LIFE WITH CARS
Impreza 2.0D RX › Mitsubishi Juro › VW Golf BlueMotion
oad is not all about high performance, petrol road, race, rally and track day cars. In this changing world, we like to test and review rising trends... and there’s no denying the ever-increasing popularity of the diesel performance car. So, in this monthly issue, we extol the virtues of three speedy oil burners - with their enormous ranges (arguably making them faster A-B country crossers than any petrol car, if you have an equally big bladder and food-loaded glovebox!), 40/50/60/even-70-something mpg’s and hugely accessible torque curves. Does their lack of revs and audio stimulation really make them dull? Are they as fast, fun and funky as some of the leading petrol cars? We find out – taking the brand new Mitsubishi Lancer hatchback 2.0 DI-D Juro around East Anglia & Lincolnshire, driving the All-Wheel-Drive Impreza 2.0D RX on a road trip to Perthshire’s Autumnal almanac and motoring VW’s phenomenally frugal Golf BlueMotion, on a HUGE road trip to Cornwall, and on and on... and on, with one tank of diesel! Enjoy our evil diesel special folks!
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IMPREZA D Thereâ€™s plenty of two-wheel-drive diesels on the market, but few compact hatchback all-wheel-drivers. Enter the Impreza Diesel 2.0D RX, which we road trip up to bonny Scotland, to find out what AWD offers an oil burner
here are few places in the whole of the UK as beautiful as the Scottish glens in the full glory of Autumn. And, 2010, for some meteorological reason no one can explain to me, was a particularly vibrant year for the Autumn almanac. So, what better reason to load up a long weekend bag and nail a 1,400-mile round trip, via the Lake Dis-
trict, to the ‘gateway to the glens’ – Perthshire? Our destination is one of the prettiest towns in Perthshire – Dunkeld, on the banks of the fast-flowing, broad River Tay... and on, rather randomly, to the world’s tallest beech hedge (pictured), at Meikleour. Planted in 1745, 580 yards long and over 120-feet tall at its northern end (100ft roadmagazine.co.uk
“What?! A diesel Impreza I hear you cry... well, yes!” average), the Meikleour beech hedge has, since 1966, been officially recorded as the world’s tallest; taking four men, six weeks to cut and measure it every decade. It’s one hell of an impressive sight... like so much of the stunning countryside in Perthshire. Our trusty steed for this massive mileage munch, in foul weather all the way there and back (though, controversially, not while in the glens, when the sun shone brightly!), is the new Impreza Diesel 2.0D RX. What?! A Diesel Impreza, I hear you cry... well, yes! The days of the thirsty EJ20 and latterly, EJ25 two and
2.5-litre petrol turbo nutter barges is not dead, but waning. What the marketplace is demanding from Subaru – as fuel prices soar – is the same all-weather ‘Subaglue’ grip levels of the legendary, special-stageproven Symmetrical AllWheel-Drive (AWD) Impreza, with a massive improvement in miles per gallon and fuel tank range. And they’ve responded, using the world’s first boxer diesel engine, as seen in the Legacy, Outback and Forester models. So, you can now have all the Impreza rally looks, amazing grip levels, compact hatchback formula
– with similar torque levels of an STi, at 258 lb ft (from even lower revs), and, more importantly, offering up to 48mpg, and a 600-mile range (try doing that in an STi!). Yes, that may not be as much mpg as other performance diesels, like the A3 170 Quattro can muster, but it’s still impressive, for a £25K oil-burner. The bad news is, you ‘only’ get 148bhp, which is not very Impreza of old, but is still strong for a two-litre diesel. And the in-line boxer diesel engine is far quieter, smoother, more refined and also much more revvy than most, even sounding quite throaty as it goes about hunting out its (admittedly soft, and low rpm) redline, with guts and gusto. The good news is, if you
forget searching for massive peak power and short shift quickly, using the excellent low and mid-range torque curve, the impressive Impreza’s cross-country pace is easy to find. And cog-swapping is an absolute delight with the meaty, direct, posi-
crests, adverse cambers, ice, pouring rain and slippery leaves (the A721 from Edinburgh being a highlight). The Impreza simply lapped it all up. You can throw anything at this, use all of its grunt, all of the time and make some seriously speedy progress. And it’s a lovely place to be: The seats are tive six-speed gearbox. really comfortable and supTurn the traction control off portive, there’s excellent (pointless anyway, in a car equipment, it’s well-built, with this much grip), point takes four with luggage ‘ney the direct nose where you bother’ (as they say up here) want it to go, keep the turbo and can plough through the on boost and you can remiles with consumate ease ally fly along, and enjoy the – especially the tough stuff, Impreza’s fine chassis and in rancid weather. phenomenal road-holding Try not to think of it as an prowess. Nice! extension of the old WRC Our glens road trip – on cars. Think of it as a megaand off the beaten track – grippy, confident AWD led us through some amaz- frugal hatch and the £25K ing back roads, with blind seems justifiable.
