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At first glance, the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback may not look like much. But its price isn’t much either, which is a good thing. With a starting MSRP far below $20,000, the Mirage is an excellent bargain pick for those seeking a new car. But before you walk onto the dealership lot, see which of the four trim levels is most worth it.

2023 Mitsubishi Mirage performance

First, it’s essential to know that there aren’t any sporty versions of the Mirage. Its 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine will only provide 78 horsepower and a lazy 74 pounds-feet of torque. Drivers won’t find it inadequate for pulling away from stoplights but don’t think it’s suitable for passing motorists on the highway.

Despite the low-rent performance figures, Mitsubishi says the Mirage is “miles ahead of the competition.” Not in speed and power but in fuel economy. The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback can achieve 36 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Given the fit-for-purpose nature of the Mirage, it’s the small things that make the compact come alive, especially the subtle differences between the trim levels.

2023 Mitsubishi Mirage trim levels

ES: $16,245

Standard interior features include bare-bones cloth upholstery. In the front, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat define the cockpit. On the tech side, the ES has a seven-inch touchscreen connected to a four-speaker stereo. Bluetooth connectivity is enhanced with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition functions. There’s also a welcome USB port.

Just because it’s the cheapest compact car on sale doesn’t mean the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback doesn’t have all-important active safety features. It’s a standard nowadays. Forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection make the base Mirage desirable. It even gets a rearview camera.

LE: $16,845

For an extra $600, the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback will gain alloy wheels from the factory with the LE trim level. Yet, that’s the only significant difference. Otherwise, the Mirage earns LE trim badging.

BE: $17,445

The BE trim level debuted in 2022, U.S. News says, as a more devilish hyper-miler economy car. But a darkened appearance and additional exterior accent aren’t its only tricks. The Mirage BE gains automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a black, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

SE: $18,145

The range-topping SE is the best-stocked Mirage of all. Standard features include LED lighting signatures backed by automatic high-beam headlights, a push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and lane-departure warning. The cockpit gains heated front seats on the inside, and the driver’s seat gets an armrest. Instead of cloth, partial synthetic leather upholstery covers all five seats.

Some may wonder if the Mirage hatchback has additional parking assistance features. Luckily, potential buyers don’t have to choose the top-tier SE for front and rear parking sensors. They’re a $635 option on any trim.

2023 Mitsubishi Mirage safety scores

Before one selects the best trim level on the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, one may want to know if it’s a safe car. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the five-seater four out of five stars. In the side barrier test simulating a T-bone incident, the NHTSA awarded five stars for the driver’s side of the Mirage.

The economy did fare poorly in one area, however. The NHTSA tested the Mirage’s ability to withstand a crash into a fixed object like a utility pole or tree. Unfortunately, the government agency gave only two out of five stars.

Which 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback trim level is the most worth it?

The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback is a cheap car
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

Considering that any Mirage will cost under $20,000, potential buyers might as well go big or go home. If a potential buyer’s budget allows, the top-of-the-line SE is the one to choose. The $1,900 extra is more than worth it. The welcome addition of synthetic leather makes the cheap and cheerful 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback a bit more joyful, especially that driver’s seat armrest.


2023 Mitsubishi Mirage: Is it Fast and Luxurious?