The Mirage resurrects a nameplate not seen in the U.S. since the 2002 model year. The new Mirage is a four-door hatchback with a three-cylinder engine that Mitsubishi estimates will get an EPA rating of 40 mpg combined with its optional automatic transmission — not simply 40 mpg highway, as many subcompacts promise.
Mitsubishi expects the car to compete in a niche segment of micro-cars, facing off against competitors like the Chevrolet Spark, Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo. You might shop it against traditional subcompacts, too, like the Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta.
Trim levels for the Mirage include the base DE and uplevel ES.
At 148.8 inches long, the Mirage is 4.1 inches longer than the Spark but short of the Ford Fiesta. Its wheels sit close to the corners of the car, and the profile otherwise resembles a no-frills subcompact. ES models have 14-inch alloy wheels and fog lights; a chrome package dresses the lights and front bumper inlet.
The cabin's wraparound textures evoke basic transportation, but DE models come standard with a four-speaker stereo and USB input, plus power windows, body-colored power side mirrors and automatic headlights. The ES trim adds Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 14-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and front seat height adjustment. It also is equipped with keyless access and push-button start, a rarity in this class.
The three-position backseat folds in a 60/40 split.
Under the Hood
A 1.2-liter three-cylinder makes just 74 horsepower; it pairs with a five-speed manual or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission. With the latter, Mitsubishi expects the Mirage will attain 37/44 mpg city/highway EPA ratings or 40 mpg combined. That makes it the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car on sale. Regular-grade gasoline works fine, Mitsubishi says.
Seven airbags are standard; so are the required electronic stability system and antilock brakes.
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