Mitsubishi also introduced a whole host of different trim levels with more brutal names (Exceed Low, High Top Crystal Lite, Active World High Top, Low, Exceed Turbo D, Crystal Lite, etc.). Other upgrades included different types of interiors and accessories, seating for seven to eight, and even different types of ceilings, including the high ceiling. These widely varied specifications have made Delica a platform that you can customize almost unlimitedly according to your own needs.
But while the Delica names are certainly great and all the options offer a variety of vehicles, it’s the combination of powerful engines, reliable drivetrains, and interior flexibility that sets it apart from other mobiles for off-road adventure and captivating outdoor types. Western markets noticed this very interesting exotic, and because of the state of its import, it became something of a forbidden fruit, which only helped the growth of its legend.
As you can see, Delica is not really sold in the US. One of the models made its way to our shores for a very short time but it wasn’t quite like the coveted Japanese market trucks. When the third generation Delica and all its variants reached their 25th birthday, they were no longer subject to the International Vehicle Safety Compliance Act, which prohibited US importers from bringing them into the country. Now all bets are off – except for the emissions test.
Things to know before buying a Mitsubishi Delica
Thousands have since found their way to the United States and into the hands of their owners. To get a better idea of that experience, including how people buy their cars and why they love them, I spoke with Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire podcast and owner of Westside Collector Car Storage, Andrew Groves of Miscellaneous Adventures, and Andy Lilienthal of Crankshaft Culture. They are all proud to own a Mitsubishi Delica.
“I originally wanted to use a van as a cool, affordable and interesting shop truck and airport pickup for my WCCS customers,” said Farah, who owns a 1991 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon Exceed Turbo D. in driving it. She told me that if I wanted a shop truck I could go buy another one because that was her car now.”
“The Delica offers true all-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case paired with the versatility of a platform truck,” said Lilienthal, who owns a 1994 Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear, adding, “No cars sold locally offer this easily, certainly not at the Delica point price.”