Petrol-engined eco model adds real spark to the Colt line-up

What is it?

This is the Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 CZ2 ClearTec, the first in a new line of more efficient petrol models from Mitsubishi. It's designed to return a high mpg figure and provide better value for money than diesel-powered rivals.

Mitsubishi has, in fact, dropped the option of a diesel engine from the Colt range, offering the new Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 CZ2 ClearTec instead.

The Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 CZ2 ClearTec combines a stop-start system with low-resistance tyres, a high-efficiency alternator and lower viscosity engine oil and a higher final-drive gear ratio. These improvements, as well as a string of smaller engine modifications, bring the Colt ClearTec’s CO2 emissions down to 119g/km, a reduction of 24g/km and enough to place it in VED Band B.

Within the next three years, ClearTec will eventually find its way into all Mitsubishi model lines, except the Mitsubishi L200 and Mitsubishi Shogun.

What’s it like?

The revised gear ratios shave one mile per hour off the non-ClearTec car’s 113mph top speed, but 62mph now arrives in 10.8sec, 0.6sec quicker than in the regular 1.3-litre Colt.

It’s a relatively minor change, but one that makes a difference. The ClearTec modifications transform the Mitsubishi 1.3 CZ2 from a middle-of-the-road supermini into a more spirited and usable performer. Power and torque remain the same at 94bhp at 6000rpm and 92lb ft at 4000rpm, but the Colt now feels more comfortable in its stride and requires less throttle to keep moving along briskly.

The downside is the increase in road noise. The ClearTec’s tyres make a noticeable hum at motorway speeds. Mind you, given that it’s best suited to city driving – where the benefits of the Mitsubishi Stop & Go system are likely to be best felt – the added noise on the Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 CZ2 ClearTec can be forgiven.

There’s no noticeable deterioration in ride comfort either; the harder compound is no doubt offset by the smaller 15-inch alloy wheels.

Should I buy one?

The performance boost over its own model should be enough to make the Mitsubishi Colt ClearTec the default choice for anyone considering a Colt, and in the wider market of small, economical runabouts you could certainly do worse.

Coupled with the strong forecasted residual values for the Colt range – around 40 per cent after three years – and the sizeable gain in mpg over even the smallest-engined models, that lively performance makes the Mitsubishi Colt ClearTec both the most sensible and most entertaining option in the Colt range.

George Barrow

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Will86 5 March 2009

Re: Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 CZ2 ClearTec

Good work Mitsubishi. A fun, nippy, cheap and unpretentious little car. Just what the market needs at the moment.