And, poignantly, other than the big Mitsubishi’s German-made tyres meeting their nemesis in the shape of a snow shower, the Grandis’ reliability is still intact despite the usual abuse. Nothing has fallen off, or started to rattle, squeak or clonk.
The interior plastics may be in my least favourite shade of grey but it’s all as tough as old boots and even the flimsy-looking retractable luggage blind that on looks alone should have disintegrated into component form well before now, hasn’t.
This endearing Trojan-like resolve runs right through the Grandis – it keeps working, but without complaint or regressing into some boring form of automotive ‘white goods’ either.
Its ample footwear, a wide track, well-damped and compliant suspension and that gutsy DI-D engine all combine into a wholly un-people-carrier performance on most roads. And despite pouring scorn on the Warrior’s Continental tyres, I’m now going to eat humble pie and praise them for bumping up the big car’s fun factor and making it an absolute hoot to drive.
Recently the Grandis faced the ultimate challenge of taxiing seven adults, with a 1.9-metre tall passenger behind me – the 1.84-metre tall driver – on a 20-mile trip.
There was very little discomfort all round, but what surprised me most was the Grandis’ smooth ride when fully laden.
My house restoration is still ongoing and the Grandis has also been volunteered into service as a weekend builder’s truck and delivery van.
Removing the rear seats takes no longer than it does to read this sentence and it gives a useful 1.1-metre by 1.9-metre flat load area that is – as I’ve been reliably informed by my wife – big enough to take the panels of plasterboard I need to finish the kitchen.
Our Grandis has attracted the attention of the manager of my local filling station. He’s on the point of ordering one but has a dilemma… should it be diesel or petrol?
Although diesel-power is more expensive to buy and re-fuel, I backed it strongly. Recouping the additional £1,200 outlay for the diesel would, in cold terms, take a year and a half, assuming he covers 20,000 miles per year based on the official combined fuel consumption figures.
But that ignores the emotive lure of the DI-D engine with its far superior low speed flexibility, the increased fuel tank range, the more relaxed driving style and improved cruising ability. It’s no contest, then, in my view.
The spring-cleaning bug hit me the other day and the Grandis received a thorough going over. The alloy wheels have cleaned up like new, but sadly the same can’t be said for the black paintwork. I always use a ‘wash-mitt’ when washing cars (much gentler than abrasive sponges) but the paintwork’s gloss has dulled badly in places, so a session with Autoglym polish beckons. Tony Toma
Model: Mitsubishi Grandis 2.0 DI-D Warrior
Price (OTR): £23,699
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: 36.7
CAP Monitor residual value: £8,150/35%
Expenditure to date: £239.28 (9,000-mile service)
Typical contract hire rate: £447