If there were no Saturn or Neon, the Mitsubishi Mirage would be one heck ofa subcompact economy car for those looking for a low-price, high-mileage vehicle. Mirage is roomy. Big windows add to the feeling of spaciousness. A sunroof would help even more. There's a driver-side air bag, but not one on the passenger side. Big negative: no ABS.

Mirage is a functional sedan, one of those "point-A-to-point-B-without-wasting-lots-of-gas" machines. Ride and handling is average. Too bad the 14-inch radials weren't replaced by 15-inchers to improve roadability. The focus is on mileage versus performance. The 1.8-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine teamed with automatic is rated at 26 miles per gallon city/33 m.p.g. highway. Goodies include comfortable seats, dual cupholders that slip from the dash, a convenient coinholder built into the dash and rear window defrosters.

Base price: $12,579. But the options can add up: $805 for air, $225 for cruise control/intermittent wipers, $466 for AM/FM with cassette, $531 for power windows/door locks, and $64 for floor mats, which will put you in the $15,000 neighborhood when you add $420 for freight.