2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

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Key Specs
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    36-39 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    78-hp, 1.2-liter I-3 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

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

Notable Features of the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • 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 Road Test

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 Competition:

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 se...

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.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.


Latest 2018 Mirage Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Love my lil car

by Billy's girl from Trinity FL on August 23, 2018

This is the cutest, best most economical car on the road. This is the first brand new car I have ever owned, I promised I would never buy a brand new car because of the loss of imminent value. This ... Read full review

(5.0)

50 MPG average (not on a hill)

by Rick -Road Warrior from Rockford on August 20, 2018

I drive 150 plus to/from work, so MPG is important. This Mirage is rated at 43 MPG highway, but based on my limited time (so far) it looks like it will easily exceed that. Very happy with my choice. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Mitsubishi
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / unlimited distance

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 warranty

    Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    123-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Mirage received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker