|4th April 2006, 17:37||#1|
My new Mitsubishi Lancer 1.8 Invex -The Automatic Karma!
So here I am guys with my Lancer 1.8 Invex, 2 weeks and 2 days old done 2000 KMs! In fact 1700 KMs were done in first 3 days! Yes, that’s true; I drove my brand new Lancer from Delhi to Mumbai very next day of buying it to get divine blessings of Lord Siddhivinayak.
It all started with me looking out for an automatic car (I am getting transferred to Delhi shortly with daily driving of 60 KMs!), I test drove Skoda 1.9 TDI, Skoda Superb (just like that...he he he), Toyota Corolla and NHC. I had earlier driven NHC automatic till Jammu from Delhi and I was not happy with the rubber band effect of CVT. Toyota Corolla had a smooth automatic but with a price venturing in the territory of Skoda 1.9 TDI Rider automatic made me look towards Skoda more. Skoda Rider was a good choice but then it was making me stretch my budget. The best of the lot was Skoda Superb with excellent tip-tronic but with price out of my reach…I needed an alternative. And of course after driving Skoda superb I wanted a tip-tronic transmission too! (Hyundai Embera too has a tip-tronicJ).
Now my Fiat Petra is a faithful no-nonsense-deliver-every time sedan which tempted me to travel thrice to Delhi in last one year (The last one was non-stop drive from Mumbai to Delhi in 20.5 Hrs (including 30 minutes total breaks)) but driving it everyday in Delhi bumper-to-bumper traffic could be painful due to hydraulic clutch. So…Automatic is the only way left.
I had almost ruled out Lancer 1.8 due to posts about its plastic’s quality, lack-of-power and horror stories of HM but tip-tronic in my budget was only here and I would not want to give up an option without trying it. My wife hated me for even considering Lancer due to its squinted headlamps look but I was determined to give it a shot and I called up Fortpoint for a test drive. The vehicle was “promptly” made available after 4-5 calls in a week’s time!
Well, I was swept off my feet for one more time in my life. The engine was responsive with 122 odd horses and automatic was good. It took me some 2 minutes to start a conversation with automatic mind and I was impressed (I drove an automatic earlier for sometime in Europe). I test drove it on Mumbai-Pune highway and Palm Beach road, it was a bliss to drive and tip-tronic was impressive with speed sensitive downshift. Highway overtaking just needed a gentle tap on accelerator which made car do exactly what was wanted. My wife (she drives a Palio GTX) also took a drive and got down staring at those headlamps….”Hmm…not bad though it can’t match the looks of my Palio” she said, and I agreed with her. I would had loved to wait for Cedia with Invecs-3 but don’t know when HM would launch that. At Fiat India…I would have to wait forever for a Fiat Automatic! (Pssst…I heard they are considering Alfa Romeo for India launch).
I started my research on Lancer and 1.8 Invex in particular (Thanks a ton Lambo for helping me with your experience). Though I was still half-hearted with review of 1.8 Invex here by our friendly gurus but the test drive did the trick. I happened to meet a senior HM official while getting my Palio serviced at Fortpoint and he assured me of the quality and hassle free ownership, this further strengthened my decision. Okay, so we decided on Lancer Invex 1.8 Euro-III (same series of engine and Euro-III mods as Cedia). Though we test drove Euro-II Invex but since I wanted to register it in Delhi we decided on Euro-III version which was 1.8 lacs costlier due to Euro-III conformance modifications.
HM corporate sales arranged for the Delhi dealer (Excel Motors) to get in touch with me and ensured that I got a good deal on the car. The booking process was very smooth and since I wanted a quick delivery I was assured that I would get the car on 14th March. I took a couple of days off and drove to Delhi in my ever faithful Petra. This was our third drive to Delhi in last one year and we made it a memorable one with driving to Delhi non-stop!
This time we had maid to give company to kids at back and they played happily. We had not planned to go directly to Delhi but had planned to stay at Ajmer. We started at 4.30am and arrived at Ajmer at 7.30pm. I still felt fresh and continued to Jaipur which we made at 10 pm. Now here we had to decide…and we decided on continuing to Delhi which is 3 hours drive from Jaipur. But thanks to the traffic jam we took 6 hours and reached Delhi at 4am in morning. Everyone was sleeping except me! Traffic jam for 3 hours made me irritated and the hydraulic clutch was intolerable after 20 hours of driving and just 20 KMs away from home! Well this is enough for once and not to be repeated again.
