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Aaron Gold

Opinions wanted: Whither goeth the Mitsubishi Mirage?

By September 24, 2013

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2014 Mitsubishi MirageSalutations du Canada! I'm in Quebec City to drive the new Mitsubishi Mirage. Mitsibishi first showed this subcompact hatch at last year's New York Auto Show, saying that it would be the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car sold in America -- and with an official EPA rating of 37 MPG city/44 MPG highway, that may well be the case. Mitsubishi has set the base price at $13,790, which also will make it one of the cheapest cars you can buy. (In fact, I'm holding off on updating my list of the ten least expensive cars until I have a chance to drive the Mirage.)

I'll be honest -- when I first saw this car (and heard about its 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine), I was skeptical. But I've since driven the new Outlander, and I think Mitsubishi is starting to turn things around. Their cars have always been pretty decent mechanically, but the interiors were dreadful -- my biggest complaint about the smaller Outlander Sport. That's changed with the new Outlander, and I'm hoping the Mirage will be a pleasant surprise... on the other hand, I have a feeling that a small 3-cylinder hatchback is going to fight an uphill battle in the US.

So what do you think -- is the Mirage the right move for Mitsubishi? Could it put them back on the map? Or is this the wrong car for our market? Post a comment and share your thoughts. -- Aaron Gold

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Comments
September 25, 2013 at 1:10 am
(1) Eric says:

I think the Mirage and cars like them are a good move here in the U.S. The only issue is whether or not enough people will want to buy them in enough numbers to keep them around. These cars are great for large cities with tight parking, and long lower speed commutes rather than longer drives on faster highways. I think the 3 banger might be a little challenged there. This would make a great second car to the family pickup truck or SUV, and a nice little work car.

September 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(2) LWATCDR says:

If they market it correctly then it could. Thing is I live in south Florida and even in places like West Palm Beach down through Miami parking is just not that big if an issue. I hear that in San Francisco it is a huge issue and of course in the NYC area. I just do not know if the trade offs are worth it in places where space is not a big issue. Look at the Spark vs Sonic, or the IQ vs the Yaris or Corolla You do not save a lot of gas or money but you lose a lot of flexibility. These maybe cars better suited for Europe and Japan than most of the US market.

September 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm
(3) Joe in Prescott, AZ says:

Throughout the world, very small cars have found a “niche”
market to serve. In most cases that would be areas where
parking is a challenge, fuel is expensive and the budget is
tight. Here in the U.S., that would most likely be as a second
or possibly third vehicle. I hope the Mitsubishi and cars
like it succeed!

September 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm
(4) Hawaiian Don says:

They might do as well as the Toyota IQ, Mazda 3 or the Smart Fortwo. Which doesn’t say much.

September 26, 2013 at 10:29 am
(5) Dr John says:

Does not make any difference if this tiny cars sells or not. Mitsu is pulling out of the US market anyway. 2 years and they are gone! Wait and see!

September 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(6) lwatcdr says:

The Mazda 3 is to classes larger than the IQ, and Smart. It is a compact not a sub compact or city car. BTW My Mazda3 has been a very good car. Managed to carry three adults and two bikes in a Mazda 3.

October 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm
(7) Brian in AZ says:

We don’t feel comfortable or safe in these tiny vehicles. I’ve seen crashes involving small ( like a Smart car ) cars and large SUVs( which are numerous in Arizona ) and it confirms my fear. Sometimes accelleration is weak which can also be a hazard. We’re ok with Civic-sized but not these micros. Generally, we don’t even look at Mitsubishi at all since there are so many good alternatives to consider.

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