Note Mitsubishi's attitude towards the indiscriminate banding about of the MPV title: UK importer The Colt Car Company is absolutely clear about where its new Space Star, launched in January, fits in, and how it should be described. Wincing at the suggestion that this five-seater might be a baby Space Wagon or a mini-MPV, as in Scenic, a spokesman for the Cirencester-based company said: 'It's a compact, five-door hatchback with a high roof and loads of interior space - which is why it is called Space Star. It is not an MPV.'
So, rather than running against the Scenic, the forthcoming Astra-based Vauxhall Zafira (although that may well be in a small MPV market of its own when it arrives in May thanks to its seven-seat arrangement), and whatever tall-roof novelties Ford and Volkswagen have lined up with Focus and Golf derivatives, the Mitsubishi Colt Space Star is placed in a sector of the UK market which accounts for 23% of all new cars sold - alongside the mainstream hatches. The Colt man did, however, also concede niche status to the Carisma-based Space Star, which is expected to end the year with 3,000 sales under its ú11,195- ú15,335 belt, the majority likely to be company funded and the bulk of those with the 121bhp 1.8-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) petrol engine in GLX and GLS trim rather than the 84bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine.
While aware of the subtle distinctions between SPV (single purpose vehicle, such as a van or McLaren F1), MPV, hatchback and estate we pitch the subject of this report, the Space Star 1.8 GDI GLX, against a Renault Megane Scenic, Ford Focus estate and Citroen Xsara estate - similar seating and cargo carrying capacities, close on price.