Mitsubishi Dingo

It’s Scenic era. Everyone rushes to build mini MPVs out of the so-called C-segment cars (i.e., Golf, Focus, Corolla, Civic ...) Although Mitsubishi still claims itself as the pioneer of MPV because of that Space Wagon appear in 1983, its Mirage Dingo is clearly inspired by Renault’s trend-setting Scenic. While the Scenic is derived from Megane, the Dingo is based on a shortened Mirage platform. And you know, sharing so many components with the Mirage / Colt / Lancer, the Dingo is far more cost effective than Space Wagon (Grandis) and Space Runner (RVR).

The comment for its styling is quite polarised. The large and angular headlamps look sophisticated, so is the front bumper, but the basic profile of the whole car is quite odd. It’s simply too boxy, without the sleekness of Scenic or the futuristic character of Fiat Multipla. Japanese stylists still have a long way to go.

Like Scenic, accommodation is limited to two rows and 5 seats. The rear row is 50-50 split and can be slided forward and backward individually, or can be detached, or can be folded to the back of front seats to enable a large and flat storage area rivalling an estate. Alternatively, the rear seats can be flipped downward and form a pair of beds together with front seats. Because of the column shifter, there is no transmission tunnel thus enable walk-through between front and rear seats.

Still, the Dingo is too small for a MPV. Apart from the lack of individual rear seats, the rear passengers might feel short of shoulder room. Legroom is also compromised with the boot space, although headroom is plenty of. It feels more like a city car than a weekend people carrier. 

Because of the Mirage-sourced platform, Dingo is not deemed to be a competent driver’s car. The biggest engine is just a GDI 1.5-litre, some 300 to 500 c.c. less than its competitors. Although the car is compact and light, performance is hampered by the use of 4-speed automatic.

In short, Dingo is a demonstration of lifestyle rather than actually delivering lifestyle. It’s not the most versatile mini MPV on offer. It’s far from the most comfortable and accommodative. It has the least driver appeal. The pioneer of MPV seems fail to follow the latest trend.

The above report was last updated on 31 Mar 2000. All Rights Reserved.


Dingo 1.5 GDI
Front-engined, Fwd.
L / W / H / WB : 3885 / 1695 / 1635 / 2440 mm
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl, direct-injection
1468 c.c.
105 hp
103 lbft
F: strut / R: multi-link
185/65 R14
1180 kg
Top speed
0-60 mph
0-100 mph

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