• 1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max

The Mitsubishi Mighty Max was sold in the United States between 1986 and 1996, being one of the first models brought from Japan.

The vehicle had a pretty strong build quality and was especially appreciated for its reliability and the simple mechanics.

The Mitsubishi Mighty Max was available with either two wheel drive or four wheel drive configuration and was fitted with a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine which develops a maximum output of 116 hp.
The truck was discontinued in 1996, when it was replaced by the new Mitsubishi Raider that was based on the Chevrolet Dakota.

  • 1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
  • Year:
    1986- 1996
  • Make:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    116 @ 5000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    136 @ 3500
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph


1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Exterior
- image 470010

For its time, the Mitsubishi Mighty Max looked pretty good. The robust lines formed an attractive exterior design that was a perfect match for the all-road nature of the vehicle.

The windscreen and the hood where slightly raked giving the truck a touch of sportiness, while also improving the front road visibility.

On each side of the body, the Mighty Max is fitted with a set of thick rubber moldings to protect the body panels from small impacts. You’ll also find a set of aggressive wheel arches which enhance the rugged look of the truck.


1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Interior
- image 470011

As it was expected, the Mighty Max’s cabin was at par with what you’d usually found in its segment. The cabin was fitted with low rent plastics and harsh materials, most of them being selected especially for their durability. The build quality however was pretty strong, but some fittings needed more attention.

Similarly with the exterior, the dashboard had a robust design, being characterized by straight lines and square shapes. The dashboard had a convenient flat surface which could’ve been used to store various things. There was also a pretty big glove box and some small cubbies fitted into the center console. Though, there weren’t any door pockets available.

The cabin was pretty spacious, with enough head and legroom for both the driver and passenger. Though, the chunky steering wheel was a bit intrusive making the driving position uncomfortable.

The seats were basic without any sort of side support. It’s true that there were also a few adjustments available, but they weren’t of much help.

The driver was met by a rudimentary instrument panel, with a big gauge mounted in its center. Luckily every indicator was easy to read and the panel wasn’t too cluttered.

Most of the controls were placed within easy reach, but the floor mounted gear knob was highly rudimentary.

Usually, pickup trucks don’t have any problems with the road visibility, and the Mitsubishi Mighty Max makes no exception. You can also rely on the big, rectangular door mirrors which keep all blind spots to minimum.

Standard equipment includes tinted glass, keyless locking, a remote hood release, chrome grille and a stainless steel exhaust system. Available options include air conditioning, power steering, chrome rear bumper, floor mats, body-side moldings and a digital quartz clock.

Engines and performance

1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Exterior
- image 470012

The Mitsubishi Mighty Max was a pretty strong truck. The acceleration was also reasonable and all 116 ponies worked to deliver proper performances. The peak torque was rated at 136 lb.ft. and was available from 3500 rpm. Thanks to the generous low end torque the engine can haul 2500 lbs in the bed through sand and mud uphill without breaking a sweat. We can’t say that the engine was fast, but it was a perfect match for utilitarian jobs and off road driving.

The truck was also pretty light (2600-3000 lb) and the fuel consumption was rated at around 25-30 mpg.

The Mighty Max was offered with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. Performance with five-speed manual was reasonable, but the four cylinder engine weakens somewhat when coupled to the four-speed automatic transmission.

Mitsubishi Mighty Max Engines Performances

Engine hp @ rpm lb.ft. @ rpm
2.4 liter V6 116 @ 5000 136 @ 3500

Ride and handling

1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Exterior
- image 470015

The Mitsubishi Mighty Max was developed especially for utilitarian purposes, so the suspension configuration is more on the stiff side. The rear shakes over uneven roads, but the truck stays pretty well planted on its wheels and has decent cornering abilities.

Unfortunately power steering was available only as an option and the standard steering was pretty hard at parking speeds.

The truck managed to deal great with off road driving and its four wheel drive system was perfectly suited for arduous working conditions.


1986 - 1996 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Exterior
- image 470017

The Mitsubishi Mighty Max never put the sales charts on fire, and despite being priced competitively, it wasn’t as popular as other Japanese pickups. Overall Mitsubishi’s truck was a half step behind most of its rivals which came with more modern features and a superior refinement.

On the other hand, the vehicle felt fairly solid and was reliable to the core. The engine was also strong and responsive dealing great with heavy loads and off road driving.

As most utility trucks of its time, the Mitsubishi Mighty Max’s ride was stiff and the handling wasn’t something to rave about either.

About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (1) posted on 08.27.2014

Does your forum provide access to members offering used parts for the Mighty Max?

Truck Finder: