Monday, May 16, 2016

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Fuzion (2007-2015)

For this Monday, Myk Belmonte revisits an old nameplate which failed for some reasons.

2007-2015 Mitsubishi Fuzion

Bet you don't know this one that China Motor Corporation, a motor company based in Taiwan, has a 14% ownership by Mitsubishi Motors. CMC also has a joint venture in Mainland China with Fujian Motor Industry Group and Mitsubishi themselves under the Soueast (South East Motor Company Limited) brand. CMC has a technology sharing contract with the Japanese brand during the 70s and still holds until today, with most of their vehicles are existing models of the three diamond motors which are adapted to Taiwanese tastes except for the Freeca (Adventure in the Philippines) and Veryca that are totally built up from the top.

Replacing the Freeca MPV is the Fuzion (or Zinger to our neighbors up north) in 2005, which rides on the chassis of the Mitsubishi Challenger/Montero Sport. This vehicle, despite being available for a decade, didn't receive any redesigns but updates involving the engine for emission purposes and an upgrade to a five speed automatic were made standard during its selling life. Before leaving this paragraph, we'd tell you the name was derived from an energetic person and not a meal from a popular fast food chain.

Toyota was laughing its way up with the Innova that was a blockbuster hit that replaced the archaic Revo back in 2005. Mitsubishi wanted to dent the market share of the leader by bringing in the Fuzion, which was imported from Taiwan rather than its supposed predecessor's local assembly. Sure it had the credentials and came clean but the lack of a diesel option killed this, and rumors abound it would replace the Adventure but things went the other way around. Two variants were made available, the base GLX and an uplevel GLS Sport.

Value and Costs
Philippine used car market conditions dictate that any high displacement gasoline vehicle would have low residuals, not good for the new car buyer. For any prospective Fuzion buyer, we are pleased to tell you that you can get one between P350,000 to P650,000 since these low resale values benefit the used car buyer more. Since you're buying used, pick the GLS Sport since it gets airbags, ABS brakes, leather seats, reverse sensors, and a DVD player.

Two recalls were issued in March 2012 for the steering column intermediate shaft and March 2016 for a faulty airbag inflator, so keep an eye if these were fixed or changed. Maintenance costs aren't that far between its main rival, the Toyota Innova in gasoline form but do take note since a 2.4 engine resides underneath may mean high fuel consumption.

Exterior and Interior
Looking outside, the Fuzion's tall body may be off for some but this one provides more headroom for the occupants inside. A sleek and streamlined exterior coupled with large headlamps and flared wheel arches makes this vehicle imposing than its direct rival. GLX models come with black door handles and puny 15 inch alloys while GLS Sport gains chrome door handles and 16 inchers.

An interior that is so large gives occupants more interior space for both humans (the third row is best reserved for children) and cargo, with the second row folds and tumbles to give more space. The GLX is basic enough to give you all power amenities, alarm, keyless entry, and fabric seats while choosing the GLS Sport rewards you with a nicer interior and leather seats.

Derived from the first generation Outlander is a 4G64 2.4 gasoline having 134hp at 5,250rpm and 203Nm at 4,000rpm which does not have any valve timing technology present. Despite the conservative numbers, the Fuzion pulls things well especially it has a torquey gasoline engine to boot.

Driving Impressions
An advantage against the Adventure is a car-like handling, thanks to the suspension setup which is similar to a car. While it is comfortable in total, it may turn to the firm side at certain situations. Overall, if you want a comfortable alternative to an SUV or any truck based vehicle, this is it.

Mitsubishi may have studied the Innova well but fell flat on execution, which made prospective buyers go with the archaic Adventure or towards the direction of Toyota. Sure, it has the credentials by offering a van's space, a sedan's handling, and a tough chassis of an SUV but there is more than those.

The Good:
  • Decent interior space
  • Handles like a car
  • Low prices means its a bargain
The Bad:
  • Drinks a lot of gas
  • Body roll
  • No manual option
The Pick: GLS Sport

Engine: 2,351cc 4G64 I4 gasoline
Power: 134hp @ 5,250rpm
Torque: 203Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear rigid 3-link

Price (New):
Price (Now): P350,000-P650,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Orlando, Toyota Innova
On Sale: 2007-2015

Diamond Motors - Valle Verde - (02) 671-9590

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