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This Car Totally Bombed Consumer Reports Road Test

Many people base at least part of their car-buying decisions on a vehicle’s Consumer Reports road test and for good reason. Consumer Reports has been the watchdog publication that keeps tabs on everything from chocolate to airliners since 1936, and the road test definitely pulls some weight with buyers. With that in mind, when a vehicle totally bombs the Consumer Reports road test, we’ve got to check it out and find out what went wrong.

Coming in last in the Consumer Reports road test

Scoring only 29 points, the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage came in dead last in a recent overview of cars that did the best and the worst on the Consumer Reports road test. Considering the best car, the 2020 BMW 7 series, scored 99 points, you can see that there is quite a big difference between the winner and the loser. Consumer Reports noted that it is actually very rare for a car to score this low on a road test and that it was the worst car they had driven in years. 

The 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage came in 12th out of 12 subcompact cars reviewed. During the Consumer Reports road test, drivers judged the car on several different criteria. The Mirage only did well in the fuel economy category, where it scored a five out of five.

In other areas, they were not impressed. Consumer Reports actually calls the car “regrettable” in their overview, and “pathetic” was another description. In fact, the reviewers hated this car so much that when asked which model was the best one to buy, they recommend the Honda Fit.

Why did the Mirage do so poorly? 

The Consumer Reports road test was a disaster for the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage. The subcompact scored an awful two out of five in several categories. The Mirage got a two in acceleration, getting to 60 miles per hour in 12.1 seconds. It also scored a two in both routine handling and emergency handling.

When braking, the Mitsubishi Mirage only scored a three, with reviews calling the brakes “unresponsive.” Transmission performance on the Mirage – judged by shifting smoothness, shifter action, and response – only received a three out of five. Even the headlights, which are considered part of the road test for Consumer Reports, only got a three.

Other aspects of the Mirage didn’t do any better. Consumer Reports found the interior fit and finish to be cheap and flimsy, the seats uncomfortable, and they experienced a high noise level inside the cabin. They called the Mirage’s ability to connect to your phone old-fashioned, and thought access into the car was difficult. Once you got there, the driving position was too high. They even had a problem with the flap door handles.

The Mirage’s Consumer Reports safety rating

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Mitsubishi Mirage | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The safety ratings are also something to be concerned about. These days, we are used to seeing vehicles get five stars in all eight categories that the NHTSA tests. This is not the case with the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage. It received only one five-star rating in the “Side Crash, Driver” category. There were mostly three-star ratings and one very concerning two-star safety rating for rollovers. There are no advanced safety features or crash-avoidance features at all. 

Even though the Mitsubishi Mirage scored miserably on the Consumer Reports road test, it’s not completely awful. It is an affordable vehicle with good fuel economy and a decent list of standard features. It is also easy to park in the city. However, based on the Consumer Reports road test, you may wind up wanting to just leave it where it’s parked.