You have to hand it to Mitsubishi. Despite not being the most prolific of companies, it still manages to come up with something for every LA Auto Show. For this year, it offers two world debuts: an updated subcompact economy car and the newest compact crossover.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
It’s not a great driver’s car, and it’s not that comfortable or serene. Such considerations are beside the point — that point being budget transportation, one of the cheapest ways of getting into a brand-new car. This revamp for the 2017 model year includes some restyling but retains the things that make it worth considering: low price, great fuel consumption and an excellent 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Now it adds a little tech to its talents: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. These functions enable users to link their smartphone to the car and access music and other apps in the same way they would on their actual phone.
And even though the subcompact Mirage hatchback is not an enthusiast’s machine, its 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine is now endowed with 78 horsepower; that’s up from 74. Torque stays the same at 74 lb-ft, but in case those four extra horses get too rowdy, the brakes have also been upgraded with larger discs up front and bigger drums in back. Mitsubishi has yet to mention whether fuel consumption will change from the 2015 model’s 40 combined miles per gallon, but it’s probably nothing to lose sleep over.
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
This compact crossover is face-lifted for the 2016 model year. As well as a restyled grille, it has new power-folding mirrors, a fresh design for its 18-inch alloy wheels, a redesigned steering wheel, a new 6.1-in display and an auto-dimming rearview mirror — hey, we didn’t say it was extensively face-lifted.
Not to worry, it only starts at $20,455 (including $850 destination charge) and comes with the same 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty as its Mirage sibling.
Engine choices remain the same. The entry-level unit is a 148-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 27 combined mpg (automatic transmission, front-wheel drive) while the upgraded engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making 168 hp and achieving 25 combined mpg in front-drive form. In both cases, all-wheel drive lops one mpg from the combined figure.