2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

 mirage2Reviewed by Susan Frissell

Available in two trim levels: DE ($12,995/14/195) and ES ($13,995/$15,195), the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact, four door, five passenger vehicle, with lots of good competition; namely, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Spark, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa Note and Toyota Yaris. For a little more cash, buyers will get a better ride, quicker acceleration and more interior room in most of the competition.

Safety equipment on the 2014 Mirage includes seven standard airbags, a driver’s knee airbag and advanced dual stage front airbags. Active stability control, ABS and traction control are also available, along with a tire pressure monitoring system and anti-theft engine immobilizer.

First impressions in the Mirage were more favorable than those given after spending a week in this subcompact. A fairly peppy commuter, the Mirage offers a somewhat smooth ride, even over Chicago’s miserable roads. However, the 3-cylinder MIVEC engine, although it may be enough when driving from point A to B, is very noisy and sluggish when pushed. The interior is less than inspiring, the IP and dash unremarkable and the seats barely functional. While headroom is decent for the taller driver/passenger, the center console ‘s three cupholders are barely reachable from a driving position. One can opt for the bottle holder in the door, however.

There are no armrests for driver or front passenger, but controls are easily reached and workable. The rear bench seat is flat with not much cushion and a tight fit for three passengers, When folded flat, cargo space increases to 47 cubic feet, enough to carry quite a few items.

After a week we used less than half a tank of gas. At a reported 40 mpg around town, the Mirage may appeal to those intent on saving gas, who want a very easy car to park and one that is simple to operate on a day-to-day basis. One of the newest entries in the subcompact category, the Mirage is the car for the thriftiest of thrifty buyers.mirage1

 

The Mirage is easily maneuvered in crowded neighborhoods. While the steering is loose, it doesn’t require much effort to steer its small turning circle, making this little subcompact nimble. In years past-before the days of the SUV-a car like the Mirage might be an option for the new teen driver. Today, parents aren’t crazy about putting son or daughter into a car so small.

Offering a fair amount of standard features and a good warranty, the Mirage includes auto air conditioning climate control and keyless entry. Our ES came equipped with the push-button start/stop. For those who must have the ‘usual’ options, Mitsubishi does offer a Navigation package, with rearview camera and parking sensors.

Standard features on the base Mirage DE include 14-inch steel wheels, rear spoiler, keyless entry, power windows/mirrors/locks, the automatic climate control, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a four-speaker sound system with CD,USB and auxiliary audio inputs. Alloy wheels are a stand-alone option on the DE.

On the ES trim level, 14-inch alloys are included, along with keyless ignition, foglights, cruise, a height-adjustable driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls) and shift knob, Bluetooth phone connectivity and metallic interior accents.

SPECS

MSRP: $15,195; total vehicle price $15,990; destination $795

Engine: 1.2-liter DOHC 3-cylinder MIVEC, 74 hp., 74 ft. lbs. torque

Transmission: CVT INVEC II

Wheelbase: 96.5 in.

Length: 148.8 in.

Height: 59.1 in.

Width: 65.6 in.

Weight: 2,910 lbs/3,020 lbs.

Fuel economy: 34/42/37 manual; 37/44/40 CVT

Fuel Tank Capacity: 9.2 gal.

Tires: 165/55R14 Low Rolling

Wheels: 14-inch alloy

Warranty: 5-yrs./60,000-miles Basic; 10-yrs./100,000-miles powertrain; 7-yrs./100,000-miles anti corrosion; roadside assistance: standard

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