Last post on Apr 22, 2003 at 6:01 AM
You are in the Hatchbacks - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hatchbacks Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Colt, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan
#4 of 40 I love my '89 Colt, too
Jul 17, 2001 (6:03 am)
Hey, Rich! I too, share your admiration for the discontinued Dodge Colt. I'm still driving my teal-colored, 1989, manual, 1.5 liter hatchback with an odometer reading of 146K. Other than a bizarre transmission problem in 1993, it has been a very reliable car. I am continually amazed at the amount of cargo I can squeeze into it when the back seats are lowered. Right now, I use it to tote my two large dogs (weimaraners). Whenever I see other hatchbacks on the road (which is a rare event anymore), I compare cargo space, and it seems that the Colt is unusually spacious in comparison.
My only complaint with my particular vehicle is that it is the base model, with vinyl seats, 4-speed stick shift, and no a/c. Heck, it doesn't even have a cigarette lighter (not that I smoke)! Not having a/c was very tough when I was driving it in Texas for three summers (college), especially that one year when we had 30 consecutive days of temperatures passing the 100 degree mark. I was so glad to move back to Detroit and drive it in snowy, sub-zero conditions. I have never had problems starting it in the morning no matter how frigid it was outside, and it performed admirably on roads with over six inches of snow. The Colt's body is virtually impervious to the severe winter conditions in Michigan, what with the chunks of salt peppering the roads six months out of the year. People are always telling me that my car looks brand new.
The reason why this vehicle is so reliable is the Mitsubishi connection. Inside the drivers door, is a metal tag stating its place of origin: Japan. I wouldn't hesitate to buy its Mitsubishi version, the Mirage, if it was still offered in the hatchback configuration. Sadly, only the sedan version is available, and from what I hear, even this is slated to be discontinued in the next year or so. Thus, I have no choice but to drive the Colt as there is really no other economical and roomy hatchback to replace it with...at least for now anyway.
Oh, by the way - I will be relocating to Oklahoma next month, and will once again have to endure the stifling heat of the Southwest "sans" air conditioning during my daily commute. I know people will think that I am crazy, but I think it is crazy to pay over $300/month for a new car just to have a/c for a 10-15 minute drive to work. As long as the Colt runs reliably, I will continue to avail myself of its services no matter what the temperature may be.
Jul 17, 2001 (8:55 am)
Hi. Great to meet another Colt person. I too have the '89 base model, no air, no lighter, no day-night flipper on the mirror. Still going strong.
#6 of 40 Colt contingency (back up) plan
Jul 17, 2001 (7:00 pm)
Yeah, my Colt is "going strong" as well. I think not having a/c has helped since the little 1.5 engine does not have to work so hard. When the odometer turned 100K, I was hoping to reach 150K, which I am just shy of by a few thousnd miles. However, now it looks as though I have a viable shot at 200K. My personal mission is to put as many miles on it before Father Time takes its toll on the vehicle.
After your Colt expires, will you replace it with another hatchback? - if so, which one(s)? I am partial to the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix "sport wagon," which appears to beat the Colt in the category of cargo space. However, I'm sure that it will be priced over $15,000, which will offset its "economy" potential. The same can be said for the Civic Si sport hatchback (17-18K) and the BMW Mini Cooper (19-23K). I have no interest in the Ford Focus ZX3. Perhaps the Kia Rio wagon, slated to hit the dealers in October, will be an option (price expected to be under 13K).
#7 of 40 Colt ... sigh ...
Jul 18, 2001 (12:18 pm)
Hey all ... just reading the follow-up on this thread since my last post is making me all teary-eyed for my old 88 Colt DL ...
Next to an 85 CRX that I once owned, the Colt was my fave. vehicle ... I can honestly say, that I loved that car ... it was reliable, well built, cheap to own/operate and had a "personality" for sure! Wish they still made/sold those here in Canada ... the new Accent's aren't bad little cars, but they still aren't as good as the Colts of a decade ago.
