Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ClearTec's a Winner

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ClearTec's a Winner

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE GIBSON

OPINIONS still vary widely about the best long-term options for greener and cheaper motoring and the debate is becoming increasingly important as unrest in the Middle East sends fuel costs soaring.

For the time being, the all-electric route is continually hampered by range limitations and the practical options seem to fall into two broad schools - the petrol/electric hybrid or stop/start technology with various other tweaks thrown in.

Generally, it would seem, the Japanese are leaning towards the former, with Toyota and Honda turning out more and more hybrid options, while the Europeans, led by the German giants, are largely going down the stop/start route.

Mitsubishi, however, has bucked the Oriental trend and jumped on to the green bandwagon with ClearTec engines. These power packs employ an intelligent stop/start system to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions, backed up with a raft of secondary measures such as low rolling resistance tyres, some improved gear ratios and a more efficient alternator, which only charges the battery when it needs to.

The first model to benefit from this kit is the Colt ClearTec which is powered by a 1.3-litre version - although Mitsubishi says its entire range, apart from the L200 pick-up and 4x4 Shogun powerhouse, will eventually be going ClearTec.

And in the Colt supermini there is no doubting that owners reap the benefits of these leaner, greener engines - both in their pockets and via the feelgood factor that comes from being kind to the planet.

With the ClearTec engine, the five-door Colt's fuel efficiency is boosted considerably, with average economy being improved from 47.1 to 56.5mpg over the equivalent non-ClearTec model, while CO emissions are reduced from 143g/km to 119.

That means you'll be saving on petrol and will only be paying pounds 30 per year in road tax at current rates.

Add low insurance premiums and surprisingly strong residual values into the mix for an investment of pounds 11,499 and the Colt ClearTec seems to make good economic sense. …

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