Mitsubishi Colt 2005 review

No supermini line-up is complete without a variant to snare younger buyers. Enter the Mitsubishi Colt CZT.

Buyers looking for the ultimate performance supermini will be rather disappointed by the CZT. However, its hot hatch rivals can't offer the same blend of space, efficiency and decent performance. Add to the mix its high standard specification, along with a competitive price tag, and the newcomer is a fine all-rounder.

No supermini line-up is complete without a variant to snare younger buyers. Enter the Mitsubishi Colt CZT. On sale in the UK now, the sporty newcomer is set apart from the regular three-door by a number of exterior changes.

There is a revised front bumper with mesh grilles, plus a rear spoiler, sports exhaust and 16-inch alloys, which are unique to this car. Inside, you will find aluminium pedals, new instrument graphics and a red-trimmed steering wheel. The rest of the dashboard is identical to other models in the Colt range.

Sports seats are fitted as standard in the CZT, yet while they certainly look the part, the bigger side bolsters are quite soft, so they provide little extra lateral support. The driving position may not suit all sizes, either, as the steering wheel only adjusts for rake.

Equipment levels are generous, with six airbags, air-conditioning, traction and stability control and a high-spec alarm all included. The biggest difference between the CZT and the standard Colt, however, comes under the bonnet, where you will find a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, shared with the Smart ForFour Brabus.

In the Colt, this powerplant produces 147bhp and 210Nm of torque, which is enough to provide the Mitsubishi with lively performance. Below 3,000rpm, it does not feel like a hot hatch, but when the turbo kicks in, a wave of torque propels it forward. On the motorway the Colt is an acceptable cruiser, with overtaking made easy by this thrust. Only the slight intrusion of wind and road noise spoils refinement.

Suspension is stiffened all-round, while a strut brace has been added up front for improved handling. In town, the ride is firm, but on the open road it pays dividends, with the CZT resisting body roll well. Standard-fit stability and traction control is a useful addition, but it cannot be switched off. The Colt's electronic power-steering has also been uprated, with a quicker steering rack providing faster responses. As a result, the Mitsubishi is a tidy handling car, despite the look of the tall bodyshell.

One disadvantage of the three-door shape is that the wide C-pillars hamper rearward visibility. But thanks to the short overhangs at the front and back, parking is an easy task.

Elsewhere, the CZT retains all the Colt's practicality. Leg and headroom is generous, even with the optional sunroof fitted. The sliding rear seat makes the most of space in the rear, while the standard folding front passenger chair allows long loads to be carried.

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