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Mitsubishi Colt Juro 1.3 5-dr

Click to view picture gallery“Economy rules. Fine. But when
  buying a car that
s light on the juice,
  you don
t want to end up with a one-
  trick model. Which is exactly where
  Mitsubishi
s latest Colt scores...”


WITH AROUND 43.7MPG achievable in everyday driving (officially the combined cycle figure is 47.1mpg, with 36.7 urban and 56.5mpg extra-urban), Mitsubishi's supermini is most definitely wallet-friendly. Thankfully the economy doesn't come at the expense of practicality or driveability.

The Colt's smartly turned-out body can be had in both three- and five-door sizes. It's on the tall side but that doesn't stop it looking rather smart — particularly with its big brother Evo's 'Jet Fighter' front-end treatment. Finished in pure Porcelain white, the wedgy styling really does stand out.

Open any of the four doors and you'll find a spacious, predominantly black but nonetheless airy cabin. Well put-together with decent quality materials, the high-spec Juro version is well-stocked with kit including a particularly good Garmin portable SatNav mounted in a dash pod with a 4.3" touchscreen display, voice guidance, TMC traffic information and map updates for 41 countries across Europe; it even includes an MP3 player and Bluetooth hands-free 'phone kit!

“The 3D touchscreen
SatNav is superb:
the spoken directions are
spot-on; the touchscreen
operation flawless;
and it provides clearly
visible information
including your road
speed, speed limits and
speed camera warnings.
It also quickly
recalculates the route
should you deviate
without swamping you
with pointless commands
to ‘make a U-turn’
...”
But that's not all you get for your £10,999 — other equipment and features include black leather upholstery, a decent audio system, AirCon, leather-rimmed steering wheel with remote audio and cruise controls, power windows (one-shot down driver's), height-adjustable driver's seat, i-Pod and MP3 Aux sockets, power steering, cruise control, electric and heated door mirrors, front, side and curtain airbags, front fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Parents will also appreciate the Isofix child seat anchorage points in the rear and the key-operated front airbag deactivation.

The Colt Juro also comes with whiplash-reducing seats, a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist plus Mitsubishi's Emergency Stop Signal System that reduces the possibility of rear-end shunts — when maximum braking pressure is applied in an emergency the system automatically activates the hazard lights at 3.5Hz (double the speed of normal hazard lights) to warn following drivers of an emergency braking situation.

If you want this level of gear in other superminis from, say, Ford or Vauxhall, you'll probably end up adding another £1,500+ to their 'drive away' prices. So, not only is the Colt easy on the eye, but it's good value to boot.

Talking of which, the Colt's boot accommodates 186 litres of luggage under the parcel shelf with the rear seats in use. And it has a couple of handy tricks. For a start, the boot floor can be lifted up to store items in the space below or even removed completely whenever you need a deeper boot. Another practical feature is the lift-up rigid rear parcel shelf which, in addition to being fully removable, also offers a choice of two height settings.

The rear seats are split 60:40 and maximising the cargo space is easy — slide and tumble the seat bases, then fold down the seatbacks. The resulting cargo floor is completely flat and easy to load. For dedicated cargo-carrying duties, and with the rear seats folded, 609 litres is available.

Passenger-wise, the five-door cabin offers class-leading room and is spacious enough to accommodate four adults. A third in the rear centre spot is do-able but, as with most cars, it's better if the 'piggy in the middle' is a youngster. Rear passengers sit several inches higher than those in front but even with a six-footer doing the driving, equally tall rear passengers can sit comfortably with generous leg-, knee- and foot-room. And while there's no centre armrest, the door-mounted outer ones are fine.

Drivers are well catered for with a height adjustable seat and excellent visibility all round; even rearwards. Appreciated too is the large amount of space for your knees and shins. The good-to-hold, fine-grain leather-wrapped wheel adjusts for rake/height but not reach — not a problem and all of MotorBar's testers were able to set a comfortable driving position.

Height-adjustable seatbelts are another welcome feature while the seats themselves are shapely enough to be comfortable and accommodating on long journeys. All controls are straightforward and easy to reach, and the any-which-way air-vents direct hot or cold air to wherever it's needed.

“It drives pretty well, too.
There
s ample grip
and it
s not afraid to bull
through corners and
tackle twisty country
lanes with some
enthusiasm where, in
spite of its tall-
standing looks, it
feels composed and
assured.
..”
The instrumentation is well presented and easy to read, with restful orange night-time lighting. And the 3D touchscreen Garmin SatNav is superb. For a start, it's perfectly sited atop the fascia; the spoken directions are spot-on; the touchscreen operation is flawless; and it provides clearly visible information including your road speed, speed limits and speed camera warnings.

It also quickly recalculates the route should you deviate without swamping you with pointless commands to 'make a U-turn'.

The lightweight 1.3-litre petrol engine is a nice little number which, thanks to Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve timing system, kicks out 94bhp and 92lb ft of torque at 4,000rpm — more than enough to push the Colt up to 112mph. The benchmark 0-62mph is a reasonably brisk 11.1 seconds. Smooth and eager around town, the Colt is always responsive enough to dart forward and take advantage of gaps in the traffic.

Make good use of the five gears and pile on the revs and you'll find the Colt just as keen on the open roads and motorways — where it's more than happy zipping along at the legal limit. For the record, tailpipe emissions are 130g/km.

It drives pretty well, too. There's ample grip and it's not afraid to bull through corners and tackle twisty country lanes with some enthusiasm where, in spite of its tall-standing looks, it feels composed and assured — helped by the wide front and rear tracks that also contribute to its class-leading cabin space.

The suspension set-up is well judged with body control and bump compliance both proving to be pretty good — you'll only feel the very worst your local council can throw at it. The electrically-assisted power steering is fine, as too are the brakes (vented discs at the front; drums at the rear) and overall, the front-wheel drive Juro makes for some entertaining driving.

Given Mitsubishi's headline-grabbing, performance-rich Evo models, it's no surprise that the Colt is somewhat overshadowed. But in value-packed Juro specification it's a small car with genuine versatility; a complete package that's as frugal as it is fun and seriously fit for purpose… exactly what you'd expect from a Mitsubishi. — MotorBar

Mitsubishi Colt Juro 1.3 5-dr | £10,999
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 11.1 seconds | Overall test MPG: 43.7mpg
Power: 94bhp | Torque: 92lb ft | CO2 130g/km