444 3,685 2,315 5,960
2006 16,041 3,992 1,160
2007 14,824 4,580 1,115


Are spare elements for the Delica simply accessible within the US?

Attributable to the truth that Mitsubishi interchanged many elements between fashions, most elements ought to be simply accessible at any auto elements retailer.

Do Delica’s solely come from Japan?

No. Most of them have been produced and offered in Japan, however some homeowners have imported them from Europe and even Australia.

Can mechanics in North America work on the Delica?

After all. Any licensed mechanic can work on these automobiles. They don’t seem to be a lot totally different than the vehicles we’ve got.

Is it exhausting to get used to driving a right-hand drive automobile?

No. Inside just a few hours you’ll really feel proper at dwelling. Nonetheless, further particular care must be taken when turning left.

Are you able to get a left-hand drive Delica?

Though left-hand drive Delica’s have been accessible, they’re extremely exhausting to return by and fetch a a lot larger value attributable to its rarity.

Are aftermarket elements accessible for the Mitsubishi Delica?

Completely! The Delica was provided in many various configurations, and because of the truth that they’ve a cult following, many corporations have created quite a few aftermarket pats for them.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Delica
  • https://www.theaa.com/used-cars/evaluations/mitsubishi/delica
  • http://import-era.com/threads/someone-please-explain-to-me-delicas.556/
  • https://www.motorbiscuit.com/the-most-common-problems-on-early-mitsubishi-delicas/
  • http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/company/ir/library/pdf/fact2005.pdf
  • https://archive.org/obtain/ChryslerLaunchesRivalForKombi/ModernMotor1980-06.pdf
  • https://archive.org/particulars/MitsubishiL300ExpressTheTrendsetter
  • http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring/evaluations/car-reviews/mitsubishi/starwagon-glx.htm
  • http://www.hoovers.com/firm/China_Motor_Corporation/rcsstxi-1.html
  • http://media.mitsubishi-motors.com/pressrelease/e/company/detail1586.html

Methods to Import a Mitsubishi Delica

Learn our final information, How to Import a Car from Japan.

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