Category: New cars

Test: Citroen C3, Mitsubishi Colt, Opel Meriva. Under A High Roof


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Test: Citroen C3, Mitsubishi Colt, Opel Meriva. Under A High Roof
Test: Citroen C3, Mitsubishi Colt, Opel Meriva. Under A High Roof

Yes, Corsa nodes were used here, but everything else has grown so much in length and height that it is just right to draw other analogies. What else, Citroen C3? This is the most hatchback, albeit tidy and pot-bellied.


Nevertheless, if you take a closer look, compare the sizes, in particular the base, the gamut of engines, the position in the “ranking table” and prices, we will see that all three cars are one berry field, all come from class B. Just wise manufacturers tried highlight each special consumer niche. In the case of Opel and Citroen, it is clearly defined, but the Mitsubishi Colt is positioned somewhat unusual. It is called a “high-roof hatchback” - what is behind this concept? This will determine the test of different "estates" of one class.

Alas, the perfect combination did not work: powertrains and configurations are seriously different. But here, perhaps, this is not the main thing, because in the first place the ideology of each of the competitors is important.



Despite the considerable experience, it is still original and causes interest, first of all, of the weak half of humanity. And what? Bright appearance, a variety of modifications make it an interesting offer.

Of course, we make fun of the unusual style of the front panel, we find fault with the hidden ones, God knows where the wheels for electric heating of the seats and the toggle switches of the windows are shifted to the center console. Oh, the French love to be original!

But sitting down and getting used to it, I note: but the machine is equipped with a very solid! An almost complete set of electrical services, a box - “automatic”, as well as climate control, a convenient drawer under the seat on the right. In addition, in this "Easter egg" fits easily and without problems, at least in front.

The back is another matter: the knees are cramped, the short pillow is not conducive to long trips. Obviously, the creators cared not so much comfort as the size of the trunk. It is spacious and quite functional, but alas, it cannot boast of an abundance of C3 transformation options.

On the move, this creature is very peaceful. Smooth acceleration, soft switch boxes adjust for peaceful movement in space. At first, of course, it’s boring, but getting used to the car, you will notice the acoustic comfort and the very logical operation of the automatic transmission. The latter not only gently switches, but also “pushes” lower gears in time, making it possible to not be particularly complex about the “weak” motor.

At first glance, this softness is echoed by the suspension, which quite comfortably fulfills the bumps in the road. True, they are suddenly tough and noisy at the seams, joints, and at high speed they become slack, allowing unpleasant buildup.

But the handling is laudable. Citroen’s reactions are accurate and reliable, even if you impose a hard drive on it. Of course, the features of the suspensions manifest themselves here - in fast turns, the car does not like bumps. But on a smooth road, it captivates with a good setting, which allows you to confidently control the slip.



Here, of course, the original interior, other design decisions, but what if you look for something fundamental? Well, of course! Massive front pillars went forward, between them and the door frames appeared windows "a la minivan." According to the laws of the genre, the driver rose above the road. That's probably all, at least in front.

The differences are more noticeable behind. Compared to a regular hatchback, the Colt is much more convenient for passengers. He cannot boast, for example, the huge width of the cabin - and here only two comfortably sit down. However, they are guaranteed not only a place for legs, but also individual adjustments to each of the halves of the seat, including the longitudinal one. Such delights cannot be appreciated, although if you look into the trunk, it becomes clear where they came from.

It is noticeably smaller than that of C3, but we will not rush to conclusions. Obviously, the creators were also worried about a similar flaw, so the back seat was not only divided, but also worked on the folding mechanism. After simple manipulations, the backs can be folded or folded forward along with the pillows, and if again not enough, dismantle this whole sandwich. As they say, felt the difference? So we respect the newcomer.

Although there were some comments. The instrument cluster is sub-blind. A massive front pillar tightly blocks the driver's oncoming lane in the left corners.

The Colt movement is unexpectedly emotional. It would seem that a "nondescript" 1.3-liter engine, but how it goes! First you need to overcome the “stickiness” of the clutch, then wait a bit until the tachometer needle crosses the three thousandth mark - and then the song begins. The car instantly becomes playful and mobile, reacts to your actions with a twinkle. Of course, you should not deceive yourself, playfulness is manifested only at high speeds, but it still turns on. You switch gears more often, work more actively with the gas pedal to use all hidden reserves.

True, no less emotional and sound accompaniment. Already from 2000 rpm, the rattling voice of the engine erupts into the cabin. Tires also echoed with increasing speed, so you can not look at the tachometer - everything is already audible.

Stiff, suspension adapted to Russian roads actively shake on small bumps. Slightly they pacify the temperament on gentle waves. As a result, Colt repeats the profile of the road in detail, although there are advantages to this sportiness. Thanks to energy-intensive suspensions, the car is not afraid of deep potholes, and the buildup of the body at high speed is unfamiliar to him. It is accurate and assembled in reactions; moreover, it is ready for bold experiments. Quick turns are his element. Wow!

A little “drop out” settings electric power steering. Very active in parking, he suddenly loads the steering wheel with a powerful stabilizing force during normal driving. A lively, fast car suddenly becomes heavy. But it’s worth spinning the steering wheel more sharply, as everything falls into place, but small taxiing tires.


We agree not to pay attention to the “Irmsher” tuning: this is nothing more than a beautiful candy wrapper in which a thoughtful and functional car is “wrapped”.


