1997 Mitsubishi Mirage

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1997 Mitsubishi Mirage
Available in 4 styles:  Mirage 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$424–$5,012
Estimated MPG

29.1–32.8 city / 37.2–39.8 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 5
1997 Mitsubishi Mirage 4.7 3
$ 424-5,012
May 18, 1997
Do they still make the Mitsubishi Mirage?

If the only thing you've heard about Mitsubishi in the last year is theshenanigans that allegedly took place at its Downstate Normal assembly plant,then you probably are unaware that the Japanese automaker continues to build ahigh-mileage little sports coupe called Mirage, aptly named because you don'tsee one often.

Mirage has been redesigned for 1997, an attractive sports coupe with aspoiler that doesn't get much promotion from Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi used to produce the Mirage for itself and a version for Chryslercalled Eagle Summit. Now that Chrysler has its high-mileage subcompact Dodgeand Plymouth Neon, there's no need for Summit so Mitsubishi builds the caronly for itself.

It's a lively little car. The 1.8-liter, 113-horsepower 4-cylinder teamedwith a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual performs as if blessed with even moremuscle. Despite the quickness, fuel economy is a most impressive 29 miles pergallon city/37 m.p.g. highway.

It's roomy upfront, a bit cramped in back (though how many subcompactcoupes aren't?) and rather quiet.

There are a few drawbacks, such as a suspension system with more movementthan we'd like, vertically and horizontally, smooth or rough surfaces. When itcomes to ride, handling and braking, we'd prefer a vehicle that travels on amore level plane.

And anti-lock brakes are a $732 option to keep the sticker low. With allthat play in the suspension system, we'd sure want ABS.

Two other gripes: the light on the air conditioner button was always"green" so you weren't sure if it was "on" or "off," and clearing the windowsof fog seemed to be a never-ending chore. Yes, air conditioning will relievemoisture on the windows, but is the air on or off?

Also, a lot of road noise filters back into the cabin; the outside mirrors,especially the driver's side, are a shade small; and the coupe rides on14-inch tires where 15-inch treads probably would help improve ride andhandling and certainly stability.

The Mirage LS we tested starts at a most respectable $13,210. Standardequipment includes dual air bags, power brakes and steering, four-wheelindependent suspension, tinted glass, rear-window defroster, color-keyedbumpers, AM/FM with cassette, digital clock, dual cupholders, heightadjustable steering, remote fuel tank/trunk release, trip odometer andsplit/folding rear seats.

Add $207 for the appearance package including fog lights and air dam; $744for the convenience package with power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control,variable speed wipers and driver's side vanity mirror; and $917 for the valuepackage with air conditioning, compact-disc player, floor mats, wheel locksand rear cargo net. Add $420 for freight.

Mirage is meant for those looking for a high-mileage economy coupe thatdoesn't look like a blue-light special. We hope now that the car has beenredesigned for 1997, engineers will work to remove the annoyances for 1998.




    Expert Reviews 2 of 5

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