By on August 24, 2016

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4

I’m sitting on the pit lane of my local track — Atlantic Motorsports Park in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia — surveying the empty course. My helmet is on the seat beside me, my hands are gripping the leather-wrapped wheel, and I can hear the low growl of three-cylinders idling as they wait for me.

But before I get to that, a bit about what I’m driving.

This is the Mitsubishi Mirage G4. It’s what happens when the oft-cheapest new hatchback in Canada (depending on who is offering what cash on the hood that month) grows a trunk. Under the hood: a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that has 78 horses in there somewhere. Connected to that is a continuously variable transmission, the only transmission available on this SEL trim tester.

I do a quick check of the course to make sure it’s still empty. My foot hits the floor.

The car isn’t quick to accelerate, but it’s not slow either. My daily is a Civic Hybrid and this Mirage definitely feels quicker than that. 2017 brings an extra four horses to the engine, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 5-percent more than before. The revs climb slowly, the speedo climbs more slowly, and I think back to what I said to the Mitsubishi guy when he approved this as I near the first turn.

“Don’t worry, I’m not planning any hot laps,” I said. I can already tell it won’t be a problem keeping my speed in check.

I approach the first turn with caution. The steering is quick to react, so I ease it into the corner. At the same rate I till the wheel, the car lists to port. I’m listening to see if the mud flaps or the mirrors scrape first. Neither happens.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Interior, Image: © 2016 Evan Williams/The Truth About Cars

Turn two is a hairpin left with bumpy concrete on the inside that starts downhill and changes sharply to an uphill climb just before the apex. The G4 handles the transition a lot better than I expected, but it does make very clear one of the biggest issues with the Mirage’s revised interior. They say they’ve upgraded some of the materials, but the seats are board flat and there is no armrest. I’m struggling to keep in my seat at a speed I would see in a grocery store parking lot.

I’m in for a long bout of acceleration through turn three and into four. The CVT responds well. While it’s still a CVT, it’s as good as the one in the Civic Touring I had last month. Most of the time. At times, the transmission is caught off guard — and then it can be clunky. There’s also a slight whine at lower revs. Strangely, it won’t let the engine rev above 5,500 rpm — which is confusing, because peak power is at 6,000 rpm.

Turn four is downhill and bumpy, and this showcases what is my biggest issue with the G4. If you’re in town or on the highway, it delivers a surprisingly well-sorted ride. Potholes and speed bumps are soaked up with aplomb; definitely better than Canada’s second-cheapest sedan, the Hyundai Accent. But on a rural road with some twists, every wheel seems to react completely differently when you add imperfect pavement to the mix. You can feel each corner dealing with the valleys and rises. You can feel the car moving laterally about its wheels. It’s not the tires; they’re too low profile to squirm that much, and I checked the air pressures myself. There’s something in the suspension tuning that is causing or allowing it. It’s very unsettling on the road.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Image: © 2016 Evan Williams/The Truth About Cars

I’m going down the backstretch, and the extra four inches of wheelbase in the sedan provides more stability in a straight line than the hatch. That same wheelbase gives it enough back seat room for 6’3” me to sit behind myself. But after that last turn, I’m wisely backing off and just going for a Sunday drive. Any hard cornering means I either fall out of the seat on the right or bang my head on the door frame on the left. The headliner feels cheap against my skull, but the door is reassuringly solid. I pull into the pit lane and get out of the car. I have a grin on my face, but I don’t want to do it again.

That last statement largely sums up the Mirage G4.

The 2017 Mirage hatch and G4 both have a new interior, and it’s ok. Sure, the dash is constructed of rock-hard plastic, but it looks fine. It’s a little slow, but it keeps up with traffic fine. The car only weighs 2,200 pounds, so it does well in cut and thrust urban driving. Its turning circle is tiny, the car feels narrow, and visibility is excellent, so you can stick it pretty much anywhere. Its interior provides plenty of room, you sit up high, and the trunk is acceptable.

But as soon as you turn in the Mirage G4, you fall out of the seat. If you hit a bump in that turn, you start to question Mitsubishi’s definition of “independent suspension.”

