Although it is an incredibly budget-friendly option, the Mitsubishi Mirage doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort, power, or standard features. With an abysmal 4.9/10 rating from U.S. News, you might have to wonder what, if any, redeeming features this subcompact car has — and how it compares to the competition.
What does the Mitsubishi Mirage have to offer?
Right off the bat, we can confirm that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto do not come standard on the Mitsubishi Mirage. Instead, the vehicle offers a 7-inch touchscreen with HD radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system. While you can opt to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this actually comes at a cost: the upgraded system features a smaller 6.5-inch touchscreen.
However, although the standard infotainment features are somewhat lacking, the system itself is intuitive and user-friendly. The Mirage also has impressive fuel economy — it delivers 35 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class.
The Mitsubishi Mirage also handles well in the city. With its compact size, it can maneuver more easily through busy areas and fit into a larger range of parking spots. And despite its size, the Mirage actually has a decent amount of cargo space for its class: 12.6 cubic feet in the sedan, and 17.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats in the hatchback.
The shortcomings of the Mirage
While it does have a few perks, they are far outweighed by the many drawbacks of the Mitsubishi Mirage. Perhaps most notably, the vehicle’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine is a massive disappointment, getting just 78 hp. This means that the Mirage struggles to accelerate, and it’s noisy when you try to push it. Car and Driver also reports that the cabin receives quite a bit of engine vibration, making for a less pleasant driving experience.
The Mirage also has very few safety features. A backup camera comes standard, but you’ll need to pay extra for front and rear parking sensors — and popular driver-assist features such as emergency automated braking aren’t available at all.
Additionally, the Mirage has a low predicted reliability rating of just two stars from J.D. Power, a critics’ rating of 2.9/10 from U.S. News, and a Car and Driver rating of 2/10. U.S. News notes that in addition to its weak engine performance and a dearth of safety features, the Mirage’s interior also leaves much to be desired — it’s full of hard plastics and low-quality materials.
Other vehicles to consider
With a starting price of $13,995, the Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the most affordable options in its class and is aimed at shoppers who want to buy new on a budget. However, the Mirage’s many flaws make it worth taking a moment to look at some of its competitors.
The Honda Fit is particularly worth noting. U.S. News ranks it as the No. 1 subcompact car, as well as 2020’s Best Subcompact Car for the Money. It has an overall rating of 8.7, with a four-star predicted reliability rating. Additionally, its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine gets 130 hp, and its fuel economy is similar to the Mirage: 33 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
The Kia Rio is also a good option, with an overall U.S. News rating of 8.1 and a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 stars. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and the vehicle boasts excellent fuel economy, roomy front seats, and an attractive interior.
Although the Mitsubishi Mirage’s low price tag is tempting, it may be more trouble than it’s worth. Before deciding where to spend your money, consider taking some extra time to explore all your subcompact car options.