5:04pm Friday 8th July 2011
By David Duffy
THE current focus for hubbub, hullabaloo, and not a little hype, in modern motoring is undoubtedly on electric cars.
Mitsubishi Motors is as active a player as any car maker in stoking the flames of the latest ‘green revolution’.
Its awkwardly-named i-MiEV electric car is undoubtedly up there at the cutting edge, but a quick glance at the sums involved in purchasing any new electric car means that, for the time being at least, these will remain firmly in the hands of a privileged few.
Thankfully, back in the real world where most of us exist, Mitsubishi continues to deliver well-packaged, well-equipped, economical cars consummately capable of handling the demands of family life.
Take the Colt. It is a simple, tried and tested, five-door hatchback which will reliably transport five people, or a heap of luggage, in comfort and won’t break the bank.
So how do you add a dash of appeal to that already attractive combination?
Simple. Add the Juro badge. These special editions have popped up across the Mitsubishi range and add a chunk of extra equipment at a competitive price.
For the Colt, that means full leather upholstery, a portable Garmin satellite navigation system, which includes Bluetooth phone link, and other goodies ranging from 16-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning to a leather-trimmed steering wheel with built-in audio controls.
Under the bonnet is an utterly conventional, and superbly reliable, 1.3-litre petrol engine, linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. Do you need to work the gearbox a bit on steep hills when the car is fully loaded? Oh yes. Can you squeeze 50mpg out of it? Yes, if you take it carefully. Will it cruise at 70mph all day on a motorway? No bother.
It is, above all, a hugely well thought-out compact car. A twin-level boot allows valuable items to be hidden under the lift-out floor and larger items to slide easily straight into the boot. A pull of a lever flips down the split rear seats to give a flat loading platform capable, as we discovered, of swallowing two pieces of furniture without any problem.
As well as being practical, the Colt is also a pretty safe place to be, with a four-star Euro NCAP rating and front, side and curtain airbags fitted as standard.
Already covered by a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, it is not surprising that most buyers also take up the company’s offer of a £375 service plan, which covers the first three scheduled services.
Mitsubishi says it aims for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to account for at least 20 per cent of its total production by 2020.
That still leaves four out of five of its vehicles using fossil fuel. So there is still plenty of life remaining for a well-packaged, well-equipped, economical, small hatchback.
Auto facts Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 Juro 5dr
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