Colt 1.5 T Ralliart 3-door
new Ralliart Colt
comes with a kick: 147bhp to be
precise. In performance terms
hang about, getting from
zero to 62mph in 7.6 seconds
and running on to a 131mph top
speed. All that and 45.4mpg for a
very reasonable £12,049...
MITSUBISHI HAS ADDED A RALLIART 'GO-FASTER' VERSION to their
efficient but perhaps boring Colt three- and five-door hatchback range. Standard
Colt model prices start at £7,799 for three-door models and £8,299 for five-door
versions but they can be even cheaper if the scrappage allowance
is used. The 131mph, 1.5-litre turbocharged Ralliart versions cost an attractive
£12,049 in three-door body style and an extra £500 for the five-door version.
Mitsubishi estimate they will sell around 6,000 Colts in the UK this year
marginally more five doors than three but only around 180 Ralliart versions.
They also expect that 69% of customers will choose the slightly sportier three-door
The Colt range sells against the usual A/B-segment players: Vauxhall Corsa,
Ford Fiesta, MINI, Hyundai i20, Suzuki Swift, Renault Twingo and many more.
When compared with price adjusted specification, the fully equipped Ralliart
versions severely undercut go-faster versions of the Corsa, Fiesta, MINI Cooper/Cooper
S, RenaultSport Twingo and the Abarth 500. A further sweetener for the deal
is that the Colt comes with a 3-year/30,000 Service Plan for just £295.
The latest European Colts launched earlier this year are relatively tall hatchbacks
with an easy-to-use MPV-type box-shaped passenger compartment fronted by a distinctive
new as Mitsubishi calls it 'jet fighter' face. At last the Colt
has got some 'character'.
There is only a 35% carry-over of components for this latest larger and
more useable Colt. The length has increased by 70mm and consequently,
and importantly, the load area is larger and now stetches from 854 to 1,032
litres. Thankfully it now has also a full-length flat floor to maximise load
carrying when required the hallmark of a really useful car in the B or
With uninspiring but frugal petrol engines ranging from 1.1 to 1.3-litres, the
mainstream Colts sell to customers wanting a commuter car which has the capability
to cope with longer journeys and so young families and older couples
seem to be the most likely buyers.
To give the Colt range extra appeal, Mitsubishi recently played their 'green'
card with the introduction of ClearTec 1.3-litre, low-CO2 versions with a Stop
& Start function and which incur a low £35 road tax bill. Now in complete contrast,
and to boost the Colt's image, Mitsubishi has launched the Ralliart versions:
go-faster models with 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines and 147bhp.
Ralliart was once the famous high-performance engineering and motorsport arm
of Mitsubishi in Japan and Europe, responsible for the works WRC cars, Dakar
Raid Rally vehicles, F3 engines and after-market tuning components.
it is only recently, following the demise of their motorsport activities, that
the Ralliart name has actually appeared as a model. Even the ferocious Lancer
and Colt Turbo models of the late 70s and 80s didn't carry the Ralliart name
and neither did the highly-rated Lancer Evolutions although they were
supplied by Ralliart. Now it appears Mitsubishi is quite happy to tack the once
famous Ralliart badge onto the less than fearsome modern Colt and the Lancer
when needed but
frugal when life is in the
However this new generation Mitsubishi Colt 1.5 T Ralliart, to give it its full
title, is a very swift little number. The four-cylinder MIVEC variable-valve
timing, DOHC turbocharged petrol 147bhp engine gives this Colt a top speed of
131mph with 0-62mph taking 7.6 seconds. Drive to the front wheels is through
a five-speed manual gearbox but with a traction control and electronic stability
programme. Torque steer is, of course, evident but to no great detrimental extent.
This is a quick car and although the suspension has been significantly uprated
and the bodyshell strengthened, the pace out-performs the handling and certainly
ride comfort. Being a tall car, the Colt Ralliart suffers significant body roll
during cornering and the suspension, being stiff, isn't compliant; it just cannot
absorb any bumps or ripples in the road surface so the ride is always unsettled.
There seemed to be reasonable grip, some understeer but the steering felt so
dead it was difficult to feel at home driving this car at speed. For short fast
bursts it was certainly fun and I guess that is how we use our cars these days
given the pervasive traffic congestion.
Officially, this Ralliart version of the Colt will return 41.5mpg in the combined
cycle. My driving period returned much better than that at 45.4mpg on average,
and that included fast (where possible!) motoring and normal day-to-day stop/start
commuter trips. I think that is a totally realistic mpg figure and unless the
Colt Ralliart is going to be thrashed all the time, it can be an economical
car to run.
This is where this Colt Ralliart impresses; it is fast when needed but frugal
when life is in the slow lane. Priced at £12,049 for the better selling three-door
version, it is relatively cheap, fun motoring. Cheaper still if you chop-in
an old banger: go 'scrappage' and the price drops to a bargain £10,049. On the
downside the CO2 emissions are 161g/km which means £150 in road tax and the
insurance group rating is 14E.
But does it look good? Well, no, because unfortunately the Colt Ralliart has
only minimal external badging to show it is a sporty number. No body strips
or decals but very nice alloys and a distinctive exhaust tailpipe however
it doesn't shout 'hot performer'. It will lose out in the image stakes for many
customers who will just see it as another functional Colt.
Inside the Ralliart model is quite pleasant with its sports front seats but
again it could do with more visual appeal please and get rid of the cheap
plastics. To sum up: not so hot is the low street-cred image, non-compliant
suspension and poor handling at speed. Plus points include pace with space,
can be fuel miserly, low cost servicing package, well equipped and the 'quick
to go' price. David Miles
Mitsubishi Colt 1.5 T Ralliart 3-door | £12,049
Maximum speed: 131mph | 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds | Overall test MPG: 45.4mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 155lb ft | CO2 161g/km | Insurance group 14E