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Mitsubishi is known for its budget-friendly cars and SUVs. Still, affordability doesn’t always accompany excellence. In the case of the Mitsubishi Mirage, cheap means spartan and underpowered. Check out the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage, a diminutive money-saving car with less horsepower than all its competitors. 

Is the Mitsubishi Mirage slow?

The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the most underpowered economy cars on the U.S. market. Specifically, the mini-Mitsubishi produces just 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque from its anemic 1.2L three-cylinder engine. As a result, the Mirage is quite slow. 

Car and Driver’s estimates of the Mirage’s performance are abysmal; the Mitsubishi model could require nearly 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. It worsens as the Mirage moves along, with an estimated quarter-mile time of around 18 seconds. Moreover, its top speed is the most hilariously heinous metric in its repertoire: about 100 mph. 

Furthermore, the Mirage’s power deficit is even more apparent when compared to some of its closest competitors: the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent. Specifically, the Accent and Versa produce 120 and 122 horsepower, respectively. However, the minimalist Mitsubishi mini car does enjoy an advantage from its silly lack of grunt; it’s a gas-sipper. 

Is a Mitsubishi Mirage good on gas?

The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage can get as much as 36 mpg city and 43 mpg highway. That’s impressive, considering the Mitsubishi model goes without a hybrid platform. 

The cheapest car in the automaker's lineup, a 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage sits outside a restaurant.
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

However, the Mitsubishi car’s fuel economy figures are only so much better than the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent. For instance, the 2022 Hyundai Accent gets around 36 mpg combined from a 1.6L inline-four-cylinder engine with an additional 42 horsepower. That means potential owners can get slightly fewer mpg out of a comparable Accent with over 65% more horsepower than the Mitsubishi car model. 

What problems does a Mitsubishi Mirage have?

Fortunately, one of the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage’s redeeming features is its expected reliability. According to RepairPal, a late-model Mirage warrants a 4.5 out of 5.0 on the reliability scoring scale. As a result, it ranks No. 7 out of 21 cars in the subcompact segment.  

Further, the Mirage gets excellent ownership costs. Its average annual repair cost is around $457, and its frequency of significant repairs is below average. The Mirage is a bargain, from purchase to ownership. 

A 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage shows off its hatchback car lines and gold paintwork.
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

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However, the now-discontinued Honda Fit received the same 4.5 out of 5.0, a higher ranking overall, and a lower average annual repair cost. 

Is a Mitsubishi a good car to buy?

Mitsubishi’s lineup for 2023 is limited, featuring variations of the Outlander SUV, Eclipse Cross, and its only car, the Mirage. While the Mirage’s affordability and 5-year basic warranty are outstanding, the market features well-established competitors that promise more, like the Hyundai Accent.  

The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage delivers on the promise of small hatchback practicality and bargain-basement starting prices. However, the Mirage isn’t alone in the segment, and it can’t hope to compete with other new and used economy options. 

What is your favorite budget-friendly hatchback? Tell us in the comments below!