You're Not Just Seeing Things: Mitsubishi Breaks U.S. Mirage Sales Record In February 2015

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
youre not just seeing things mitsubishi breaks u s mirage sales record in february

Mitsubishi Motors USA broke its one-month-old, sixth-generation Mirage sales record in February 2015, soaring up to 1863 units, a 67% year-over-year improvement.

The Mirage is a penalty box in the classic sense of the automotive term – in genuine penalty boxes you’re forced to sit beside a guy who takes notes like a secretive therapist while a camera looks up your nostrils.

But by the relative standards of Mitsubishi’s current U.S. status as a low-volume mainstream automaker in a high-volume market, the Mirage is a hit. And by, “a hit,” we mean it does ok. By Mitsubishi’s standards and our expectations for an 74-horsepower subcompact.

North of the border, the Mk6 Mirage, a replacement for the Colt in much of the world and a new entry-level car for Mitsubishi in our corner of the world, got off to a decent start. But then the Nissan Micra arrived and Mitsubishi’s average monthly Mirage total fell 36% from 377 units in the first eight months of 2014 to 241 since then, with February marking the second-lowest full month total since launch.

But there’s no Micra in the United States, and Mirage volume has steadily improved over the last year. Only once in six tries has the Mirage failed to increase its U.S. volume, year-over-year. Mitsubishi sold 3785 Mirages in the first-quarter of 2014, 4482 in the second-quarter, and 4599 in the third-quarter. Q4 volume not surprisingly fell to 3842 units, but January sales broke past the 1700-unit barrier for the first time. February, with 1863 units, was 158 sales better than January’s record, a 9% month-over-month improvement.

Context? Yes, the Mirage is selling better now than at any point in its first 16 months. But even in its best-ever month, the Mirage accounted for just 0.15% of all new vehicle sales in America; 0.32% of all new passenger car sales.

Nissan sold 11,909 Versa sedans and Notes in February. Struggling subcompacts like the Chevrolet Sonic (down 62%) and Ford Fiesta (down 23%) outsold the Mirage by 1037 and 1845 units, respectively.

The Mirage was Mitsubishi’s third-best-selling model behind the Outlander Sport and Lancer. Not including the i MiEV (two February sales), Mitsubishi only markets four different vehicles.

Nevertheless, it was a record. So chin up, Mitsubishi. We may wish your subcompact was nothing more than a mirage, but you’re making visible Mirages more apparent than ever.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

Join the conversation
2 of 73 comments
  • Db2u Db2u on Mar 27, 2015

    Here's why I bought mine as opposed to competition: vs Yaris, Mazda2, Fit, - These would all be more expensive to get models approaching the same level of convenience/comfort features. Warranty and MPG wasn't close to the Mirage. vs Chevy Spark - Drove it, I didn't like it for some reason. 1 year later, Seems like the Spark is having a lot more quality control issues than the Mirage. The dealer was also the whole sleazy "let me know what payment you want and Ill talk to our guy.." vs Nissan Versa - The STRIPPED base model was the only thing in the same price class (it felt very low rent in comparison), and the mpg was unimpressive. vs Fiesta - I was only interested in the ecoboost, due to the MPG, but price was way higher than alternatives. didnt drive it. vs pretty much every used car I looked at - very little or no warranty, and it seems like the type of used car you get for the 12000 to 14000 range all have 30-50k miles on them already. None came close to the MPG of the Mirage, and most were automatics (I wanted a manual) I wanted something practical, very cheap to buy and drive, good rearward visibility, good warranty, and had a reasonable feature set (I'm sorry but if Im going to be making payments, I want power windows, AC, a decent stereo). The Mirage fit this bill. Im happy with it, and have taken more than one 12 hour road trip in it.

  • SteenBr SteenBr on Apr 07, 2015

    Greetings from DK! I´m the happy owner of a rare CVT-model....98% of cars are manual here in DK, but I really want the auto due to a lot of commuting. Why did I end up with a Mirage? ---Price - a VW UP with similar stats would add on app. USD 5 - 6,000 ---Spark and VW Up drive´s with horrific rpm´s - the Mirage is VERY low revs ---In DK we get 80 HP and 15" alloys ---5 year and 100.000 warranty ---Great mileage I have only driven 1000 km by now, but I´m so pleased. I tried numerous cars before I bought it, read and watched a lot of tests, tried it again, read again, and so on...! The funny stuff....many of the negative tests posted are 99% copy-paste, even in DK, makes you wonder....WHY and WHO? I´m amazed with the negative tests, and how most jump to conclusions - I agree, a BMW M3 is more fun to drive, but in DK I can get 21 Mirage CVT´s for the price of one M3; the small drivers car, the Fiesta would cost me an additional USD 11,000, do I need to say anymore? Bottom line - it seems to me like "The Truth" can´t handle the truth, and no question, the little Mirage will continue to concour the sales list. Steen

  • Analoggrotto If it's not a TESLA, dont bother trying to charge it. Don't even bother with it.
  • ScarecrowRepair How much is the $ub$cription for those facing seats? How much extra to have both face backwards, or to have a button to switch the facing-in seats to face outwards when the kids' arguments get too distracting? Is there an option to be sideways facing each other?
  • Deanst We seemed to have passed peak Hyundai/Kia design appeal. There is nothing clever or appealing to the exterior - the eye is drawn to awkward and inconsistent treatments. The interior - which I’m sure has decent materials - seems to be something that might excite Lee Iacocca’s grandson. In the meantime, I question the sanity of anyone buying a $20,000 H/K vehicle with a 2 litre engine.
  • Ajla The problem with "gushing" Genesis reviews is that they seem to take place in a world where the only cars are Genesis and the 1999 Kia Sephia. Is this better than an S-Class, 7-series, LS500, A8, Lucid Air, or Panamera Executive? Or is everyone the prettiest girl in town?
  • Lou_BC Don't miss AM or FM radio at all. I don't miss satellite radio either. Spotify or downloaded content on my cell is all I need.