By on April 28, 2012

Looks like I have my work cut out for me yet again; the new Mitsubishi Mirage will be coming to Canada, but Mitsubishi may not bring their new small car to the United States. Yes, I’ll take time to review it.

According to Automotive News, money is tight at Mitsubishi, and the new Outlander will take priority over the diminutive Mirage, with Mitsubishi spokesman Roger Yasukawa telling AN

“Our concern from a timing standpoint is that with the Outlander coming out next year, not too far from a possible launch of the [Mirage], we have to really think about resources,”

The Mirage is also on the small side for American tastes – about the size of a Chevrolet Spark, and even shorter than the Ford Fiesta or Kia Rio hatchback. Built in Thailand, the Mirage is meant to be basic transportation designed to give Mitsubishi a foothold in fast-growing Southeast Asian markets. Pricing would have to be rock bottom for it to sell in America, but if it costs too little, dealers may not make any money on the car.

The Mirage should do reasonably well in Canada, where small, affordable cars are always a hit. The province of Quebec in particular should be a big market for the Mirage. Hyundai Canada used to sell 50 percent of their Accents in Quebec alone (when the car could be had for under $10,000 brand new) – but the Mirage’s CVT-only configuration may not go over well in la belle province, where anecdotal evidence gleaned from walking the streets of Montreal suggests that buyers heavily favor manual transmissions in their compact cars, even in the hilly, narrow stop-and-go streets of Montreal and Quebec City.


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20 Comments on “Mitusbishi Mirage: Yes For Canada, Maybe For America...”

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    At this stage of the game, with so many other excellent alternatives, this thing might just sit unsold in Mitsu dealers all over the US, unless they sell it in select cities, but that may not be worth the trouble for the company.

    • 0 avatar

      True, but what’s Mitsubishi got to lose at this point? Most (if not all) of their model lineup is ‘already’ sitting unsold on dealer lots. Eclipse, Galant, Lancer, Outlander – all of their current aging products trail their competitors in any comparisons. Haven’t seen a review yet on the oddly named MiEV, though, so don’t know how it compares with the Leaf or Volt.

      Ever since the breakup with Chrysler (the discontiuance of the old Dodge Dakota-based Raider pickup was the final product of that marriage that had begun with the original Dodge Colt way back in 1971), Mitsubishi seems to have been losing ground in big chunks in the US to the point where it, along with Suzuki, could warrant a TTAC Deathwatch.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Notice that whenever there are comparison tests, all these 2nd tier Japanese auto makers are left out of the evaluation, so you can say the auto media is partly to blame for their weak sales.

      • 0 avatar

        It seems to me that the 2nd tier have done a pretty good job of seeding the press with free loaners.

        I’ve seen a Suzuki Kizashi in the wild once. But C&D, Motor Trend and Edmunds were each given one to write about for a full year.

        Ditto for irrelevant Mitsus, Mazda 2s, Fiat 500s, etc.

        The press doesn’t pick winners and losers, the dealer network does. Chevy didn’t sell 5 million Cavaliers on the strength of magazines liking it.

      • 0 avatar

        Now, now, let’s not get too hasty with Mazda 2s. I see about as many of them as I see Fiestas, maybe more — and that is in the flyover country of Chevy and Ford trucks. I have no idea who buys them, as we generally do not have a parking problem (actually, parking may be restricted in places, but small size gives no advantage in securing a spot).

        I have my doubts about CVT though. Even the king of CVTs, Nissan, haven’t yet mastered a CVT that can reliably last 100k miles, and when it breaks, it must be replaced, not repaired. I really hate manuals, but then Toyota managed to put a small auto in Yaris, so why not Mitsu?

      • 0 avatar

        @ Pete Nissan puts more CVTs in a larger variety of cars, but I suspect Toyota is the king of the CVT, fitting one to every Prius. And I’ve not heard of any problems (although admittedly it’s not a full CVT.)

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve gotten the chance to take a spin in the iMiEV, Leaf, and Volt – the Mitsubishi is noticeably far less a real car than the other two – it’s very much a four-seat Smart Fortwo, with Mitsu’s penalty box interior. It’s not entirely horrendous (it works as A->B transportation), but it runs out of breath pretty quickly, and it’s hard to stomach it as a $33k car (in Canada), although that’s admittedly 5k less than the Leaf. Of the other two, I prefer the Nissan, as it feels more light and nippy and fun, while the Volt feels more serious and soulless. I’ll concede it might be the better solution though, although I still don’t get how it’s lucky to get 35mpg while running the generator.

  • avatar

    Oh look it’s got twin rising character lines from front to back!

  • avatar

    Looks like a 1990s design…

  • avatar

    This is probably the only compact being built these days thats actually a bit pleasant to look at, its also nice to see that the Evo X’s front-end hasn’t been tacked on.

  • avatar

    I just bought a new Lancer Ralliart, they were not liked by the press so much, but it has been a blast to drive.

  • avatar

    From the front it looks like a Prius C

  • avatar

    This car was designed from day one to accommodate a battery pack, it may replace the iMiev as Mitsubishi’s BEV

  • avatar

    Can we put Mitsubishi on the TTAC death watch (at least in the U.S.?) I mean, there is no ’13 Eclipse, Galand, or Endeaver. One car and crossover does not make a promising brand.

  • avatar

    Almost makes the Aveo look good.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    It looks like a Citroen especially with the center of the roof just above the windshield antenna.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    mitsu seems to be big in the UK based upon all the reviews I read from there on the net

  • avatar

    I don’t see how having a new subcompact to sell would be a bad thing for Mitsubishi dealers – with the Lancer and Galant both embarrassingly outdated, any new passenger car sheetmetal at all would probably be welcomed with open arms. And the iMiEV doesn’t count. They’ve already gone through the trouble to certify it for sale in Canada, which means it also conforms to most US federal regulations, so why not send a few south?

  • avatar

    What happened to the plug-in hybrid Outlander that they promised earlier? That could well be a game-changer for them.

  • avatar

    TTAC should really start a Mitsubishi ‘Dead brand walking’ thread going.
    Seriously though, if this car had been released 10 years ago it might have been stylistically on par with other small cars at the time. Bearing in mind it’s a cheap Mitsubishi, it also might have been mechanically and technologically on par with other small cars at the time. But to release this car in 2012? Really? If this is all they have to offer, Mitsubishi are dead in the water.

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