With most of us feeling the financial squeeze, DAVID HOOPER, editor of wheelworldreviews.co.uk, says Mitsubishi’s latest special edition model provides value for money.
EVERYBODY loves a bargain, but in the world of cars, seeking out a genuine one is often no mean task.
If you, like most of us, are feeling the pinch at the moment and want to get the most you can for your hard-earned cash, then a special edition from Mitsubishi could be just the ticket for you.
Based on the Lancer model, it’s called the Juro, and for an asking price which starts at £14,999, it comes with an impressive list of equipment.
Externally the first things to catch your eye will probably be the 16in five-spoke alloy wheels and front fog lights, but open the door and you will be met by a smart interior with black leather seats.
The next thing to grab your attention will be the Kenwood entertainment centre sitting in the middle of the dashboard.
It’s a smart unit and brings a lot of equipment to the Lancer which can be difficult to find elsewhere in this price bracket. As well as the usual CD player and radio, you also get a Garmin satellite navigation system, a Parrott Bluetooth connection for your telephone, which, believe me is a brilliant thing to have in a car today – and one which keeps you on the right side of the law should your phone ring while you’re driving. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are still risking points on their licence by using a hand held phone while on the move.
You can also connect an iPod to the system so you can have your own music, and when you want to park your car, the unit’s screen becomes a reversing camera, which is a useful aid in a busy car park.
Although it was packed with features, I didn’t find the Kenwood unit particularly intuitive to use, and the mapping on the sat-nav wasn’t as detailed as many of the manufacturer’s standard fit systems are today. That said, I did like the feature which showed your elevation and the true speed of the vehicle which are interesting to watch as you travel around.
A closer examination of the equipment on this special edition model will reveal an air conditioning system, which helped to keep the car’s interior mist free and warm during the freezing, snowy conditions that were around when I had this car on test. The heated door mirrors were also a welcome addition when the car’s temperature gauge was showing -8 some mornings!
The sporty steering wheel housed volume control buttons for the music system on the left and cruise control on the right, another feature which you don’t often find in cars in this price bracket.
There are plenty of safety features, too. Not only do you get front and side airbags, but curtain airbags which deploy in the event of a side impact and knee airbags are also included. Of course, it’s best not to have a crash in the first place, and to help make sure you don’t, the car is equipped with a brake assist system which will also flash the rear brake lights to alert following drivers to the fact you are braking hard, attracting their attention and making them react more quickly, hopefully avoiding a rear-end collision.
The car I’ve been testing was finished in an attractive blue colour, officially called Lightning blue, but you can also pick silver, grey, red, black and white.
Power was supplied by Mitsubishi’s two-litre diesel engine, which isn’t the quietest on the market, but is impressively frugal, even around town, where, thanks to the icy conditions, the car spent most of its time with me, although I did manage a quick cross-country trip to visit relatives.
I have no complaints about the way the Juro rides and handles – it soaked up most of the pot holes which are appearing now the thaw has set in without complaint and was a comfortable car in which to travel.
If you want a new car that offers value for money, and let’s face it who doesn’t, then the Lancer Juro provides it in spades.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0 DI-D Juro 5-door.
MITSUBISHI LANCER RANGE: From 1.5 GS2 5dr (£14,849) to 2.0 Ralliart GS SST 5dr (£21,649).
ENGINE: 1968cc, 138bhp four-cylinder engine, driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
CO2 EMISSIONS: 165g/km.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 127mph. 0-62mph in 9.6 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 34mpg.
Fuel tank: 59 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 21.
WARRANTY: 3 years/Unlimited miles.