New Car Review

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2017

After missing the 2016 model year, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact hatchback returns rejuvenated and re-equipped. It's still one of the most affordable new cars on the market and achieves up to 43 miles per gallon on the highway. So the Mirage saves money in both ways.

Most alternatives have more to offer, though. For example, just about every rival has better acceleration, along with more refined ride and handling qualities. If you want a bigger back seat, you can also find that elsewhere. If, however, budget and fuel economy are the main deciding factors, take a Mirage for a test drive. It provides inexpensive personal transportation with minimal fuss.

What's New for 2017?

As well as revised styling at both ends, nicer materials in the cabin and beefier brakes, the engine receives a 4-horsepower bump. Trim levels have been restructured, and new features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration become available. The handling department has also seen some improvements.

What We Like

Great fuel economy; generous features; easy to park; useful cargo capacity

What We Don't

Still slow and noisy; ride and handling still below average

How Much?

$13,830-$17,330

Fuel Economy

The Mirage has a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine rated at 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque that drives the front wheels. The standard transmission is a 5-speed manual; a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the automatic option (standard in the GT trim).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the manual version returns 33 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in combined driving. With the CVT, those numbers rise to 37 mpg city/43 mpg hwy/39 mpg combined, which is about as good as it gets for anything that isn't a hybrid.

Standard Features & Options

The 5-door, 5-seater 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage comes in ES, SE and GT trim levels.

The ES ($13,830) starts with 14-inch steel wheels, LED taillights, a rear spoiler, power windows/locks/mirrors, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a steering wheel that adjusts only for tilt, a manual 4-way adjustable driver's seat, air conditioning, plus a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio input and a USB port.

The SE ($15,630) adds 14-in alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, fog lamps, a manual 6-way adjustable driver's seat, a manual 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, a leather-wrapped shift knob, automatic climate control, a rearview camera and cruise control. The infotainment system is upgraded to include Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a 6.5-in touchscreen.

The GT ($17,330) brings the CVT as standard, plus 15-in alloy wheels, heated front seats and bi-xenon HID headlights.

Options include blue interior LED lighting, a cargo mat and cargo net, and a Park Assist package (front and rear parking sensors). A new 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system is also available.

Cargo space is a Mirage specialty, measuring 17.2 cu ft. behind the rear seats and a massive 47 cu ft. when those seats are folded down.

Safety

The Mirage comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (discs up front; drums in the rear), stability control, hill start assist, and seven airbags (front, front-side, driver-knee and full-length side-curtain).

In government crash tests, the Mirage earned four out of five stars overall, with five stars for side-impact protection and four stars for rollover safety. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Mirage its highest rating of Good in four of five main categories, but the lowest rating of Poor in the small-overlap front impact test.

Behind the Wheel

The Mirage offers an impressive amount of standard features for the price. Some competitors only provide crank windows and manual locks, but the Mirage has powered versions, along with automatic climate control and USB connectivity. That's the good news.

The bad news is that things are still pretty basic, even for this budget-conscious class. The steering wheel doesn't even telescope, as longer-legged drivers will quickly discover. Rear passenger space is adequate by segment standards, but it's not nearly as generous as in the Nissan Versa Note.

Thanks to its tiny footprint and compact turning circle, the Mirage is easy to park, and squeezing through tight urban spaces is a breeze. Not surprisingly, acceleration is less than energetic with this 3-cylinder motor. When passing or merging, engine noise can also be intrusive, particularly with the CVT.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Chevrolet Spark -- More enjoyable to drive than the Mirage and with a nicer interior.

2017 Ford Fiesta -- Again, more fun to drive. And its excellent fuel economy (with the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine) compares well with the Mirage's, albeit at a higher price.

2017 Nissan Versa Note -- If passenger space is a priority, the Versa Note offers ample headroom and a massive back seat.

2017 Toyota Yaris -- Has a far more pleasant interior than the Mirage. And its engine has greater pep.

Used Ford Focus -- More space and a generally well-executed car. It won't have such stellar fuel economy, though.

Autotrader's Advice

The SE version represents the best balance between expenditure and equipment.

Find a Mitsubishi Mirage for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage: New Car Review - Autotrader