As expected, and like its turbo-diesel counterpart, the five-door GDI is well built, comfortable, stylish (despite the old 'the Carisma's got no Carisma' clich_), reliable, quiet and has a high safety spec. In terms of overall driveability and responsiveness the 125bhp 1.8 direct injection petrol-engined GDI beats the TD hands down.
But what of fuel consumption? Over my extended test period with the TD average fuel consumption was 47.9mpg, slightly better than the combined Euro fuel consumption (50% urban) figure of 47.1mpg. The GDI on the other hand has returned 42.6mpg, an impressive figure for an equivalent 'conventional' petrol-engined 1.8, but way off the 64mpg mark. The official EC combined mpg figures for the GDI Carisma 1.8 are 45.56mpg.
On fuel consumption alone, therefore, it is the TD that comes out on top. But, of course, no fleet driver will judge and choose his next fleet car just on fuel consumption figures and if I was the one making the choice I would undoubtedly go for the GDI.
As for choosing between the equivalent conventionally petrol-engined 1.8 and the GDI I would again plump for the GDI. After all, at just ú200 more, the GDI performs equally well, uses less fuel ... and in Mitsubishi's own words it is more ecologically sound.