Getting stuck in traffic I can cope with. It's getting lost that stresses me out. Thus I am grateful to those who have developed in-car satellite navigation to the point where it can guide the most directionally challenged driver to a designated door- step in an industrial estate on the dark side of the M25. The kit in our long term Mitsubishi Carisma costs ú1,400 as a dealer-fit option. It's not cheap, but it's saved my bacon on at least three occasions in the few weeks the refreshed five-door has been on our fleet. For company car drivers for whom missing an exit from the M6 could mean missing a lucrative contract, it's an option worth considering.
Mitsubishi's talking satnav is incorporated into the audio system which has a single CD slot to accommodate the mapping disc and shares a dash top LCD screen with a multi-menu of trip and radio information. Feeding in the destination is fiddly, as it is on most satnavs, but once screen and optional voice guidance are activated, confidence sets in. The screen shows direction of travel, distance to target, GPS position, road name, number of yards or miles to the next landmark (junctions, roundabouts) and the voicebox delivers instructions in crisp tones that override radio or cassette. It won't warn you of nor steer you away from a snarl-up, but if you do decide to deviate from the plotted route, the satnav recalculates a new one to put you back on course. There are concerns that satellite navigation is an added distraction, but for this driver at least it's a must-have.
Our first report on this restyled, rebadged and realigned Carisma appears as a fully blown road test in Fleet NewsNet. Since that report appeared the car has behaved itself well - which is more than can be said for the driver who has failed, as a result of too heavy a right foot, to achieve the overall 41.5mpg fuel consumption of which the 1.8 GDI Sport is capable.