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Image: © 2016 Evan Williams/The Truth About Cars

I know it’s popular to bash small and cheap cars, and I’ll admit I was planning a comparison of sorts with a Nova LFS transit bus, but I actually enjoyed this car — as long as I never went above the speed on the yellow sign on the off-ramp.

It has Bluetooth, a backup camera, and a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. I averaged just shy of 40 mpg. Nothing else for under $20,000 (Canadian) has all those things with a trunk. Air conditioning is vintage General Motors cold, and — what’s this? — there are even heated seats!

The plastics are hard, and you can see the cost cutting if you look for it (like the old-school metal door locks). Under the hood isn’t painted (just primed/plated), but there’s actually something here. Something … not fun, but it’s not a penalty either. It’s more comfortable than a Yaris, feels bigger inside than an Accent, and the build quality seems competitive for the “how cheap can we make this?” class.

I’ve driven the pre-refresh hatch. I despised it. This is definitely better. Not massively better, but better nonetheless. It’s fine. Which I seem to say a lot about this car. It sums it up well.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Image: © 2016 Evan Williams/The Truth About Cars

If you’ve ever thought about buying a Fiesta ST (or anything with a sporty suspension), this is obviously not the car you want. But if you’re like my little brother, who just wants to drive on the highway and downtown with a lot of space, in relative quiet, with a warranty that’ll outlast your finance term, and you want to spend as little money as possible, this is probably worth a drive.

My loaded SEL tester is selling for just over $17,000 (sticker is $18,498, but there are incentives), and that’s hard to ignore. Sure, there are cheaper and better used cars, but that’s apples to oranges.

Just don’t ever take the Mirage G4 anywhere near a track, unless you’re there to spectate.

[Image: © 2016 Evan Williams/The Truth About Cars]

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102 Comments on “2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Review – It’s Fine...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Mirage G4…”it’s a car!” Wait, that tagline has already been taken.

    Looks to be a suitable car for daily A to B for those that only really care about getting from A to B. And there is nothing wrong with that. But Mitsubishi isn’t exactly a manufacturer that folks are beating the doors down to shop from, so I’m not sure how successful this little bugger will be (rental fleet??).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh hai Evan.

    Have you driven the Sentra? It appears to be just about the exact same price as this (in SV guise), and at least -looks- a whole lot less flimsy. Plus, I think we can all agree that a Nissan badge, rep, dealer and corporate styling trumps a Mitsu badge and Calcutta styling, and whatever dealer is around – in a space that was a Pizza Hut ten years ago.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I doubt this loaded trim level is going to to sell well since it’s sort of the opposite of why you buy a car like this.
    But I’m glad it exists and I’m glad folks who can’t afford or don’t want an expensive car have an additional option.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    In other words, it’s a car.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      So, let’s review:

      •It’s not entertaining to drive.

      •Its suspension is poorly tuned.

      •It has only 78 hp, yet its CVT is mismatched to the engine such that it cuts off the engine before its power peak.

      •Its interior materials are rock-hard and cheap.

      •It has no door armrests.

      •The driver’s seat has no lateral support.

      If this is “fine,” what isn’t? Name three new cars that are worse. Seriously, I want to hear the answer. Is it time to change the name of the website?

      • 0 avatar

        I would put the Chevy Spark and Yaris as worse, certain trims of the fiesta are about as bad, I would also say it tops the smart car. Really it’s a lot of car for the money based on features you have a car that sells for 18k with features not found on other cars below 23k.

        • 0 avatar
          CombiNation

          Maybe they’ve improved the G4 but I’ve driven both the Spark and Mirage hatch and the Spark is a much better car to actually drive in every way: handling, power, pace, transmission, NVH. The Mirage is clobbered everywhere but price and over mileage. Features? Okay, fine, but most of the features Mitsubishi has grafted onto the Mirage were never really intended for the car, so there’s a lot of cheapness, like the USB port in the glovebox, the Bluetooth awkwardly grafted on, and some of the worst seats ever to receive electric heaters.

          The Fiesta, even as a rental, is a far better car to drive. I just don’t see how Mitsubishi can sell anything but the stripper models because once this car approaches a base-model Fit the argument is over.

