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Sunday, May 04, 2014

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage - Review

PRICE : For 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage $12,995

The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ranks 41 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mitsubishi Mirage, as well as reliability and safety data.

Reviewers say the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has some practical appeal because of its low price and long warranty, but rivals have better handling, more power and a lot more style.

The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has a three-cylinder engine, and while reviewers say the Mirage is capable of achieving highway speeds, they also write that accelerating and passing requires some forethought. A few reviewers mention that the engine is loud, which is a common complaint about subcompact cars. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional, though some test drivers note that the standard five-speed manual transmission makes better use of the engine’s power. Equipped with a CVT, the Mirage gets an EPA-estimated 37/44 mpg city/highway, which is superb for the class. Test drivers say the car’s small stature and tight turning radius make it easy to park. They also note that the Mirage adequately handles bumps, but is less composed around corners. None of the reviewers thinks the Mirage is particularly fun behind the wheel.

The Mirage’s cabin is plain and mostly plastic, reviewers say, but audio and climate controls are intuitively placed and easy to operate. Test drivers say the front seats are comfortable and the cabin has adequate space for four adults, though, as in most subcompacts, rear passengers may be cramped. Standard features include a four-speaker CD audio system, a USB port, automatic climate control, power side mirrors and keyless entry. Optional features include Bluetooth phone connectivity, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, push-button start and a navigation system with a rearview camera. While reviewers say the cabin isn’t high-tech, it comes standard with features that are optional on some rivals, including a USB port and automatic climate control.


The new Mitsubishi Mirage is Mitsu’s attempt to draw in younger, entry-level buyers to pave the future of the brand. Unfortunately, the styling looks uninspired at best and won’t leave anybody praising it for its looks. While many of its competitors have some style that set them apart from the crowd, the Mirage blends right into the sea of traffic.

The stubby front end combined with the tall and swooping roof really looks rather awkward. And need we mention just how odd that front fascia looks? It lacks any aggressiveness, stylistic body lines are non-existent and it just looks blah all around. Additionally, there isn’t even a shred of Mitsubishi character injected into it, sans the tri-star logo up front.

While the body is not the most stylish it is pretty aerodynamic with a drag co-efficient of just 0.28. That helps keep air from dragging you down and is part of the reason for the cars high gas mileage. Add in the standard rear spoiler and you can say that Mitsubishi at least tried to make it interesting. Then again, that spoiler looks really out of place…

But, you have to keep in mind that form was likely an afterthought to function when Mitsubishi designed this tiny hatchback.

Standard Features :

► Body colored side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle
► RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) chassis safety cell construction
► Electric power steering (EPS)
► Power side mirrors
► 165/65R14 low-rolling-resistance tires
► Rear spoiler
► Halogen headlamps with auto-off


The interior sent shivers down our spines. No, not in a good way; we mean the ones you get when you see something that makes you very uneasy. From the cheap plastics, to the sea-of-black dashboard, to the flat-as-a-board rear seat, the Mirage just lacks any character at all. Trust that we know this is an economy car and you have to expect some skimping, but c’mon, guys, what’s with the 1990s-esq interior? The Mirage makes it look like GM was having a fire sale on old Geo Metro interior pieces…

Because of the hatchback design there is a good amount of storage space, especially when you fold the back seats down. With them down you have plenty of space to haul larger items, but this does require that the kids be left home or sent home on the bus.

One good thing is that the Mirage at least includes a somewhat modern audio system standard. This 140-watt, four-speaker system not only handles the normal AM/FM/CD duties expected of every radio, but it also handles MP3 files, USB drives and iPods.

Special Features :

► 4 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 with USB/iPod® input
► Power windows with driver’s side auto-up/down
► Tilt steering
► 60/40 split folding rear seat
► Automatic climate control
► Rear heater floor ducts
► Cargo area cover
► Piano black center console trim
► Keyless entry with panic alarm
► Rear wiper/washer
► Multi-information meter display
► ECO indicator
► Dual-stage front air bag SRS with front passenger occupant sensors, curtain side air bags, driver’s knee air bag, and front seat mounted side-impact air bags
► Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
► Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL)
► Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)


► Year:2014
► Make:Mitsubishi
► Model:Mirage
► Engine:inline-3
► Transmission:five-speed manual
► Horsepower @ RPM:74 @ 6000
► MPG(Cty):37
► MPG(Hwy):44
► Torque @ RPM:74 @ 4000
► Energy:Gas
► Displacement:1.2 L
► 0-60 time:15 sec. (Est.)
► Top Speed:100 mph (Est.)
► Curb Weight: 1,996 LBSMPG: 34 City/42 Highway


The Mirage is offered in DE and ES trim levels.

