The numbers all add up to great effect for Mitsubishi
The figures for the Space Star and the Outlander merit attention, writes Martin Brennan
THE numbers are looking good for Mitsubishi. Four new cars in 15 months, all with eight years' warranty, the best by any manufacturer. The latest models are the spacious Outlander and the mini Space Star which has even more interesting numbers. The compact comes to market at a very compact price, €5 short of €12,000 and Mitsubishi says it can return up to 4L/100km (70 mpg) and it comes in Tax Band A2 which means €180 a year road tax.
Not to be confused with the Space Star of yesteryear, this is a more of a super-mini that replaces the excellent Colt. It is the right car at the right time, economical and in the price range that makes buying a new car possible in these belt-tightening days.
But being cheap does not mean that Mitsubishi has skimped on its new five-door model. Standard equipment in the one-litre Invite version is air conditioning, front, side and curtain airbags, emergency stop signal system, electric front windows, daytime running lights, keyless entry, rear spoiler, split rear seat, AUX plug and USB port. This is the best buy. To move to the 1.2 litre Intense version costs an extra €2,500 which is costly for the Bluetooth, alloy wheels, front fog lights and leather steering wheel plus a marginal gain in power. Both engines are three-cylinder design which makes them lightweight and their efficiency is helped by Mitsubishi's MIEV variable valve timing.
Newly engineered from the ground up, the Space Star is constructed of high tensile steel and will make ideal transport for parents and three children. Urban drivers will appreciate the 4.6m turning circle. Safety features on both versions include Active Stability, Traction Control ABS and EBD. To add further safety, Mitsubishi used its patented RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) technology.
The Space Star handles well on corners and has light and easy controls. The interior is reasonably refined. There is a lot of plastic but it is good enough quality and buyers should be happy with their €12,000 purchase.
The other recent arrival in the Mitsubishi stable is the Outlander which comes as a seven-seater or a five-seater with two-wheel or four-wheel-drive. It has stylish exterior lines and this is a big load-lugger with a cargo capacity of 1,022 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
Powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine with a 150 bhp power output which Mitsubishi claims can return 53 mpg it falls into Tax Band B which means a €270 road tax bill. Prices start at €34,950, the 4X4 seven-seater costs €36,950 and an automatic version is priced at €39,950.