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Mitsubishi Colt XLS 2004 review

Which all drew a perplexed response from the mother-in-law when she spotted a new Colt in the driveway – a Colt that looked nothing like her ever-faithful 19-year-old Mitsubishi with the same name.

Little wonder – only the name is the same. The old Colt was a conventional five-door hatch. The latest looks more like a pregnant door wedge.

The new face of Mitsubishi's small car line-up is a space-efficient cutey with five doors, a miserly 1.5-litre engine up front, a CVT auto gearbox and a European-styled minimalistic interior.

In a photograph it looks back at you like a little toy, perhaps a mini-car thing rivalling the Daewoo Matiz or Hyundai Getz.

In fact, though it looks weeny – a by-product of its pointed snout – it has a comfortable, four-adult interior.

It also has a more grown-up price than the Matiz and Getz. At a base price of $18,990 – though $20,990 for the XLS tested – the Colt has lots of serious rivals.

What makes this car so attractive, however, is the way it does its job of transporting people and cargo in comfort and with a tiny thirst.

The Colt has an upright stance that makes it easy to get in and out. If the leg-room doesn't surprise you, the height of the headliner certainly will.

The simplicity of the dash makes it an easy car to operate, though you have to get used to the bent stick jabbing out from the left of the steering column – that's the gear selector – and the annoying dwarf pedal down on the floor that turns out to be the foot-operated parking brake.

Sticking this stuff out of the firewall and the dash keeps the mess off the floor, so that's why the interior looks uncluttered and airy. In effect, it also does the owner a disservice because in an attempt to keep everything clean and simple there's only a small console for your personal items.

In fact, the base model doesn't get a console.

On the road the car is quiet yet feels sprightly. Part of that is the CVT (continuously-variable transmission) which is like an automatic without specific gears.

The transmission slides up and down ratios according to available engine power, so it always finds the best gear for the conditions.

Best news is that the CVT boxes are more economical on fuel than a manual gearbox. The unusual bit is that as the speedo rises, the tacho needle is falling.

Because it's quite a small thing, the Colt practically turns on a 20c piece and fits into tiny parking spaces.

The steering is electrically-assisted, which means it is so light that it takes some getting used to.

The Colt suits an owner wanting flexibility – thanks to its split-fold rear seats and wide and tall rear hatch – and generally travels in the city and suburbs.

It's pleasing to see another top-shelf product from Mitsubishi.

Pricing guides

$5,995
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,990
Highest Price
$7,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LS 1.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 2004 Mitsubishi Colt 2004 LS Pricing and Specs
XLS 1.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 2004 Mitsubishi Colt 2004 XLS Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.