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.
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.