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#3209943 - 12/07/13 10:32 PM Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6509
Loc: Onondaga County
I recently test drove a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

First - I really do NOT care for the exterior styling. Seems like they took the "two box" shape, tried to modernize it , tried to make it aerodynamic ... but it was all half ----ed together. The looks on this thing are horrible.

Second - I don't really trust Mitsubishi products.

Just some observations:
- The starter motor sounds like something from outdoor power equipment!

- EPA mileage rating is way off. I was testing a bit on the highway and slow going roads (no city) and on the highway, at 55MPH, it was getting 56MPG. Going slow, around 40, with no stop lights it was 65MPG! Much better than that of the Spark at those speeds. On top of that, my understanding is that the computer always displays 3-4mpg low.

- At around 60 or so, it's running at 3K. You could hear the engine but it was kind of cool sounding. Not too bad. Definitely more wind noise than I'm used to. Didn't feel unsafe, though.

- Interior is rather large. Typical Japanese small car - it's bigger inside than it is out. I had no problem fitting in the front seat of it. The back seat isn't quite Versa big, but larger than my Focus. Also, MUCH larger inside that Ford's Fiesta inside (the next size larger) ... I can actually fit in the back seat of this, unlike a Fiesta. Larger than Spark inside.

- Rear storage area is larger than that of a Spark. Plus, there is a spare tire! I have had to use them a few times, so that's a big deal for me.

- Did not get blown around in traffic.

- Not as slow as I thought it would be. Like the Spark, the Mirage is geared extremely low so it will pick up decently. It is also easy to take off from a stop light; no gas needed.

- Pretty well equipped at base model. Has power windows and locks and RKE - Spark base model has power windows, but neither Spark or Versa have RKE or power locks on base model.

- The radio doesn't look like a "I'm too cheap to afford a good radio". The interior is pretty welcoming. The Spark's interior isn't welcoming and a bit over the top for a cheap car. Versa's is nice, but I like this one better.


Things I did not care for:
- 3 Cylinder engine makes a lot of racket and vibration when taking off from a stoplight ... they do not like to lug below idle speed, apparently. My concern is - how will this engine be at 50,000 miles when the external balancing wears out and it has bad motor mounts? The 3 cyl will shake the car apart.

- Engine "whines" - for some reason it sounds like it has a super charger.

- The shifter is bad, but not as bad as the Spark! I could actually find the gears in this easily, unlike the Spark. The Spark reminded me of the trucks I grew up driving (18 wheelers), with worn out shift forks and gates that would leave the shifter wobbling around and guessing for gear. However, I could feel the shifter cables stretching! That's scary!

- Clutch was light, but engaged / disengaged AT the floor.

- Oddball tire size. There are not many on the market. I can find new tires for $50 for my Focus - those same ones were $75 or $100 for the Mirage. There are also no good snow tire sizes. Anyone would have to seemingly go up to 15 or down to 13s.


Most people will buy on styling. This just doesn't have it. Also, they will REALLY need to advertise the gas mileage of it, because at nearly $14K ... there are better options (not for mileage) only another $1000 away.

Not a bad little car. I will admit, I was really impressed with it!


Edited by Miller88 (12/07/13 10:32 PM)
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#3209948 - 12/07/13 10:50 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
wemay Online   sick


Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 1949
Loc: sunny/rainy Mia, FL.
Great review!
After owning a few Mitsu in the past, its sad to see this brand fall so far. I've read various articles suggesting that Mitsu doesn't have much time to rectify things before they are completely out of the U.S. market.


Edited by wemay (12/07/13 10:53 PM)
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#3209972 - 12/07/13 11:44 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
FutureDoc Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 544
Loc: North Carolina
Basic vehicle. I was looking at one in the mall during the holiday shopping insanity. That 3 cylinder had me wondering if it would be more economical to actually have a larger 4 cylinder engine so you did not have to thrash it as much to do what you need to do while driving. Then again, Geo used to have an economic 3 cylinder that was not bad. An old roommate had the 99 mirage and it was decent, but that odd tire size was an issue for him.
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#3210009 - 12/08/13 02:53 AM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5492
Loc: Arlington
Great review! thumbsup

a lot of things I expected and a few things I didn't.
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#3210033 - 12/08/13 04:41 AM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
shDK Offline


Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 541
Loc: Denmark
IF it is the same 3 cyllinder engine used in the Mitsubishi colt. It,s a good reliable engine.

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#3210121 - 12/08/13 08:29 AM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
vssjim Offline


Registered: 10/05/11
Posts: 350
Loc: McLean, Va.
I just don't see any reason to own a mitsu car in this country. I live in a fairly large area and getting dealer only part for the few still alive is getting to be a hassle dealer after dealer gone belly up. Maybe their new stuff is getting better but they had no place to go but up, I expect to get reply's about how great they are but no chance I would ever tell a customer if asked what about a mitsu when buying a car I would say yes buy one.