“Enjoy the Impreza’s fine chassis & road holding”
SNOW MESSING We had an Impreza Diesel in the heavy snow, which meant we couldn’t travel on our road trip. So, we took the ‘Scooby’ diesel to a local airfield and offered Road punters some ice driving, Norfolk style, via
Road’s limit-handling driver trainer & editor, Phil Royle. The Impreza fared brilliantly and taught our punters understeer and oversteer expertly. If you want 1-2-1 tuition, on or off track, contact Phil via www.roylemedia.co.uk. It’s big fun & happy learning!
Royle Media DRIVER TRAINING NEW to Roylemedia.co.uk are these fun, exclusive 1-2-1 driver training courses. Master oversteer, control understeer, become smoother, quicker and more in control of your driving talent – with these bespoke 1-2-1 sessions. Learn top tips gleaned from some of the world’s greatest drivers: Colin & Jimmy McRae, Sabine Schmitz, Tim Schrick, Anthony Reid & more.
CONTACT ROYLE MEDIA E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)1379 688168 W: www.roylemedia.co.uk
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JURO’S OUT Meet Mitsubishi’s new Lancer hatchback, the Juro 2.0 DI-D: 140bhp & 228lb ft, huge spec, 45+mpg, and yours from just £14,999. It may be ‘wrong-wheel-drive’ versus other Lancers, but it’s a lot of car for your £
eet Mitsubishi’s amazing value new hatchback, the Lancer Juro 2.0 DI-D – a car, if ever there was one, built for this current ‘age of austerity.’ This is the latest iteration of the Lancer hatchback, available from just £14,999, with an immensely generous specification, which must be making Ford, VW, Vauxhall, Honda, Renault and others in this market place pap themselves. The Juro’s enviable specification includes (deep breath!): A Kenwood integrated satellite navigation system complete with reversing camera (like that found on the pricey FQ Evos), black leather seats, iPod connection, air conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, leather steering wheel roadmagazine.co.uk
& gear shift knob, electric windows, multiple airbags, brake assist, emergency stop signal system, alarm/ immobiliser, metallic paint (silver, grey, red, black, white and this ace lightning blue), 16-inch five-spoke alloys, front fogs, electric & heated door mirrors, colour keyed rear spoiler and, vital in this sector, ISO-Fix child seat mounting points. It looks great too, if sitting a tad high (‘though this has advantages over speed humps and rough ground). And it’s remarkably similar in style to its faster, considerably more expensive rallybred cousin, the Lancer Evolution, especially from the front. This is echoed at the rear, with the addition of the large spoiler over the hatchback. Vamos!