From the first minutes of his acquaintance, he clearly declares: I will not flirt with you in all kinds of high roofs, remember that it is built on a hatchback platform. I am a minivan, albeit small.

Indeed, inside everything is adult. If this is a driver's seat, then be sure that its size and grip will not cause comments, and the range of movements will be sufficient (also with a margin). And landing the driver will allow you to look down on the rest. But the lever of the box turned out to be rather small, and you have to reach for the handbrake - as if your hands suddenly became short. The rear passengers of the Meriva were the luckiest. The two here sit on foot.

A detailed listing of all options for transforming the interior is a thankless task. I only note that with a fairly roomy trunk with a rear seat, miracles can be done. Each of its halves not only folds and moves - the seats are adjustable even in width! It is a pity that you are unlikely to remember at least half of the proposed options.

For driving, the Meriva is also primarily convenient. Of course, she was not spared the visibility problems noted on the Mitsubishi Colt. The high-torque engine captivates with responsiveness, although at first its even character seems a bit monotonous. A perfectly matched transmission with close gear ratios helps out: here you can smoothly roll to the fifth, barely touching the gas pedal, or you can jerk “to shoot” on the third, easily leaving the pursuers behind. The latter are willingly bought for the "Irmsher" candy, believing that the Meriva engine is also boosted in full. And he is just the most ordinary. And the comfortable suspension seemed to echo the motor, softly, at the same time elastically rolling over bumps.

But here the city is behind, and we break out into the speedy expanse. If until now, Opel has been pleased with clear, well-balanced responses to actions by the steering wheel, pampered with excellent feedback, now that the speedometer needle has reached 120-130 km / h, I suddenly remembered: “I’m a minivan.” And now in the reactions there were inaccuracies, and the pendants began to pass in front of the deep gentle waves. He is not an athlete, although in most life situations he is almost flawless.


At first glance, Citroen-C3 has nothing to stand out in this company, so to speak, either physically or ideologically. However, it is worth considering that a car of this class is rarely bought for a large family. Its main purpose is to carry you, your beloved (or beloved) to work, shopping, etc.

And here C3 looks pretty attractive. After all, it doesn’t matter which motor is stuck in traffic jams, and the “automatic machine” greatly simplifies control. Do not forget about the impressive list of additional equipment attached to this car.

In second place with the weaker sex will be "Colt" - not so cute in appearance, but completely new and on average more accessible. “Meriva” will give third place - tuning “Irmsher” makes her … courageous.


I think that at the initial stage of our measurements, few expected that the Mitsubishi Colt with a 1.3-liter engine would seriously compete with the same Meriva. Of course, the difference in weight also affected (almost 200 kg): the made in Japan winding motor managed to accelerate the Colt to 100 km / h almost one and a half seconds faster. Obviously, he lacks a little moment “below”, and the car, respectively, elasticity in higher gears. It’s still impressive, especially since the rest of the Colt’s driving performance is on top. Of course, it is inferior to competitors in comfort, especially acoustic, but it is controlled just fine.


Among our trinity, the Opel Meriva certainly deserves a similar title: it contains everything conceivable and inconceivable that could fit into these overall dimensions. There is even seditious thought: do you need so many ways to transform the interior of a relatively small car? After all, its base price is quite weighty. In the domestic market, Meriva in a good configuration is closely matched to a larger minivan - the Opel Zafira. There is no doubt that the consumer will prefer for similar money.

It is gratifying that the newcomer, Mitsubishi Colt, is only slightly inferior to Meriva in caring for passengers. Yes, it has fewer features, a smaller trunk, but in terms of consumer terms, this car is even more profitable. For $ 16 thousand you get a functional vehicle that is significantly superior to conventional B-class hatchbacks in terms of cargo and passenger capabilities.

Citroen C3

The five-door hatchback was first shown in the summer of 2001. Recently added a three-door C3 Pluriel and an all-wheel drive version of the C3 XTR.

Engines: for Russia gasoline - 1.1–1.6 liters (61–110 liters. From.).

Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic, robotic Sensodrive.

Options: SX, Pack.

Price: $ 12, 500 - 20, 100.


Citroen C3 is a good present for your beloved: comfortable, quiet, easy to operate and well-equipped.

+ Convenient for two, rational trunk, good acoustic comfort.

- Close for rear passengers, modest transformation capabilities.


The five-door “hatchback with a high roof” in Europe debuted in 2004. In 2005, a three-door version will appear.

Engines: gasoline 1.1–1.5 liters (95–109 liters. From.).

Gearboxes: five-speed manual and six-speed robotic Allshift (except 1.1 l).

What's in the box: Inform, Invite, Instyle.

Price: $ 14, 890-19, 050.


Mitsubishi Colt - a bold combination of almost a minivan and a car with interesting driving settings.

+ Convenience for rear passengers, ample opportunities for transformation, a number of driving qualities are pronounced.

- A modest trunk, mediocre acoustic comfort, poor visibility in corners.

Opel Meriva

The five-door minivan based on the Corsa model made its debut in 2003 in Geneva.

Engines: for Russia, gasoline 1.6–1.8 liters (87–125 liters. From.).

Transmission: five-speed manual.

Options: Essentia, Enjoy, Cosmo.

Price: $ 16, 000 - 23, 000.


Opel Meriva - roomy, comfortable and thought out to the smallest detail; a business partner who does not like improvisation on the road.

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