Being as I'm having some problems finding local Corollas, I thought I'd see if any other vehicle matched my requirements, especially as I'd ruled out every other manufacturer! I like what I see (and read in the Car by Car Breakdown) about the Colt and surprisingly there's one locally, an
"96 N Reg Mitsubishi Colt 1.6 GLX, Petrol, Hatchback, 56,000 miles , 3 Doors. 1 owner and full MITSUBISHI history, 3 Doors. airbag double, Body Coloured Bumpers, Catalytic Converter, Central Door Locking, electric sunroof, Electric Windows, Heated Rear Screen, In Car Entertainment, Manual Transmission, Paint Metallic, Power-Assisted Steering, radio/cd, rear spoiler, Rear Wash/Wipe, £2,350"
There's hardly any problems mentioned in CBCB unlike the great long list of Fords etc faults, but having done a quick search through the archives here it seems that Mitsubishi parts can be hard to source. Is this still the case? What do people think of the Colt in general of this age group? Also are they a similar insurance group to that of the Corolla?
Not bad little cars. Not especially refined, but typical Japanese reliability. Not too many dealers around and parts will sometimes be on backorder - parts are pricey!.
Have you thought about a Nissan Almera? Same sort of car as the Corolla - very reliable but more common that the Colt. Parts much more easily available and cheaper - even Halfords will hold a good range of service parts.
Alternatively you should be able to get a 'maui' special edition on an 98 S plate for about £3000 - not got all the toys you list but does have aircon and a CD player - only a 1.3 engine though!
These are great cars that last if well looked after - the interior doesn't rattle and the cars are very well engineered. There are more modern cars that are nicer to drive but the Mitsubishi feels built to last.
BUT - main dealer servicing is expensive and the cam belt is due to be replaced at the 60K servive - which can cost over £300 at a Mitsubishi main dealer - as they change coolant, brake fluid and gearbox oil also. Also, Mitsubsihi dealers are thin on the ground.
Japanese hatchbacks will cost more to run in terms of servicing/insurance but they are better built than Fords/Vauxhalls/etc.
The Colt is 'old style' Japanese in that the indicator stalk is on the right and not the left. I think the Corolla you were looking at had this feature too. The Colt has features that you miss when you don't have them like variable intermittent front wipe and a recirculation control for the ventilation. Doesn't soound much, but a real pain when you don't have them.
Having said that the last model Fiesta is now cheap and is a lot nicer to drive. Should be cheaper to run and is good fun also. Try a 1.25 engined model if you are interested but do not look at a 1.3 - terrible engine. Anyway, just a thought!
Many thanks for all advice, I saw that one and whilst I liked it, one of the front tyres was very badly worn down almost to the point of no tread. Plus the roof seemed to be a slightly different shade! And of course it's due the cam belt change etc.
Surprisingly I've found another Colt only 12 miles away which although heavily over priced, I can view/examine/drive it for comparision but this one is £2795! We have some great value dealers round here *note the sarcasm* It's the same spec, same age, even full Mitisushi service history too! Obviously neither of the previous owners wanted to put their vehicles through that expensive cam belt change, what i've to work out is whether it was merely a cost thing, or whether something else was gone on it too (like whatever caused the near bald tyre.)
Thanks John for the Proton advice, a quick search showed no right Protons within 70 miles!!! Thanks also Martin but Fords and I don't mix, especially Fiestas! I loved my old 440 Volvo which was great, but it was way too heavy (even though it was only 6 years old then) and was also designed for men or ladies of longer legs than mine! And I'm not short either! I saw it today as well, still in the garage where I sold it two years ago, full of mould, looking all but fit for the scrap yard. Poor thing :(
From the info about airbags etc. I'm presuming that you are looking at the current model Colt (i.e. the 96-on model). Can you take a look at the details and pictures in the 'Car by Car breakdown' to confirm this.
To be honest I think people don't bother with the cambelt change as they see how pricey it's going to be and reckon that as the cars are stupendously reliable there isn't much point...!
If you do find one you like take a look in the boot where the spare wheel lives to make sure the car hasn't had a rear impact. Also the body colour bumpers are quite bad for getting the paint scraped off in carparks - take a good look.
The Colt never was fashionable as it is very bland, so there won't be an eager queue of buyers - which should mean that you get a good deal. Take a look at: