When two worlds col­lide — Mit­subishi

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MO­TOR­ING -

TO start off, this is not a com­par­i­son but rather two re­views com­bined into one. A write-up like this makes it more in­ter­est­ing, es­pe­cially when both sub­jects are from dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents.

While our do­mes­tic mar­ket has been stag­nant for a long time, re­cent de­vel­op­ments have seen some mar­ket progress, where Malaysians have more op­tions with their au­to­mo­tive de­ci­sions.

While tra­di­tional buy­ers will want to go with the usual horse­power rat­ing and ride/ han­dling prow­ess, there are many who want the fo­cus to be more on fuel econ­omy.

There are also those who yearn for a con­ti­nen­tal brand, but can­not af­ford it as those brands usu­ally cater to the up­per ech­e­lon of so­ci­ety.

We have brought to­gether two cars that sig­nal the sig­nif­i­cant change to our au­to­mo­tive at­mos­phere — the Mit­subishi At­trage and the Volk­swa­gen Polo 1.6.

Mit­subishi At­trage — Eco (and wal­let) friendly mo­bil­ity

Based on the Mit­subishi Mi­rage, it can be safely said that the At­trage is an ex­pected move from the three-di­a­mond brand com­pany.

The name, which is per­haps a play on the words “and

at­trac­tive„ “seems to be a bit too mi­rage„, ag­gres­sive for such a sedan, but it does catch on af­ter a while.

Built for the Thai mar­ket, which pro­motes the pur­chase of eco-friendly ve­hi­cles through tax ex­emp­tions and other in­cen­tives, the At­trage main­tains the Mi­rage’s eco-car sta­tus by ex­ceed­ing the re­quired 20km per litre rul­ing and runs on a Euro 4 en­gine.

Is the At­trage a Mi­rage with a longer boot? No, it is not. Mit­subishi has made enough changes and mod­i­fi­ca­tions to al­low this B-seg­ment sedan to carry its own name.

The first tech­ni­cal dif­fer­ence is its longer wheel­base, 100mm longer than the Mi­rage. Over­all, the At­trage is longer, wider and higher, and prom­ises good cabin space for five adults.

As a fam­ily sedan, the At­trage has higher ground clear­ance at 10mm, a larger 42-litre fuel tank ver­sus the hatch­back’s pal­try 35-litre jerry can and a 450-litre boot, which is al­most dou­ble the Mi­rage’s 235-litre. Mit­subishi utilises mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing to en­sure that these phys­i­cal en­hance­ments do not add too much weight to the whole pack­age. The At­trage has a kerb weight of be­tween 885kg and 930kg, while the heav­i­est Mi­rage is only 850kg.

Mit­subishi achieves this light­weight fig­ure by us­ing high-ten­sile steel in the chas­sis, al­low­ing for a lighter body-in­white while main­tain­ing body rigid­ity.

The drive train and in­te­rior, how­ever, are sim­i­lar to the Mi­rage. This means the sedan runs on the 3A92 three-cylin­der, 1.2-litre twin-cam MIVEC en­gine that is mated to ei­ther a five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion or an IN­VECS-III CVT au­to­matic gear­box.

As with many other B-seg­ment play­ers, the At­trage runs on MacPher­son struts at the front and a tor­sion beam set up at the rear. Brakes are discs on the front wheels and drums at the back, which are more than enough to haul down this eco sedan to a halt safely.

An­other point that must be high­lighted is the At­trage’s fo­cus on com­fort. Un­like the Mi­rage, the At­trage gets more sound dead­en­ing ma­te­rial and the sus­pen­sion is de­signed to carry the added weight. So if you think this sedan will be the same as the hatch­back, you are wrong.

We took the car out for two days and we found that there is noth­ing cheap about the At­trage. Al­though this is the most bare sedan in the Mit­subishi army of prod­ucts, the At­trage has a good level of re­fine­ment that al­lows it to chal­lenge some of the na­tional C-seg­ment cars.

The seats are wide and there is a feel­ing of airi­ness in the cabin, prob­a­bly due to the tall ceil­ing. Sound in­tru­sion from the en­gine and even wind is well con­tained at high­way speeds, and we were im­pressed as this is a small sedan with tiny en­gine.

On roads around Bangsar, which go up and down at steep an­gles, the en­gine had to work harder to carry three adults to main­tain 90kmph. In the CVT, since there were no ra­tios to swap, there was zero shift shock and what we got was the en­gine hum­ming at dif­fer­ent tones.

Some­thing else that im­pressed us was its good ride and han­dling. We could throw it into cor­ners at break-neck speeds where the tyres screeched but the car main­tained its bear­ing and re­mained pre­dictable.

On the high­way, it is best to keep it at le­gal speed lim­its. With a body that light, go­ing around a long sweep­ing turn at high speed will you be­low, miles fuel. of on If vari­ant, but­ton sys­tem. sedan that high­est a pack­age, good

The Mit­subishi At­trage of­fers com­fort and an airy in­te­rior.

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