24 July 2006
Pleased with the big increase of sales of the Mitsubishi 380
following serious price cuts a couple of months back, the company is
giving its small Colt similar treatment. You can now buy a Colt for as
little as $15,990 plus on-road costs.
Previously the lowest-cost Colt was
priced at $18,990 and struggled to gain market acceptance in Australia
against competitors that often came in at $14,990 or below. However, the
price drop isnít as significant as it seems as the Colt came only with
an automatic transmission. The new price is for a Colt ES with a
five-speed manual gearbox.
There's no automatic option for this new
ES variant, however, the Colt LS and VR-X now both come with a choice
between the new five-speed or the fuel-saving CVT automatic.
Colt ES is reasonably well equipped, with
air conditioning, an MP3 compatible audio system, dual airbags and
electric windows on all four doors.
We love the styling at the front of the
Colt, admiring the way the windscreen pillars continue all the way down
to the bumper without any deviation from a straight line. The bonnet
bulges just enough to make the whole appearance something really out of
the ordinary. The tail doesnít work quite as well, being a bit
pear-shaped, especially when viewed directly from the back.
Inside Colt's cabin there's a wave-shaped
dash with stylish instruments housed in a lavishly curved binnacle.
There's good interior space for four
adults, with sensible legroom in the rear seat due to its being
adjustable. Boot space is restricted if the back seat is set all the way
rearwards to achieve the best legroom, but thatís an understandable
compromise in a car of this size.
Ride comfort is better than average for
this class and overall refinement is good. However, we feel that the
handling and steering are on the soft side, this car being aimed at the
average driver rather than the enthusiast.
This small Mitsubishi is powered by a
1.5-litre twin-cam engine with variable valve timing on the inlet
valves. We have yet to test drive the engine teamed with a manual
gearbox, but will report on it as soon as we are able.
Mitsubishi feels many buyers will be
happy to pay slightly more for a Japanese-made car than one from another
Asian country and is pleased to now be able to offer the Colt with a
Coming to Australia soon is yet another
Mitsubishi Colt. This one totally at the opposite end of the spectrum to
the cut-price Colt ES. The Colt Ralliart is to be a hot turbo version
and will join the much praised Mitsubishi Lancer Evo as a smaller
brother. We are shortly to attend the launch of that vehicle and will
bring details as soon as possible.