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The smart way to purchase a MITSUBISHI ROSA BUS

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We at CardealPage often post listings for the MITSUBISHI ROSA.
Even for the same ROSA, there are different uses and budgets that satisfy potential clients, so we will be informing you on how to select your ROSA.

ROSAs are actually incredibly popular as a bus for children

Within Japan, there are mainly three ways in how it is utilized:

  1. As a bus for touring and for school trips
  2. As a school bus for nursery children
  3. Other uses for the ROSA include servicing as a camping vehicle and for more specialty services such as being used as a hearse for funerals and to service individuals on welfare

A typical servicing bus

A bus for servicing nursery children

A specialty bus for camping

A specialty bus for welfare servicing purposes

Here are the figures for the ROSAs being sold by CardealPage:

For servicing children: 60%
Commercial bus (for adults): 40%
Specialty services bus: less than 1%

As you can see, our customers mostly buy our ROSAs made for servicing children.

The differences between ROSAs meant for servicing adults (commercial usage) and for servicing children are:

  • The shape and form of the seats
  • How high the floor is (the ROSA for servicing children is installed with floors that are higher and also includes adjustments for the window and seat placements)

The reason why the ROSA for servicing children is more popular than the commercial ROSA for adult passengers is because it can be later modded in a cost-effective manner by the customer.

The children servicing ROSA is half the cost of the adult passenger ROSA.

Within the domestic Japanese market, the market price for the children servicing ROSA is cheaper than the adult passenger ROSA.

It is not only more cost-effective for the price of the vehicle, but also for import duty it is quite affordable.

For example, even if the ROSA’s are the same model, the intended use, whether it is for servicing children or adults, would change the price by $3,000 between the two.

While the buyer must pay for the import duty fees, keep in mind that for most countries, in addition to duty fees, you must also pay for the total cost (CIF) for the car itself and the freight costs.

Let’s take a look at a country where the duty rate is set at 80%.

In this situation, let’s say that the CIF price for the adult passenger ROSA is $10,000, while the CIF price of the children’s service ROSA is $7,000.

Including the duty rate, the sum total of each car will be $18,000 and $12,600 respectively; that’s a difference of $5,400.

Including the original $3,000 difference between the two models, the duty fee adds another $2,400 in savings for the children’s passenger ROSA.


If you wish, after importing the cheaper ROSA, you can convert it into an adult passenger seat within the price range of $5,400, effectively making this modification cheaper than purchasing the adult passenger ROSA.

Through this method you can attain an affordable ROSA, so please make considerations for purchasing after you have consulted with your local maintenance shop.

2.Choosing either a ‘short’ or ‘long’ body type

The Mitsubishi ROSA has two body types, short and long.
Of course, the longer body type allows for more passengers to board.

Here is a basic layout of the riding capacity for each type:

Mid-sized bus
Mid-sized bus
Large-sized bus
26 people29 people42 - 44 people49+ people

*There are times when the riding capacity for either short or long body types cannot be confirmed, so we highly recommend that you confirm the actual car type and the overall shape of the car.

The passenger capacity for the long bodied passenger bus

The long-bodied adult passenger ROSA can seat 29, as can be seen in the picture below showing standard seating

To be clear:
・Including the support seats, we can see that there are 29 seats
・Other than the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat, there are no support seats in the front

The riding capacity for the short-bodied passenger bus

On one hand, the short-bodied ROSA is reduced by one row of seats (4 seats) when compared to the long-bodied ROSA.

It is rather common for people to attach an assistance support seat to the passenger seat, so we end up with 26 seats (29 seats minus 4 seats, then add one passenger seat).

Regarding the ROSA, there are times when there are slight arrangements such as the middle door being placed in a unique manner, or if either a television or refrigerator is installed. So please keep an eye out for models with these arrangements.

The seating capacity for the children’s passenger bus

According to Japanese law, a seat for a single adult can fit up to 1.5 children up to the age of 12. This means that for a seat capable of seating 2 adults, you can have up to 3 children for that same seat.

Referring to the example export certificate below, it is written as the following: 3+51/1.5.
-3 seats for adults: the driver, navigator, and teaching staff seats,
-51 seats for children
In this manner, CardealPage will count the seating capacity as 54.

Depending on the specifics, for example looking at units with a rider capacity of 49, we can understand the distinction between short bodied ROSAs and long bodied ROSAs.

To be careful, it is highly advised that you check with the length and model number. 

3.The ROSA’s fuel type

Basically, the ROSA’s sold in Japan are diesel types, and therefore not set for gasoline.
However from time to time, there are times where the same model ROSA is modded as an LPG, so we advise caution when making the purchase.

4.The ROSA’s engine type

The ROSA is equipped with a diesel engine classified as the following: 4D** or the 4M**.

Let’s now compare the engine displacements of both engine models:

4D313,290 cc
4D323,560 cc
4D334,210 cc
4D343,900 cc
4D354,560 cc
4D363,560 cc
4M504,890 cc
4M515,240 cc

Here are the top 5 ROSA engine types that have been sold by CardealPage:

RankEngine typeSales rate

As seen above, the most popular engine is the 4D33.
The 4D33 engine is especially popular across the African continent.

5. The suspension type

The ROSA’s rear suspension is:

・Air suspension type
・Leaf spring suspension type

There are two types in total, but the favored of the two is the leaf spring suspension type.

The benefit of the air suspension types:

・The shock absorption ability is highly capable (capable of absorbing accordingly to both powerful and weak impact)
On the other hand, the weak points for the air suspension type are:
・Fragile when air leaks
・Both repair and parts exchange costs are high

The benefits of the leaf spring suspension type:

・The sheets of this type are layered, thus making it difficult to break
On the other hand, the weak point is:
・Because the impact comes directly, the ride may not be comfortable

In countries where the road pavement is not in good condition, we highly recommend the more cost effective leaf spring suspension type.

How to look for an air suspension type car:

・If the area around the rear window is indicated as having an air suspension (as indicated below)
・If the seating capacity is lower than average (for example if the capacity is less than 19 when the car normally seats 20)

*When you are looking for a ROSA based on seat capacity, we highly recommend for you to consult with the seller as the car may be special model

6.Special caution regarding automatic transmission cars

More than half of the ROSAs sold in Japan have manual transmission; however there are time when automatic transmissions come up.

Automatic transmission ROSA’s are much cheaper, so please be cautious and try not to purchase this by accident.

7.A 4WD model is incredibly rare to find

The ROSAs being sold in Japan are usually 2WD models. However, there are buyers interested in looking for 4WD models for harsh environments and roads.

They are seldom in circulation, so if you ever come across a 4WD model, buy it upon finding it.

With this in mind, the price of the ROSA bus can greatly change when comparing the specs such as seating capacity.

Please look for the ROSA with the specs that are absolutely necessary to you.

Please take a look at the Mitsubishi ROSAs in our stock!

-Knowledge, Useful tips

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