Used Mazda 2 review: 2002-2011
It's hard to believe given its strong recent performance that Mazda was struggling to survive in...
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For me, it was dad's old, rusting wagon – it could fit up to six of my friends at a squeeze, it was ever reliable and even when fuel prices were hovering around $1 a litre (yes, New Zealand had expensive petrol 12 years ago), it was economical to run.
For many, the old Colt may have been your trusty steed.
Now, the Colt has resurfaced and it's had a facelift. The trend for sleek lines is obvious and its simple, arched shape makes it impressively tall, despite this being classed as a light car.
We all know the size of a car is important. It's a big issue with guys, although most women won't mind so much as long as it handles well, it looks good and behaves itself. So it was down to McLaren Vale for a leisurely lunch (alas, no wine) to see how well the Colt handled. And handle it does – smooth and quiet.
The 1.5-litre four-cylinder DOHC engine with MIVEC provides ample power for a car of this size and, apparently, the transmission is so intelligent it will "learn" an individual driver's driving style and adapt for the best possible performance and efficiency. Great, but don't ask me how it does it.
And be prepared, the Colt is a column shift. When I picked it up I was already running late for an appointment so imagine my horror when I saw, oh no, a column shift.
Decision time: I could take my chances and potentially kill the car or I could run back to the office and get Kevin from Mitsubishi to explain how it works.
Considering this car doesn't get released until next month, I opted to get Kevin.
Of course, it turns out the column shift is automatic and it's as simple as putting your foot on the brake, flicking the shift down a notch and checking the dash to see what gear you have selected.
Luckily my appointment didn't chastise me for being late and I did manage to find out from Kevin that the Colt has a storage compartment under the passenger seat – perfect for stashing CDs or small bags out of sight. Wouldn't have found that if it hadn't been for the column shift.
Speaking of the seats, they are pretty cushy and I imagine they would be great when travelling long distances. In the back it's a bench seat so there's plenty of room to move and three adults can fit in easily.
In the front, all the essentials are at your fingertips – CD/stereo, airconditioning with a pollen filter, power windows, childproof locks and a sundhroof for taking advantage of the nicer weather. It also has dual airbags, ABS and EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) brakes.
So, considering the reasonable price tag and that all the mod cons come as standard, the cute little Colt has a lot to offer. By the way, there's plenty of cup holders.
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