2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

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$13,395

starting MSRP

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage
2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Cabin has plenty of headroom
  • Good cargo room behind the backseat
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard on higher trims
  • Standard touchscreen is a decent size
  • Fun handling
  • 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty

The bad:

  • Very noisy cabin
  • Acceleration slow, especially from a stop
  • No armrest for front passenger
  • Backseat has no visible air vents or charging points
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Lack of safety features

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • ES

    $13,395

  • SE

    $16,095

  • GT

    $16,595

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Adds new technology for 2018
  • 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission standard
  • CVT automatic optional
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Optional 6.5-inch touchscreen

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage review: Our expert's take

By Brian Wong

The verdict: The Mirage GT has some surprising features for its price, but once you’re driving, you won’t forget what’s missing.  

Versus the competiton: Other cars in this class are quieter and offer more power and features, but the Mirage is more fun to drive and a bit quirkier, which some will like.  

The Mitsubishi Mirage is not the lowest-priced new car you can buy in 2018. That title — and accompanying ignominy or praise (I’m not sure which one yet) — goes to the 2018 Nissan Versa, which starts at $12,995. That undercuts the Mirage’s starting price of $14,290 by more than $1,000 (all prices include destination charges). But that’s not to suggest the Mirage feels like anything more than a minimalist car.

In the price range inhabited by cars like the Mirage, Versa, Chevrolet Spark and Kia Rio (compare those here), what you don’t get is just as important as what you do. My week with the 2018 Mirage produced some surprising positives to go along with a few nagging negatives.

The 2018 Mirage is sold as a hatchback or sedan, called the Mirage G4 (which we cover as a separate model on this site). I tested a Mirage GT, the top hatchback trim level (above ES and SE trims), that cost $17,585 as equipped.

2018 Updates

For the new model year, the Mitsubishi Mirage adds some new technology and convenience into the mix. It starts with a new 7-inch touchscreen display that’s standard on the ES trim level. SE and GT trims get a smaller screen (6.5 inches), but it comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, so I’d say the smaller screen is worth it. A backup camera is now standard, as are Bluetooth connectivity and steering-wheel controls for audio and phone. Those piloting SE and GT models can now enjoy a driver’s seat armrest — if you’re in the ES, I guess you don’t deserve one.

Note that the Mirage G4 gets the same updates, as well as an added center pass-through for the trunk. Compare the 2018 Mirage with last year’s model here.

What You Get

The Mirage GT comes with a few surprising features for its price. As mentioned, the multimedia system includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity standard on the SE and GT, which gives you navigation on the touchscreen if you have a compatible smartphone. There’s also standard Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel controls, automatic single-zone climate control and keyless access via small buttons on the door handles that lock and unlock the car.

The Mirage can also be kind of fun to drive. Mitsubishi doesn’t provide a zero-to-60-mph time for the Mirage — possibly because those are usually listed in seconds, not minutes — but it’s not the acceleration that makes the car occasionally enjoyable, it’s the lack of weight. The Mirage GT weighs 2,128 pounds; for some perspective, that’s 200 pounds lighter than a Mazda Miata. So even though there isn’t much grip and steering feel is average, it feels pretty agile in curves. It’s not a bad little momentum driver; it might take a little while to build up some speed, but once you have it, finding a way to keep it is smile-inducing. Plus, with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine sending only 78 horsepower to the front wheels, you can spend a lot of time with the pedal buried firmly in the carpet without grossly exceeding posted speed limits.

Another bonus is fuel economy. The Mitsubishi Mirage’s 37/43/39 mpg city/highway/combined EPA-estimated ratings make it the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid or electric vehicle in America for 2018. That’s quite a claim to fame for the budget-conscious shopper.

The Mirage’s shape also gives you pretty good headroom front and rear, plus decent cargo room, with 17.2 cubic feet behind the backseat (more than a 2018 Honda Fit hatchback), which expands to 47.0 cubic feet with the seats folded.

What You Don’t Get

You don’t get much sound-deadening material. The doors have a hollow ring when you close them, and there doesn’t seem to be much insulation between the engine compartment and cabin. The Mitsubishi Mirage was the loudest car I’ve tested that has doors and a fixed roof; at highway speeds, conversations between even front occupants are strained thanks to all the noise (engine, tire and wind) there is to compete with. I’ve driven other affordable cars in this class, and though they aren’t library-quiet inside, they do a better job of keeping the outside environment where it belongs — outside.

Those looking for the latest safety features will be left wanting, as well. There are airbags and a backup camera, but that’s about it.

The Mitsubishi Mirage also doesn’t offer much comfort for rear passengers. There are no visible air vents or charging ports, and though there’s space for your head, there isn’t much legroom to speak of. If you’re more than 6 feet tall, good luck back there unless you’re behind a short driver.

One other thing to watch out for in the Mirage is that the steering wheel only tilts, it doesn’t telescope. That, along with limited adjustment range for the driver’s seat, made it impossible for me to find a seating position I liked. I consistently adjusted something (the seat, the wheel, myself) each time I drove the Mirage, which grew tiresome.

