Car Review: Mitsubishi - Colt  Series 04 (3 stars)

The Mitsubishi Colt might not have youth on its side, but it's a cheeky alternative to the mainstream

Mitsubishi's Colt is an ageing supermini, one of those cars that you can sit in and see how much the game has moved on - that's not necessarily a bad thing, but you can tell just from the size of the cabin how much manufacturers' 'supersize me' philosophy has seen even their superminis growing out in every direction.

The Colt was based on the same platform as the Smart Forfour, that company's much maligned and long since aborted attempted at spreading its range beyond its gimmicky two-seater city car. That the Colt is still here is testimony to its understated appeal and stoic endurance.

The styling inside and out remains pleasantly funky, and shows that Mitsubishi got it right the first time round. The Colt is still a distinctive alternative to the rest of the supermini class. The quality of the materials inside the cabin is a pleasant surprise and the dashboard feels much better built than many rivals, and not just the obvious budget brands.

Although it is small (the Colt has half a wheel in the city car segment such is the rate of change, but then small size shouldn't be a criticism in the supermini segment) the Colt does feel spacious inside. You can fairly comfortably seat four adults - although the comfort won't last too long. That's not a space issue; the car just isn't particularly comfortable over longer distances.

The Colt throws itself into corners enthusiastically, if without too much feeling or feedback through the wheel. The ride does tend towards the bouncy side, but this does lend the car a perky air that suits the city environment. It will slip in and out of gaps in the traffic and is easy to park with its wheel-at-each-corner design.

Our favourite engine of the range is the entry-level 1.1-litre petrol. It enjoys being revved and fizzes through the gears. In many ways there's no point going for a bigger engine here. The 1.5-litre CZT Turbo is entertainingly rapid, though, but then it's still no match for a Cooper S. If you're after a hot hatch you'd be better off stumping up the extra cash and playing with the big boys.

Keeping the Colt basic seems to be the way to have the most fun - although the decent standard kit doesn't happen until the mid-range cars. If you want character, the likeable Colt is well worth a look.

Mitsubishi Colt Series 04 StatisticsCar Reviews

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