Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge Colt



  • perry40perry40 Posts: 94
    The 88 Colt DL I once owned was light-years ahead of a very similar 94 Hyundai Excel that I also owned ... esp overall build-quality and reliability. The Excel was even supposed to have been based on a Mitsubishi design similar to the Colt ... but it couldn't compare, eventhough on the surface the 2 cars were nearly identical (different sheet metal ... I know!). The Excel was a dog, while the Colt was a gem!
    As for the Festiva previously mentioned ... as far as I know, they were manufactured by Kia, based on Mazda engineering and sold by Ford. Small and basic they may be, but I've heard they're very reliable (and inexpensive to own and operate).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    In the late 80's the Festiva was highly reliable, the Excel bad, but not as bad as the Pontiac (Daewoo) LeMans. Mitsubishi also sold the Excel as the Precis. Remember that dog?

    Now things have flipped with the Koreans. Daewoo's quality was actually a bit above Hyundai until the last year or two. What's going on at this point I couldn't tell you because at least in the St. Louis area Daewoo's selling so poorly that they have damn few '01's in stock. I drove a Leganza and could have probably purchased one for less than the cost of my Elantra but who wants an orphan car?

    Hyundai's getting better and better, and Kia (with the exception of the Optima) has been bad as to quality. Hopefully Hyundai will continue to increase quality of the existing lines--I think the brake problems on the Sephia have lessened in the last year or so. My assumption is that the next generation will share platforms like the Optima/Sonata with the Kia taking the low cost end of the spectrum.

    Why the Festiva remained so good is a mystery. Perhaps it's the Mazda 121 engineering, perhaps Ford just insisted on a certain amount of quality. I doubt the latter because I owned an 86 Tempo and an 87 Mustang which essentially stunk. Unlike the Festiva, the Nova and the Colt, those are two cars that I DON'T feel any nostalgia for.
  • honushonus Posts: 17
    Hey, guys! - sorry for the self-imposed radio silence. I recently relocated from MI to OK, and am currently staying in a Ramada Inn, so I have not had access to the internet.

    I am totally regretting the lack of a/c in my '89 Colt (back then, a/c was an optional feature offered by American auto manufacturers). The temps here have been in the 100s.

    Csandste - that is interesting to hear that you believe the build quality of the Hyundai Elantra is better than the Colt and Nova. I have never test-driven Hyundai vehicles, so I cannot dispute of confirm your opinion. My one dissatisfaction with the Elantra GT (hatchback) is that it is a bit pricey for what I expect in an economical vehicle. Personally, I have no need for leather seats for a car in this category, but I must be in the minority.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Selling a base 5 door hatch without all of the GT add-ons and selling it for the same price as the GLS would make a lot of sense IMHO. At first I didn't like the base upholstery in the GLS, but I've gotten used to it, especially in the gray.

    BTW-- I saw the new Mitsu. Lancer on the lot, but didn't drive it. Very nice car. Japanese regressed during the late nineties as they tried to meet price points. Maybe things are turning around and more interesting cars are on the way.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    By build quality I meant that the car was more substantial and less boring. Although Hyundai is closing the gap, I think the Corolla/Prizm will still score above the Elantra in things like J.D. Power ratings for problems per car. From memory, I think that the Elantra and the Civic were fairly close this year in J.D. Power initial quality ratings. This was more because of the Civic's deterioration than the Elantras progress, however.
  • honushonus Posts: 17
    Oh, I agree with you about that. The Prizm and Nova are indeed boring compared to today's economy class - especially their Spartan interiors. The guys at Edmunds apparently hold this against the Prizm, while conversely, praising the Elantra (sedan) for its many offerings. I, for one, do no require anything more than what I already have in my '89 Colt, which is not much. It has vinyl seats, no air, no cig. lighter, no tachometer, no cruise control, no power steering, no CD/cassette player, etc. If I had my druthers, I would prefer that it came with a/c and cloth seats, but other than that, I am very pleased with the car and hope that it lasts me several more years (not likely given its age). When it does die on me, I will have a difficult time finding a good hatchback replacement. Hopefully the Rio wagon will be as reliable as my Colt. Better yet - hopefully the Toyota echo will be offered as a hatch. Even though I have GM discounts, I am convinced that the Pontiac Vibe will be priced over 15K. Who knows, I may end up with the Elantra GT given the rave reviews for this vehicle. I reckon I could get use to those leather seats!
  • mykem1mykem1 Posts: 29
    Got one with 77K miles. Love it, but just upgraded due to a new baby on the way. Have had it since 94 (second owner), and it has been great. Some repairs, but it never stranded me. Still gets great gas mileage.

    I was reading through the posts here, and completely agree with all of you. I went out and looked for a replacement in the Protege5, Elantra GT, and drooled over the Vibe. The Golf is hardly a replacement and the Forrester and similar models are way too overpriced for the value. If they still made these in the States, I would have bought another.

    So what did I get? Couldn't wait for the Vibe (but I still want one), so I gave up the gas mileage and got an Aztek. They are practically giving them away and I got a loaded one for less than a Forrester (really like the Forrester BTW, just didn't see paying that much). Aztek has same config as the Vista (hatch, removeable back seat, etc), just a bigger scale and, ahem, "bolder" styling. And, it will pull a boat where my Vista will not.

