When we talked about imported hatchbacks, it is usually the likes of Toyota Vitz or Passo that grab our attention. But today we have brought you something different; today we will be talking in detail about the Mitsubishi Mirage.
Before we move towards the review, a little bit about the Mirage. The Mitsubishi Mirage is a front-wheel drive 5-door mini hatchback. Mitsubishi launched the current shape of Mirage in 2012. This shape was later discontinued in 2016. The car we have for the review is a 6th gen 2015 Mirage G. So let’s continue.
As written above, it is a small hatchback. Dimension wise, the Mitsubishi Mirage is 3710 mm x 1665 mm x 1505 mm (length x width x height) and has the wheelbase of 2450 mm. These dimensions make the Mirage slightly longer than the Passo (3650×1665×1535mm) but significantly shorter than the Vitz (3885×1695×1500mm). It weighs 870 kg (without passengers and cargo).
If you look at the exterior of the car, you will find that car has pretty much a basic relatively modern design. It has a typical teardrop shape. The overall form of the car is softer and rounder than its competitors. The edges and line are softer and rounded off. You won’t find any sharp edges or cuts and lines throughout the body of the car. You will notice how the roof of the Mitsubishi Mirage slants downwards from the back. It is a typical design philosophy that many automakers have been using since past decade or a so.
From the front of the car, you will notice how small the vents in the front bumper are and how big the halogen headlights are. Otherwise, the front is pretty simple. The front bumper is slightly bulging and has extended splitters at the bottom right under the fog lights.
On this side of the cars where the roof of the car slants downward from the back, you will notice how the metal body of the rear doors moves upward. The narrowing of the car from the back has its effect on the interior which we will discuss later. A crease in the side travels from the front fender all the way through the doors and ends at the back touching the corner of the brake light in the back.
The rear of the car is simple as well. You get a small spoiler on the top with rear mounted brake light, and you also get a wiper blade on the back screen glass. The rear bumper is simple and is flushed with the rear fenders.
Overall the car design is nicely tucked in and tapered, and you will not see any bits of the bumper and other body parts hanging out. It gives it a nice overall smooth and rounded shape.
Interior of Mitsubishi Mirage
The dashboard of the car is pretty basic as well. There isn’t any flashy material used in the interior except for maybe the piano black accent around the center part of the dashboard.
Let’s start with the dashboard first. The dashboard is simple yet elegant, and the build quality feels good. This Mirage doesn’t come with a touchscreen multimedia system and only has a simple factory fitted CD player and FM/AM radio. Under the factory fitted audio system, you will find the digital controls for climate control. And underneath the climate control unit, you will find the buttons for seat warmers along with the 12V outlet.
The passenger side dashboard is quite simple as well. You get a small flat area to put your stuff on whereas the glove compartment has decent small space.
On the driver side, you get a bunch of controls on the right side of the steering wheel. Right next to the steering wheel on the right side, you will find the engine start-stop button.
Mirage comes with safety and economy features like traction control, and idle control respectively. Their control switches are on the right side of the steering wheel as well. Besides those buttons, you’ll get controls for headlight adjustment and power side-view mirrors.
And now let’s talk about the instrument cluster of Mitsubishi Mirage. Like the rest of the hatchback, the instrument cluster is also quite simple. You get a simple bigger dial with speedometer and small digital display at the bottom of the main meter, whereas the RPM meter is on the left and then you have all the indicating lights and Eco meter on the right side of the cluster. Eco meter shows how you are driving and how to achieve better fuel economy.
The overall cabin of the car is quiet. You don’t hear much that is going around outside of the car. However, you do hear the engine noise when you throttle it hard.
The side mirrors are, of course, powered, and so are all the windows. Both the front seats are heated.
All these new Japanese cars are quite good when it comes to storage spaces. You will find cup holders and small storage pockets throughout the interior of the car to put your stuff in.
The gear lever of Mitsubishi Mirage is in the center between both front seats like to get in Toyota Vitz It comes with three forward driving position. D, Ds, and L.
Talking about the seats, the front seats reasonably comfortable, but it is the rear seats that can be uncomfortable for tall adults on a long trip. There is not much leg room back there. Besides, the seat itself is uncomfortable, and it is like sitting on a bench that provides minimum lateral support.
Mirage Performance and drive
During my test drive of Mitsubishi Mirage, I found its drive and performance to be a bit better than the various other 1000cc small hatchbacks available in the market.
The Mirage comes with a 3-cylinder inline engine. The engine comes equipped with Mitsubishi’s MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system) technology. MIVEC is basically Mitsubishi’s version of i-VTEC and VVT-i. The engine is a water-cooled dual overhead cam naturally aspirated unit coupled with a continuously variable transmission driving the front wheels. The engine makes around 68 HP and 86 Nm of torque. Mitsubishi claims that the Mirage can do 0 to 100 in 13.9 seconds. The top speed is around 165 km/h.
As far as the performance of the engine is concerned, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Although the engine comes with a CVT gearbox like in many other imported cars, the engine felt responsive. The CVT gearbox has an inherent delay in it. You press the throttle, and it takes the CVT a moment to bring up all the torque to the wheels for the car to propel forward. I always say you get kind of a rubber band effect in CVT gearboxes. That affect is of course present in this car as well but compared to let’s say the Vitz of same engine size; it was less. And also the engine makes pretty nice noise. It has a nice heavy rumble to it when you race it hard. For regular driving, put the car in D position. But if you want a responsive drive, stick the gearshift in Ds, and the engine will become alive, giving you quick response and the dragging the RPM for the CVT to shift later.
