You used to know where you stood with a Mitsubishi Colt. It would be reliable, fairly spacious and utterly boring. In 2004, Mitsubishi broke that particular mould and introduced a Colt with far more widespread appeal. Suddenly, here was a car that put the frighteners on the established supermini class leaders. Although the Colt has become a whole lot more interesting, the reliability factor remains, making the Mitsubishi one of the best used supermini choices around.
The previous generation Colt had been on sale from 1996 through to 2004 and seemed to have established a durable template for boring but reliable hatches that could safely be overlooked by the British buying public. The 2004 Colt was an entirely different kettle of fish. Its profile was raised by the fact that it shared its chassis with the Smart forfour and many UK buyers recognised that the Colt, in fact, offered superior value for money. When the forfour was discontinued in 2006, the Colt carried on alone.
A neat piece of styling, the Colt was launched with three and five door body styles, the first five door cars landing in dealerships in September 2004 and the three door models following soon after in December. Trim levels were typically confusing, a Mitsubishi trait that sadly didn't get erased, but good news followed in early 2005 with the launch of the Colt CZT, a three door pocket rocket that's never attracted the following it deserves. Soon afterwards we got the CZC, an affordably priced convertible version with a metal folding top roof.
In late 2008, the range was substantially facelifted, with a new 'jet fighter' front end supposed to create a stronger visual link to Mitsubishi's Evo models. The CZT hot hatch was renamed 'Ralliart' but little else changed. A few months later, the Colt ClearTec model was introduced offering 56mpg economy courtesy of stop/start technology and other modifications.