Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,600 – $16,000*


1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 2-door coupe


1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 2-door coupe


1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 2-door coupe


1996 Mitsubishi 3000ST Spyder VR-4 2-door convertible


1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 2-door coupe

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • All-wheel drive (VR-4)
  • Antilock brakes (except base)
  • Handling/roadholding
Cons:
  • Fuel economy (VR-4)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride

A VR-4 delivers outstanding performance and all-wheel-drive action, but you pay a penalty in its stiff ride, as well as the high price. Base and SL models are more reasonable alternatives.

Overview

Mitsubishi entered the sports-car arena with its new 2+2 sport coupe. The Dodge Stealth was mechanically identical. Base and midrange 3000GT models got a twin-cam, 24-valve 3.0-liter V6, rated at 222 horsepower. The flagship VR-4 had 4-wheel steering, permanent 4-wheel drive, and a twin-turbo engine with dual intercoolers that made 300 horsepower. The VR-4 came only with 5-speed manual shift, but others might have an electronic 4-speed automatic transmission. A driver-side airbag was standard. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard across the board, and antilock braking was standard on the SL and VR-4 (optional on base coupe).

Yearly Updates

1992 3000GT
Except for three new paint colors, nothing changed for ’92 in Mitsubishi’s sport-coupe group.
1993 3000GT
Standard leather upholstery went into the VR-4 for ’93, and the base coupe added some comfort features. Chrome-plated alloy wheels were offered for the first time, as was a CD changer.
1994 3000GT
Dual airbags were installed in 1994, as the Mitsubishi sports coupes got a modest facelift. The VR-4’s engine got a boost to 320 horsepower, along with a switch from 5-speed manual shift to a 6-speed. All models wore a reshaped nose with four exposed headlamps, which replaced hidden flip-up units.
1995 3000GT
Costly retractable-hardtop Spyders debuted in spring 1995. The top was an articulated design, made of plastic composites, and production was very limited.
1996 3000GT
Few changes marked the coupes or the Spyders for ’96.
1997 3000GT
Dodge Stealths dropped out of the market after 1996, but the Mitsubishi 3000GT carried on with minor styling touch-ups. A lower-priced base coupe joined the 3000GT lineup, carrying a single cam Mitsubishi-built 3.0-liter V6 that produced 161 horsepower. The dual-cam engine in the SL lost four horsepower.
1998 3000GT
3000GT sees no change for 1998.
1999 3000GT
3000GT received cosmetic changes front and rear and VR-4 models got a huge rear spoiler. Slow sales would eventually kill the Mitsubishi sports car for the year 2000.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All 3000GTs from 1991 to 1996 used a 3.0-liter V6 engine with dual-overhead camshafts. A normally aspirated version went into base and midrange models, developing 222 horsepower (218 in ’97). The hottest model, the VR-4, got a twin-turbo rendition that made 300 horsepower (increased to 320 for 1994). The VR-4 could only be equipped with 5-speed manual shift (6-speed manual, starting in 1993). Other 3000GTs might have the optional 4-speed automatic transmission. For 1997, a new base model carried a 161-horsepower V6 with a single-overhead camshaft.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 161
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
19/24
18/23
19.5
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 218-222
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 201-205
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
19/25
18/24
18.1

Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 300-320
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 307-315
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

18/24

13.8

Road Test

The VR-4 is an enjoyable machine to drive. For one thing, it’s quick. Mitsubishi promised a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds. More surprising, the car is so stable and quiet that speed becomes deceptive; it’s difficult to tell just how fast you’re traveling. Its 4-wheel steering and all-wheel drive blend for secure, precise cornering. Brakes are great too, bringing the VR-4 to a halt with reassuring swiftness and terrific poise.

Except for slightly vague steering (not true of the front-drive SL) and a voracious appetite for fuel, the 3000GT is an impressive, if costly, machine. An SL is quick enough for most folks and has most of the VR-4’s admirable qualities.

Cockpits are snug and low, but the back seat is strictly for show. Low-slung styling makes entry and exit a chore, too. Otherwise, the cabin is top-notch, with supportive seats, nicely spaced controls, and clear, properly placed gauges. On the downside, the liquid crystal readout for the automatic climate system, standard on SL and VR-4, is difficult to decipher and has too little contrast for easy viewing in daylight. Also, the stereo unit is mounted too low and has tiny controls.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 9
90%
Fuel Economy - 2
20%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 9
90%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 1
10%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 38

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.2 179.7 72.4 50.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
4.4 19.8 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.3 34.3 44.2 28.5
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.2 179.7 72.4 49.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.1 19.8 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.1 34.1 44.2 28.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 3000GT 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 149
Injury 102
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: Either of the front brake hoses can break under full-lock steering maneuvers when the suspension is also at its maximum travel, and dealers will replace them with revised hoses. (1993)
Fuel pump
Description: The vehicle is sensitive to fuel starvation caused by a clogged in-tank filter. (1991-96)
Hard starting
Description: Corrosion in the connector behind the right headlight may prevent car from starting. (1991-92)
Horn
Description: The horn button pops out of the steering wheel. (1994-95)
Audio system
Description: RX-367 audio systems and rear CD changers suffer from alternator noise through the speakers. (1993)
Water leak
Description: Water leaks in through the rear latch area of the tilt-up sunroof. (1992-93)
Convertible top
Description: Spyder models may have difficulties with the retractable hardtop operation, particularly after a collision.

Recall History

1991
Description: Front-seatbelt release button can break, allowing pieces to fall into buckle assembly.
1991-94
Description: Under conditions of full-lock steering and full suspension travel, front brake hose can crack, resulting in fluid leakage.
1991-94 sold in Puerto Rico
Description: Front brake hose can crack during full-lock steering and full suspension travel, resulting in fluid leakage.
1995-99
Description: Oil may leak from the all-wheel-drive transfer case.
1999
Description: Bilingual English/Spanish removable airbag warning labels on dashboard and sunvisor do meet size requirements.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.