    Mine is the 1.8L, with auto and air. Has rear defog, rear wiper, power mirrors, and CD. Live in Columbus, OH and am asking $3,000.

    Best of luck to the rest of you owners, may yours bring you the same reliability and utility mine has.
  • I recently purchased a "decent" '88 Nova on E-Bay for a "commuter" car and noticed a few mentions of Novas in this town hall.

    Can anyone give me some info on this vehicle as far as reliability and economy. How is the ease of maintenance, etc..?

    I did have a 1986 Colt E sedan about two years ago until the tranny froze-up and now regret junking it (cheap transportation). are the two similar?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I bought my mother-in-law's for $1000, stuck a few hundred for repainting and brakes and had the transmission blow within 5K. However, I really, really liked that car! Like the Colts of that era a basically straight ahead vehicle, although I would guess it to be more reliable given its Toyota roots. I generally hate automatic transmissions (especially on a car with 150K)-- if it had a 5-speed I'd still be driving it. Always liked Novas/Prizms better than their Corolla counterpoints except for the most recent platform which is essentially the same. I think the 93-97 Prizm was the best of all Corollas.
  • vsheavshea Posts: 3
    Just found this board and am taking the opportunity to reminisce... My very first car was a 1980 Dodge Colt, the one with the 2x4 transmission. That was a peppy little car! Really fun to drive. Sadly, it was rear-ended by a Beetle and totaled. Does anyone else remember that 2x4 transmission? It was really good for squeezing a lot of performance out of a tiny little engine. Was it just too strange to catch on, or was there some other reason why it disappeared?

    After the Colt, I got an '83 Escort (blechhhh, worst car I ever drove), then finally an '88 Corolla FX hatchback, a GREAT car. I drove it for 9 years. If I weren't looking for a carpooler car now (probably a minivan, sigh), I might be looking at one of the Saab or Subaru 4-door hatchbacks.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Could you describe this 2x4 tranny? Never heard of it and am curious on how it operated.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Essentially a four speed transmission that would operate in either power or economy mode with another lever. If you shifted through the first four gears in power and then shoved the economy lever down you'd get the equivilent of a 5 speed. Of course the additional lever also meant that you had a power and economy reverse as well.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    So this was a manual tranny that basically had 8 different gear ratios? How was this economy and power mode difference accomplished?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    that affected the other four. Actually using all eight gears would have been a bear because you'd be rowing both levers in sequence. First, power; first economy; second power; second economy, etc. Who would want to screw around with that, and to what end?

    By pulling the lever in fourth you got the equivilent of an overdrive. If it had been a real good idea it would have probably caught on. As it was it was just kind of a clumsy five speed. I usually just kept mine in economy mode. I don't remember a huge difference in output between the two. It was the equivilent of an eight speed forward, two backward transmission, however.
  • I had two of 'em. They were absolutely superior cars! Thanks Mitsubishi! One was a 1984 four door sedan/hatch that was a lease return car - automatic. This was a winter commuting car for me. It sat outside. It always started. It was reliable. Second Colt was a newly purchased 1989 two door hatchback (mini-wagon really) manual midline ("Colt E" I think). Also absolutely reliable plus well put together, very useful and fun. Very well designed. Great mileage. A truly good running car. Never any problem of any type. Absolutely superior car with great warranty - a bargain. In 1998 bought a used 1990 Eagle equivalent of Mitsu/Colt as a commuter car for high school kid. Car has also been reliable. It (& driver) now away at college, still giving reliable service. These were great cars!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    who swore by his, I think it was about an '87? I know it went over 200K miles for him - his dad did the work on it, and precious little at that!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Thought I would pass this on. My 89 Colt has about 110,000 mile on it. The battery was being drained for no obvious reason and after a few days of inactivity, it would be dead as a doornail. Brought the car to at least 3 local mechanics, and none could find what was draining the battery. Finally, the last mechanic I tryed told me that it was the alarm (some cheap thing that came with the car that I've never used for fear of forgeting to disarm it and making a lot of unnecessary noise). Looks like he hit the nail on the head and the old Colt is going strong once again! Too bad he charged me so much to troubleshoot the problem, but I guess one gets what one pays for.
  • I have a 1989 Plymouth Colt E 5-speed manual with 152000 miles and still works well. It has full power and speed. At its height, it would get over 40 mpg. Now that is closer to 34, but still better than 99% of new cars out there. The styling is great too. When you compare it to similar models of hatchbacks like ford festive, geo metro, or honda civic, the Colt is much bigger and has a lot more cargo room in the back. I wish that I could buy all of the parts new from a Chrystler dealer and build a new one here in 2003, although that would probably cost about $20000. Nice dream anyway!

  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Hi. I have a bottom-of-the-line '89 Colt hatch. It's so
    bottom-of-the-line, that it lacks a day-night rear view mirror, has five speeds indicated on the shifter (but only has 4). No cigarette lighter installed.

    The seats are starting to tear a bit. The dash is very brittle (a rather large piece that surrounds the emergency blinker button broke off when I was wiping it clean...but the blinker still works). The plastic covering that is behind and outside of the door broke off (I wish I could get another one, but fear that they are hard to find). Eats no oil. Body still in great shape. Still great mileage (I think...haven't really checked in a while).

    I agree that the design is first rate with plenty of room.
This discussion has been closed.