1 May 1998
By CHRIS HARRIS
A bigger model than before, the Mentor II was again an amalgam of Mazda (BG) 323 components, but this time using a larger body for a more spacious and refined interior.
Again to versions were available, in oddball five-door hatchback ‘Coupe’ or new four-door sedan guises.
The base SLX featured an upgraded 65kW/135Nm 1.5-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine and four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox, power steering, air-conditioning and cloth trim. This car needed plenty of revs to perform.
Meanwhile the GLX added alloy wheels, central locking, power windows/mirrors and fancier trim. It was also available in an 82kW/150Nm 1.8 DOHC 16V motor – also Mazda 323-derived.
And then, from mid 2000 following a change of distributor (Citroen/Alfa Romeo/Fiat importers Ateco took over, until March 2006), new names were implemented – the Mentor became the Shuma – but only until ‘Spectra’ took over from May 2001.