2020 Mitsubishi Attrage Review: The S$70k Question [with Video]

Derryn Wong

Driving Experience

You probably already know this but: Don’t buy a budget sedan if you enjoy driving. In fact, unpopular opinion here: If you like wheel thrills, forget cars below S$100k and get yourself a nice, fast motorcycle to scare yourself silly on a regular basis.

You simply can’t expect much by way of refinement and performance at this price level, and the Attrage proves it. The 1.2-litre triple cylinder engine remains unchanged, making a very modest 80hp, paired with an economy-focused CVT. Press on the gas pedal, there’s a momentary pause then an undignified roar as the engine revs up.

Progress is always gradual in the Attrage – 0-100km/h in 13.3 seconds – and it’s not particularly pointable, the steering feels slow to centre, there is a lot of body roll. While the suspension handles bumps decently, it loses composure when things get rough. At urban speeds, it behaves well, but high-speed commuting is certainly not its forte, with lots of wind and tyre noise above 80km/h. 

On the bright side, the car is very easy to drive, and if you can’t drive it well in an urban environment you should probably just Grab everywhere instead. Its reactions are gradual, predictable, and gentle, and you would have to work very hard to get into trouble with this car (parents on the look for a first car for junior take note).

Like other compact sedans, the Attrage has large windows and a tall default seating position, which spells for good visibility. It actually almost feels like an SUV, since you’re perched quite high – the downside is tall people above 1.7-metres may encounter limited headroom, since the seat (via its manual adjuster) doesn’t go very low at all.

Pair that with a vehicle of modest dimensions, with a tiny turning circle, and you can see that the car’s quite a handy drive in town. HDB carparks are a cinch, tight roads equally so. A parking camera is standard and helps lots, but even then, the Attrage is the sort of car that most people could park easily without it.

Space and Practicality

One of the key draws of the Attrage remains the amount of space it has.

For a compact car, there is quite a lot of room inside and it feels more like a car a size up, a result of the tall roofline and bulbous middle-box out of its three-box shape. As long the people are average-sized, the car will fit four without anyone having to scrape elbows or nudge. Having five onboard is doable, but it won’t be comfortable. Headroom in front is excellent, while a sloping roof means it’s only decent in the rear, rather than excellent. 

This is the previous Attrage’s rear seat, because we forgot to take a picture of the new one (duh). But it’s the same – or check out our video review to see how we scale in it

The boot is a spacious 450-litres without the seats folded up (that’s far larger than a Suzuki Swift or VW Golf) even if the wheelarches do protrude into the cargo space a little. You can fold the seats down but the through-load aperture isn’t particularly large so don’t plan on carrying long cupboards, for instance. 

450-litres is good, but the side bits protrude into the loading bay a little. The seats can fold down

The Attrage platform isn’t new, but we can’t say anything conclusive about its crash-safety as there are no Euro or Asean NCAP results for it. Mitsubishi says the car has the Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body construction. On paper it looks to be quite safe, though: For a budget car it has a surprising number of airbags (six) and ESP is standard. 

The sub-tonne weight of the car and the modest engine also mean the Attrage is a fuel-sipper. If you don’t emulate a Lancer Evolution driving style, it’ll deliver around 6.0L/100km, which is a good result considering it has no tech-aids like start-stop at all. 

Continue to 5. Competitors, pricing and the conclusion

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Attrage budget compact sedan Mitsubishi

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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