Mitsubishi Colt 2008 review

Japanese firm has given its supermini a new nose to match the Evo X super saloon

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

This revised Colt is a big improvement on the previous model. Mitsubishi’s stylists have done a great job integrating the Evo X’s bold nose with the supermini’s shape, and it really stands out as a result. However, the Colt is little fun to drive and doesn’t really trouble the class leaders in any way. On the plus side, though, there’s the appealing price tag, generous equipment levels and low running costs.

Combining the look of a head-turning flagship with an entry-level model is a smart move – take Alfa Romeo’s MiTo, for example. The chic supermini has the stylish nose of the 8C Competizione supercar, but manages to remain a small, affordable package.

Now Mitsubishi is following the same script with its revised Colt. The new model takes its visual inspiration from the rally-bred Lancer Evolution X, so it gets a gaping grille and sharp headlights that certainly mark it out from the crowd. But is it that going to be enough to tempt buyers?

As well as the new front end, the Honda Jazz rival gets an upgraded interior and more standard equipment. Early next year, it will also be available with a stop-start system and regenerative braking. These CO2 reducing measures are being introduced to models across the Mitsubishi range under the Cleartec banner. For now, though, we’ve got our hands on the mid-spec 1.3-litre petrol-engined CZ2.

As well as the Jazz, the Colt will be taking on the Ford Fiesta – a car which has been praised for its stand-out styling. With its Lancer-apeing grille, piercing headlights and revised bumpers, the Colt certainly has more road presence than before.

The changes at the rear are less adventurous, with restyled tail-lights being the biggest revision. A tall roof means the Colt still looks like it could fall into the supermini-MPV category, particularly in five-door form. However, that raised roofline results in some big benefits inside. There’s a surprising amount of  headroom in the back, and tall adults won’t struggle too much for legroom, either. The boot is very small at 186 litres, although the seats split and fold easily to increase carrying capacity.

There’s no reach adjustment for the steering wheel, but the driving position is still comfortable, and while the dashboard won’t set the design world on fire, it’s solidly constructed and neatly styled. Equipment is also impressive: the CZ2 comes with air-con, cruise control and electric windows front and rear, while alloy wheels are standard, too.

Turn the key, and the 94bhp 1.3-litre engine thrums eagerly. It likes to rev and provides brisk performance – 0-60mph takes around 11 seconds. Thanks to long gearing and reasonable refinement, it’s up to motorway cruising as well. Emissions are high at 143g/km, but the Colt still costs £120 a year in road tax, and with combined fuel economy of nearly 50mpg, it won’t cost much at the pumps, either.

It’s shame, then, that the rest of the Colt’s dynamics are less impressive. The steering is light and lacks feedback, while the ride is bouncy and the car feels top-heavy when pushed around corners. What’s more, the clutch, brakes and throttle all have a mushy action, while the gearshift is vague. So while it may look like a junior Evo X, little of that car’s driving DNA has filtered down to the Colt. The thick A-pillars spoil visibility at junctions, too – not great for a car that’s going to spend most of its life in an urban environment.

But with a list price at £9,249, the Colt CZ2 offers decent value for money, and in the current climate, buyers can expect to negotiate a decent discount on that, too.

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Lexus NX - front action
Lexus NX SUV

New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The new Lexus NX 350h features a standard hybrid set-up, while the NX 450h+ gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 40 miles of pure electric powe…
12 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'
Honda opinion
Opinion

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'

Mike Rutherford is worried about Honda's future, despite its recent motorsport success
6 Jun 2021
Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?
A red Ford Mustang Mach-E parked
Advertisement Feature

Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?

Thinking of getting a new company car? Here’s why you should consider putting the Mustang Mach-E on your shortlist
11 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition - front
Volkswagen T-Cross

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review

The small Volkswagen T-Cross SUV turns on the style in new Black Edition trim
11 Jun 2021