- Debuted in 2014
- Offers 40 mpg in combined driving, making it the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market
- Base price under $13,000; Cars.com’s “Most Affordable Vehicle”
The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is big game to bargain hunters, offering one of the clearest value propositions around with its miniscule base price and sky-high fuel economy.
The revived sub-compact returns virtually unchanged for 2015, only adding a few chrome bits and new interior seat fabric for ES models to the interior, and a new antenna and side mirrors on the ES to the exterior.
Cars.com did name the entry-level Mirage its “Most Affordable Vehicle,” which is based on the car’s price and estimated five-year fuel cost, a prominent feather in the cap for a car that’s being sold on its appeal as cheap transportation.
When it comes to styling, the diminutive sub-compact is nondescript in an anonymous way. It comes with a vague hatchback profile that blends in, while up front a thin front grille sits over a larger lower air intake. To the rear, a subtle rear lip spoiler is standard. Worth noting: the Mirage may not look it but it’s super aerodynamic, which contributes to its fuel sipping ways.
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. Three-cylinder engines are starting to make it over to the US market as consumers are showing more of a preference for fuel efficient cars. The Mirage, with its low weight (under 2,000 pounds) and good aerodynamics certainly fits the bill. 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 and fold in a 60/40 configuration) 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 are standard, along with the federally required antilock brakes and electronic stability control. A rearview camera for is available as well.