The small 3-cylinder engines naturally have vibration. It is the design limitation. And there isn’t much you can do about it. The Mitsubishi Mirage motor also has the same problem. But it would not be wrong to say that this engine, however, felt slightly smoother than, let’s say, the 1000cc engine of Toyota Vitz of the similar year/model. During my research, I found out that Mitsubishi has installed balancing mechanism under the crank of the engine to counter the throws of pistons during the operation. This has definitely worked, and the engine feels smoother on idle and during driving.
The fuel average of the car is also pretty impressive. Throughout the testing of the Mirage was continuously showing 16.4 km per litre average no matter how hard I was driving it. I have been told that it can do as good as 20 km per litre on longer routes like on GT Road. The fuel tank in Mitsubishi Mirage can hold 35 litres of petrol. Rest assured you will be able to cover a lot of distance with that much fuel and with that fuel economy.
Now let’s talk about the brakes of the car. Mirage comes with ventilated discs in the front and drum brakes in the rear. The car comes with ABS as well as EBD (electronic brake force distribution). The brakes are pretty decent, but you need good grippy tires for them to work properly.
The day we were driving the car was not that hot so we could not test the efficiency of air conditioning of the Mitsubishi Mirage. At the temperature at that time, the AC was performing pretty decently, but we cannot say for sure how good it will perform if you are stuck in traffic for a couple of hours in the extreme heat of Pakistani summers. Or on the motorway in similar extreme conditions when you’ve been driving for a long period of time at high speeds. That is the real test.
Comfort & Handling of Mitsubishi Mirage
As I said above these small cars are quite cleverly designed with a lot of storage spaces throughout the interior. You get 4 cup holders in the front and 2 in the rear. The boot itself can hold 235 liters of luggage. That is a big boot space, but I feel like Mitsubishi has sacrificed the rear legroom for the sake of bigger boot. The rear seats come with 60/40 split.
If you are 6 feet or above, you will be fine in front two seats whether you are a driver or the front passenger. But same cannot be said for the rear. The rear seats are quite cramped. Not only you don’t get enough leg room if you have a similarly sized adult sitting in the front with front seats adjusted to their requirements, but due to this slanting roof line of the car, the headroom gets narrower as well.
The overall ride quality of the car is pretty decent. The car behaves calm and collected. There is no excessive noise coming inside the cabin. The suspension is typical MacPherson Strut in the front and trailing arms in the rear. The car behaves pretty nicely on the road.
The road group is also pretty good. I can say with fair bit of confidence that Mitsubishi Mirage handles a bit better than similarly sized vehicles like the Passo or Vitz and definitely better than the local Wagon R. You can turn in the car with confidence. There is no exercise body roll giving you the confidence to steer as you wish. Although the steering wheel is electronically assisted so, there is some numbness to the feel of it, but it does not give false feedback. Another reason why the car feels planted is the fact that it has low ground clearance giving it a low centre of gravity. Low ground clearance can be an issue if you have the car full of people and luggage and going over the massive speed humps you can see in almost all cities of Pakistan.
As for how many people you can fit in the car, well the ideal number is two adults in the front and three kids in the back; because even two adults in the back on a long journey are going to be a tight fit, let alone fitting three adults back there. As I said above the rear seat is like a bench so you can imagine how comfortable you can be on a bench if you are going on a 4-5 hour journey.
But there is no doubt that the Mirage is a nice place to be in. Except for the tight seating, it is overall a pretty comfortable car and has a comfortable ride thanks to its suspension design.
Like almost all modern vehicles the Mitsubishi Mirage also complies with all the safety standards throughout the world. The car comes with crumple zone in the front and in the back. You get two SRS airbags in the front for passenger and the driver. And of course, there are seat belts as well. The car comes equipped with Anti Lock Braking System with electronic brake force distribution giving the driver a nice control over the car.
Mirage comes with safety and economy features like the traction control, and idle control respectively as well.
For a small family of four (2 adults + 2 children), I think it is a great small family car. If you don’t want to buy typical vehicles like the weights or the local WagonR or even the local Suzuki Swift, I think this Mitsubishi Mirage is a competitive package. It has all the safety features plus the other small luxuries that you would find in small hatchbacks along with a pretty good drive and a very good fuel average.
I think this car is a great option to have. There are more than 100 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchbacks (2012-2015) up for sale on PakWheels used cars listings right now. The 2014-2015 Mirage price bounces between PKR 13.5 to 14.5 lacs depending upon the condition and auction sheet grade.
But then there is the issue of finding spare parts. Where local vehicles like the Wagon R, Suzuki Swift or even FAW V2 enjoy after sales support, even the imported vehicles like the Vitz and Passo have pretty decent availability of parts in both the new and used parts markets throughout the country. But the Mirage is not only a relatively new entrant, but it is also sort of rare. So although you can easily find its parts from bigger cities like Lahore Karachi and Islamabad, but in smaller towns, it is going to be a pain to fix one of these cars if they broke down.