Designed and built in conjunction with Pininfarina, the CZC shares its platform and basic architecture with the five door Colt, giving it a good-sized wheelbase. This helps with road holding and interior space.
Two 1.5-litre options are available: a normally aspirated 107bhp for £13,999 and, for £2,000 more, a turbocharged version giving an extra 40bhp and an increase in torque of 48lb ft.
Customers choosing this option get much more than inflated performance figures for their money.
The Turbo also comes with partial leather seats (front seats heated); a Thatcham alarm; Mitsubishi’s active stability and traction control; sports suspension, pedals and exhaust muffler; plus 16in alloys. The resulting car gives a crisper, more responsive drive over its normally aspirated counterpart.
The Turbo is the pick of the two; its price firmly in the midst of its rivals: the Peugeot 206CC 2.0 Allure (£15,870), Nissan Micra C+C 1.6 Essenza (£15,250) and Vauxhall Tigra 1.8 Sport A/C (£16,196).
Although the Turbo will outperform all of the above, it loses out on a couple of fronts. There are build quality inconsistencies within the cabin that you will not find in the Micra C+C, for example, neither is the roof release mechanism as slick as in the Nissan.
Engines: 1.5-litre and 1.5-litre turbo
Performance: 0-62mph 10.5sec; top speed 114mph. Turbo: 0-62mph 8.4sec; top speed 126mph
Transmission: Five speed manual
Efficiency: 39.8mpg -42.8mpg (combined), 157g/km-168g/km CO2
Rivals: Micra C+C, Tigra, 207cc
Strength: Turbo’s performance, styling
Weakness: Interior build quality
Opportunity: Incremental sales
Threat: Growing number of rivals
USP: Turbo-charged smiles