#8 of 40 Re: Life after Colt
Jul 18, 2001 (4:11 pm)
Well, I did sort of buy a "life after Colt" backup for my wife and I. I bought the ZX3. Figured I'd take a chance on a non-Japanese car. The Focus is a great car to drive, and has mucho space. But reliability is a big issue. Also, the Colt gets 30-40 MPG, while the Focus gets about 22-32 MPG. I'd love to buy the Honda hatch sometime after it reappears, but the Honda cars always seem to be very pricey. Maybe I would consider the Protege 5.
#9 of 40 Reply to "Perry40" and Rich
Jul 19, 2001 (5:28 pm)
I hear that Mitsubishi offers the Mirage (Colt) as a hatchback in Australia. Too bad for us here in the States.
My only gripe with the Accent is its paltry rear space when the seats are lowered. I think that the Animal Humane Society would go after me if I tried to cram my two large dogs in that vehicle. My Colt, on the other hand, easily accommodates the pooches (I once drove them from Texas to Michigan; they slept most of the time)
The VW Golf is even worse for cargo space. The rear seats lie at a steep angle - almost 45 degrees. This fact coupled with the sticker price keeps me from seriously considering the Golf as my Colt replacement.
Rich - the only reason why I do not consider the ZX3 as a viable substitute for my Colt is because I have GM connections (which means discounts). Thus, if I am to gamble on an American-made vehicle, I would rather invest my GM rebate earnings in the Toyota-designed Pontiac Vibe, though I must confess that the ZX3 has a more appealing visage.
The problem with the new hatchbacks slated for next year is their cost (over 15K) and their modest fuel economy. The prime virtues of the Colt was its low cost, great reliability, excellent MPG, and impressive cargo capacity. Hopefully, the Kia Cinco (Rio wagon) will be a contender to match the Colt in price, utility, and reliability, though not likely in the category of fuel economy.
#10 of 40 Question ...
Jul 20, 2001 (12:13 am)
In this class of vehicles, have they generally gotten better over the past ten years, or just more expensive (and needlessly more sophisticated)? My '88 Colt DL had all the "bells & whistles" of the day ('cept A/C) and cost me $10,000 Cdn ... which won't even buy you a Rio or Accent today, let alone an Echo or Civic ...
#11 of 40 Re: Question
Jul 21, 2001 (6:50 am)
I think that hatchbacks are more expensive as compared to their '80s counterparts, but not necessarily better. Of course, "better" is a relative term. Now a days, when a car is upgraded, that usually means more horsepower and a sports package. Thus, the Acura Integra, Protege 5, Elantra GT, VW Golf (turbo), Saab, and Ford Focus ZX3 are deemed "better" than those of a decade or more ago. Unfortunately, fuel economy, cargo capacity, and inexpensive price are sacrificed as a result of these aesthetic gains. The whole "economy" category is being transformed. "Economy" vehicles use to be for low-income workers or disenfranchised college students. However, auto makers seem to be targeting a different consumer - a middle class, more "bourgeois" demographic.
I personally believe that my '89 Colt (your '88 Colt DL)is superior to today's hatchbacks because it has excellent fuel economy (30-32 city MPG), spacious interior when the seats are folded down (I once loaded a 36-inch TV), and a true economy price tag. I would willingly sacrifice a few ponies and leather seats in order to own a reliable, utilitarian hatch that is priced under 12K. The only manufacturer that comes close to this price is Kia, but reliability would still be an issue. Hopefully, Toyota will offer the Echo in a hatch configuration some day, but then, the price will likely creep up past 12K.
Remember when calculators first came out? They were very expensive, but now, you can find them as prizes in cereal boxes. Technological advances brought down their price. Why hasn't this happened with economy cars? Perhaps we are being offered unnecessary standard features, too many "bells and whistles," that are terribly overpriced.
Jul 21, 2001 (10:07 am)
Couldn't agree more. Bring back the low-cost, reliable, base hatchback, and I'll be there.
#13 of 40 Hear, Hear (with much thumping on the Parlimentary [or congressional] podium)!
Jul 23, 2001 (12:11 pm)
I too agree with honus ... my 01 Accent is a decent car, but it doesn't get the gas milage that my '88 Colt got, nor does it seem to have the same "get up & go", overall "feel", visibility (esp. to the rear), or simple ergonomics that the old Colt had. If they brought it back, it'd probably be my next car for sure!