Practical experience Mitsubishi Space Star: this is how you like the cheapest new car

‘You have to do it fast through corners with a different car’

Mitsubishi Space Star

You read it regularly on this website, the Mitsubishi Space Star is the cheapest new car you can buy in the Netherlands. That party will only last a short time, because Mitsubishi will stop production at the end of this year. High time to look at practical experiences. What are the pluses and minuses according to the owners?

The current Mitsubishi Space Star was released in 2013 and was fitted with a new nose twice during its more than ten-year career. In 2016 the grille became a bit larger, in 2020 it evolved into a real Dynamic Shield. Indeed, the Space Star that you are buying now fits in with the very latest Mitsubishis from the front. At the rear it is a different story and much of it remained the same. Nothing changed under the hood either; the 1.0 and 1.2 three-cylinder with 71 and 80 hp respectively remained themselves. At least until 2021, because in that year the smallest engine was deleted.

Mitsubishi Space Star

Practical ease of use

The Mitsubishi Space Star is, especially at the time of its presentation, a relatively large car in the compact A-segment. He even borders on the B-segment. This is also what this driver of a fairly young Space Star experiences: “There is plenty of room for passengers. It can accommodate a total of four passengers or adults, with more space than in a Volkswagen Up.” Even compared to a larger car, the Space Star continues to live up to its name. “The dimensions already showed that the interior space for the driver, co-driver and rear passengers would be comparable to our previous Seat Ibiza station. In practice it also feels that way at the front. There is even a little more legroom in the back,” writes the satisfied driver of a 2017 facelift copy.

Most owners are positive about the leg and headroom, but not everyone shares that opinion. The next rider goes into detail. “The space is good in the front, but in the back I find the head and leg room tight. The headroom in particular is lacking sideways; you sit in the back with your head cocked to the side.” And the trunk space? “The luggage space is tight, but okay for me. The rear seat can be folded down very easily in uneven parts.” He concludes with a perspective. “It is a spacious A-segment car, so not a limousine.”

Mitsubishi Space Star

Seating position and comfort

The seats don’t appear to be of limousine level either. Not many riders pay attention to it, but one of them has a very strong opinion. “The chairs are stupid because they don’t provide any support on the side. So you have to drive fast through corners with a different car.” Later he also looks at the seat through a different lens: “The slightly higher seating position might be nice to mention, because my mother-in-law, for example, found this pleasant and the car could therefore also be interesting for seniors.”

The next owner is more positive, although not from the first moment. “I have finally found the right fit for my height. I always have that when I buy another car, which takes about two weeks. The front seats provide reasonable support and I still have a lot of free space for my knees.” It is not clear how tall this director is.

Road behavior Space Star

Drivers are quite unanimous about the handling of the Space Star. “The handling is excellent,” writes the owner of a 2015 example, “if it were not for the fact that the straight-line steering requires constant corrections. You’ll get used to it.” What didn’t seem to get used to was the chassis. “What bothered me from the start was the weak rear suspension. With two adults in the back, the car bounced right down to the rubber at every threshold. I did something about that. With additional auxiliary springs the problem is a thing of the past. It still grips the road well, but the rear bodywork has been raised slightly.”

A review that immediately put a smile on our faces begins as follows: “What an excellent grip! The Space Star has a front suspension that is directly derived from the former Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV rally car and it shows. If you abruptly turn the steering wheel at 60 km/h, you… just go through a right-angle bend at 60 km/h. Without drama. Unbelievable.” This driver also has criticism of the rear axle. “At speeds above 100, the rear suspension cannot handle a swell or ridge in the bend, but it remains safe.” Then there is some nuance. “Do not infer from the above that the Space Star is a sporty car, because it really is not. It is built for comfort and does not provide an exciting driving experience at all, but it is nice that the chassis can easily handle the most crazy driving tasks.”

Other riders agree with that. They repeatedly mention the considerable lean in the bend as a disadvantage, but the Space Star also scores less well for crosswind sensitivity and wind noise on board.

Maintenance, malfunctions and irritations

The interesting thing about cars that have been on the market for a longer time is that structural problems have time to reveal themselves. And that’s the best news for this Space Star: he seems foreign to these kinds of problems. Well, this owner had to go back to the garage. “We had to replace a squeaking fan somewhere under the dashboard once, had a software update twice and three maintenance visits. Well, it’s all boring.” The software updates are reported more often. The start-stop system, among other things, has been updated.

In principle, one driver does not come to the garage, because he does the maintenance himself. His findings: “As a self-builder, I have realized that it can become expensive in terms of parts, if, for example, the chassis ever needs to be replaced. The car has iridium spark plugs, which cost a tenner more each. Also, a simple oil change without a lift is not fun, because the oil filter is really clogged.” Nevertheless, the trend is positive. “What else has been noticed in the more than 40,000 kilometers? Actually nothing.”

The Mitsubishi Space Star may be the cheapest car you can buy new, but owners are largely satisfied with it. It mainly scores with space and reliability. The fact that everything around it is less refined does not seem to spoil the fun. It may not be the first choice for car enthusiasts, but once the Space Star disappears, simple and affordable driving will become a little more difficult again.

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