Mitsubishi Chariot

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Mitsubishi Chariot
Mitsubishi Expo (US)
Automotive industryMitsubishi Motors
AssemblyOkazaki, Aichi, Japan
SuccessorMitsubishi Grandis
Car classificationCompact MPV
Car body style5-door Minivan
Automobile layoutFront engine,
Front-wheel drive/Four-wheel drive
Internal combustion engine1755 cc Straight-4 (1983–91)
1997 cc Straight-4 (1983–97)
1795 cc Straight-4 Turbodiesel (1983–91)
2350 cc Straight-4 (1992–97)
2972 cc V6 (1997–2002)
Transmission (mechanics)3-speed Automatic transmission (1983–91)
5-speed Manual transmission (1983–97)
4-speed manual (1992–97)
4-speed Semi-automatic transmission (1997–2002)
Wheelbase2,380–2,780 mm (93.7–109.4 in)
Length4,295–4,650 mm (169.1–183.1 in)
Width1,640–1,775 mm (64.6–69.9 in)
Height1,525–1,650 mm (60.0–65.0 in)
Curb weight1,080–1,670 kg (2,381–3,682 lb)

The Mitsubishi Chariot, is a five door, five/seven seat Compact MPV produced by Mitsubishi Motors of Japan from 1983 to 2002. It was based on the SSW Concept car first exhibited at the 23rd Tokyo Motor Show in 1979,[1] and named for the battle chariots used during the times of the Ancient Greece and Roman Empire.[2] Internationally, it has been sold under various names, including Mitsubishi Space Wagon, Mitsubishi Nimbus and Mitsubishi Expo. The Chariot has been sold as the Dodge/Plymouth Colt Vista Wagon Captive import in North America, and also been manufactured under license as the Hyundai Santamo, Kia Carstar, and Mitsubishi Savrin in Asia.

The first generation of Chariot was produced from 1983 to 1991 with a choice of SOHC Straight-4 powerplants; the 1755 cc Mitsubishi Saturn engine or 1997 cc Mitsubishi Sirius engine Petrol engine, or the 1795 cc Mitsubishi Astron engine Turbodiesel, mated to a five-speed Manual transmission or three-speed Automatic transmission. In Australia it won the 1984 Wheels Car of the Year award in its debut year.[3]

The second generation, from 1992 to 1997, was enlarged in every dimension, offering a longer wheelbase, and greater length, width, and height. It retained the 4G63B engine, but phased out the 4G37B and replaced the old Turbodiesel with a with a newer 1997 cc Mitsubishi Sirius engine powerplant, and in 1993 a 2350 cc Mitsubishi Sirius engine was added to the range. A five-speed manual, or four-speed auto could be specified, and in high-end models an INVECS electronically-controlled 4-speed auto with "Fuzzy logic" was also available.

The third and final generation was introduced on October 17 1997,[2] and was larger and heavier again. It was now known in its home market as the Chariot Grandis, after the French grandiose, to emphasise the increase in the car's size and quality as it moved from a Ladder frame to Monocoque construction,[3] using the company's Mitsubishi RISE safety body.[2] Mitsubishi discontinued all other Straight-4 engines in favour of a single Gasoline direct injection version of the 4G64, while introducing a new 2972 cc SOHC Mitsubishi 6G engine V6 powerplant, also GDI-equipped. The INVECS-II four-speed Semi-automatic transmission became the only transmission option.[2]

The Chariot Grandis was finally superseded by release of the Mitsubishi Grandis on May 14 2003,[4] although production of the older vehicle continued until the following year for overseas markets.[5]

Production and sales

Year Production Sales
Domestic Export
1995 41,943 figures unavailable
1996 33,648
1997 59,448
1998 88,251
1999 63,010
2000 26,734 22,821 10,092
2001 15,907 10,472 7,018
2002 10,595 3,724 7,310
2003 4,043 49 4,536
2004 138 - 208

(Sources: Fact & Figures 2000, Fact & Figures 2005, Mitsubishi Motors website)


  1. "The 23rd Tokyo Motor Show". Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Mitsubishi Motors Launches Chariot Grandis New-generation SUV", Mitsubishi Motors press release, October 13 1997
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Nimbus 1984-2002", Bruce Newton,, May 10 2005
  4. "Mitsubishi Motors Releases New Grandis", Mitsubishi Motors press release, May 14 2003
  5. Fact & Figures 2005, Mitsubishi Motors website

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