A long-selling Delica D:5 that has been on the market for over 10 years. It has a minivan-like interior space and sliding doors, but its ability as an SUV is still first-class. The exterior has undergone a minor change for the first time this year, but it is at a level that only those who are familiar with it can understand. It is a valuable existence as a cross model of a minivan and an SUV.
A long-selling product with no rivals
Mitsubishi Delica D:5 has been a long-selling model for more than 10 years since its launch in January 2007. Annual sales in 2017 were 42nd, with 12,969 units recorded. It is a hybrid model of a minivan and an SUV that boasts a stable popularity with an average monthly sales of 1000 units.
There are several points that make the Delica D:5 popular, but above all, despite being a minivan, it has the ability to run on rough roads comparable to a cross-country 4WD. It has a minimum ground clearance of 210mm (190mm for 2WD vehicles) and is equipped with AWC (All Wheel Control) inherited from Pajero, a full-fledged off-roader.
The AWC, which Mitsubishi has long been involved in four-wheel drive, achieves “predictable maneuverability” and “outstanding stability” by making the best use of the four-wheel tire capabilities in a well-balanced manner4. This is the concept of wheel motion control technology. This AWC and the body with a ring-shaped frame structure that secures high rigidity are the starting point for creating all-round performance. In addition, the electronically controlled 4WD has a 2WD mode that demonstrates excellent fuel efficiency, a 4WD auto mode that optimally distributes driving power to the front and rear according to the road surface and driving conditions, and a 4WD lock mode that provides strong driving power. It has been. A dial-type drive mode selector allows switching even while driving, making it a true SUV.
The basics as a minivan are solid
Another popular point of the Delica D:5 is that it is a minivan with a variety of seat arrangements and ample storage space. The third seat can be flipped up to the left and right, and when retracted, it can accommodate 4 to 5 people plus luggage. Furthermore, if you fold the second seat with a tip-up and slide mechanism, a vast luggage space with 2 people and a luggage compartment length of 1610mm appears.
If you tip up and slide only one side of the second seat, 4 people + long luggage room mode is also possible. Furthermore, if you fold the backrests of the second and third seats backwards, you can also create a flat seat layout that allows you to sleep in the car.
As a minivan, storage spaces of different sizes are secured, including upper glove boxes and lower glove boxes around the front seats, instrument panel side pockets, and instrument panel lower boxes. Drink holders are installed not only in the second seat, but also in the third seat, so you can feel the hospitality.
Clean diesel is also a big strength
The third point is that it is the only domestic minivan equipped with a clean diesel engine. There are three types of engines installed in Delica D: 5: 2L straight 4 gasoline engine installed in 2WD vehicles, 2.4L straight 4 gasoline and 2.2L straight 4 diesel turbo installed in 4WD vehicles. The combined transmission is a CVT for the gasoline engine and a 6-speed AT for the diesel turbo engine, and the JC08 mode fuel efficiency is 10.8 to 13.0 km / L. The diesel engine, which has particularly good fuel economy at high speeds and excellent running performance on rough roads, suits the character of the Delica D:5.
The unchanging appearance is proof of its popularity
Since its introduction, some improvements have been made frequently to improve product appeal. The recent minor change in April 2018 includes the use of a front bumper protector (integrated undercover) to give the front face a more powerful and active image. Actually, the Delica D: 5 changed the exterior design for the first time this time. However, the changes are not so big, and the popular model does not need to be modified so much.
Not only off-road, but also on-road ability is still undiminished
This time, I test drove the highest grade D Premium (vehicle price 4,055,400 yen). The Delica D:5 boasts a total height of 1870mm with a load clearance of 210mm. Sitting in the driver’s seat gives you a sense of openness and a wide field of view. The 2.2L diesel turbo is close to the driver’s seat and the engine position, so you can hear the unique diesel sound when the car is stopped. When you step on the accelerator, the body of the Delica D: 5, which weighs about 1.9 tons, is powerfully and tenaciously accelerated. The maximum torque is 360Nm, so even if you step on the accelerator for a short time, you will reach the legal speed limit. Although it is equipped with large-diameter 18-inch tires, unnecessary vertical movement is suppressed by the suspension with a large stroke amount, so the second seat achieves a flat ride.
The automatic setting is a little gentle, but the paddle shifters installed on the steering column allow you to shift at your preferred timing without taking your fingers off the steering wheel. It was a very useful equipment for merging highways and overtaking on highways. Equipped with specially developed 18-inch mud and snow tires, I think the on-road riding quality is quite high.
Not enough advanced safety equipment
Since the basic design is old, it is undeniable that the advanced driving support system is unsatisfactory compared to other cars. However, there is no doubt that the Delica D: 5 has enough charm to make up for that disadvantage. Those who want the luxury of a minivan’s livability and rough road performance comparable to a cross country 4WD have no other choice. There is also an outdoor specification called Jasper, so it is also recommended for people who often go camping.
*The content of the article is based on information as of June 2018.
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