Mitsubishi introduced the Adventure in 1997 to rival the Toyota Tamaraw FX and Isuzu Hi-Lander – later on the Revo and Crosswind respectively – in the Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) arena. Known in different markets as the Freeca, the Adventure is the epitome of what an AUV was back in the 1990s.
Some of you may remember the Crosswind throwback we did a few weeks ago. A similar narrative could be used to elaborate on the success of the Adventure in the Philippine market. It was a no-frills people mover, inexpensive, mechanically sound at its price point, and sported a badge Filipinos have already grown to trust – thanks to the Lancer, Galant, and L300.
Although the Adventure was phased out a few years ago, Mitsubishi’s affordable diesel-powered mover continues to be a hit on local roads due to its versatility. Lower variants of the Adventure are popular for businesses and as public transportation units. Quite a number of UV Express vehicles nowadays are still composed of Adventures. In Baguio City, the diesel engines are perfect as hardworking taxicabs traversing steep roads. The higher trims, which have more bells and whistles in the interior are more popular for personal use, especially among families as a daily commuter.
Mitsubishi’s AUV is powered by the beloved 2.5-liter 4D56 inline-4 diesel motor. Major redesigns were done on the Adventure in both 2001 and 2009 with the addition of crystal headlights, along with revamped exteriors and interiors. The first facelift saw new rectangular crystal headlights, while the second update marked the arrival of the more familiar triangular lights. The updates were similar to how Isuzu added tidbits on the Crosswind over the years. One could argue that it was these two AUVs that truly butted heads for an extended period of time after the Revo was discontinued upon the arrival of the Innova.
In 2005, Mitsubishi celebrated a milestone when the 50,000th Adventure rolled off the Philippine plant. The last unit came of the production line in December 2017 at Mitsubishi Motors Philippines’ facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Brand new Adventures were still seen until 2018 as dealerships sold the last remaining units. Mitsubishi may have ceased production on the Adventure after 20 years, but don’t be surprised to see this icon on local streets for years to come.