2014 Mitsubishi Mirage – You can do better

2014 mitsubishi mirage_pw-002
The Mirage is Mitsubishi’s subcompact urban commuter and grocery-getter. It’s tiny, but it’s got four doors, can accommodate four adults and still has room for luggage behind the rear seat.

2014 mitsubishi mirage_pw-003Powered by a 74 horsepower, 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, the Mirage is rated at 5.3/4.4 L/100 km, city/highway fuel consumption. It’s very cheap to run, in other words, and is officially Canada’s most fuel-efficient gasoline powered subcompact.

Starting price is $12,498 plus $1450 freight/destination for the base ES model with a five-speed manual transmission. My tester was the higher-priced and more fully equipped SE model which starts at $15,398. Its as-tested price added $1,200 for the CVT automatic transmission and freight/destination for a total $18,048.

Weather conditions were challenging during my time with the Mirage; deep snow, very cold even for March in Ottawa, and slippery road surfaces. The Mirage was fine; starting readily, warming quickly, the SE’s automatic climate control filling the cabin with heat in a matter of minutes. Heated seats in this model, too!

2014 mitsubishi mirage_pw-005My test car was wearing bright Kiwi Green paint, which made it easy to find in parking lots. I like it; others were less kind.

Taken on its own, the Mirage is a perfectly adequate runabout that can be pressed into service for a young family. True, the engine can be a bit noisy, it leans more than I’d like in corners, the CVT transmission will moan on occasion and the body panels, especially the doors, seem tinny.

But as I say, taken on its own, this is an easy-to-drive, fuel-efficient vehicle for zipping around town.

2014 mitsubishi mirage_pw-001The problem for the Mirage is immediately apparent when you compare it to other vehicles in this segment. As far as pricing is concerned, Nissan’s just thrown down a huge gauntlet in its recently announced 2015 Micra, with a starting price of $9,998. Even optioned up, that car’s going to be about $14,000. Or you could look at a nicely equipped Mazda2 with a four-cylinder 100 hp engine, automatic transmission, convenience package and air conditioning for $14,100 plus freight. With some dickering you might get a comparable deal for a Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, certainly a Toyota Yaris. How about a Volkswagen Jetta? These vehicles are just so much more substantial than the Mirage.

In its favour, Mitusbishi has a very good warranty; best in the industry, in fact. You get a 10-year, 160,000 km powertrain warranty, five-year bumper-to-bumper New Car warranty and five year’s roadside assistance. But really, this is not a lot of car for the money.

2014 mitsubishi mirage_pw-007Mitsubishi is targeting the Mirage to younger, first-time vehicle purchasers and older buyers returning to the small-car market. Buyers should absolutely check comparably priced vehicles from competitors, as one should do with any car purchase. The bar’s been raised pretty high in this segment; you want to get your money’s worth, right?

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