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I'm thinking of buying a 2.4 litre 1998 Mitsubishi Magna Executive Wagon.

The asking price is $1,500 with a known squeaky belt that needs replacing (not the cam belt).

My question is; in your experience, how reliable is this car? I can't really find much information on it, and there are not many on the market that I can see and compare prices with.

Everything drives fine, the car is in good working order, but the engine oil was almost out and slightly congealed when I test drove it.

It has travelled 253,185kms as it was a company car for 6 years and then privately owned by the employer now selling it. It has a history of pulling heavy trailers, boats and kayak-trailers.

I'm taking it for an inspection, but would still like to hear what you think of these cars in general, and if there are any common problems among Mitsubishis of this age?


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 25 September 2009


Regardless of the make and model this vehicle is high risk. The odometer is at a point that you would take every day as it came with no guarantees of long term reliability.

The fact the engine oil level was extremely low and congealed is a sign any past servicing has been rare or neglected.

Add a history of towing heavy trailers etc and all indications would seem to suggest the whole car has had a hard life. You may want to check for body corrosion also if the towing involved launching boats into salt water.

For $1,500 the best you could hope for is a new Warrant of Fitness (no more than one month old) and current registration that gives you at least a couple of months driving without incurring new relicensing costs.

I would be reluctant to commit to purchase until the pre purchase check has been carried out and you have a better overview of the cars general condition.

The Magna was a popular company car based more on price than any quality or reliability advantages it had over its competitors.