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Mitsubishi Cedia LPG

14th Sep 2009 7:00 am

The Cedia LPG is well built, handles decently and is a spritely performer as well


  • Make : Mitsubishi
  • Model : Cedia

Is the LPG option, the first in the premium segment, the answer? Lowering running costs is a sureshot way to enhance a car’s appeal and the LPG route is becoming increasingly popular. It’s not difficult to understand why when you compare the cost per litre of LPG and petrol. The former is around 40 percent cheaper.

The LPG kit in the Cedia is made by BRC of Italy, the only Indian-made components are the storage tank and the sheet metal brackets to hold the tank in place, the rest is all imported. The key component is the sequential injection system for delivering fuel to the Cedia’s 1999cc, four-cylinder engine.

LPG is stored under pressure in the big 48-litre tank in the Cedia boot. From here, it goes via a regulator through the pressure reducer and to the injectors, which are controlled by a 16-bit processor. The LPG Cedia has an additional ECU for the LPG mode that essentially works as a piggyback ECU. The petrol ECU sends information from the oxygen sensor, the manifold-absolute pressure sensor and the engine rpm sensor to the LPG ECU, so there is no need for an extra set of sensors.

The kit is safe too — the LPG tank is double-walled and the system uses corrugated wiring harnesses and copper tubes to prevent gas leakage. In the event of an accident, which is a very likely scenario on Indian roads, a solenoid valve will cut-off fuel supply. And to give you that feel-safe factor, Mitsubishi also supplies a fire extinguisher which is strapped under the front passenger seat.

Except for the petrol/LPG switch, the interiors are identical to a regular Cedia. The overall interior quality is good, better than the Corolla but not a match for the Civic. The dash design feels a little dated and there are some nasty bits like the cheap- looking power window switches, the side air vents and their flimsy air-flow controls, which don’t belong to a premium mid-size saloon. The light-coloured interiors are sure to get soiled soon though.

The generous front seats are height-adjustable, the steering adjusts for rake, and the high-set gearlever falls perfectly to hand. The front passengers get quite a few cubbyholes to keep stuff. The moderately-sized bin between the front seats and the door pockets is big enough, but the small box under the air-con controls is too shallow to hold much.

The rear passengers though don’t get treated as well. Not only do they not get any storage space except for the two cupholders in the centre armrest but the rear seats are not the most comfortable around either. Though the legroom is good, the low sitting position compromises comfort and the seats are a bit short on thigh support too. Thanks to the low seats, headroom is decent.
A major disadvantage of this LPG system is that the storage tank eats into boot space substantially. The Cedia’s boot has shrunk by 37 percent and with only 270 litres available, you get hatchback levels of luggage space. That’s not ideal if you plan to use the car for airport runs.

When HM-Mitsubishi launched the Cedia in India, the engineers paid a lot of attention to the car’s ride and handling characteristics and it shows. On the Indian spec set-up, the Cedia strikes a near perect balance between ride and handling. The only minor compromiseseems to be the low speed ride which is due to the stiff suspension and low profile tyres. At higher speeds the ride improves considerably and the Cedia's poise is good, although that typical Japanese lightness is present. The Cedia has one of the best ride/handling combinations of any car currently made in India.

The suspension is very refined, and you never hear the clunks and thuds that you get in most other mid-size cars. It rides over most surfaces brilliantly and is a hoot to chuck through a series of corners. The steering and gearshift have a precise feel and enhance the driving experience. It really doesn’t come as a surprise to know that the Cedia is the car of choice on the National Rally circuit.

Mitsubishi Cedia LPG
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