Overview For the price of a decent used car, Mitsubishi will sell you a brand-new 2021 Mirage hatchback with a 10-year warranty. Such a transaction may sound good at first blush, but what you’ll be getting is an unrefined small car with a down-market interior and a puny three-cylinder engine. Standard features are fairly generous and include automated emergency braking, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and automatic climate control. The Mirage also offers stellar fuel economy and a surprising amount of cargo room. If your budget can handle it, we’d still recommend taking a look at its rivals before signing on the dotted line, but for those who care only about the dollars and cents, the Mitsubishi can’t be beat. Not into hatchbacks? Mitsubishi also sells a sedan version called Mirage G4, which we review separately.What’s New for 2021?The Mirage hatchback receives a light styling refresh for 2021, complete with a much larger grille, restyled front and rear bumpers, and new head- and taillight designs. A Carbonite Edition model is new this year, as well, and adds a racier-looking body kit. Mitsubishi has added automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection as standard equipment; the same goes for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.Pricing and Which One to Buy If you’re considering the Mirage, we’re guessing your intention is to make a car purchase that doesn’t put too large a dent in your pocketbook. With this in mind, we’d recommend sticking with the base ES model as spending more on a costlier trim puts the Mirage in contention with a host of better choices. Engine, Transmission, and PerformanceAll Mitsubishi Mirage hatchbacks come with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that generates a modest 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. That’s less muscle than you’ll get with rivals such as the Chevrolet Spark (98 horsepower). The Mirage’s base model comes with a five-speed manual transmission, but all other trims are equipped with a CVT. Power is sent to the front wheels. When driven on city streets and highways, the Mirage exhibits lackluster acceleration. Heavy throttle inputs are required for passing maneuvers on the freeway, and the engine gets raucous when pushed. Also, there’s a lot of engine vibration within the cabin.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGAccording to the EPA, the Mitsubishi Mirage achieves fuel economy of 36 mpg city and 43 mpg highway with the optional CVT. These numbers are extremely impressive, and they make the Mirage a more fuel-efficient choice than the Spark (up to 30/38 mpg). With the manual transmission, the Mirage’s fuel economy dips to 33/41 mpg.Interior, Comfort, and CargoThere are quite a few budget-priced subcompacts that offer reasonably upscale cabins, but the Mirage isn’t one of them. Although the design is rudimentary and there are lots of hard plastics in evidence, the car’s interior is pleasant enough given its price range. The front row offers comfortable accommodations, but rear-seat legroom is tight. There’s a generous amount of cargo capacity on board. With all seats in place, the Mirage provides 17 cubic feet of cargo space. With the standard 60/40-split folding rear seats lowered, cargo space expands to 47 cubic feet. These figures make the Mirage a roomier choice than the Spark, which provides 11 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row and 27 cubic feet behind the first.
Infotainment and ConnectivityBluetooth connectivity is standard on the Mirage, and this allows for hands-free phone calls. A four-speaker audio system, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all standard. For those seeking a more premium setup, a Rockford Fosgate sound system is offered as an upgrade.Safety and Driver-Assistance FeaturesThe Mirage comes standard with automated emergency braking, and the top-spec SE comes with lane-departure warning and automatic high-beam headlamps, but more advanced driver-assistance features are missing from the options list. For more information about the Maverick’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include: Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection Available lane-departure warning Available automatic high-beam headlampsWarranty and Maintenance CoverageMitsubishi offers one of the best warranties in the business, tying the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent with its 10-year coverage. The Mirage’s coverage leaves warranties by rivals like the Chevy Spark in the dust. However, unlike the Mirage, the Spark provides complimentary maintenance. Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles No complimentary maintenance
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchbackBASE PRICES: ES, $13,830; SE, $15,630; GT, $17,330ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 12-valve inline-3, aluminum block and head, port fuel injectionDisplacement: 73 cu in, 1193 ccPower: 78 hp @ 6000 rpmTorque: 74 lb-ft @ 4000 rpmTRANSMISSIONS: 5-speed manual, continuously variable automaticDIMENSIONS: Wheelbase: 96.5 inLength: 149.4 inWidth: 65.6 in Height: 59.4 inPassenger volume: 86 cu ftCargo volume: 17 cu ftCurb weight: 2050-2100 lbPERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 10.6-10.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.5-18.3 sec
Top speed: 100-105 mphFUEL ECONOMY:
EPA combined/city/highway driving: 36-39/33-37/41-43 mpg
More Features and Specs