From September, Mitsubishi Motors will launch a full-scale attack on the UK MPV market with the addition of a class-leading 2.0 litre 134bhp diesel engine to its acclaimed Grandis 7-seat people carrier. Four specifications will be available priced from £19,699 to £23,699 ranging from the entry-level Classic to the range-topping Grandis Warrior.
The Grandis may be an MPV, but performance is very much a priority. Turbo-charged with 1,968cc this DOHC 16 valve EU-4 compliant diesel engine is equipped with a pump-jet injection system developing 134bhp at 4,000rpm and 310Nm at 1,750rpm. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, this state-of-the-art Volkswagen-sourced engine gives the 1,690kg Grandis DI-D top league performance with a maximum speed of 121mph, a 0-62 dash time of 10.8 seconds and, most importantly, an economical combined fuel consumption figure of 43mpg.
Lower, sportier and sharper than its competitors, the latest model year Grandis not only gains diesel power it also benefits from dynamic improvements. Fine-tuning of the front suspension and adjustments to steering response improve on what is already one of the best driving experiences in the MPV segment.
Being an MPV, practicality is also a priority for Grandis and it remains one of the only full-size MPVs to have a rear row of seats that can be individually folded away into the floor in a simple operation that takes seconds. This feature, called “Hide & Seat™”, creates extra luggage capacity without the problems of folding, removing, carrying and storing heavy seats.
Four equipment-packed specifications will be made available in the Grandis range; Classic, Equippe, Elegance and the range-topping Warrior. Introduced in December 2004, the high-specification Warrior has become a hit with customers and is expected to be the top seller within the revised range taking an estimated 49% of total sales in 2006.
Starting at £19,699, the entry-level Grandis Classic now comes with the choice of diesel or petrol engines plus a host of standard equipment including 17″ alloy wheels, single MP3 compatible CD player, keyless entry and alarm, automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, rear spoiler, electric door mirrors, leather steering wheel and shift knob and height adjustable driver’s seat with armrest.
Next on the list is the Grandis Equippe, which for £21,599 gains stability and traction control, dual sunroof, cruise control plus a 10 disc CD auto-changer. Add leather and you have the £23,099 Grandis Elegance.
Taking the top spot, the stunning Grandis Warrior gets an 8″ DVD entertainment system, specially-designed leather seats displaying Mitsubishi’s Warrior logo, 18″ alloy wheels, sports-type aluminium front grille plus chrome details including wing mirrors, door handles, rear tailgate grip and exhaust trim – all for £23,699.
Grandis is, however, as much about substance as it is about style with every model in the range packed with important safety features including ABS, EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), driver and passenger front and side airbags plus curtain airbags for the first and second row of seats.
Launched in July 2004 with a 2.4 petrol engine, Grandis has already proven to be a big hit in the UK taking 16% of the petrol MPV segment, impressing customers with both its stunning exterior design and interior functionality. Now with a state-of-the-art diesel engine added to the mix, Mitsubishi expects to have a real impact within the market.
The UK MPV segment is still growing and in 2004 was worth close to 60,000 units, 85% of which was made up of diesel-engine models. In 2006, the first full year of sales, Mitsubishi Motors UK expects to achieve around 5,400 sales of which 4,700 will be the Grandis DI-D.
Mitsubishi Motors was one of the first to enter the MPV segment with the Space Wagon in February 1983. The new Grandis, while not a direct replacement for Space Wagon, is an evolution of the MPV concept created to be sleek, distinctive with flexibility that reflects the real needs of MPV customers.