Budget subcompact sedans like the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 force drivers to miss out on various things. Ride comfort, sound insulation, quality cabin materials and useful power are just a few aspects where the Mirage G4 comes up somewhat short. Yet they’re attributes that can make their absence felt on virtually every drive.
Then again, the G4 is reasonably priced. If buyers wanted low-cost personal transportation with a trunk — above all other considerations — then this is the area to study. The G4 is also capable of 41 miles per gallon on the highway.
We realize the ability to buy something bigger and plusher is a luxury not many of us can enjoy. So there are different types of decisions to be made. Such as whether to purchase a brand-new Mirage G4, one from the competition, or look at certified pre-owned (CPO) offerings from companies like Toyota or Honda. Perhaps Mitsubishi’s new-car warranty — along with any financial incentives — may sway a buyer away from rivals or a pre-owned vehicle.
The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback is reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2019?
A height-adjustable driver’s seat and cruise control are now standard. See the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Availability of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration
What We Don’t
- General low-rent aura
- Lack of sophistication
Under the G4’s hood is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine rated at a fairly feeble 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheels through either a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption for the manual version at 33 miles per gallon in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg in combined driving. The CVT adjusts those figures to 35 mpg city/41 mpg hwy/37 mpg combined.
Standard Features and Options
The 5-seater 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 comes in ES and SE trim levels.
The ES ($15,790) starts with 14-in steel wheels, LED taillights, power windows/locks/mirrors, 60/40-split folding rear seats, tilt-only steering wheel adjustment, manual 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, air conditioning, a rearview camera, trunk pass-through, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-in touchscreen, a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio input, and a USB port.
The automatic transmission costs an extra $1,200.
An optional ES Smartphone package brings Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, 15-in alloy wheels with dark chrome finish, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio sources.
The SE ($18,490) has that package as standard, then adds the CVT, keyless entry/ignition, fog lamps, automatic climate control, heated front seats, driver’s seat armrest and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
Other options include interior lighting, front/rear parking sensors, and a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system upgrade.
Trunk space is 12.6 cu ft. That’s OK, but the Toyota Yaris comes with 13.5 cu ft.
The Mirage G4 comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (discs up front; drums at the rear), stability control, hill-start assist and seven airbags (front, front side, driver knee and side curtain).
The G4 has not been through the government’s crash test program, but its Mirage hatchback sibling earned four out of five stars overall, with four stars for side impact protection and four stars for rollover safety. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the G4 its highest rating of Good in three out of five main categories. But side impact protection was marked one rung down as Acceptable, while the (tricky) small-overlap frontal impact test resulted in the second-lowest rating of Marginal on the driver’s side. It hasn’t been subjected to that same test on the passenger side.
Behind the Wheel
To no one’s surprise, acceleration is hardly thrusting with this small 3-cylinder engine. At high revs, like passing or merging, engine and transmission noise can also be intrusive, particularly with the CVT. But thanks to its modest dimensions and small turning circle, the G4 is easy to park, while negotiating tight city spaces is accomplished easily.
There’s also a pleasant amount of standard equipment for the money. Some competitors only provide hand-crank windows and manual door locks, but the G4 has powered versions, along with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
However, things are still basic, even for this budget-conscious corner of the automotive world. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, as taller drivers will discover. Rear passenger space is adequate by segment standards, but not as generous as the Nissan Versa, for example.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Chevrolet Sonic — More fun to drive than the G4 and with a nicer interior.
2019 Ford Fiesta — Available as a hatchback or sedan. Far more enjoyable and better executed than the G4. And its excellent fuel economy (with the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine) compares well with the G4’s, albeit at a higher price.
2019 Nissan Versa — If passenger space is a priority, the Versa offers ample headroom and a massive back seat. There’s not much else to recommend it, though.
2019 Toyota Yaris — Has a more pleasant interior than the G4 and its engine has at least some pep by comparison.
Used Honda Civic — Well-engineered, well-built and it’s a fairly sure bet that Honda spent way more money developing it than Mitsubishi could ever devote to the Mirage G4. Look for one in Honda’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program.
The Mirage G4 isn’t going to be a resale-value king, which might be another reason to investigate CPO cars from Honda or Toyota. The daily drives will be more bearable with the extra equipment and their resale values should be stronger. If it has to be a new Mirage G4, try and stretch to the SE. Find a Mitsubishi Mirage G4 for sale