2002 Mitsubishi Carisma Mirage 1.9 Di-D common rail turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

The Japanese-French-Dutch-Swedish mix that works!

Faults:

EGR valve failed.

Passenger electric window never worked from day 1.

Driver's side electric window switch fell apart.

Air con never worked.

N/S brake caliper slide keeps seizing.

Handbrake keeps losing efficiency.

General Comments:

The Carisma (or Mitsu as I generally affectionately refer to it) is a very good car. It gets a bad press from wallies like Jeremy Clarkson, but frankly, he's talking rubbish!

We bought this car in 2005 when my father went over to car allowance from his employer, after he decided to hand back his company car, but it's mostly me that has gotten to drive it, and even although I own much more powerful machinery (a C70 T5), I love the Mitsu for everyday and local driving; it's quite economical, fun to drive, surprisingly quick, and if driven fast, can be quite frisky!

Interior is a strange blend of Japanese and European design, but is utterly functional and hard wearing. All the switchgear is Japanese, and most of it feels solid and reliable except for the window switches, which fall apart.

The engine is actually a Renault DCi unit, which can be found in Meganes and Lagunas, and pushes out 102 BHP and 215nm of torque, and has been known to mix it with BMW 320s in gear, much to their grimace, because for a mid-size modern car it is very light, just 1200kgs!

Our car is Virtual Blue, which is pearlescant so it changes from blue to purple in varying light, which I've liked since the day I clapped eyes on it, and even at 8 years old, the body is wearing very well with only the odd stonechip and zero rust.

Reliability has been top notch; occasionally the fly-by-wire throttle plays up, but it clears itself, the turbos on these engines have a bad reputation for wearing quickly, but we've always changed the oil every 5k miles with quality oil, and so far so good!

Tyre life isn't that good; 10k max out of the fronts, the rears though lasted 65,000 miles! They were the factory tyres, and only got changed this year!!

All in all, we've been very satisfied with this car over the 5 years we've owned it, and would recommend it to anybody looking for a nippy, economical, reliable and comfortable used car. If you're not bothered about image, you could do a hell of a lot worse than one of these!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2010

2002 Mitsubishi Carisma 1.9DID equippe 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Brilliant

Faults:

I've only had the car for a few months, but so for nothing has gone wrong - (touch wood)

General Comments:

Let me start by saying this car has had some unwarranted bad press. Most car reviews online gave it only 2 or 3 out of 5. I think this is absurd, as this is a very capable car.

Value

As a second hand buy it is very cheap, only cost £4500 for a 2002 model with air con, cd player and alloy wheels. One previous owner with a mere 28k on the clock.

Comfort

This is a very spacious car with a big boot (i have the hatchback version) and plenty of leg room for both front and rear passengers. It also comes with 5 full seat belts. The ride is soft, which as mentioned in another review is good for long motorway journeys, or shorter journeys through town, but isn't as well suited for racing around country roads.

Performance

Coming from a previous 1.4 litre petrol car, this car is in a different league. It's got great pickup from 1700rpm onwards, and cruises easily at 70mph at only 2300rpm. I've never had to change down a gear once on a motorway for hills of any sorts, even with 5 people in the car, and their shopping. It is also a very economical car, even driving around town, it averages 430-460 miles to the tank, which works out around 42mpg according to the on-board computer.

Driving

I've not found the car boring to drive, I find it quite capable, and easy to drive. The gearbox is very smooth, and the steering light - which I prefer, because it makes town driving easier. The only down side is that the clutch is a tad heavy, meaning that stop start traffic can get a bit tiresome on the left leg. Visibility is good in this car, and parking is very easy, although coming from a small hatchback, the turning circle is noticeably larger.

Running costs

This car is quite cheap to run, its very economical, and is in a very low tax bracket. The only downside is that it's in quite a high insurance group (11) which makes it a bit expensive to insure. I've not had to deal with mitsubishi supplies for worn out/damaged parts, but I have heard that they can be on the expensive side.

In summary

On the whole I really like this car, its powerfull, comfortable, easy to drive and very economical. A good allround car, and a bargain if bought second hand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2007

25th May 2008, 10:43

Don't rely on the on-board computer display! Mine will average 48MPG on a full tankfull when the display was saying 39! The range estimate is also well out - it says 500 miles when you fill up but when I refuelled I had travelled that but the display reckoned I had 180 miles left to go! (2003 Carisma Elegance 1.9DiD).