Junkyard Find: 1983 Mitsubishi Cordia

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Since December 7 always reminds me of the only Mitsubishi vehicle with a strong reputation for reliability, let’s look at this Late Malaise Era Mitsu I found in a California self-service wrecking yard a few weeks back.

I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Cordia/Tredia recently (though the Hyundai Scoupe may have taken its place in my heart). The Cordia was part of Mitsubishi’s big move to sell cars under its own marque, rather than as badge-engineered Dodges and Plymouths, and it wasn’t exactly a success.

You have to love the Cordia’s crazy, near-incomprehensible electronic dashboard.

Why did Japanese automakers abandon the spaceship-style interiors of the early 1980s? They had character!

The 116-horsepower turbocharged engine wasn’t available for the ’83 model Cordia, so this car had only 82 horses. Since this car only weighed 2,101 pounds, it wasn’t quite as slow as the power numbers would suggest… but it was still pretty slow.

I keep thinking I’ll never see another Cordia again, but they keep trickling into the wrecking yards.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Dec 08, 2011

    It's been years since I have seen these along with it's 4dr twin the Trendia. These actually remind me of a restyled Hyundai Excel which makes sense since Mitsubishi designed many of the earlier imported to the U.S. Hyundai's and even sold a version of the Excel called the Precis.

  • Cordiafreak Cordiafreak on Dec 19, 2011

    Hi, I have been seven years in search of this digital dashboard of the Mitsubishi Cordia you have placed on the site. Do you have the address or e-mail from that company so that I can buy? You can also get it and send to me. You make me very happy. Eef greetings

  • TMA1 Been thinking about getting one of these for my mother. Skip the AWD and DSG, the FWD comes with an 8-spd. Good size vehicle for a woman who wants a SUV and has a small garage. Much better view outwards than the Mazda CX-30 I was looking at. Wish it had a power tailgate though - she's short.
  • Ajla Mustang.
  • Slavuta 2.3 mustang auto was quick enough but I didn't like it. Is this Ford still comes with Aluminum body parts? Because paint used to peel off. I like more classy Nissan cockpit. Both are not nearly perfect.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I would have to try each one on Flinton Rd in Eastern Ontario. This winding and hilly road is located between HWY 41 S and HWY 7 W.
  • Slavuta "a bill that would helped fund consumers who wanted to turn their used cars into EVs" - sounds like subsidies to good $$ earners were cut. Did anyone listened what this is about?