The presence of Mitsubishi locally had been quite sporadic. We have seen a number of models like the Lancer and some of the old Colts, arriving here in large numbers and selling very well. You still hear stories of people buying Lancers for Lm3600 and selling them, after six or seven years of absolutely trouble-free motoring, for the same amount! Try doing that today!
On the other hand, we have never seen the full range of the brand here in full force, and one model in particular that I missed is the Lancer Evolution in all its versions.
This Colt is in its 6th reincarnation but completely against today's trend, the car has actually got smaller than its predecessors.
The front styling of the new Colt is aggressive, head-on it seems you are looking at a baby Evolution complete with the sweep-back head lamps and the spine running down the middle of the bonnet (do any of you remember a similar arrangement on the boot lit of one of the old Colts?). However I do not see this styling coherent with the rest of the design of the car.
Moving backwards, the car develops into the high, rather clumsy-looking clone of the standard shape of today's super-mini. Mind you, this loss of aesthetic shape is not without reason. The maximization of internal space in these vehicles is short of a miracle and the Colt is no exception in this regard.
For somebody over six feet tall like myself to sit in the fully reclined drivers seat of this car and have to adjust it forward as it actually goes too far back is quite incredible. More surprising is the fact that in this position, I could sit just as comfortably on the back seat directly behind the driver! The sliding back bench actually helps distribute space between the cabin and luggage boot as required. The back of the passenger seat also folds down to allow for the carriage of long items.
The MPV style driving position gives excellent visibility all around while the quarter-window between the door and the windscreen and the Dumbo ears sized rear-view mirrors ensure there are hardly any blind spots.
I got mixed reactions from the people in the showroom about the dashboard. Some did not appreciate the plastics used and felt it was too bare whilst others felt that this simplicity and the type of surface made it excellent to keep clean. It is a matter of taste, I imagine, however it will be difficult avoiding the translucent bits and the grooved rubber at the base of the gear stick becoming shabby in the long run.
Apart from the 1.1 lit engines under test, the Colt comes equipped with a 1.3 lit (94 bhp) petrol and a 1.5 lit (94 bhp) diesel. The 1.1 lit (74 bhp) 3 cylinder unit is the same as that found in the Smart For Four. I can assure you that this compares well with its 4 pot competitors and the punch it manages to give must be appreciated.
This engine is quite vocal and until you get used to it, you feel as if you are continually pushing it too hard. You eventually realise that it can take the stress and by persevering you will get there, slowly but surely! The primary benefit that it offers is excellent fuel economy which is in the region of 50+ miles to the gallon.
Including the engine, over 60% of the underpinnings are shared with the Smart. In front it is equipped with McPherson struts complete with coil springs and a stabilizing bar. At the back we find a torsion beam also fitted with a stabilizing bar. The overall effect is that the car is pleasant to drive, offering decent road holding and a relatively comfortable suspension. Attention has also been taken to ensure that although the vehicle is quite high, it does not roll excessively.
It is reassuring to see the safety equipment in the super minis increasing from one model to another. The Colt comes with ABS including electronic brake force distribution (which on a smaller car makes a lot of sense) as standard. Sensibly, the two front occupants get an airbag each, it is fitted with Isofix anchorage points for child safety and with anti-trapping windows which means that as soon as the closing window meets some resistance, it changes direction and starts opening rather than adding pressure on the object, which could easily be a child's arm or even head.
Mitsubishi are well known for models like the Evo with which they have won numerous World Rally Championships and the Pajero so successful in the Paris -- Dakar events. The Colt might not be a contender for this caliber of activity, however there is no reason why it should not inherit the pedigree of reliability and solidity that this brand is known for.
Add to this some creature comforts like air conditioning, electric windows, central locking and an engine immobilizer and you are looking at an attractive package for its price.
Make & Model - Mitsubishi Colt
Engine - 1.1 Petrol
BHP - 74
0-62 mph - 12.9 seconds
Maximum speed - 103 mph
Consumption (claimed by manufacturer) - 51mpg
Emissions (CO2) - 130g/km
Price from Lm 5,950
- The shape in front (not at the back)
- The intelligent use of internal space
- Somewhat vocal engine that needs to be pushed
- Light coloured internal trimming that will become shabby
PAQPAQ RATING: 68/100
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