Mitsubishi Space Star car review by Jason Dawe

1 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mitsubishi Space Star car review by Jason Dawe
Mitsubishi Space Star

The Mitsubishi Space Star could well be the dullest looking MPV money can buy. And in an age where looks count, that is very bad news. Very bad because beneath those uninspiring lines lurks a surprisingly good car.

Built in the Netherlands and sharing the same platform as the Volvo S40, the Mitsubishi Space Star offers one of the nicest driving experiences you can have in an MPV.

Introduced to the UK in January 1999 the Space Star was available with a choice 1.3, 1.6 or 1.8 petrol engines. In a car weighing 1,250Kg and with the capacity to carry 5 adults and luggage the meager 1.3 litre petrol is best avoided. The larger 1.6 offers a bit more punch but pick of the crop is the 1.8 litre.

With its GDi technology it pumps out 121bhp, hits 62mph in a shade over ten seconds and still returns fuel economy that is within a couple of mpg of its less powerful siblings.

For such a compact car, it’s 120mm shorter than VW Golf, the interior space is amazing; 450 litres of space with the rear seats up, growing to a cavernous 1,370 litres when the 60:40 dividing rear seat is folded down.

But unlike many of its MPV competitors the Space Star doesn’t boast much in the form of innovation you won’t find picnic tables on the seat backs, huge sliding sunroofs or clever removable seats it’s a no frills MPV. And on entry level models the list of standard equipment is pretty meager; you get power steering, driver’s airbag and central locking but woefully no ABS.

So buying the right engine and trim combination is critical. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s naming policy has never been great (they make a car called a Charisma – and it’s not). With a choice of GLX, Equippe, Mirage, Classic, GL, Resolution, and GLX SE – it’s all too easy to become confused.

Buyers should pay less attention to the badge and instead check the used car over carefully, making sure that valuable items like air conditioning and ABS are present.

Once behind the wheel of the Space Star its real appeal begins to emerge. The classic MPV high roof, low windows and deep screen combination gives the cabin a sense of space. The gear change is light and precise, the steering is nicely weighted and the brakes are strong.

In short, in the land of the MPV the Space Star is a hoot to drive.

However, the Space Star’s trump card is its remarkable durability. The dashboard and trim may be a little dowdy but it’s virtually indestructible, ideal if a three year old sets his mind to finding out. No surprises that the car has won favour with many minicab drivers.

In June 2002 the Space Star received a freshening facelift, new headlights and bumpers for the outside, revised dashboard for the inside and modified suspension for the underside. But the changes were subtle and today the later cars have done little to dent the desirability of the earlier model.

In May of 2003 The Space Star at last became available with a diesel engine, the 1.9 unit is strong and frugal but buyers will need to wait another six months before used examples appear on the market in any numbers.

If you want a practical, economical, no frills MPV that’s genuinely good to drive, then the Mitsubishi Space Star is a used car to be reckoned with. Are you listening Dad?

Check the following

Facelift – June 2002 facelift was minor, but the suspension revisions make these later cars even more fun to drive

Rear bumper – prone to scratches when loading

Safety – Space Star achieved 3 stars in the EURO Ncap

Engine – avoid the 1.3 engine, it has to work to hard to move the 1,250KG body

Service history – Full history essential to ensure the cars mileage is correct, or you could be buying an ex-minicab

Mitsubishi Space Star

Insurance – 1.3 group 7 1.6 group 8 1.8 group 9 1.9 diesel group 8

Electric front windows – anti trap system stops windows closing if obstructed by fingers

Warranty – New cars come with 3year/unlimited mileage

Air conditioning – not standard on all models

Rear Seat – slides fore and aft and has reclining back rest

Tyres – check inside tread on front tyres as they are prone to wear

Tow bars – 1.8 petrol and 1.9 diesel popular tow cars, but the tow bar may have been removed, check for signs of removal under rear bumper

ABS – not standard on all models

Security – central locking and immobiliser standard

Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star
Mitsubishi Space Star

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