Naturally at this price, it does not offer the sort of go of its 4WD Evo rally relative – offering less than half the power from its two-litre DI-D diesel powerplant, with 140bhp. But it does have a decent amount of grunt, with 228lb ft. And, on the road, it feels a lot more than its figures suggest: Make no mistake... the Juro is a rapid oil-burner, and covers ground darn quickly. That is... when it’s not torque steering wildly, which is either annoying, or fun, depending on which way you look at it. I quite liked it! One thing the DI-D Juro certainly tops the pricy petrol evil Evo on is its fuel economy. Mitsubishi quote just 46mpg for it, but, even with a heavy right foot, our road test revealed more
than this, and a useful 600+ mile range. And you can’t get that from an Evo... Handling is not perfect, as the heavy diesel engine and ‘wrong-wheel-drive’ combine to create a LOT of understeer, but, you can drive around this. And, when you do push on, the (firm, but fair) ride quality is very good, grip levels are solid at the back/poor at the front (which is mildly disconcerting, but fun, depending on your outlook) and, undeniably, it is fun... something many of the Juro’s more expensive, lower spec rivals simply can not claim. On the inside, there’s not a great air of quality to the very plasticy finish, but – with such a generous spec and low price – what do you expect? It’s certainly roadmagazine.co.uk
“Characterful, quick, fully loaded, fun to drive... and cheap”
comfortable, light and airy, even if there are a few other issues: One of these is the noise levels inside, which are pretty horrendous, mainly from the tyres and presumably, a lack of sound deadening, to keep the costs/weight down. The other issue I had was with the Sat Nav, which refused to pick up a signal for large bulks of our road trip around East Anglia and into the Lincolnshire Wolds. It spend most of its time “acquiring
satellites,” and not doing much in the way of navigating. So, it was a good job we knew where we were going, and had one of those old fashioned map book thingys. The buttons on the Sat Nav/Stereo are also way too small to press with fingers the size of mine, especially when motoring along, quelling mad understeer! But I am being a bit picky here. Really, there’s lots more to love about the Juro than there is criticise; like
the awesome steering rack, the excellent multi-function display, good quality gear change, back end grip levels, overtaking ability from the gutsy two-litre oil-burner (which will crack 0-62mph in 9.5secs and go onto 127mph), its quirky, yet likeable looks and nice little design features externally – which definitely help it stand out from the masses. Mitsubishi should pat themselves on the back for the Juro. It really is a car of
the moment – fast and frugal. Stylish, but not flashy. Practical, yet fun. And, most importantly of all, cracking value, in hard times. I equate the Juro to being like the family pet – occasionally annoying, mildly flawed, but something you can not fail to absolute adore from the off, and grow to love more and more, the longer you spend with it. Say Mitsubishi to most folk, and they think firebreathing rally-bred road
racer, or rugged off-roading load-lugger. But, give the Juro a bit of time to get out there, and the first run of 1,000 of these to be seen and sampled across the UK, and maybe all that will change? The other manufacturers should be worried. I would certainly favour the Juro over an equivalent Honda Civic, Renault Megane, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308, even a Ford Focus or VW Golf – none of which
you could buy a two-litre diesel, specced like the Juro, for the same sort of money. This Mitsubishi makes them all look very poverty spec in comparison. All of which provides buyers of this C-class sort of car with serious food for thought... I would say. Characterful, quick, fully loaded and fun to drive (if a little wayward, which is why it’s fun), the Juro is the very epitome of C21st cheap and cheerful motoring. Bravo!
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Mile Muncher At £18,100, the VW Golf BlueMotion may not be the cheapest to buy... but, by Jove, it’s hell’s cheap to run, offering 75mpg and a frankly frightening 750+ mile range on one tank of diesel. We road trip to Cornwall to test it...
Where: London Miles: 103 Range: 660
Where: Cornwall Miles: 349 Range: 421
ometimes, the best long distance journeys are not at manic full chat, with bouts of impromptu oversteer... but approached gently, with a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mentality. This way,
you create time to soak up all the sights, enjoy a leisurely lunch or two en route, make that detour to a place you’ve never been before and, best of all, bond closely with your chosen road trip partner.
