Mitsubishi Colt hatchback (2004-2013)
"The Mitsubishi Colt is inexpensive to own and run, but more than that, it’s practical and fun to drive, too."
- Inexpensive to buy and run
- Spacious interior
- RalliArt version is fast
- Previously sliding rear bench is now fixed
- Interior looks and feels cheap
The Mitsubishi Colt is a great choice for families looking for an inexpensive supermini. A spacious interior means there’s decent comfort in the front and the back, while the boxy body and split-fold rear seats create a versatile loading area. The 1.1-litre entry-level engine is willing and economical, although Mitsubishi offers a 1.3-litre ClearTec model with stop-start for improved fuel economy. If inexpensive performance is more important, then the RalliArt version fits the bill. It has sporty styling and a 1.5 turbo engine.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The ClearTec isn’t quite the economy champion it once was, with rivals offering better economy and emissions than its 56.5mpg and 119g/km. Most other Colts are still relatively frugal though, returning around 50mpg if driven carefully. Insurance and tax are cheap, too. Mitsubishi offers fixed-price servicing for either the first three or five services.
Engines, drive & performance
The Colt’s interior feels basic, but the controls are chunky and well positioned. The 1.1-litre engine is good in town, where the performance it offers matches the larger 1.3-litre option. The range-topping Ralliart sacrifices some comfort with its firmer sports suspension, but its 1.5-litre turbocharged engine gives the small Colt big performance. All models are enjoyable behind the wheel, though, with accurate, light steering and an easy gearshift. The ClearTec 1.3-litre model shuts down its engine when sitting stationary at traffic lights or junctions - helping you to save fuel - and restarts quickly as soon as you go to pull away.
Interior & comfort
The upright driving position has the space and comfort of a mini people carrier, but the cabin does get a bit noisy at motorway speeds. The 1.1-litre engine is nicely hushed, but the 1.3 and 1.5-litre engines are more vocal – the latter sounding particularly sporty in the RalliArt model. Comfort is good, as the suspension copes well with poor road surfaces. There’s plenty of space for four adults, with decent rear head and legroom.
Practicality & boot space
The five-door Colt is the more practical of the two body styles, but the boot is easy to access in either version. The parcel shelf needs lifting manually, though, and it’s easy to forget to lower it again, which then obscures your rear view. A good-sized glovebox is offered, but sadly Mitsubishi removed the sliding rear seats’ flexibility when it updated the Colt in 2008; they now just split and fold conventionally.
Reliability & safety
The Colt’s interior isn’t the most stylish, but it feels tough and well constructed. The Mitsubishi scored a credible four-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, although only the range-topping RalliArt model gets side airbags as standard – the rest of the range makes do with driver and passenger airbags. Traction and stability control are reserved for the range-topping model, too. Reliability should be good, too, as Mitsubishi’s reputation for building trouble-free and easy-to-own cars is well established.
Price, value for money & options
The Colt is positioned at the budget end of the supermini market, and it's still possible to haggle for a discount with dealers – so it’s competitively priced. The CZ1 specification is only offered on the 1.1-litre car and covers the basics, with a CD player with MP3/iPod connection, electric front windows and central locking. CZ2 versions gain alloy wheels, air-conditioning and cruise control. ClearTec models come equipped as CZ2 cars, while Ralliart trim gains sporting looks, side airbags, plus traction and electronic stability control.