The DE comes standard with automatic climate control, full power accessories, a four-speaker, 140-watt AM/FM/CD stereo system with iPod/USB connectivity, keyless entry and 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.

The ES adds Bluetooth connectivity, a proximity key with push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, fog lights, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 14-inch alloy wheels.

Seven extra-cost options packages are available. The Navigation Package brings a nav system and a rearview camera; the Exterior Package garnishes the fog light surrounds, lower grille, and hatch with chrome; the Exterior Package adds a body kit; the Parking Assist package includes front and rear proximity sensors, the Protection Package adds mud flaps and other protective body gear; the Cargo Group includes a tray and net in the trunk; and, finally, the LED package brings LED interior lighting.


If there's anything I've learned testing cars, it's that drum brakes must be really, really cheap. There's no other reason for them to be hanging around at the back ends of all these entry-level cars for so long.

There's discs up front doing all of the heavy lifting, and they do their job fine. I tried a panic stop, and felt the ABS kick in, and found myself coming to a halt in fairly short order. The low weight of the car really helps here, and I suspect that a combination of low weight and a relatively basic hydraulic assist system is what makes the pedal feel not so bad. It's less numb than you'd expect, and you can feel what the wheels are doing through the pedal — for good and bad — pretty easily.


Thanks to a small turning circle and light-effort steering, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is easy to maneuver in dense urban settings. Out on the highway, though, the little car becomes fidgety and demands more of the driver's attention. The Mirage rides harshly over bumpy pavement, and handling isn't what we'd call confident or secure. Rival subcompact cars far surpass the Mitsubishi in these areas.

Although the three-cylinder engine is certainly fuel-efficient, acceleration is quite slow and you'll need to plan well ahead for passing maneuvers on the highway. More annoying than the 2014 Mirage's sluggish performance, though, is the excessive noise from the engine compartment. Even at low speeds, the three-cylinder makes a considerable racket. The CVT often adds to the mayhem, as the slightest increase in accelerator pedal pressure results in a dramatic increase in engine rpm.


This is the first press car I've reviewed with power numbers in loogie-hocking distance of my old Beetle: 74 HP and a nice matching 74 lb-ft of torque. Those aren't, obviously, huge numbers. In fact, they're likely within the bottom three of new cars you can legally purchase in the US today, but I don't mind that. Horsepower in the mid-70s doesn't have to feel all that terrible if the car is light enough, and the Mirage certainly is: 1996 lbs.

That comes to right about 26.9 lb/HP, which isn't too far off from a 1978 BMW 318i's power-to-weight ratio of 25.5 lb.HP. That's about as far as I want to compare the two cars right now, but it should give you a rough idea of what the propulsive force is dealing with.

It doesn't feel all that slow, but the 1.2L three is clearly working pretty hard to get you up to highway speeds. I never felt really fast in the car, but driven with a happy disregard for both the little green ECO light and sanity, it's quick enough. I was able to pass and merge on the highway with minimal pants-soiling.

If off-the-line speed is what gives you joy, then you're either obviously barking up the wrong tree here or looking for a novel home for your LS1 transplant. If that's not you, then you'll find the Mirage's get-up-and-go acceptable if not inspiring.


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is not a fast or powerful car. It comes with just one engine, a 1.2-liter three-cylinder that puts out 74 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. That puts it among the least powerful cars sold in the U.S., in the same category as the Smart ForTwo (at 70 hp). Even the Scion iQ has 94 hp; the Fiat 500 offers 101 hp, and if you move up the price scale to hybrids, the Toyota Prius C powertrain is rated at 99 hp and the Honda Insight at 98 hp.

The Mirage offers two transmissions: a five-speed manual gearbox or, for $1,000 more, a new and very compact continuously variable transmission (CVT) that delivers the highest gas-mileage ratings. The CVT has a wider range (7.3 to 1) between its lowest and highest ratios than most, because its belt drive is supplemented by a small two-speed gearbox that’s part of the unit.

The Mirage is also, however, a remarkably light car. Mitsubishi put enormous effort into weight reduction in every facet of the car ,and the results are remarkable: This five-door car with seats for four adults has a curb weight of 1,973 pounds in its most minimal form, rising only to 2,051 fully loaded. It’s a remarkable achievement; the Smart ForTwo weighs 1,808 lbs, the Chevy Spark is 2,269 lbs, the Fiat 500 comes in at 2,363 lbs, and so forth.

The Mirage has been tuned for city and suburban use; the CVT version accelerates away from stops smartly. It also has hill-start assist. The manual gearbox, however, has a first gear high enough that moving away without stalling takes a bit of practice. On the top, fifth gear in the manual isn’t particularly high, so the engine is turning over 3,500 rpm at just 70 mph.

