Our 2.0 DI-D Warrior tops the Grandis price chart, so logic would dictate it should also have the most kit.
All trappings of luxury are there to be seen: 18-inch alloy wheels, a DVD entertainment system, no-cost metallic/pearlescent paint finish, a fine smattering of external chrome and ‘Warrior’ logos – down each flank and on both front seats – are unique to the Warrior.
That’s fine, but then it all goes to pieces when they omit the stability (MASC) and traction (MATC) control systems from its specification while it is standard issue on the cheaper Equippe and Elegance.
Other notable omissions are the twin sunroof, cruise control and the individual heating/ventilation controls for the rear passengers. This is all standard on the Equippe and Elegance.
I was cursing the lack of MASC/MATC and the Warrior’s tyres in the post-Christmas snow. We were Scotland-bound, fully-laden, and it wasn’t the morning to discover our Warrior’s Continental tyres’ aversion to snow, slush or ice.
The Grandis really struggled on anything other than flat roads. At one stage, with a left turn looming at a T-junction near the top of a slight incline, the Grandis just stopped and actually started sliding back down the road.
All attempts at the hill –which wasn’t really that steep – including a few attacks in reverse gear in a desperate bid for better traction, came to nothing.
I had to graciously admit defeat and carefully retrace my tracks back along the road to find a snow-free route through to the A1.
With little more than four circumferential grooves and barely-discernable lateral channels on the outer edges those tyres couldn’t bite into, or grip, the snow.
According to Continental’s German website the German-made SportContact2 is a high-performance summer rated tyre and, as that, it is absolutely faultless.
The Warrior needs a tyre that offers marginally less lateral – and more linear – grip: something with more all-season ability.
As an MPV it will probably be in daily use, in all conditions, and is a likely candidate for the school run, so safety has to be a key consideration. My criticism isn’t undeserved, but it’s easy to remedy.
Grip and traction apart, the Warrior is a good drive and an accomplished long-distance cruiser with looks, space, comfort and a strong engine.
The 2.0-litre DI-D turbo-diesel impresses with its flexibility and a strong surge of torque from 1,500rpm through to 4,000rpm.
There’s no need to work the engine hard or to be constantly changing up or down the smooth six-speed gearbox either.
Reflecting the Grandis’ hectic workload – 2,500 miles squeezed into our first month – its first routine service was soon due at 9,000 miles.
Local Mitsubishi dealer, Crightons of Peterborough, charged £239.28 including parts, labour and VAT, for repairs to a tyre that had a nail embedded in the tread going through to the air chamber without deflating.
The hard and varied use has taken its toll on economy with an average of 37.4mpg. Still, not bad for a full-sized, seven-seat MPV in a hurry. So long as the roads stay snow-free! Tony Toma
Model: Mitsubishi Grandis 2.0 DI-D Warrior
Price (OTR): £23,699 (OTR)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 176
Company car tax bill (2006) 40% tax-payer: £196 per month
Insurance group: 15D
Combined mpg: 42.8
Test mpg: 37.4
CAP Monitor residual value: £8,150/35%
Expenditure to date: £239.28 (9,000 mile service)
Typical contract hire rate: £447