Mitsubishi Mirage

Car Review: Mitsubishi Mirage (2012-2021)

The sub-compact Mirage has had to prove itself over the past 10 years, and it has done just that. While many will turn their nose up or share a joke, there’s no denying the Mirage has a popular fan base, is really economical, and is a cheap option when looking for a newer, greener model car.   

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Good

1. Available in hatchback or G4 sedan model from 2016

2. Extremely economical with a 3 cylinder 1.2 liter engine

3. Easy to maintain and low-cost to service

4. Cheap, reliable, and easy to park

5. Six to seven airbags (depending on which model and year) and good IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Safety Rating

6. Travel well on long trips and can accumulate high miles when looked after

7. Comes in a range of fun colors from ‘Kiwi Green’ and ‘Sapphire Blue’ to ‘Plasma Purple’

8. Keyless entry, air-con, and Bluetooth come as standard

9. Aftermarket options were and are still available if you want to pimp it up

10. Some form of new car warranty will still apply from the original 10 year (or 100k miles) powertrain warranty and 5 year (60k miles) new vehicle warranty

11. Plenty of room for luggage with the back seats folded down

12. The use of a timing chain means it should last the life of the car

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Bad

1. Okay, it won’t win any beauty contests

2. Okay, it won’t win any race contests

3. Okay, it does raise a few laughs

4. Cheap interior fittings and materials (expected from a cheap car)

5. Not made for towing of any kind

6. Quite noisy on longer journeys

7. No standard reversing camera, but you shouldn’t need one on something so small

8. Roof racks – forget it!

The Essentials

Not a common problem, but keep an eye out for rust forming along the bottom of the doors, around the trunk and under the front bumper for models that have been abused. Also check the accelerator and brake pedals for major wear and tear. Ensure all service records have been met, and all paintwork is original. Remember these are light vehicles, so any branded title on one of these is an absolute no-go! If you’re in the market for a manual transmission, make sure the clutch hasn’t been ridden hard as they tend to wear out rather quickly with too much abuse. Cruise control was optional on new vehicles, so check to see if that is something you require.

The Alternatives

Honda Fit (2013-2019), Chevrolet Spark (2009-2015), Toyota Yaris (2013-2019), Ford Fiesta (2008-2017)

The Verdict

7 out of 10

For such a small car, the Mirage is packed with features, and has the safety backing and green credentials to make it a viable option. It may be a cheap car, but a well looked-after model will last you a few good years until you either want to upgrade to a larger vehicle or an electric car.

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