Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- It has proven to be reliable over the years
- Equipments levels are good for the price
- It comes with a good diesel engine
- Maintenance is costly
- It’s not very spacious inside
- Poor handling and ride quality
The Space Star is a compact people carrier from Mitsubishi. It is a rather bland car to look at, but it can fit five people with relative ease. All of the seats are fairly comfortable, but with limited legroom taller occupants may feel less happy on longer journeys. The boot space isn’t very big either and although the back seats can fold and slide forwards, they can’t be removed like some more modern people carriers. The ride is poor too feeling jittery and uncomfortable over anything, but the smoothest of roads whilst the steering feels light and body roll in the corners is excessive. The 1.8-litre petrol and 1.9-litre DI-D diesel are good engines and are the pick of the bunch as the smaller units lack power and are very noisy especially when pushed hard.
Exterior and Interior
It’s not as good looking as the Renault Scenic, but then that does lead the class with its French flair. The biggest problem with the Space Star is that it just isn’t as good as the competition. The looks are lacking and even the interior doesn’t make up for any other short comings. It can seat three in the back, but despite the size of the vehicle there is limited legroom. The driver doesn’t get any special treatment either with very few adjustments of the steering wheel and seat making it hard to find a comfortable driving position.
The boot isn’t very big either, but at least the back seats do slide and fold forwards to increase luggage space. The layout of the dash and central console are odd as well with the dials and switches being placed in illogical positions. It’s not exactly stylish either being made of cheap dull plastics.
Some good news is that you get a lot of equipment in the majority of trim levels. We’d opt for the S trim as you receive air-con, alloys, CD stereo, electric windows, a sunroof and central locking. The GLS adds an electric sunroof, headlight washers, heated mirrors and side airbags.
Performance and Economy
The entry level 1.3-litre is a good choice if you’re going to be using it as a little city run around, but on the motorways and when fully loaded it feels underpowered and sluggish. It is the most fuel efficient of the petrol’s at 41mpg, but the others aren’t far behind and they are quicker than the 13.0 seconds it takes for the 1.3i to get to 60mph.
The 1.6-litre is a slight improvement being a second and a half faster, but the fuel efficiency drops down to 39mpg, worse than the 1.8-litre. It’s because of this that we’d go for the larger of the petrol engines if you don’t want a diesel, as it manages 40mpg and is the fastest engine in the range reaching 60mph in just over 10 seconds.
The 1.9 DI-D is our favorite as it records the same 11.6 seconds to 60mph and is by far the most economical of the engines reaching 51mpg.
Insurance costs in the Space Star range between group 7 for the 1.3i up to group 10 for the 1.8-litre.
Like to Drive
The drive in the Space Star isn’t what you’d call exciting but it gets you from A to B. The steering feels light but obedient. There’s a bit too much body roll in the corners and the ride is uncomfortable on anything but the smoothest of roads and at higher speeds wind and road noise is more than evident.
Faults and Repairs
The Space Star has proven to be fairly reliable over the years although there are still a few things to check out before buying one. If looking at a pre 2000 model make sure that the necessary work has been carried out on the airbags. There was a known problem with the sensors not making the airbags deploy in the event of a crash. The other thing to look, or listen for is that the engine doesn’t sound too course when revved hard. This could indicate an engine that has been worked overly hard. Apart from that there is not much else to worry about, but don’t accept one that doesn’t have a full service history as it will help you to sell it on later and give you piece of mind.
Service costs are high which is why some drivers may have skimped on servicing their cars so it may help to look around for a specialist dealer that should prove to be cheaper than the main dealerships.