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#3210175 - 12/08/13 09:22 AM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: wemay]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6509
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: wemay
Great review!
After owning a few Mitsu in the past, its sad to see this brand fall so far. I've read various articles suggesting that Mitsu doesn't have much time to rectify things before they are completely out of the U.S. market.


It seems that their problems started when they got involved with Chrysler. Same for Mazda and Isuzu and suzuki - when they got involved with their American company, respectively, things went south.


Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
Basic vehicle. I was looking at one in the mall during the holiday shopping insanity. That 3 cylinder had me wondering if it would be more economical to actually have a larger 4 cylinder engine so you did not have to thrash it as much to do what you need to do while driving. Then again, Geo used to have an economic 3 cylinder that was not bad. An old roommate had the 99 mirage and it was decent, but that odd tire size was an issue for him.


Lately, I have been really looking at the basic vehicles. The basics one needs, but not spending the money on the extra stuff you don't need.

Thanks to low low low gearing, it's really not struggling to keep up with traffic. It actually felt a bit more peppy than the Chevy Spark.

Originally Posted By: vssjim
I just don't see any reason to own a mitsu car in this country. I live in a fairly large area and getting dealer only part for the few still alive is getting to be a hassle dealer after dealer gone belly up. Maybe their new stuff is getting better but they had no place to go but up, I expect to get reply's about how great they are but no chance I would ever tell a customer if asked what about a mitsu when buying a car I would say yes buy one.


Unreliable products and no dealer network. Makes sense.
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#3210330 - 12/08/13 11:28 AM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5492
Loc: Arlington
Originally Posted By: Miller88


It seems that their problems started when they got involved with Chrysler. Same for Mazda and Isuzu and suzuki - when they got involved with their American company, respectively, things went south.


If it hadn't been for Chrysler, Mitsubishi may have not ever made it to the United States. The DSM Eclipse/Talon/Laser was very profitable for Mitsubishi.
Same story with Isuzu and Suzuki. A lot of Isuzus and Suzukis were sold with Geo badges (Storm/Metro). I still can't explain why the Corolla heavily outsold the Nova/Prizm. Pull out the Delco radio and it's the same car. Same factory. I guess the Toyota badge had more cache.

Mazda is a little different. Mazda had a dealer network in the US in the '70s. Smaller than Toyota and Datsun, but they were present. Mazda was not dependent on Ford Courier sales for 100% of its US sales. Mazda did get abused a little by Ford but they got development money in return. Ford got the Courier, Probe, and Fusion. Mazda got money to develop the 626 (Probe) and Mazda6 (Fusion)
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#3210375 - 12/08/13 12:20 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8434
Loc: Upstate NY
Sounds like a good, basic car. I hope they can make money on it.
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#3210413 - 12/08/13 01:09 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
satinsilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 2911
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Miller88
because at nearly $14K ... there are better options (not for mileage) only another $1000 away.


mmmmmmmm, like what? I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Good review!

edit: Someone on here recently bought a new Fit MT base model for $15k. That should be solid contender.


Edited by satinsilver (12/08/13 01:11 PM)

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#3210505 - 12/08/13 02:47 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6509
Loc: Onondaga County
$1000 more puts you in (not discounted) territory of:
- Kia Rio
- Ford Fiesta Sedan (would buy a mirage over this in a heart beat)
- Versa Note Hatchback
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#3210537 - 12/08/13 03:17 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5492
Loc: Arlington
$14,720 Mazda2
$14,430 Yaris 3 door
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#3210824 - 12/08/13 09:10 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Spazdog]
FutureDoc Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 544
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Spazdog
$14,720 Mazda2
$14,430 Yaris 3 door


At the 15K and under, those two would be my picks. +1 on the Honda Fit. Heck, a Dodge Dealer might be willing to get the base Dart for under 15K... then again, the used market for some decent low mileage cars are also at that pricepoint too.



Edited by FutureDoc (12/08/13 09:11 PM)
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#3211235 - 12/09/13 12:47 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: Miller88]
cptbarkey Offline


Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 1208
Loc: texas
while wandering around a junkyard this past sunday i saw a nice honda civic hatchback in orange that was impacted on its side from what must have been a truck.

there wasnt much left, and my unexpert opinion concluded that the driver died.

that is all i think about the mitsubishi mirage, the dead people driving it that arent dead yet.
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#3211367 - 12/09/13 02:47 PM Re: Drove a 14 Mitsubishi Mirage [Re: cptbarkey]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6509
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: cptbarkey
while wandering around a junkyard this past sunday i saw a nice honda civic hatchback in orange that was impacted on its side from what must have been a truck.

there wasnt much left, and my unexpert opinion concluded that the driver died.

that is all i think about the mitsubishi mirage, the dead people driving it that arent dead yet.


Modern small cars are much safer than the small cars of years past.

Look at the crash test data for the car ... does pretty well for a small car it's size.
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