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Top Features of Base Model
- Very small, very cheap
- Most fuel-efficient non-hybrid sold in the U.S.
- Four adults actually fit
- Easy to park
Mitsubishi Mirage: Everything You Need to Know
About the Mitsubishi Mirage:
The Mitsubishi Mirage is the least powerful car sold in the U.S. and one of the smallest. It comes as a five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan called the G4. Both are subcompacts. The most basic versions are relatively cheap, but nicer models escalate in price. With small cars unpopular these days, though, good discounts may be available.
The Mirage was created to sell in less-developed countries, and it shows. It was a surprise hit for Mitsubishi when it launched in 2014, due to its fuel economy ratings. It’s not as good as a hybrid, but it’s much cheaper to buy new. But competitors have gotten much better since 2014. The Mirage hasn’t.
It’s a basic, forgettable car that’s very slow on the road, has dubious handling above 30 mph, and is both noisy and very basic. You may get a lower price on a Mirage than you can find on any other brand-new car, but there’s a reason for that. It’s one of the few new cars for which we might point shoppers to lightly used cars from other makes.
What’s New in the Current 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage?
Only small things have changed on the Mirage since a mild styling update two years ago. For 2019:
- LE edition gets heated front seats, 15-inch black alloy wheels, red interior accents.
- Cruise control and driver seat-height adjustment now available.
- 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine still rated at 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque.
- Five-speed manual gearbox is standard, but gives lower gas mileage.
- Most buyers pay $1,200 for the continuously variable transmission.
- EPA fuel-economy ratings range from 35 to 39 mpg combined.
What Does the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage Compete With?
The list of competitors is shorter than it was a few years ago, as several small cars have been withdrawn from the market.
The Mirage appeals to those on a tight budget, first-time buyers, and perhaps students. Frankly, the best competition comes from recent used subcompact models, which likely cost about the same as a new Mirage. They will be far more pleasant to own and use on a daily basis.
Exterior Design of the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage
Since a restyle for 2017 that added an actual grille, the Mitsubishi Mirage hasn’t changed on the outside. Some new alloy wheel options are about the only difference. It has no standard features that aren’t found on any other vehicle, and the lines overall are anonymous.
It’s a short but tall vehicle, and rides on tiny 14-inch or 15-inch wheels, which make the Mirage look top-heavy. Otherwise, there’s little to say about its generic small hatchback and sedan shapes.
Interior Style in the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage
The interior of the Mitsubishi Mirage is where its budget origins really show through. The plastics are almost all hard, cloth and vinyl are ubiquitous, and the look is bargain-basement budget. Also, the list of standard and optional features is minimal.
That said, the capacity of the Mirage will surprise you. It can hold four adults, all of whom sit quite upright with adequate headroom. Their shoulders may rub, but it accommodates adult knees with some negotiations between front and rear passengers. Front seats are adequately bolstered, though hardly lavish. This year drivers (only) can finally adjust their seat height. Its child safety seat LATCH attachments get a top rating of ‘Good’ from the IIHS.
Trunk space in the Mirage G4 sedan is only 12.3 cubic feet, but the hatchback is generous and versatile: 17.2 cubic feet with the rear seat up, and a surprising 47.0 cubic feet folded down. Cabin storage space is middling; a console between the seats isn’t standard.
What Technology Comes in the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage?
The 2019 Mirage has minimal technology, though the company has added a few features to keep it somewhat current. It’s now possible to connect an audio player via USB cable, for instance. Cruise control became standard this year too.
All versions have a 6.5-inch display for the audio system, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Bluetooth pairing. High tech on the Mirage is the keyless entry and push-button included on the SE trim, and the very highest GT trim level includes heated front seats and automatic headlights. That’s it.
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage?
Test scores for the Mitsubishi Mirage are not the best, with a four-star overall rating from the NHTSA for the hatchback. The government agency gave it four stars on every crash test except the driver’s side impact, where it got five. The IIHS awarded the Mirage hatchback its top score of ‘Good’ on every test except the newest small-overlap front crash on the driver’s side. There, it got a subpar ‘Marginal’ rating.
Safety equipment is minimal, with none of the active-safety systems found even on the smallest cars from Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota these days. The closet you’ll get is now-standard old-fashioned cruise control, added only this year.
