What is it?
Mitsubishi is reviving the Mirage name for an all-new entry-level model. The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage will be offered only as a 5-door hatchback. Power comes from a tiny 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is rated at 74 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, while a CVT automatic will be optional. While the Mirage's fuel economy hasn't yet been rated by the EPA, Mitsubishi expects the Mirage to achieve aroun 37 miles per gallon city and 44 mpg highway.
Pricing isn't official, but we expect the Mirage to start around $13,000.
When can you get it?
The Mirage should reach Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers sometime in fall 2013.
Add it to your shopping list because...
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage will be one of the least expensive new cars available, and while its 74-hp 4-cylinder isn't a powerhouse, it offers great fuel economy. Also, despite its low price and compact 148-inch length, the Mirage still has a practical side. It offers four full-size doors plus a hatchback with space in the back for cargo. Inside, the Mirage will even offer a touchscreen infotainment system -- an unexpected but welcome bonus at its budget price point.
Other cars to consider:
Chevrolet Spark: The Spark is Chevy's newest ultra-small subcompact. Slightly smaller than the Mirage, the Spark starts under $13,000 with shipping and uses an 84-hp 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Gas mileage with the standard stick shift is 32 mpg city/38 mpg highway.
Mazda2: The subcompact Mazda2 is slightly more expensive than the Mirage and its closest rivals. In the Mazda2, a 100-hp 4-cylinder pairs with a manual or an available automatic transmission. The result is a base price around $15,000 and gas mileage of 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway.
Nissan Versa: The Versa is also among the cheapest new cars available. Power comes from a 109-hp 4-cylinder that gets 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway. Unlike the Mirage, the Versa offers a 4-door sedan bodystyle. It starts around $12,500.
Used Ford Focus: The Focus is a good choice for drivers who want a slightly bigger car. Starting around $17,000, a new Focus is more expensive than the Mirage. But lightly used models will offer a similar price and more room without a huge sacrifice in fuel economy.
Used Honda Fit: The Honda Fit also comes in a 5-door hatchback bodystyle. Powered by a 117-hp 4-cylinder, it uses a 5-speed manual or an available 5-speed automatic. Prices start around $16,000, making the Fit a little more expensive than the Mirage -- but used models should be in the same ballpark.
Looking for a cheap new car like the Mitsubishi Mirage? Tell us in the comments.