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The Mitsubishi Space Star has received a facelift that serves as a reminder that stylish motoring does not have to come at a steep price.

17 Aug 2020


The hatchback version of Mitsubishi's ubiquitous Attrage saloon has received a facelift to keep it looking fresh.

A proper facelift

And it is one significant nip-tuck.

The rear of the Space Star looks a tad too busy
As with the facelifted Attrage, the most significant change on the Space Star is that it now sports Mitsubishi's Dynamic Shield grille, bringing it aesthetically far closer to the rest of Mitsubishi's range of products.

I think the new angular design has given the economy hatchback some needed aggression.

But what has made an even greater difference is how the head lights are now integrated into the design of the car's grille, giving it an overall more cohesive design.

Contoured roof spoiler adds some aggression to the Space Star
At the rear of the Space Star, the surgeon's scalpel has been less successful in my opinion, with the car looking rather busy thanks to its numerous bodylines travelling in many different directions.

Those looking for a less fussy design will do well to give the Attrage a proper look at the showroom.

The spoiler on the roof of the Space Star is a nice touch that adds some aggression at the rear though.

Exceptional journeys?

Torsion beam rear delivers a comfortable ride, but the exhaust note makes long drives tiresome
Beauty is, of course, entirely subjective. But what is certain is that the Space Star will have to serve as a practical commuter in order to win customers at this price point.

So how does it fare on the commute to work?

Not great I'm afraid. The Space Star utilises the same 1.2-litre MIVEC three cylinder as the Attrage, which has no issues with protesting when pushed.

But in the Space Star this is combined with a more pronounced exhaust note, which may seem initially pleasing when moving off at the lights, but being forced to listen to it for any length of time will quickly become tiresome.

Automatic head lights are available in the Space Star but it's a curious omission on the Attrage
Wind noise is likewise more present in the Space Star when compared to Attrage, and is to the point that driving the Space Star at highway speeds is comparable to being caught in a storm in any other vehicle.

With only 79bhp on tap, overtaking manoeuvres have to be planned in advance, and acceleration is always met with an uncouth raucous from the engine at anything above 2,500rpm.

I achieved a fuel economy of 16.7km/L in the Space Star.

A decent commuter

The Space Star loses out in terms of rear knee room to the Attrage and does not have those nifty handphone pouches behind the front seats
To truly appreciate the Space Star's qualities, you need to adopt a far more relaxed driving disposition.

Calm away from the accelerator pedal and you will find the Space Star a car that glides over larger bumps with ease.

The gear selector is reasonably damped and having the option to play an additional beep to confirm changes from the air-conditioning buttons is a welcome balm of tactile and aural feedback in an era where everyone is moving their controls onto touchscreens, allowing you to truly drive the Space Star without taking your eyes away from the road.

Space at the rear is decent although knee room is still short against the Attrage, thanks to the 100mm reduction in wheelbase.

So why opt for the Space Star?

The Space Star offers only 235 litres of boot space, but the rear bench is collapsible unlike in the Attrage
You do get an additional 'S' mode on the gear selector, and the Attrage we tested was curiously lacking the automatic head lights which were present in this Space Star we tested. Moreover, the Space Star does come with better-looking rims and a roof spoiler.

But those additions honestly can feel ill-contrived when you remember that this is a 79bhp car.

Add to that the fact that the Space Star lacks a rear parking camera and does not come with any price discount against the Attrage and it becomes really hard to recommend it.

Feel as if you will need more power in your commuter hatchback? Then you seriously ought to consider the Mazda2 hatchback. At $69,888 (as of 13 August 2020) for the most basic specification car, the Mazda2 is offered at a $111 discount against the Space Star while delivering a significant 35bhp bonus.

And if you're looking for an affordable entry into the world of private motoring, or want the additional safety of having six airbags, then just get the Attrage. It has more of the practical features you'll want in a commuter, is quieter, and has the ability to store more in the boot without needing to knock down the second row of seats.

Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for Mitsubishi Space Star

Price

: $69,999

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder in-line 12-valve DOHC MIVEC

Engine Cap

:

1193cc

Horsepower

:

59kW (79 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

106 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

INVECS III CVT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

13.8sec

Top Speed

:

167km/h

Fuel consumption

:

21.2 km/L

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