Steering Column 23.01.09

The baited hook Citroën is trying to entice us to buy new cars in this extraordinarily flat spot for vehicle sales.

The company has brought out special editions of some of its most popular cars with the promise of extra equipment for less cash.

The smallest of the batch is the C1 Splash which turns the little three-door hatchback into a more attractive bargain by adding air conditioning, electric windows, remote central locking and new colours. The extra kit adds a fairly reasonable £500 to the price of the VT model C1, making it available to buy for £7,345.

Further up the tree are two new “Airdream+” versions of the C3 and C4. Citroën says they have more equipment, offer more economy and better value for money, and are cleaner. There are also finance deals available to make the deal seem even sweeter.

It keeps cutting out I can’t see it making much of an impact in Shetland, but Kia has started full-scale production of its hatchback, the cee’d, equipped with a stop and start engine that turns itself off when it is stationary in traffic.

Known as the ISG, which stands for Idle Stop and Go, it is meant to offer fuel consumption savings of up to 15 per cent in city driving.

One comforting element of Kia’s system is that if the battery level drops below 75 per cent of its maximum charge, the ISG system automatically stops working, so there is no danger of being left in a queue of cars with your poor old beast whirring down to a terminal stop because the battery is flat.

In Europe the car will be available with a 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engine and in sport wagon, three-door or five-door hatchback versions. I can’t see it taking off here because most driving in Shetland rarely requires a car to drop as low as second gear, never mind regularly come to a stop.

Trojan horsepower Mitsubishi is broadening the range of its popular double-cab L200 pick-up trucks by bringing back the special edition model known as the Trojan.

Three or four years ago the company introduced the Trojan name for the last generation truck that came into the range just beneath the more expensive Warrior version. The appeal was a high-profile truck that wasn’t quite as expensive as its better specced sibling.

It is doing it again now because it believes there is a market for a cheaper “specia”. Prices begin at £15,249 plus VAT for the Trojan with a manual gearbox. Add an automatic box and it goes up by £800 and having leather seats and trim pushes on another £1,100.

The bullet-points for the vehicle include 16-inch alloy wheels, a trip computer, electric window at the back, a rear differential lock, a smart music system that will take MP3 input, climate control and dark glass.

All versions have the 2.5-litre diesel engine and they are already starting to arrive in the UK. Dealers in some parts of the country should be getting examples available for test drives very soon

Mike Grundon


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