The Magna was an all-new model back in 1997, replacing Mitsubishi's Sigma as their top-of-the-line sedan. Competing in the near-luxury segment against upscale brands, it never stood a chance, but soldiered on anyway unchanged right up to 2003, at which point it got its 2004 facelift. The Magna features a standard 3.5-litre V6 engine, a 4-speed automatic gearbox, a decent interior and fair handling. Offered only as a sedan, the largish Magna rode on a front-wheel-drive platform, but once the new larger Galant was introduced, it essentially meant the death knell for the Magna. The Magna was available in essentially two flavours, namely a standard model and a sportier VR-X version. The Magna VR-X upgrades include a colour-keyed rear spoiler, aerodynamic side skirts, wheel lip moldings, sport-style bucket seats, unique seat fabric, and possibly sportier suspension tuning with slightly-increased engine power. Standard features on this redesigned sedan include dual front airbags, available side airbags, 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted glass, a power driver seat, an AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD player, remote keyless entry, optional leather, optional ABS and a security system. This version, though attractive, only lasted for two models years, and unsold stocks were available at discounted dealer prices all the way till late 2006.
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Few squeaks and rattles. The timing belt requires changing every six years or 90,000 kms. Seems to require above-average number of brake pads and tyre changes. Problems of coolant leaks from previous version may affect this model too.