Uhh…what’s an Attrage? It sounds dangerous…
It’s a new, small sedan from Mitsubishi, one that goes up against the likes of the Nissan Almera and Toyota Vios, and aims to provide low-cost, no-frills motoring.
The Attrage nameplate is a new one and a bit of digging shows that it, ostensibly, is a portmanteau of the words ‘attractive’ and ‘Mirage’, the latter being a small Mitsubishi model sold elsewhere in the world. The Attrage is sold in Thailand, where it’s built, as a Mirage, too. Nonsense Japanese names aside, we’re just sad Mitsubishi didn’t try to sell a Mirage name crossed with the Outlander.
Ah no wonder it looks like this…
It does look the part of a compact sedan. Short nose, a boot, a relatively tall, bulbous greenhouse which spell for easy interior access and urban maneuvering. There are some concessions to fashion, with the sky blue paintwork and dark-alloy 15-inch wheels, though.
It’s actually slightly smaller than its two key rivals, both of which are approximately 4.4-metres long, although the wheelbases of the Vios and Attrage are identical, at 2,550mm, with Almera having 40mm more space between the wheels.
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Does it feel ‘budget’?
It’s cheap and cheerful, so is more budgie than budget. There’s really quite a lot of space for rear passengers, while the boot is predictably huge, at 450-litres, it’ll fit a lot of stuff, though the seats can’t fold down.
You’ll have to know where to look to see that the Attrage is built to a very tight cost (exposed wiring when you open the glove box, hollow sounding doors) but the car does a decent job of distracting you from that with an eyebrow-raising equipment load.
Automatic (though single-zone) aircon, a radio system with USB/AUX connections, trip computer, powered mirrors and steering wheel remote controls can all be considered rather luxurious extras at this end of the market, but despite the sub-$100k price, the Attrage has that and even keyless entry and start.
How does it drive?
Unlike the Nissan and Toyota, which both have 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder engines, the Attrage has a 1.2-litre inline three-cylinder engine – that also means it’s down at least 10bhp over its rivals, with only 78bhp.
While the spec sheet, and colossal 0-100km/h time, might suggest the Attrage is perhaps a little too humble, it’s actually a very decent drive in the city. You’ll probably wonder why everyone else is in such a dad-gurned hurry all of a sudden, but the Attrage isn’t as noisy as we expected, although you will feel and hear when the road surface changes.
Everything about it – handling, braking, acceleration – is soft and gradual, and the ride isn’t sophisticated, but the car weighs just 900kg, which helps with handling and efficiency.
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But are there good reasons to buy one?
The chief reason are cost and running costs. As of June’s first bidding round it costs $89,999 with COE. That means you need about $36k in cash to own one.
More plus points about the engine is that it comes with Cycle & Carriage’s 10-year engine warranty too, which should help ease buying worries considerably, and as a small, modestly-powered unit, it has a quoted fuel efficiency of 4.8L/100km.
So it’s a modest car, and it has a very modest price, and it spells a modest way of arriving, but the alternatives at this end of the market, are taking the bus, or not arriving at all.
Engine 1,193cc, 16V, inline 3
Power 78bhp at 6000rpm
Torque 100Nm at 4000rpm
Top Speed 170km/h
0-100kmh 14.0 seconds
Fuel efficiency 4.8L/100km
Price $89,999 with COE
Also Consider: Hyundai Accent, Nissan Almera, Toyota Vios