Mitsubishi Colt Plus 2004-2012 used car review

Mitsubishi's Colt Plus is a “stretched” version of the standard model, which means it’s a small car with big car space.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

Mitsubishi's Colt Plus is a “stretched” version of the standard model, which means it’s a small car with big car space. Safety levels are worrying.

Exterior , 4 out of 5 Drive , 2.5 out of 5 Safety , 1 out of 5 Value , 4 out of 5 Interior , 3.5 out of 5

Overall score , 3.0 out of 5

The good
  • Huge amount of space for a small car
  • Excellent fuel economy and low running costs
  • Easy access for less mobile drivers and passengers
The not-so-good
  • One-star safety rating is a concern
  • Check the transmission carefully - they are known to be problematic

The standard Colt was considered spacious by small-car standards, thanks to its tall people mover-style shape. The “Plus” version introduced later included a longer wheelbase and overall length for even more interior volume. An unusual feature for a small car was the standard addition of an electric tailgate.

Inside and out

The front of the Colt features a steeply raked front and a very short bonnet. The windscreen goes up at almost the same angle as the bonnet. The wheels of the car are pushed to each corner for maximum space. The rear is rounded, with light clusters set into the corner of the window. The back door is large, with a wide, low opening.

Get in and the spaciousness is obvious - there's a high ceiling and acres of head and legroom. The instruments are backlit in red and sit in a sculpted pod in front of the sporty-shaped steering wheel. The stereo in our review model is a touchscreen unit which will require a band expander to receive local stations. The air-conditioning is of the climate-control type. Unlike in the standard Colt, the transmission shifter is between the seats and the handbrake is a floor-pedal type.

A high seat height will appeal to older or mobility restricted drivers who don't like to lower themselves into cars. The seats themselves are sculpted and supportive, though the base is quite short and might not be supportive for taller people. Rear legroom is very good and headroom is also impressive. The rear seat is probably not wide enough for three adults to be completely comfortable.

The boot is enormous, with significantly more space than the standard model. The electric tailgate and wide and low door makes it easy to load. We think four to five large cases can fit. The boot floor is adjustable and can be lowered for more capacity. Small items can also be put in the space underneath. One button at the rear of the car folds the rear seats for additional space.

On the road

Two engine choices are available in the Colt: a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a CVT automatic or a six-speed automatic, and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine paired with a six-speed automatic that can be shifted manually. The 1.5-litre in our review car produces 77kW and 141Nm and offers reasonable performance.

A heavy load will make it work very hard, although it performs just fine around town. And around town is where the car handles best, with its slightly soft suspension and very light steering. There is some body roll, though it is not excessive - it is comfortable rather than sporty. If you want a Colt that drives better, try the Ralliart version.

The more extended rear of the Plus and the angle of the side windows reduce the visibility offered in a regular Colt. It’s still reasonable but we think parking sensors or a camera would be nice to have in this car if you spend a lot of time in the city. Neither is standard but both are relatively common options on import models – try to find one with them when you shop.

The Colt Plus has a very low tow rating, not uncommon for small cars with a CVT automatic. It can tow just 400kg (a small garden trailer).


The Colt and Colt Plus rate low on safety, with a one-star Used Car Safety Rating, based on real-world crash data. Our review vehicle features only driver and passenger airbags and anti-lock brakes as safety equipment. New Zealand-new models from 2010 feature side airbags.

Despite its family-friendly size of the Colt Plus, no ISOFIX child seat mounts are fitted. The centre seat features a lap belt, which is less safe than the shoulder type.


The Colt’s reliability is acceptable - the transmission is the main source of problems. The engine uses a timing chain which will not require regular replacement.

At higher mileages, above 150,000km, the transmission can fail in relatively rare cases. A replacement can cost $2,000 to source and fit and might not be economical. The six-speed automatic used in the turbo model is not known to be particularly solid either, so make sure it shifts smoothly.

Electric window regulators are known to fail, often getting stuck in the down position.

A replacement unit will set you back $100 or more, although fitting can cost double that. Check that the windows in the car you’re considering operate evenly and smoothly.

The Colt is known to need replacement front shock absorbers as mileage rises. They are not expensive and the job should cost around $400.

The cable-operated ventilation system is known to be problematic. Make sure the system blows air where the dials direct it because repairs can be complicated.

Cost of ownership

Mitsubishi recommends servicing the Colt Plus every year or 15,000km, whichever comes first. Services range in price from $220 to $325. The 90,000km service includes a fluid change for the CVT automatic and costs $645.

For its load capacity, the Colt Plus is very frugal. RightCar estimates that over 14,000km of driving a year, you will spend from $1,680 to fuel. The 45-litre fuel tank will cost $90 to fill at $2 a litre and should take you 670km before the fuel light comes on. Reports from local tests indicate in the real world, and if driven gently, you can achieve or even beat those figures.

A vehicle licence for the Colt Plus costs $99.02 a year, with the car in the second cheapest ACC levy group.

Trade Me Insurance estimates insurance for a Colt valued at $4,990 will cost $41.60* per month. This is slightly less than a standard Mitsubishi Colt.

Buyers’ guide

The Colt Plus is available on Trade Me ranging in price from $3,000 to $12,000. Low-mileage New Zealand-new cars and imported Ralliart versions are worth the most.

New Zealand models

  • LS - Features steel wheels, manual air-conditioning, CD player stereo, automatic headlights, electric windows, anti-lock brakes, electric tailgate and driver and passenger airbags.
  • Ralliart - Adds body kit, sports seats, alloy wheels, bonnet vents, leather steering wheel, sports suspension and turbocharged engine.

Japanese models

  • Very - Features steel wheels, manual air-conditioning, CD player stereo, electric windows, anti-lock brakes, electric tailgate, and driver and passenger airbags.
  • Cool Very - Adds leather steering wheel, dark interior finishes and tinted windows.
  • RX - Adds fog lights, leather steering wheel, high-intensity headlights and keyless entry.
  • Ralliart - Adds turbocharged engine, body kit, sports suspension, sports seats and sports alloy wheels.


  • 2004 Launched in Japan
  • 2006 Japanese Colt Plus Turbo facelift and renamed Ralliart
  • 2006 Launched in New Zealand
  • 2009 New Zealand model gets cosmetic facelift
  • 2012 Discontinued


Review vehicle

2005 Mitsubishi Colt Plus Cool Very


$5,000 to $10,000 for models which have travelled 70,000 to 120,000km


1.5-litre four-cylinder, 77kW and 141NM


CVT automatic, front-wheel drive

Safety rating

One-star Used Car Safety Rating


15,000km or 12 months

Spare wheel

Space saver

Fuel economy

6-litres per 100km (claimed)

Fuel type








Towing capacity


Turning circle


This review covers the Mitsubishi Colt Plus for model years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Review vehicle supplied by Turners Cars.

*Our insurance estimates are based on a 35-year-old male with no accidents in the last two years, garaging the car in Mission Bay, Auckland. The car is not used for business and will cover 10,000km to 20,000km a year. We estimate with no option add-ons and $500 excess. Customise your estimate at Trade Me Insurance.

Image gallery