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Nothing is more achingly straightforward than the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage. As one of the cheapest cars on sale when it was new, its lack of style, build quality, and performance certainly fit the price bracket. Yet, don’t be too sure it’s the right pick. It very well may be a big waste of money.

U.S. News & World Report seems to agree on the uninspiring prospect of owning a 2019 Mirage. For them, it’s one of the worst cheap used cars for three reasons. 

Reason #1: An interior as well-equipped as a barnyard

With four speakers, three cup holders, two sun visors, and one dome light, the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage isn’t big on creature comforts. It does come with a seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth capability. Customers also get an auxiliary port, so you can plug in your Zune and party like it’s 2004. But if you’re after Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? You’ll have to upgrade from a base model.

In many areas, Mitsubishi decided to go cheap on the Mirage but spared no expense with button noises. Every time the climate control system changes, it sounds like the “Add 30 Sec” button on a microwave. Even more irritating, apart from the ill-fitting carpet, exposed bolts, and lack of red door lock indicators, is the back seat.

Wish passengers luck getting comfortable because the back seat was not designed for humans. It has no sections or contours, so it’s basically a bench seat made of low-grade foam. Not to mention, there’s no steering wheel lock when the car is off. But don’t worry; it’s highly unlikely anyone will try and steal it.

Reason #2: Abysmal reliability and safety standards

An orange 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage driving
2019 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

The safety standards of a 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage rather depend on the prevailing federally-mandated minimums. For example, shoppers won’t find features like radar-guided cruise control, automatic braking, or others. Mirages do have side curtain airbags, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety details many areas of extensive failure.

Concerning reliability, Consumer Reports didn’t even bother to rate the Mirage. For its part, U.S. News gave it a 2/5 reliability rating. Mitsubishis are typically above average when it comes to reliability. However, since the Mirage had a starting MSRP of around $15,000 when it was new, you can probably speculate. Nevertheless, even worse than the subcompact’s interior, build quality, safety standards, and reliability.

Reason #3: The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage has less get-up-and-go than a tractor

The Mirage’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine produces just 78 hp and 74 lb-ft of torque, Edmunds says. Although the car weighs just a tick over a ton, 0-60 mph is achieved in a laughable 12.1 seconds. And don’t let the optimistic 140 mph speedometer fool you. In most situations, a horse is a quicker way of getting around.

The 2019 Mirage is sluggish, but Mitsubishi makes up for it by being noisier than a yellow Blue Bird storming down a red dirt road. The hysterical panel gaps make highway driving sound like you’re reentering the atmosphere. Even though the tires are small—14 inches in diameter and less than half that in width— they make a deafening sound. Along with the shaky suspension, you will feel every single road imperfection. But, it could be a safety feature. Driving the Mirage will keep your attention as running over a road reflector is equivalent to hitting a deer.

Are there worthwhile alternatives to the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage?

In a word: yes. Other eco-friendly subcompacts like the Chevrolet Spark and Nissan Versa will provide better build quality. They may have similarly leisurely performance figures and excellent fuel economy, but taking $15,000 to the used market is a better option.

For example, Autotrader shows plenty of Ford Fiestas under $15,000 with under 40,000 miles. Although the models go back to 2014, they’ll still be better equipped than a Mirage. Toyota Corollas are also a good pick. Autotrader lists dozens, albeit ten-year-old models, with as little as 30,000 miles on the clock under $15,000.

Either way, an older car is a step up from a Mitsubishi Mirage. The Japanese automaker may have set its sights on making one of the cheapest new cars on sale, but unfortunately, it succeeded. They made the modern-day Yugo.


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