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Why is Delica still an import favourite in Australia?

There’s something magical about discovering a new road. In the Australian Alps. At 100 km/h. Behind the wheel of a brand new limited-edition $1.6 million Nissan GT-R50. You’ve managed to secure that blue one with the gold accents and you’re on top of the world: the music is blasting, and the wind is whispering… Wait? What?! Bugger, the kids don’t fit!! Oh well, Godzilla can wait. Mitsubishi Delica here we come!

Delica

Love imports and have a tribe of your own? You’ve got such a great choice in this department: glam Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand, plus their smaller siblings Toyota Estima, Voxy, Noah and Nissan Serena! However, if you like to get your wheels dirty and enjoy the unbeaten tracks with everyone in the family, then it becomes a very small party. MMC Delica. No alternatives.

Delica Review

With the 7/8 seat layout and so much space in all three rows, the Delica is very much a companion of all those cool minivans from Japan. Yet, it is the only proper four-wheel drive people mover, the one that loves mud, sand and wet grass. Not to mention the snow and rocks. And that’s what sets it apart and ensures it sells somewhat quicker at the auctions in Japan.

www.productreview.com.au:

“The 4WD capability of Mitzi is amazing through Mud, Beach Soft Sands, Creek, River, Rock Climbing. In general, this car can take 8 people comfortably to those areas and places that normal vehicle couldn't go, seating is way better than Station-Wagon 4WDs especially the 3rd Row.”

Wiki rumour has it that the name comes from the abbreviation of DELIVERY CAR (how very boring!) and it was designed as a support car for Dakar rally in the late 60s (yeah, baby!). Since then it went through quite a few generations. We’re currently enjoying the most popular gen 5 (Delica D5) that started back in 2007 and went all the way to 2019 without a single facelift!

The D5 is wildly popular thanks to the major improvements in its body and chassis. It got more ground clearance, and at the same time, less weight and less height. The addition of rear-view camera (360 on premium models) was welcomed by those who struggled to park their beasts in the city. And last but not least, it is built using a special rust resistance steel and is not prone to rust as Delica’s previous models.

The Dimensions of MMC Delica D5:

  • Length – 473mm
  • Width – 179mm
  • Height – 187mm
  • Ground Clearance - 165-210mm (depending on the model)

Engines of MMC Delica D5:

  • Petrol – 4B12 2.4L MIVEC inline-four engine (fuel consumption 9.6L/100km)
  • Diesel (available from 2012) – 4N14 2.2L 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine (fuel consumption 7.35L/100km)

There’re so many Delica models available in Japan. Yet, the most popular in Australia are only a few top spec models such as Premium, Power G, Chamonix and Roadest.

Delica D5 CHAMONIX: 7 or 8 seater. Many factory options were available so Chamonix specs can vary quite a lot.

Delica D5 G PACKAGE: 18 inch alloy wheels standard. Paddle shift transmission optional.

Delica D5 G POWER PACKAGE: Standard features include 18 inch alloy wheels, paddle shift transmission and leather steering wheel and left side power sliding door. Right side power sliding door optional.

Delica D5 G PREMIUM: Same as the G Navi Package but dual power sliding doors as standard. Also standard are smart key, power tail gate, Rockford Fosgate Premium sound system and front power seats.

Delica D5 ROADEST: Mitsubishi set the Roadest version apart with a different body kit which is particularly noticeable in the front styling. Other than the appearance, it is available in similar specifications including Roadest G, Roadest G Power Package, Roadest G Navi Package and Roadest Premium.

Five Things that Make MMC Delica Epic.

So, let’s sum up what makes this car a super popular grey import worldwide.

  • 01. CLEARANCE

    With the ground clearance from 165 to 210mm, it is a hot cross between a minivan and an SUV and allows its owner to have the best of both worlds. Agile in the city, it’s perfect for unbeaten tracks and great for 4WDing.

  • 02. QUALITY BUILD

    Like most JDM cars (built for Japanese Domestic market), Delica is a very well-made vehicle. It’s all about maximum enjoyment and minimum maintenance. However, to avoid regrets, it’s important to buy right – non accident + genuine mileage. Check out our page Mileage Verification.

  • 03. AFFORDABILITY

    Best value for money. It definitely won’t break the bank, especially if you’re buying a petrol version of D5. Be prepared to pay a few more $$$ for a diesel version. They cost more money at the auctions in Japan, up to 5-7K for the same model, year and mileage.

  • 04. FUEL ECONOMY

    Fuel consumption is very reasonable for this big, off-road gun:

    Petrol: 9.6L/100km and a lot better on the open roads
    Diesel: 7,35L/100km

  • 05. CABIN + Features

This is where Delica really raises the bar compared to other 4 x 4 vehicles.

It’s spacious and well-appointed cabin comfortably sits eight people (or shall I say eight explorers?). Quite refined for an off-road automobile, especially in its top spec models. The list of feel-good features is mind-blowing: drop down DVD, auto sliding doors, proximity entry, keyless start, powered seats… And Rockford Fosgate Premium (860 Watt, 12-speaker surround sound audio system) is always a highlight!

When we imported our first 2007 Premium (in 2020), it was so special to stand next to a “humble” 13-year-old 4 x 4 vehicle and watch its massive tailgate to go up and down. Automatically.

While a number of people movers from Japan come with AWD on Demand, it’s more of a safety feature for wet weather condition as they sit too low and don’t have proper off-road capabilities. Mitsubishi Delica’s rivals are really thin on the ground and for many, it remains the one and only large family car for 4WDing.

Happy Trails!

Xo,
Natalia
Your JDM addict