Conclusion

The Mitsubishi Mirage is unfiltered, unashamed low-price transportation, and there’s a place for that in the market. The floor for quality in cars has gone up over the past few years; I recall Bluetooth and a touchscreen being found only on higher trim levels not long ago, and now those things are standard on one of the cheapest cars around.

Mitsubishi will also throw you pretty robust warranty coverage: five years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, and 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain. That matches what you’ll get from Hyundai and Kia.

Would I go for a GT if I were buying a Mirage? Probably not. I’d jump down to the SE to save $500 given the GT’s exterior additions (two-tone wheels and bi-xenon HID headlamps) aren’t necessities, and I’d still get the better multimedia system and a driver’s armrest (crucial for me).

Is the Mitsubishi Mirage good in the grand scheme of things? Not really — but it’s not meant to be. It’s no-frills, highly affordable transportation with a screaming cabin that won’t let you forget about it.

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Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.3
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Newest car ever owned

It works great. It gets great gas milage and takes very little to fill it up. I like that my phone can sync to it.

4.6

I just bought it this week, too soon to tell.

It is well designed, handles well and has had no issues in the 250 ,iles we have put on it so far. We bought it with only 6600 miles on it, so it is in great shape. It handles well and the gas milage is incredible!

4.1

2018 Manual Mitsubishi Mirage ES

I purchased this car to see if I’d be approved. I was approved. I loved the idea of my second manual transmission vehicle in my, then, 33 years of age. This vehicle came with power windows with one touch driver’s window up and down. Power door locks without auto locking upon driving at a certain speed. I like that the doors don’t auto-lock once you’ve entered the vehicle. Auto lock can be dangerous when you’ve exited the car and think your keys are with you but they are in the car. This vehicle does auto lock if you unlock the doors with the key fob or in the key hole but do not open a door within a set time frame. That’s handy for my scatter brain moments. I often achieve 42-45 miles per gallon on a smaller than 9 gallon tank. This is an achievement because I love testing this car’s ability to meet my driving style while producing high MPGs. It may have less than 80 horsepower and less than 80 pounds feet of torque, but I don’t think it knows that! 😁 This 2018 mirage ES is named Storm ⛈ Cloud. He is Mercury Gray with black cloth seats and carpeting (including the carpeted floor mats). There are bottle holders and storage bins on the front doors. There are two average sized cup holders under the dash, in front of the gear shifter. There is one larger cup holder between the front seats with access from the back row. There is a cargo light. There is a molded, designed cargo cover with one rope attachment for a circular hook on the driver’s side on the cargo door. There is a temporary spare tire and tire changing kit under the cargo floor. The cargo floor is low. I could fit a 24 inch LCD TV inside the box back there with other groceries and still have room. Between the back seat (seats upright) and the cargo area, I’ve fit one full Sam’s Club grocery cart full of items in my car with room to spare. Sometimes I’ve used the cargo cover to hold items on top and other times I’ve moved it for more height. Legroom at 41.7” is good on paper. I would like 2-3 inches of more leg space for my longer legs and long distance comfort in the driver’s seat. I do not have cruise control. I only miss cruise control sometimes on 2+ hour drives. Nine of my eleven vehicles have had cruise control. I thought I needed it. I have been fine without it. I even purchased a second vehicle (vehicle #11-an EV) without cruise control. I’ve considered purchasing an automatic Mitsubishi Mirage to use as a travel vehicle so that others will share driving with me. I love the cold air in Storm Cloud. I love the heater. The defrost works quickly on cold days! We’ve seen our share of 37 degrees in SWFL (North Port and Englewood). I miss having a CD (compact disc) 💿 player. I’ve grown to love the glimpse of apple car play through Bluetooth. If I leave Amazon Music player open on my iPhone, the music begins to play and stops. If I see titles displayed, I can press play to continue. If “Unknown” is displayed, I’ll need to use my iPhone to begin playing the music again and wait for Bluetooth to connect and play my music. I think the 2019 and 2020 Mirages have improved Android Auto and Apple Car Play. I’m waiting for Mitsubishi to improve the seat range of motion for driver and passenger (up to 8 ways manual seats with lumbar), add leather or faux leather as an option, add heated and cooled seats as options, add CD player or CD changer on all trim levels, add manual transmission to all trim levels. I like the GT rims and the LE seats and interior color features but love my manual transmission!!! I’d love LED DRL daytime running lights. I’d like a glove box light. I’d like black headliner to match my carpet. I’d like bottle holder, storage bins on the rear doors. I’d like an arm rest between the front seats. Overall, I enjoy this car. I’m approaching two years of ownership (4/2/2020). I’ve maintained regular scheduled maintenance at Mitsubishi dealerships’ service departments. I have not needed an alignment (maybe at 40,000-50,000 miles according to a Mitsubishi service advisor). I have the original wiper blades, tires, brakes, etc. I am pleased that this 2018 Mirage is low maintenance and fun to drive in manual transmission. I’ve only test driven the automatic mirage and mirage G4.

See all 66 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mitsubishi
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of original 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain
Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
123-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2020

Chevrolet Spark

$13,400

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2016

Chevrolet Sonic

$14,345

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2019

Nissan Versa

$12,460

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See all 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage articles