What is the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage Like to Drive?
Get behind the wheel of a new Mirage, and the first thing you’ll notice is the stark severity of the hard, black plastic interior. Drivers sit upright, with a limited range of steering-wheel adjustment. The car’s short length and tall profile gives better outward visibility than in lower or more stylized cars.
Around town, the Mirage is slow but adequate. At higher speeds, though it’s very slow indeed, and it reveals some serious shortcomings in the suspension. The damping simply isn’t good enough, and it wallows and feels unsteady in sudden maneuvers. It takes great effort and planning to pass on North American highways, and the tall Mirage is affected by wind buffeting. This is not a car most commuters will want if their route has any highways involved.
Should I Buy a Current 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage?
We find it hard to recommend buying a new Mirage. Small, simple, minimal cars are fine, but buyers should expect competence in the execution. The Mirage is wearing to drive at speed and uncontrolled in sudden handling maneuvers, and just slow under all circumstances. It’s also noisy. In some ways, its best use may be as a two-seat urban hauler that never needs to exceed 40 mph.
Buyers can get some decent used small cars for the $15,000 to $18,000 price of a new Mirage (before discounts). In the long run, they’re likely better cars—and far more pleasant to live with.
Should I Buy a Used 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
The Mirage has logged more than 100,000 sales in the U.S. That means used models are out there, and they’re likely to be cheap. You should easily be able to find a low-mileage Mirage from the last three years for less than $10,000.
The 2014-2016 model has rounded front styling without a grille, while 2017 and later at least has a splash of chrome up front. Aside from that and some added features, not much has changed over its six years on the market.
How Much Does the New 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage Cost?
The standard 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage ES hatchback, with a five-speed manual gearbox, starts at just under $15,000 including a mandatory delivery fee. That’s less than half the price of the average brand-new vehicle sold today.
Then you start moving up the ladder. Buyers can add the continuously variable transmission for better fuel economy, choose the G4 sedan body, and opt for the LE, SE, or GT trim levels. The Mirage is priced in a narrow band of $15,000 to $18,000, but as you get higher, you start to overlap with far better cars from, say, Hyundai.
The one offset: Mitsubishi dealers likely offer substantial discounts on new Mirages, so your price may be closer to $10,000 than $20,000. We still question whether it’s worth it.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Fits four adults
- Good fuel economy
- Discounts available
- Small and very slow
- Grim econobox interior
- Highway handling can be scary
The History of the Mitsubishi Mirage: Six Years of Mirage
The Mirage name was used by Mitsubishi on a small sedan sold until 2002. The company revived it for a tiny hatchback designed largely for less-developed markets, and added a sedan thereafter. The latest Mirage has been sold in the U.S. since 2014.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Body Style
- 1.2L MIVEC DOHC 3-Cylinder
- 78 hp
- 5-Speed Manual
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Back Up Camera
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- LED Lights
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 1.2L MIVEC DOHC 3-Cylinder
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 4.05 Axle Ratio
- Battery w/Run Down Protection
- 85 Amp Alternator
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front Anti-Roll Bar
- Electric Power-Assist Steering
- 9.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Torsion Beam Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
- Wheels: 14" Steel w/Wheel Covers
- Tires: 165/65R14 All-Season
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Chrome Bumper Insert
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Black Side Windows Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
- Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Lip Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
- Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
- Aero-Composite Halogen Headlamps
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: 7" Display Audio -inc: 4 speakers, AM/FM, HD Radio, Bluetooth wireless technology and front USB port
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Aux Audio Input Jack and Steering Wheel Controls
- Integrated Roof Antenna
- 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
- Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way adjustable driver seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Mechanical Fuel
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
- Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Piano Black Instrument Panel Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Urethane Gear Shift Knob
- Cloth Fabric Seat Trim
- Day-Night Rearview Mirror
- Driver Visor Vanity Mirror
- Full Floor Console w/Storage and 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Front Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
- Rigid Cargo Cover
- Cargo Space Lights
- Driver And Passenger Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks
- Trip Computer
- Analog Display
- Seats w/Cloth Back Material
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Engine Immobilizer
- 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver Knee Airbag
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera