Fleet News

Mitsubishi Space Star 1.9 DI-D S - 8,960 miles



IN the words of that bouffant haired antiques expert David Dickinson, our Space Star really can be classed as 'cheap as chips'.

After all, a quick comparison with rivals shows that our top-of-the-range version, the 1.9DI-D S priced at £12,999, is still hundreds of pounds cheaper than rivals.

For example, the cheapest Nissan equivalent, the Almera Tino 2.2 Di S comes in at £13,913 (OTR), while you have to fork out £15,608 to get a Vauxhall Zafira.

But as we all know, the actual cost of a car is decided by its residual value, so looking at the three, the Mitsubishi would lose £8,924 over three years/60,000 miles, while the Zafira would lose £10,433 and the Almera £9,488. So the Mitsubishi is still a good pick for bargain-hunters in the long term. What a right bobby dazzler!

And, unlike the unusual looks of Dickinson, I think our Space Star actually looks very good, even when compared to some of the more modern offerings.

Furthermore, nothing has gone wrong during more than 4,000 miles of motoring.

Although Julie Jackson found the 'plip' central locking didn't appear reliable, I found it easy to use after a few tries, so perhaps it is just idiosyncratic.

It seems amazing that I think simple basics such as reliability are worth pointing out, but even on our long-term fleet we are coming across a surprising number of gremlins on vehicles.

Previous road testers have commended the Space Star for majoring on comfort and effortless performance, and while another suggested the interior was 'in a time-warp' I actually found it a pleasant place to be. In particular, the tough fabrics and plastic surfaces, although not screaming quality, do shout 'easy to wipe clean' if you have a young family.

After more than 1,000 miles in the car, I have found it very comfortable, but it is in desperate need of better sound insulation for driving at motorway speeds. Overall though, it has proved a great value fleet workhorse and if you haggle hard, you could save even more money, so good luck bargain hunters.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £42 per month

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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