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How Safe Is the Mitsubishi Mirage?

The 2020 Mirage is a new, low-cost offering from Mitsubishi, who have done their best to keep everyone in good spirits through a difficult time. However, the Mitsubishi Mirage has already made headlines and none of them are particularly great.

For the price, it’s a serviceable car but you can get significant upgrades in the same class and a similar price point. Knowing that the overall quality of the car isn’t quite up to par, does the Mirage make up any ground in one of the most critical categories — safety?

The Mitsubishi Mirage’s safety ratings

An orange Mitsubishi Mirage on display at an auto show
A Mitsubishi Mirage on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

In a word… no. Much like every other aspect of the Mirage, it falls short in the safety department. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provided ratings of Good, Good, Good, Acceptable (side crash), and Marginal (in the small overlap front driver-side crash test).

If the Mirage were to score off the charts in safety tests, perhaps it could find a small niche in the market as a car for consumers that wanted to make sure they could protect their family. But the scores simply aren’t there in the safety department, and the rest of the vehicle doesn’t have the perks to make up the difference.

The Mirage just doesn’t measure up. Like nearly every other car on the road, the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage comes with a backup camera, and rear parking sensors have been made available. However, that’s the extent of the Mirage’s safety features.

It doesn’t have blind spot detection or lane warning sensors. The Mirage features standard airbags, of course, but nearly every safety innovation created in the last decade is absent.

Where the Mitsubishi Mirage fits into the class

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For example, the Front Crash Prevention safety rating on the Mirage is missing altogether. But its biggest competitor, the Honda Fit? A Superior rating. The Honda fit scores five stars in multiple categories, including Side Crash, Front Crash, and Overall. The Mitsubishi Mirage scores four in each one. 

Given this information, it’s no shock that U.S. News rated the Mitsubishi Mirage at the bottom of its subcompact list. However, it does have one standout feature: fuel economy.

The Mirage’s MPG of 36 City / 43 Hwy is the best among the vehicles listed, and goes a long way on a single tank. However, think twice before you plan that road trip.

The arrangement of the front seats has been criticized as uncomfortable for long drives, and Mitsubishi has been trying to fix this since at least 2016.

Does this car have any upside?

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In addition to the fuel economy, the Mitsubishi Mirage does seat 5 at least semi-comfortably. At the absolute lowest trim and feature level, it comes in at just under $14,000 MSRP. Again, the lack of features and mediocre safety rating should give you pause. However, the 2020 versions of the Chevrolet Spark are near the same price point, with some costing even less than the Mirage.

As much as we’ve managed to avoid easy jokes about the Mitsubishi Mirage “not being what it appears to be”, it’s the truth. The 2020 version of the Mirage isn’t a significant improvement over the subpar offerings of the past.

While Mitsubishi is breaking the bank with its other offerings, they don’t appear to have spent a lot of time getting the Mirage ready for market. In addition to the rest of its issues, the safety features and ratings just don’t measure up.

If you’re determined to get something in the same class and price point, consider the Chevrolet Spark or old faithful, the Honda Fit. The Mitsubishi Mirage simply isn’t worth the money, and it certainly doesn’t make up the difference in safety.