The New Car
Now coming back to the Mitsubishi Lancer, I finally got delivery of my car on 19th March instead of 14th as promised due to transport delay, this was the only part which made me lose my cool as I had a lot of work pending at Mumbai and I wanted to be back in Mumbai by Monday. Nevertheless, the wait was worth it. The registration part was very well handled by Excel motors. PDI and delivery of the vehicle was also appreciable and well handled. Even on a weekly off day they got some senior technician to explain me about the car and help me with the queries.
Since I did not had a lot of time, I planked a 10 CD MP3 changer and left rest of the ICE for later, but surprisingly the factory fitted music system (Cassette player/Tuner with all speakers) is good and powerful, in fact this is the only OEM system which really impressed me in last several years of many cars’ ownership.
Now the quality of plastic…the two tone dash is a delight to look at, though the dealer overdid the shining job which made it dazzle me. I had to wipe off access shining fluid from dash to make it look matt. There are enough space for knick-knacks, 2 glove compartments, 1 small compartment between front seats and 2 sunglass holders (one over door at grab handle’s place and one below steering). The upholstery was pleasant with fabric inserts in door trims. The front seats were really broad and comfortable but my Petra/Palio has better lumbar support which is evident from the fact that even after driving for 20+ hours during my non-stop trip I never felt uncomfortable.
The rear seats are really comfortable, my kids mostly slept on the trip back comfortably. The rear elbow support is really well placed as against NHC’s where you have to sit a little slanted to have your elbow touching support (my personal experience). Rear leg room is plenty and rear AC ducts are a delight for rear passengers. Courtesy lamp is well placed but here I missed the map lamps which I had seen in earlier Lancers which were located near rear-view mirror.
The driving position is really good and better than my Petra where an assumption is required. Adjustable steering is also very handy. Here I missed the driver seat height adjustment which has been discontinued, may be to cut cost (I checked with dealer and a mechanism can be added (OEM) which is priced at Rs. 4,000/-). Power antenna is missing! What you get now is a Maruti styled antenna over driver’s door! The controls are well placed but they are flimsy as compared to solid stalks of Palio/Petra. I also felt headlight is not sufficient to drive on highways; a dual lamp shall be a boon. I am checking with dealer if I can fit dual lamps (as on earlier Invex) without modifying anything. As per HM, dual headlamps have been discontinued due to automatic leveler device which is mandatory now as per new MV rules; this excuse looks funny but can’t help. I checked out OEM fog lamps but was not too impressed with them. I liked the Evo-IV bumper which I saw on one of the modified cars and it had space for large lamps, may be that can be a good option but again the OEM bumper on 2006 model looks good so don’t really want to change it…lets see.
One more thing which I did not like in the car was that power window switches are not illuminated which make it very difficult to locate them at night, a car of this price and class must have paid attention to this small bit. Similarly the auto stick options are not illuminated and though cluster has indicators for different modes but they are LEDs next to printed options, so until unless the park lights are on you can’t differentiate a R LED from D! I left my headlights switched on too on several occasions as I am use to of Palio/Petra’s headlamp switch which automatically shuts headlamps when engine is switched off, a headlight on reminder would had been handy here.
The user manual I got with the vehicle was probably from last decade! It had no mention of 1.8 Invex or the automatic shift…this was really a disappointment which I am escalating to HM so hopefully they would update manual and send me an updated copy too! Another catch…all 11 service coupon mention that “you pay only for consumables!”…now this certainly can’t be a printing mistake!
Next thing was rubber, I changed to 185/70 R-14 Michelin Certis and Mitsubishi OEM alloys which a friend helped me import exclusively! I also got towel covers to ensure comfortable drive for kids. And now it was time to hit the road! The real test for my new Lancer…a 1500 KM drive to Mumbai.
The Drive -Day-1
I started off a little late in the day after fitting alloys and tyres at 2.30pm and reached Delhi border at 4.15pm, the drive to Jaipur was surprisingly pleasant with no swearing at all on truckers, may be Auto tranny was showing its magic! Well I drove in control ensuring revs never exceeding 2000 occasional 2500 to overtake trucks, it was absolutely marvelous on highway and we reached Ajmer at 8 pm for the first time in several trips we reached Ajmer in 4 hours flat from Delhi border. The highway overtaking was a breeze and car was rock solid steady on corners. Handling is excellent with just the right feedback from speed sensitive power steering.
I also realized that the Invecs-II (Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System) is not just a term coined by Mitsubishi, it actually works and transmission actually learns and adapts to your driving style. After a while the auto brain just reads your mind and knows what you are looking for, it is amazing and you can’t experience it without driving.
