Los Angeles, January 22, 2015 — The five-door 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact has been dubbed the most affordable and most fuel efficient new vehicle to buy and own in North America, but how does it really drive and does it live up to the hype? A 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage road test review.
Cars.com recently awarded the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage as “the most affordable vehicles shoppers can buy.” Why? They took into account “minimum feature requirements” on the $15,115 2015 Mirage DE including automatic transmission, Bluetooth capability, power windows and door locks and a USB port. In addition, Cars.com factored in the full price – including destination fees ($810) – and then threw in how much it would cost to fuel the Mirage for five years. In the end, Cars.com discovered the 2015 Mirage, which gets a whopping 40 mpg combined, cost $500 less than any other new vehicle.
On a week long road test of a head-turning kiwi green 2015 Mirage, this automotive journalist discovered the very, very good and the not quite up-to-par things about driving this highly fuel efficient and affordable ride.
One of the best things about the 2015 Mirage is the exterior. Mitsubishi kept the design not only simple, but added cool elements such as a body-colored rear spoiler, power side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle. The snub nose on the Mirage is rounded just right with large front bumper and black grille below. The sculpted sidelines give the Mirage a forward-moving feel. The back hatch’s design underlies the Mirage’s squat stance and further emphasizes the Mirage’s modern edge. Overall, the Mirage’s exterior is pleasantly satisfying especially in an array of crayola colors like the aforementioned kiwi green as well as sapphire blue, infra red, plasma purple, cloud white, mystic black, starlight silver and thunder gray.
Inside, the 2015 Mirage is a study in excellent minimalist design. Who needs loads of buttons and textures when this vastly simple interior design makes total sense? Plus, the build quality in the 2015 Mirage is rather exceptional for such a cheap ride. Matte textured and glossy smooth black plastics blend together nicely along with burnished metal accents in just the right places (like the handsome gauge cluster behind the steering wheel).
The Mirage’s cloth seats are not only impressive looking but were comfortable even on long road trips and support the back admirably. Leg room in the back seat was long enough even for tall adults to sit comfortably.
So what do you really get for $13,000+? The 2015 Mirage comes equipped with loads of standard convenience features such as automatic climate control, keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent wipers, split-fold rear seats and the aforementioned USB port as well as power doors and windows.
For just $14,295, upgrade to the 2015 Mirage ES. This trim level adds Bluetooth capability, push-button start, cruise control, 14-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lights and audio controls mounted onto a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Several accessory packages are also available including LED illumination, front and rear park assist sensor, exterior chrome and a navigation system completely with a rear view camera (ES models only).
What about performance? Here’s where the rubber meets the road, right? In short, the 1.2-liter MIVEC DOHC three-cylinder engine was a gutless wonder while all other driving dynamics – especially the kick ass suspension — were excellent and made for a fun ride.
Along California freeways, highways and country byways, the 2015 Mirage sputtered to life only when pressing the acceleration pedal all the way down. This actually became a problem when trying to accelerate to the same speed as other cars or when trying to pass or when going up steep hills. After a week, however, the driving became more intuitive and easier to gauge when the Mirage could keep up with the other cars on the road and when it was time to pull back and be patient (or get run over).
Still, if you are willing to overlook the engine’s lackluster performance and are more enamored with the fuel efficiency and the tough suspension, dynamic steering, smooth handling and spot-on braking then perhaps the 2015 Mirage is just the car for your I-just-want-a-new-car lifestyle.
What about safety? The 2015 Mirage also comes equipped with loads of advanced safety features including seven air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, hill start assist, brake assist, active stability and traction control. The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage has been awarded four out of five stars (overall) from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).
To add just a little more sweetness to the Mirage deal, Mitsubishi added one of the best warranties in the auto industry: a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty; and 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.
So, is the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage right for you? If you are willing to overlook the lack of acceleration and engine power, then the Mirage could be a good buy for those who are seeking a small price and high fuel economy.