The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact hatchback. This class of car includes some of the cheapest new vehicles and the Mirage is one of them. If budget and fuel economy are the main deciding factors, then take a Mirage for a test drive. It provides inexpensive personal transportation with minimal fuss.
The Mirage manages to save money not just by being relatively affordable in the first place, but also by achieving up to 43 miles per gallon on the highway. Most alternatives, however, can offer extra. For example, just about every rival has better acceleration, along with more refined ride and handling qualities. Those seeking a bigger back seat may also find that elsewhere. And don’t expect classy cabin materials.
While common sense might come down on the side of considering a bigger and better-equipped pre-owned vehicle, some buyers feel that the new-car warranties and financial incentives weigh the argument in favor of the latest model year. And that’s a valid approach too.
There’s also a Mitsubishi Mirage G4 subcompact sedan, which is reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2019?
A new limited edition LE trim slots in above the base ES. Cruise control and a height-adjustable driver’s seat are now standard throughout the range. See the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage models for sale near you
What We Like
- Great fuel economy
- Generous features
- Easy to park
- Useful cargo capacity
What We Don’t
- Slow and noisy
- Ride and handling below average
The Mirage has a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine rated at a mere 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels. The standard transmission is a 5-speed manual, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the automatic option (standard in the SE and GT trims).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the manual version returns 33 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg in combined driving. With the CVT, those numbers rise to 36 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-seater 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback comes in ES, LE, SE and GT trim levels.
The ES ($14,790) starts with 14-in steel wheels, LED taillights, a rear spoiler, power windows/locks/mirrors, 60/40 split/fold rear seats, a steering wheel that adjusts only for tilt, cruise control, manual 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, split/fold rear seats, air conditioning, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-in touchscreen, plus a 4-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio, an auxiliary audio input and a USB port.
The automatic transmission is an extra $1,200. There’s also an ES-based sub-trim called the RF ($16,485) that includes the automatic transmission and the Rockford Fosgate 300-watt audio upgrade.
The LE ($16,840) brings 15-in alloy wheels with a black finish, black side mirror housings, driver’s seat armrest, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped (with red stitching) steering wheel and shift knob, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio sources.
The SE ($17,490) loses those heated front seats and goes back to 14-in alloy wheels, but adds keyless entry/ignition, fog lamps, manual 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, manual 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, and automatic climate control.
The GT ($17,990) reinstates the heated front seats and comes with 15-in alloy wheels (2-tone finish), plus bi-xenon HID headlights.
Options include blue LED interior lighting, a Park Assist package (front and rear parking sensors), cargo mat, cargo net, and a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Cargo space is a Mirage specialty, measuring 17.2 cu ft. behind the rear seats and a generous 47 cu ft. when those seats are folded down.
The Mirage 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 full-length side curtain).
In government crash tests, the Mirage 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 Mirage its highest rating of Good in four out of five main categories, but 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
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 Bluetooth 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 adjust for reach, as taller drivers will quickly discover. Rear passenger space is adequate by segment standards, but it’s not nearly as generous as 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, driveline noise can also be intrusive, particularly with the CVT.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Chevrolet Spark — More enjoyable to drive than the Mirage and with a nicer interior. Updated slightly for 2019.
2019 Ford Fiesta — Again, more fun for drivers. And its excellent fuel economy (with the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine) compares well with the Mirage’s, albeit at a higher price.
2019 Nissan Versa Note — If passenger space is a priority, the Versa Note offers ample headroom and a massive back seat.
2019 Toyota Yaris — Has a far more pleasant interior than the Mirage. Sedan only.
Used Honda Fit — Dependable, spacious, versatile, economical and has great resale values.
Depending on budget, the LE and SE trims both look the most attractive out of the whole Mirage lineup. Find a Mitsubishi Mirage for sale