Mitsubishi Grandis MPV (2003 - 2008)
It's an odd one the Grandis. It doesn't look big enough to fit into the full-sized MPV category against the 'full-sized' MPVs like the Ford Galaxy and Citroen C8, but it's also bigger than 'compact' MPVs like Opel's Zafira and the Mazda5. That said, it's not short of space inside, with room for seven adults if they're friendly, or more ideally two or three adults and a handful of children.
One of the smarter looking people carriers there is in the used market, the Grandis received a huge boost when a diesel engine was added to the mix. Previously only offered with a 2.4-litre petrol engine, that diesel gave the big Mitsubishi a better chance in Europe. It is attractive for a practical seven-seater, as few cars in this category can turn heads. The arrival of that diesel engine saw Mitsubishi revise the suspension for a firmer, more sporting set up, but the Grandis remains very much on the side of ordinary behind the wheel. That's no complaint really, as big seven-seat cars aren't bought with a view to fun, but instead practicality. The Grandis scores there, with lots of space in a cabin that feels well built, if not from the most premium-grade quality materials. The interior is versatile with its variable seating for seven proving simple to use. However, the look and feel of the trim lacks the quality of rivals like Toyota's Avensis Verso. You're compensated for this with excellent standard equipment.
The 2.4-litre petrol model was offered with an automatic gearbox, which isn't the slickest combination, and pretty horrific when it comes to emissions and economy. Best then is that 2.0-litre Volkswagen-sourced turbodiesel, badged D-ID. It's not the most refined engine out there at idle, but quietens down at speed and offers far more palatable economy. It comes fitted to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with no auto option. As a big comfortable cruiser the Mitsubishi excels. The engine quietens down at speed, the ride is comfortable and the seats accommodating. It's quick enough too and looks great for a family hauler. Reliability should be good, being a Japanese car - unless that German engine lets it down.
It has to be the 2.0 diesel, allied to the only transmission it's offered with. Spec is high on all models, so buy on price and condition.
Engine: 1,968 four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 195km/h
0-100km/h: 10.8 seconds
Fuel consumption: 6.6 litres/100km
- Sharp looks
- Plenty of space/versatility
- Decent economy and emissions for age
- Engine noisy
- Interior materials hard
- No auto diesel option
The Grandis is a relatively little-known large people carrier that looks good yet offers excellent practicality. Well worth a look if you need the space and versatility, though there aren't that many about.