- New model for 2014
- Very affordable with great fuel economy (up to 40 mpg combined)
- Three-cylinder engine that makes 74-hp
Mitsubishi welcomes a new member to its lineup for 2014, the sub-compact Mirage which offers an intriguing mix of affordability and fuel economy that should appeal to value seekers everywhere.
If the Mirage nameplate sounds familiar, that’s because Mitsubishi used it up until 2002 for a car that eventually became the Lancer. However the new car is smaller, more affordable, and slots in at the bottom of Mitsubishi’s lineup and is their take on urban transportation.
The Japanese automaker is really banking on two elements to sell the Mirage: its very low price and its very high fuel economy, which they claim is the most fuel efficient non-hybrid car in America. Starting at a shade under $13,000, the Mirage is a money saving machine, both on the lot and at the pump.
It’s good that the Mirage has those two things going for it; in the looks department, it falls a little flat. Nondescript is the word that comes to mind, it would be unfair to call it ugly, but it is anonymous. A very thin front grille sits over a larger lower air intake, there’s a subtle rear lip spoiler, and that’s pretty much all we have to say about that. It is however very aerodynamic, which contributes to the sky high fuel economy.
Under the hood, the Mirage features a 74-hp, 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that is paired to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT. That doesn’t sound like a lot of power, but keep in mind that the Mirage weighs in at under 2,000 pounds so there is less girth to move than with other cars. Fuel economy figures are excellent; 34/42 mpg city/highway with the manual and 37/44 mpg with the CVT. Comparably, the Ford Fiesta tops out at 36 mpg combined while the Chevrolet Spark only gets 34 mpg combined, both well short of the Mirage’s 40 mpg.
Inside, the Mirage actually offers pretty good storage space, with 17.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats (which split 60/40) and 47.0 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Given its price, one would reasonably expect the Mirage to skimp heavily on the standard features, but surprisingly an automatic climate control system is standard, along with a USB input, power windows and locks, and automatic headlights. The ES trim adds Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. A navigation system is optional.
Seven airbags come standard, along with the federally required antilock brakes and electronic stability control. A rearview camera for safer reversing is available as well.