Cheap Carisma very


EARLY direct injection petrol engines were almost as economical as their diesel counterparts in the same range.

Take the Mitsubishi Carisma - the direct injection 125bhp GDi 1.8 will do about 44mpg, while its turbo diesel 1.9 brother only manages 46mpg.

But there is another engine in the range, the 102bhp 1.6 and it's decent to drive, with good acceleration and a smooth, willing nature.

The Carisma was only available as a five door hatch for the last few years of production and is very reliable in the Mitsubishi tradition.

These later models are very reasonable to buy, better looking and the ride and steering were improved.

They are comfortable and safe and give better than average economy even without the excellence of the GDi.

The petrol 1.6 engines are eager and reasonably refined, but early 1.8 GDi's were quite coarse and noisy compared to the industry average at the time.

All come with a decent level of standard kit which matches or betters the opposition.

All have tinted glass, seat and column height adjustment, split-folding rear seat, four electric windows, central locking, electric sunroof and twin airbags.

: Vauxhall Astra



Price: Pay about £1,100 for an '02 52-reg Classic SE, £1,600 for an '04 04-reg Elegance.

Mechanical: 102bhp, 1,597cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 115mph

0-62mph: 12 seconds

Combined MPG: 38

Insurance Group: 7

C02 emissions: 198g/km

Bik rating: 25%

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