The 1996 Carisma is Mitsubishi’s first European-built model and is intended to be a Vauxhall Vectra/Ford Mondeo basher certainly as far as running cost per mile is concerned.
Pulse racing yet?
Top of the range is the £15,349 1.8 sohc 16-valve 114 bhp version (with Diamond Option Pack) designed with stunning fuel efficiency in mind, with optimum performance coming below 4000 rpm. Tumble combustion technology is also claimed to give cleaner emission.
INVECS-Il ‘learning’ 4-speed auto gearbox with ‘Adaptive Shift memorises your driving habits and adjusts its gearchanging pattern to suit. In practice its too clever by unless driving conditions remain constant for several miles. Following the ‘intelligent line of thought is the Philips Routefinder given away completely free with every 1.8 GLS, which failed repeatedly to give the shortest route to selected destinations during our brief test. South London to Manchester in four-and a-half hours via the South Circular? Do me a favour…
Although the 125 mph maximum speed for the 1.8 is respectable, it does take rather a long time to get there (particularly when you follow the Routefinder) and the speed related steering doesn’t endow you with exceptional confidence when trying to press on, especially as the suspension’s passive rear steering traits endow the chassis with on limit nervousness.
Despite the gizmo-laiden spec and competitive pricing the Carisma fails completely, even against its blandest rivals, to live up to its name. R R B