And it’s at higher speeds that the Mirage’s lack of power shows up most clearly. To pass a car ahead requires a long clear space and advance planning, and generates a lot of engine noise for very slow gains in momentum.  The brakes (discs up front, drums in the rear) have a solid feel and work fine for such a light car. One possible anomaly: A panic stop momentarily overwhelmed the anti-lock brakes on our pre-production car, leaving stripes of rubber on the road. Mitsubishi engineers said they were unable to duplicate the behavior.

The handling and roadholding are only adequate. The electric power steering has a large numb area in the center—larger than virtually any other car we’ve driven lately—that can let the car wander if the driver doesn’t pay close attention. Mitsubishi says it has one single set of suspension tuning for every Mirage, no matter where it’s sold—and the company needs to go back and retune it for North American driving conditions. The ride is good enough on smooth pavement, but sudden maneuvers like lane changes produce a great deal of body roll and a wobbly and uncertain feeling until the car evens out again.

The 2014 Mirage is a nimble urban warrior, though. Its turning circle is a minimal 30.2 feet, so it can make U-turns into parking spaces across the street with ease.

The Mirage is a car that’s much more comfortable running around town than making long road trips—especially if those trips involve hills, lots of passing, or sudden changes in direction. It’s not unsafe, but it’s slow and the handling is hardly inspiring.


The front seats of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage are comfortable, but most drivers—taller ones especially—will find the lower cushions slightly short. Bolstering in the backrest is good, though, and the seats were comfortable over several hours of test driving. The steering wheel tilts, but does not telescope.

The rear seat is relatively thin, and while there’s legroom in the back for adults, it requires negotiation with front occupants. Four adults will be a tight fit, but are at least possible—unlike three-door minicars with four nominal places, like the Fiat 500 or MINI Cooper. Mitsubishi calls it a five-seat car, but fitting three in the rear would require all of them to be children or skinny teenagers.

Cargo space is good for the segment, with 17.2 cubic feet of volume with the rear seat up and 47.0 cubic feet with the rear seat folded forward. While that's relatively large for such a small car, the load floor is not flat with the seat folded. Ultimately, the Mirage has nowhere near the versatility of the Honda Fit’s Magic Seat arrangement, which permits removal of the entire rear seat if needed. A cargo tray and cargo net package is $95 extra.

At steady rates of travel, the Mirage is decently quiet, and it rides well on good road surfaces. Press the car hard, however, and engine noise rises to a loud howl and stays there. Broken roads bring out the worst in the Mirage, as its small 14-inch wheels crash over ruts and expansion joints.


The front-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Mirage is powered by a positively tiny 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine. The standard transmission is a 5-speed manual featuring long throws and possibly the lightest clutch pedal we've ever experienced, but for maximum fuel economy you'll need to spend another $1,000 for the wide-ratio continuously-variable transmission, or CVT for short. Acceleration is lackadaisical and the sounds that accompany it are an assault on the senses. The silver lining to all this slow, loud movement is found in the Mirage's fuel economy numbers, which rival the efficiency of many hybrids.

1.2-liter inline-3
74 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
74 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/42 mpg (manual), 37/44 mpg (automatic)


Standard safety features for the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage include four-wheel antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and traction and stability control. Front and rear parking sensors are optional on both trim levels, while a rearview camera is optional only on the ES trim.

In Automotive News brake testing, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, an average distance for a car in this class.


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has the highest fuel-efficiency rating for any car that’s neither a hybrid nor a plug-in. The version fitted with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) is rated at 40 mpg combined (37 mpg city, 44 mpg highway). Opting for the five-speed manual, which is $1,000 cheaper, knocks that down to 37 mpg combined (34 mpg city, 42 mpg highway).

Those are remarkable numbers. They’re higher than the two-seat Smart ForTwo, and the lower of the two combined numbers equals the previous highest-rated gasoline car, the “3+1-seat” Scion iQ that’s only marginally longer than a Smart. Yet the Mirage offers four entry doors, seats for at least four, and all the cargo flexibility of a small five-door hatchback.

To do better on gas mileage in a car this size requires stepping up to either the Toyota Prius C (at 50 mpg combined) or the Honda Insight (at 42 mpg combined). Those cars too are five-door hatchbacks, both slightly larger than the Mirage—but their base prices are $6,000 to $7,000 higher. If you’re looking for very high gas mileage in a car with four usable seats, the 2014 Mirage is the cost-effective champ.


Video by : Motormouth Canada

By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

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