The Mitsubishi Mirage is as dialed down as it gets when it comes to cars. With absolutely no upward aspirations this car is basic and very simple, but gets the job done and keeps a price tag that anyone can live with. Offering a great fuel economy to go with the low price the Mirage can be a great choice for a car that needs to take on a lot of miles each day for a daily commute or for the owner who only wants to fill the tank once or twice a month at most and needs a dependable vehicle for running around town.
In a class with the Smart Fortwo, Scion iQ, Chevrolet Spark, and Ford Fiesta the Mirage has fewer added features than many of its competition, which allows for the nice small price. Adding to the attraction for the Mirage is the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty that is part of every Mitsubishi, this alone makes the Mirage a very attractive purchase for the budget conscious crowd.
As a brand new addition for 2014 the Mirage is all new on the market allowing Mitsubishi to test its wares in the micro car market. Even though this car is small in stature and very ordinary in many ways, it is actually a very nice drive either in town or on the open road. Built as a commuter car the vehicle offers a surprisingly nice suspension that takes care of most of the road hazards and has a better than expected amount of noise-reduction technology to offer a fairly quiet ride. The steering is also very responsive allowing this car to be fairly nimble in city traffic. Where the Mirage loses some following is in the power department. Offering enough power to get up to speeds and pass the driver must allow time enough for both as the powertrain is a bit sluggish and unresponsive.
The power plant of the Mirage is not much to speak of aside from the fuel efficiency numbers. This car offers a 1.2-liter inline three-cylinder engine that only offers 74 horsepower and 74 lb.-ft. of torque. If the car is weighed down with too much in the back this already apprehensive engine is going to almost shy completely away, but it is perfectly capable as a commuter and for lighter duties such as a grocery run. The standard transmission is five-speed manual that has very long throws to the shifter but does offer a nice fuel efficiency of 34 city/42 hwy mpg. The automatic transmission offering comes in the form of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and has even better fuel numbers which come in at 37 city/44 hwy mpg. This, along with the small price tag, is really the two main reasons for anyone to purchase the Mirage.
The cabin of the Mirage is very simple with controls and buttons all within easy reach, none of which are going to stump even the least tech savvy individual. The materials are all very basic, which is to be expected but the rear seat offers enough space for at least two adults to sit and can fit a third if the need arises, not a statement that can be made of most of the competition this car faces.
From the outside the Mirage is rounded out but not as bullet shaped as the Chevrolet Spark. Finishing off with an attractive sweep downward in the back the Mirage is a more practical shape and easy on the eyes. With a thoughtfully designed body and the option of several bright and cheerful colors, the Mirage can be made very attractive for many drivers. The small weight allows for the outstanding fuel efficiency with the car coming in at less than 2,000 pounds from bumper to bumper. The wheels are only 14-inches in size, but this again allows for inexpensive tires to be used, and the wheel covers offer a boldly spoked appearance to add a nice finishing touch to the car.
The standard features start off with safety in mind, due to the small size this has to be a main concern in this car. The features include stability and traction control, seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, power windows mirrors and door locks, audio system that includes a USB and auxiliary port, and automatic climate control which is a very nice and surprising feature on such an inexpensive car. Even though the list is short for the standard features, they are well thought out to maximize enjoyment while inside this small commuter vehicle.
Moving up from the base DE trim to the higher SE trim will bring a steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, 14-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and keyless access with remote start; a nice group of additions that will only raise the price by $1,200 to make the Mirage an even easier to live with vehicle.
Finally, the price that has been mentioned so many times already starts out at $13,790 for the base DE model. Moving up to the SE trim will once again raise the price by $1,200 but that brings in the CVT which really is a bonus when it comes to driving pleasure and fuel efficiency. For an additional $900 beyond that a navigation system and backup camera will be included offering the extra technology many shoppers are after on any vehicle. All of this brings the top price for the Mirage to a whopping $16,890, which is still super affordable for just about any shopper out there.
Even though the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is not an exciting car to look at or drive, the little commuter car offers a great deal of ability to perform its intended function, commuting. If fuel savings and a small price tag are important this is the car to take a good look at and consider purchasing.