October 28, 2013

DRIVEN: Mitsubishi Attrage !

The B-segment Mitsubishi Attrage is set to be launched in Malaysia next month. It is safe to assume that the name 'Attrage' is derived from the word 'attractive' and 'mirage', a tribute to its hatchback counterpart, the Mirage hatchback. The Attrage is currently available for viewing, booking and test drive in Mitsubishi's showrooms nationwide, a good move to expose the car to the public prior its official launch. The one I visited has the GS variant (auto), which is positioned between the entry-level GL (manual) and the top spec SE (auto).



Every variant comes with ABS, EBD and dual airbags as standard. Unfortunately the GL auto variant is not available for booking right now. The showroom's sales advisor claimed that this is due to stock problem in Thailand. In my opinion, the base GL auto variant has the most value-for-money. I'm sure many can live without features available in the GS variant like auto-air cond, keyless entry with push-start button and leather-wrapped steering wheel, right? Well, too bad......

The Attrage is not called as 'Mirage sedan' for reasons. It has a whole new front end which looks much more stylish than the Mirage. The side profile is not quite well executed, but at least it doesn't look out of proportion. The only let down is the 90's exterior door handle, which is the pull-up type instead of grab type. The contemporary looking daytime running LED light and body-kit are only available in SE variant.

The dashboard is a lift-off from the Mirage to save cost. Hard plastic covered most of the interior, but at least they are not cheap looking. Rear legroom is comparable with the recently launched 2013 Toyota Vios, which is considered ample for a B-segment sedan, however rear headroom can be improved as my head touches the roof, I have the same problem in the 2013 Vios too.

The Attrage is powered by a free revving 1.2 litre engine with 80PS at 6000rpm and 106Nm of torque at 4000rpm, it's the same but retuned unit found in the Mirage (Attrage's engine produces 2PS and 6Nm more than Mirage's). Although the increment is small, somehow the Attrage felt more powerful than the Mirage eventhough the Attrage is bigger and heavier than the latter. The engine of the Attrage was more responsive and refined, but the ragged characteristic of a three-cylinder engine is still inevitably exist, thankfully the engine noise was not intrusive when pushed. 

For a sedan of its size with a mediocre 1.2 litre engine, I'm glad that the engine is not underpowered in normal driving condition. Yes, the Attrage has to be pushed to move in a swift pace, certainly not as fast as its 1.5 litre B-segment competitors, but it will do well in city driving and getting it to highway speed is not a sluggish task. This is the car that I wouldn't mind constantly keeping my heavy right foot on the accelerator because I know the fuel consumption will still turn out to be fine, as the fuel consumption is rated at 21km/l. Drive with a light right foot and the Attrage will award you with an 'ECO' indicator in the instrument panel. Noise insulation is average for the Attrage, not intrusive but not serene either, as the road noise was quite apparent at speed of 80km/h.

By the way, the CVT gearbox found in the Attrage is smoother and quieter than the Mirage's. No jerks and whine while reversing as well as moving forward. I didn't recall from the start that the Attrage is equipped with a CVT gearbox right until when I accelerate the Attrage, that's when it hit me that there are no steps in the transmission. Steering wise, it's light and produces very little feedback, but its lightness and small turning radius proved to be a boon in the city when I had to reverse the Attrage out from a tight parking space. 

Competing in the B-segment is not an easy task. Honda City and Toyota Vios have been contending for a decade, recently Nissan Almera joined in, taking a piece of the B-segment pie by offering lower price tag than the City and Vios. From what I've tested, the Mitsubishi Attrage is a worthy, fuel saving contender. Mitsubishi Attrage would do well in the B-segment sedan market if the public can disregard the fact that it has lower-than-average engine displacement compared to its competitors.

+ Fuel efficiency, attractive pricing, generous in safety features.
- Could use a larger displacement engine, hopefully GL auto variant will be available by the time of launch.

*Check out my review on the Mitsubishi Mirage too!

*Thanks for reading! Like my page at SimonHar.com and subscribe SiMon HaR_!

13 Gossips:

HenRy LeE said...

I would recommend this car to those who considered Proton or Perodua. Cannot tahan the gear shift for Proton cars... it's really bad

Shak Junpyo said...

I agree
.

Ijaz Hussain said...

I like this mitsubushi model as well,
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