Mitsubishi Grandis
road test

Much better than a people mover ..... it's like a car!

People movers are the type of vehicles that don't excite too many people. But the times have changed! Mitsubishi are making a people mover that drives like a car. Can it be, that we can now consider that a people mover is a good thing to drive?

Mitsubishi has really done it this time! By making the Grandis, Mitsubishi has provided the opportunity for those who require or desire more than 5 seats to have a vehicle that is a stand-out good drive!

Forget about 'driving a bus' type jokes. The Grandis delivers an impressive driving experience from the moment you first hit the road.

So just what is a Grandis? The Mitsubishi Grandis made its debut in Japan in 2003. It was released locally nearly a year ago, as the successor to both the Nimbus and the Starwagon. Both these models had served well. But the Grandis comes in fresh and readily shows its modern styling. From its side profile, the Grandis is quite clearly an attractive car.

Size wise, the Grandis at 4.76 metres long fits right into the centre ground of people movers. It looks long, but people movers quite often do just that.

Interior space is plentiful. There is seating for seven. The back doors are wide. The seating arrangements are flexible. Up front the seating is excellent, as is driver visibility.

Praise for the Grandis comes very easy, because it does everything just right. We would like to recommend an improvement for Mitsubishi to consider. But we cannot find one aspect of this car to improve.

Current price is $43,990 (RRP) plus the traditional add-ons. This is quite a reasonable price for such a car. It certainly isn't the cheapest vehicle in the people-mover class. Nor should it be when you consider the quality of the car and it's equipment level. Then there's the abundance of space and the undeniable driving pleasure which just add gloss to this classy package.

The good drive aspect comes about due to numerous factors. Firstly the engine delivers superb performance and at the same time it provides quite reasonable fuel consumption. At 10.4 l/100km (ADR 81/01) the fuel consumption is quite good for this type of vehicle. The 2.4 litre 4-cylinder engine is of the MIVEC variety. Producing 121 kW of power 6,000 rpm and an excellent 217 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm we found we were always satisfied with the performance of the Grandis.

More information on the Grandis, including a mention of the MIVEC engine, from 26th May, 2004 is here.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Mitsubishi Grandis
Location: Nelson Bay NSW

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Mitsubishi Grandis
Location: Fingal Bay NSW

Handling was delightful. You wouldn't expect sports car handling, of course, but the ease of driving and the superb qualities in respect to the handling ability of the Grandis impressed me. It's for this reason that I can readily suggest you will never hear a Grandis driver refer to the Grandis as a bus. It is a good drive. Full stop!

The transmission (4-speed automatic), the steering (power assisted), the suspension (independent) and the all-round disc brakes all add up to the Grandis being a well designed package, one where the total of all components equate to what I have described as "a good drive".

Standard equipment includes airbags upfront and curtain airbags for the first and second row outboard seating positions. Also standard is front and rear automatic air conditioning. And there is heating ducts to the second and third row seats. Cruise control and a tilt adjustable steering column is standard.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Mitsubishi Grandis
Location: Fingal Bay NSW

There is plenty of storage facilities built in. One novel feature, which the kids will enjoy, is the folding rear view mirrors. It is, also, convenient for those with a failing memory. For example, have you been unsure if you locked the car? With a Grandis you only have to walk back far enough to see if the external mirrors have collapsed inward to see if the car is locked! This feature is slowing spreading its way into various model lines. The retracting rear view mirrors seem to be just the right idea for motoring editors!

The Grandis is a stand-out good drive. An excellent package! The spacious interior and the overall size of the car make it a potential winner in the 'people mover' segment of the market. The very impressive 2.4 litre MIVEC engine and the driving dynamics make the Grandis much better than a people mover. It's good enough to call a car!

Stephen Walker
5th May, 2005

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