Despite the emergence of the new and bigger Lancer sedan, Mitsubishi continues to offer the smaller Mirage, but only in coupe form; the sedan versions are now extinct. The base DE front-drive subcompact coupe has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while other models hold a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. An emergency release inside the trunk is new for 2002. All Mitsubishis, including the Mirage, are displaying a new triple-diamond chrome badge for 2002. In recent years, the entry-level Mirage sold primarily as a fleet vehicle.
Measuring 168.1 inches long overall on a 95.1-inch wheelbase, the two-door Mirage is 53.5 inches high. Alloy wheels and a power sunroof are optional on the step-up LS edition, but these features are not available on the basic DE model.
Despite its claimed five-passenger capacity, riders can expect a tight fit in the rear seat. Air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, a 100-watt stereo with a CD player, tachometer, six-way adjustable drivers seat and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat are standard on the LS coupe, but only selected options are available for the DE coupe. Passenger volume measures 85.6 cubic feet, and cargo space totals 12.5 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
The DE coupe comes with a 92-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and the LS uses a 111-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic with adaptive shift control is optional. Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are not available.
Typically viewed as strictly basic transportation, the two-door Mirage has a minimally sized interior, but it is wholly capable of satisfactory motoring for a modest cash outlay. As expected, performance is more suitable with the larger LS engine and manual shift. Because of the larger Lancers emergence and expected popularity, tempting deals might be possible on whatever Mirages reach dealer showrooms.