Fleet News

Mitsubishi Carisma GDI 1.8 Sport - 4,500 miles



##mitcaris.jpg --Right##THE 'expenditure to date' entry in the fact file might have read 'ú150 - fog lamp repair' if we had had the car on our fleet a little longer. A few days before our Carisma GDI Sport was due to be returned to Mitsubishi, half the glass lens on the tiny nearside front fog lamp fell out, presumably the work of a flying stone.

The lamp was still working, but we did ask a dealer for a repair quote: 'ú126 plus VAT, plus labour. Call it ú150 all in,' we were told. 'The whole unit has to be replaced.' We declined the offer on the basis of time, not price (that might sound expensive, but apparently it is not wildly out of line with one-off replacement costs from other marques).

That aside, the Carisma Sport has been a faultless performer during its six months with us, turning in a commendable real life fuel consumption average of 37.9mpg. That's short of the official EC combined figure of 41.5mpg, but the car spent more time on short hops than on long trips.

It also gained in projected used value. On-the-road price for our Sport dropped by ú1,500 in December when Mitsubishi cut 15% off its new car prices, at which time the CAP Monitor residual value prediction was 29% of price new after three years or 60,000 miles. January's was 32.7% (rounded up for publication to 33%) and this month's was 33.4% (rounded down to 33%). Whether or not price alignment will damage confidence and have a depressing long term effect on residual values in general is open to debate, but it hasn't harmed our Carisma.

We liked the Carisma's air-conditioned cabin comfort and driving position, enjoyed the top-end response and mid-range torque of its 1.8-litre gasoline direct injection petrol engine.

A dash of Sport trim ersatz aluminium brightens a predominantly charcoal interior which would benefit from lighter materials, if only to disguise scuff marks and specks of dust. Overall, a conservatively-styled car and a swine to keep clean inside, but competitively priced and good to drive.

Gervais Seymour

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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