We started off at 6.40 am from Ajmer the odometer still was less than 1000, so I had to be gentle with the revving. The drive thru Bhilwara, Udaipur to Rajasthan/Gujrat border was a breeze. Next was usual Ahmedabad irritating traffic till we reached NE-1 at 2.20 pm. The odo read 1144 and that is exactly what I was waiting for…I changed to sports mode (Tip-tronic) and had a little fun with car though I was still very careful since it was 2 days old! I checked out 140 which it reached within 3500 rpm. Didn’t rev it beyond that I want to wait for at least 2000 KMs more for that. The good thing about this auto tranny is that in tip-tronic mode it automatically downshift when you lower the speed drastically. The response time to shift (both + and -) is good though not as good as a manual for obvious reasons but nevertheless I enjoyed this tip-tronic more than Skoda Superb’s, this definitely is much faster in shifts with minimal loss of power between shifts.
We made it to home at 11 pm.
Now this trip was very much different from my earlier Mumbai-Delhi drives due to automatic convenience on my way back. The car’s handling is superb and 1.8/122ps engine is very responsive and fast. The car performs equally well on highways as it does in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. Creature comforts are better than my experience on any other Indian cars that I have owned.
And of course this write-up wont be complete without the FE figures:
Day-1 (in bumper-to-bumper Delhi traffic, 2 Jams and 100% AC) 9.91 KMPL
Day-2 (Highway run with frequent revs and 100% AC) 11.73 KMPL
Day-3 (Highway run with sensible driving and 100% AC) 13.55 KMPL
Today (Normal city drive with 100% AC) 10.50 KMPL after 1st service.
I am happy…and lovin’ it, though I am desperately waiting to be back in Delhi and drive my Petra too! I guess it would be really difficult to decide which sedan to take to office…may be I would need a coin to decide!
Hope this post helps.
|The following BHPian Thanks rishi_kapoor for this useful post:|
|4th April 2006, 17:49||#2|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked: 0 Times
Great review and thanks for sharing the experience. Can you share some details about how much this vehicle cost you?
I am considering a car in this segment and am willing to try something new.
Enjoy your new ride.
|4th April 2006, 18:02||#4|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2004
Thanked: 9,516 Times
the auto transmission in 1.8 invex abolute delight to use and makes the car fun to drive unlike other automatics like city cvt,anyways Rishi congrats for your new ride.
|4th April 2006, 18:29||#7|
|4th April 2006, 18:31||#8|
|4th April 2006, 19:44||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2004
Thanked: 66 Times
Congrats Rishi. A nice writeup.
Althrough the reading of your writeup, i was worring whether you are going to sell the Petra. It's great, you want to keep the Petra too...
|5th April 2006, 04:04||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ahmedabad - Tor
Thanked: 170 Times
Have fun with your invecs. I think every1 is waiting for you to post pics of your invecs inside-out.
FE seems nice but I think as the car is still new you are driving it carefully.
I know it wont match the Fiat's robust build but also do a write-up on that for others to compare.
I too have a red lancer 1.5 sfxi with the 2003 grille. I was actually going for the 1.8 but the dealer said its not going to be available soon and i didnt want to wait afterseeing the car. I bought my car and the 1.8 came too soon for me to be satisfied with my 1.5.
I love my lancer and have said it in many posts that only a person who owns a lancer posseses one.
Its dated but now good value for money I guess as its the cheapest tip-tronic vehicle. I am surprised That HM has removed many small features to cut costs and it sucks. HM is one company that needs to improve quickly if they need to sell cars. Knowing that a cedia can never stand competiton against the civic they still brought it in.
But I have had test runs frequently on my service collects and believe me I know what fun you are having these days.
Have fun with your car and please post pics.
Last edited by devarshi84 : 5th April 2006 at 04:07.
|5th April 2006, 17:14||#11|
The pics have been posted in galary at:
|5th April 2006, 20:35||#12|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2004
Thanked: 73 Times
Have you not had the 1st service done yet? And 3500rpm still sounds too much even after 1000km. Great review but i would not say the same about the car although you seem to be enjoying to a lot. All the small things such as lack of illuminated window switches really are a disappoint ment if you are spending that much money on the car (about 9-10l i am guessing) and its these things that go on to make driving the car that much more convenient and pleasureful.
|6th April 2006, 04:24||#13|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ahmedabad - Tor
Thanked: 170 Times
I liked the interiors. Its good to see they finally added some colour on the drab black dash.
Nice shoes for the car you have selected.
and If I am not wrong the colour of the car is the same as the pinkish silver that was once available on LEI. The car really looks elegant.
My sfxi has the same grille( 2003 edition grille). Didnt know HM made it standard on all lancers later on. I personally find them good looking.
Last edited by devarshi84 : 6th April 2006 at 04:25.
|7th April 2006, 15:26||#15|
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