Mitsubishi Space Star review

Mitsubishi has a new baby car offering in the form of the efficient, and space-efficient Space Star.

Good points: low running costs, big space, big warranty

Not so good: a bit plastic, too costly in crowded market

Test car details:

Model tested: Mitsubishi Space Star 1.2 Intense
Pricing: €14,495 (Space Star range starts at €11,995)
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol
Transmission: five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
Rivals: Hyundai i10, Nissan Micra, Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii/Volkswagen up!
CO2 emissions: 100g/km (Band A2, €180 per annum)
Combined economy: 65.7mpg (4.3 litres/100km)
Top speed: 180km/h
0-100km/h: 11.7 seconds
Power: 80hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 106Nm at 4,000rpm

Our view:

Now, we know from answering thousands of car buyers' questions that most people care more about reliability, low running costs, low tax, fuel economy and practicality than they do about how a car corners, sounds or looks, but we got into this job because we love cars and we'll always tell it like we see it. And to us, the Mitsubishi Space Star is a wasted opportunity, plus it's too expensive. Let me explain.

You see, Mitsubishi's new small car has a lot going for it; it's distinctly large inside the cabin (if not in the boot), well-equipped, cheap to tax, ostensibly fuel efficient and it comes with an eight-year warranty. Job done for a lot of people, even when compared with the likes of the Skoda Citigo, SEAT Mii and Volkswagen up! triumvirate.

However, the Space Star lacks the inherent feeling of quality found in those cars. Plus, we find them, even the most basic of which, quite desirable, and astoundingly good to drive. The same cannot be said of the Mitsubishi. Admittedly it's comfy enough in town, but there's a lot of lean through the corners and the steering is particularly long-winded. The engine is a surprise though; it pushes the Space Star along with real verve despite producing only 80hp. A glance at the specs confirms it's a light car, which no doubt helps its fuel economy and emissions figures.

Speaking of specifications, Mitsubishi offers the Space Star in two guises. The 1.0-litre Invite costs €11,995 and it comes with air conditioning, electric front windows, central locking, keyless entry, stability control, split rear seats, USB and aux-in connectivity and electric door mirrors. The €14,495 1.2-litre Intense (as tested) adds Bluetooth, alloy wheels, front fog lights and a leather trimmed steering wheel.

That's a decent amount of equipment, but even so we feel that the Mitsubishi needs to be a couple of thousand Euro cheaper than it is. No matter how attractive it is on paper, we suspect that many will be swayed by the power of some of the bigger brands.

Real alternatives:

Hyundai i10: one of the unsung heroes of the small car market; sensible, if unexciting

Kia Picanto: sister vehicle to the Hyundai and comes with a longer warranty...

Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii/Volkswagen up!: alluring triplets and right on the same price point as the Mitsubishi

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