An entertaining, if quirky, alternative to the usual junior hot hatch suspects

What is it?

This is the Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart, the fastest version yet of the newly revised Colt range, and the replacement for the old Colt CZT.

The standard car’s suspension has been revised by Mitsubishi's Ralliart team for the Colt Ralliart. New springs, strut towers and top mounts replace the standard front set-up, while changes to the rear torsion beam include new shock absorbers and different spring rates.

Chassis stiffness has also been increased, and 1mm thicker stabilising bars have been fitted. Mitsubishi has also revised the Colt Ralliart’s traction control system to ensure it is less intrusive.

What’s it like?

The Colt Ralliart is entertaining, and a noticeable step up from its naturally aspirated siblings. The 1.5-litre turbocharged engine pulls with great urgency once the turbo is on song, delivering smooth and progressive power up to its 6000rpm peak.

Under hard acceleration the sports exhaust provides a sweet-sounding, but restrained, noise; enough to make you believe you’re getting the most of its 147bhp and claimed 7.6sec 0-62mph time.

There is no doubt that the Colt Ralliart is at its most rewarding when pressed hard. The suspension modifications have made the ride firm but not uncomfortable, and the steps to improve the Colt Ralliart’s body control have worked, inspiring more confidence in the car’s handling.

However, the Colt Ralliart’s rear does feel slightly under-damped and it struggles over the lumpiest bits of country roads.

Should I buy one?

Mitsubishi is wading into hotly contested waters with the colt Ralliart. The more desirable Fiat 500 Abarth, cheaper Renault Twingo Renaultsport Cup and even cheaper Suzuki Swift Sport are all likely to lure potential buyers away.

But with more power and higher standard options than its competitors (not to mention two more doors), the little Mitsubishi Lancer lookalike is an interesting alternative, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

George Barrow

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Daniel Grazier 24 February 2009

Re: Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart 5dr

It's not a huge surprise that you refused to answer a very simple question.

Daniel Grazier 24 February 2009

Re: Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart 5dr

Something like that. What is that you drive HVB?

Daniel Grazier 24 February 2009

Re: Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart 5dr

Was the test drive last Thursday in Bibury?

If it was this I gate-crashed this event with a couple of friends! We were out testing my car when we kept seeing white Colts going around, so we foloowed one! We ended up at Bibury Country Club (I think that's what it is called).


There were loads of press cars there, from Lexus (IS-F)-, VW (Golf mark 6), Subaru (Impreza STi 330) and Volvo (XC60).

Sadly we didn't get to drive one. The wheels, however, looked incredibly small!