For such a trip, taking a uncompromising sports car – with its hard ride, loud exhaust and desire to be driven hard constantly – can be a mistake. The best super long distance road tripper requires comfort, qualroadmagazine.co.uk
ity, manners and refinement; a touch of class even. And, if you are planning to cover big miles, without big dents in your wallet – frugality would be a nice bonus too. So, with all this in mind, we decided to take a road trip to deepest Cornwall, from East Anglia, in the motoring epitome of all of these aforementioned traits... VW’s Golf BlueMotion. VW say: “BlueMotion isn’t just a single technology. It’s a whole range of innovations and refinements that help you save fuel and money, without taking the fun out of driving.” And that is well said indeed. As a certified petrol head, Eco cars (and some diesels) usually make me feel mildly depressed. But the VW Golf BM puts a smile on my face from first impressions: It sits nicely, low, and wears lovely alloy rims. It sports aerodynamic diffusers, a low drag under tray and smart BM logos. And, like all VW’s, it’s incredibly well-built and an inviting place to spend time. The low ride height, aerodynamic additions and alloys aren’t just for visual show either. They are there
to help make this Golf the most economical car in the range, and its class. Coupled with regenerative braking systems, stop/ start technology, low drag mirrors and a specially remapped 1598cc, 16v, 4-cyl TSi turbodiesel engine (producing 104bhp @ 4400rpm and 185lbft @ 1500rpm), the Golf BM offers almost 12mpg more than its SE brother, for just £785 more. And it claims a whopping 75mpg, enormous 750+ mile range and naff all CO2 (99g/km). Deeply impressive stats, I think you will agree? We drove 809 miles in the Golf BM, and I can honestly say, I’ve never covered big miles so effortlessly, or happily: The frugal engine, matched to its tall ratio fivespeed ‘box, chugs along beautifully, quietly and, whilst not being rapid, is
not slow either (v-max is 118mph and 0-60 in 11.3s). And ride quality, cabin comfort and the massive range mean you only ever need to stop when your bladder/ stomach shout out. The Golf BM is an uberrelaxed cruiser, a serious mileage muncher, full of in-
Where: Cst Combe Miles: 646 Range: 125
End: East Anglia Miles: 809 Range: Empty!
novative engineering, looks great, drives beautifully and is a wonderful place to be. And its frugality and range are so attractive, it’s enough to convert even the most hardened petrolhead. It even gets free road tax! And don’t be mistaking a bit of body roll for lack of grip either. Show the Golf BM a decent back road and it’ll remind you of its genetic make-up instantly. As with
other Golfs, there’s plenty of grip to be found. And it has a great handling balance too – making it fun to drive too. It does raise a smile. Is there anything to fault? Frankly, no. The Golf Blue-
Motion is one of the best cars I’ve ever road tested, revealing no faults at all in over 800 miles. And you can’t say that about many of the more expensive, faster, sexier cars. Result!
Scirocco and passat CC get BM The Scirocco and Passat CC have just been given VW’s BlueMotion Technology, to be tested here soon. As with all of Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Technology vehicles, the new Scirocco and Passat CC variants “combine efficiency with comfort and refinement to create cars that deliver greater economy and fewer emissions, yet which remain conventional to drive, service and maintain,” say VW. All entry-level Scirocco and GT trim models with the 2.0-litre 140 PS engine now feature BlueMotion Technology modifications including: Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems, helping to create the cleanest and most fuel efficient Scirocco to date. There’s a six-speed manual or optional six-speed DSG gearbox, improving fuel economy over standard variants considerably: Up from 55.4 mpg to 62.8 mpg on the combined cycle (51.4 to 57.6 DSG), with lower emissions, down from 134 g/km to 118 g/km (145 to 129 DSG). This allows all BlueMotion Technology Sciroccos to drop two tax brackets over previous models.
Volkswagen has also announced revisions to the 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS engine fitted to the Scirocco GT, which result in fuel economy figures improving to 55.4 mpg from 53.3 mpg (50.4 to 51.4 DSG) and CO2 emissions reducing from 139 to 134 g/km (147 to 144 for DSG) . Impressive stuff. And the Passat CC line-up has also been updated and sees BlueMotion Technology models join the range in place of existing diesel versions. The new additions to the Passat CC range include modifications to optimise efficiency and economy, with regenerative braking and Start/Stop systems fitted to the four-door coupé for the first time. The revisions help the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS Passat CC models achieve a combined 60.1 mpg, up from 50.4, and CO2 emissions are cut to just 125 g/km, down from 146 g/km. The more powerful 2.0-litre, 170 PS diesel engine in the range also now boasts improved figures, with economy up to 57.6 mpg (51.4 DSG) and emissions down to 129 g/ km (144 DSG). All models are live now. For more information please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.
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