          • 0 avatar

            To me the mirage has better space inside then the spark plus the features and a little better ride. The fiesta I haven’t driven in a while but the last one back in 2014 or so (rental) felt about the same level of cheap as the Mirage, it just didn’t feel right.

          • 0 avatar
            DweezilSFV

            The Fiesta has the same rear leg room as a 71 Ford Pinto: 31.1″. The Mirage is over 37″. Plus the Fiesta has that Powersh*t automated manual as compared to the test car’s CVT.

            No thanks. The Mirage has a longer warranty and looks like a far less intrusive console and no ridiculously baroque dashboard as in the Fiesta.

            That so called trans in the Fiesta and 70’s era interior packaging are both deal breakers for me.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          OK, that’s fair. Although if it’s my money, I have a lot more confidence in the Yaris, what with its parent being the T-word.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            And the Yaris being worse is highly debatable. In the context of this review, an $18K Yaris SE would be far preferable. Even C&D liked its dynamics:

            http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2012-toyota-yaris-comparison-test-car-and-driver-page-5

          • 0 avatar
            mik101

            Yeah but I got my Fiesta S for about $12,250 before taxes and delivery and the rear space is only really used occasionally when I don’t feel like using the TRUNK (in reference to the post above saying only hatches are really cheaper than this mirage). I added Bluetooth and steering controls for $30 and have no use for a backup camera because really you can see all around vehicles that small with your mirrors. Would I like Android auto? Sure. But I also like having the extra cylinder and north of 78hp (120hp 1.6L in the Fiesta) better. I also wanted the manual rather than the DCT auto. I know I’m one of the exceptions there though.

            Edit. Just wanted to add, that was in Canadian dollars. If the Ford 1.0T had been available in the sedan, then that’s what I likely would have looked at.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        it has very skinny cheap OEM tires. something wider with more grip would make a huge difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Cobrajet25

        The car has door armrests. What it doesn’t have is a CENTER armrest.

        The center armrest is offered as an option in every market except the US. It’s absence here has something to do with ‘federal compliance’ according to Mitsubishi. I took this to mean crash tests, but Mitsubishi was pretty cagey about it when asked.

        I ordered an OEM one from a Mitsubishi parts house in Thailand and installed it in my Mirage myself.

        It was worth every penny!

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    G3, G5, G6 and G8 were already taken by Pontiac so Mitsubishi used what was left in the emblem parts bin.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Most of those are LG phones as well, I think.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        When is LG going to make cars, like Samsung?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That’s a good question. Currently looks like they have zero transportation businesses.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Corporation

          And they own Zenith!

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I visited LG HQ in Seoul a few times. They have the acquisition of Zenith marked on their wall like a trophy.

            They also have an anti-aircraft battery on the roof, so I didn’t mention it. But they were nice folks, gave me a new Equus and a driver, and even offered to let me borrow the company helicopter. Alas, I just didn’t have the time.

      • 0 avatar

        And the G4 was also a Motorola processor / PowerPc Mac.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Indeed. I happen to see one at a Goodwill months back, with a $400 price tag. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was my audible reply. I was informed “someone went on Ebay” and determined a ten year old PowerPC computer -which had O/S software but no password- was worth $400. This is how you know society has crossed into the abyss.

          • 0 avatar
            SoCalMikester

            isnt there a jumper on the motherboard to reset it?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @SoCalMikester

            I’m really not sure. I do think $400 for a ten year old computer which lacks some sort of gold or diamonds attached is a bit steep, especially for a charity which got the item for free.

            I do know many moons ago I acquired a G3 period tower I believe running OSX 3 (or thereabouts) for my cousin. There was some hack I found online which involved booting it into command line in order to reset the password on the existing OS which I did for him and then gave him the computer for what I had in it (he was a student athlete majoring in graphic design or basket-weaving or some such). This and my G3 Powerbook (Pismo) have been my only forays into the Mac world.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    Sounds like the car was full of bump steer. That’s a nasty behavior that really shouldn’t be in a production car, that’s downright worrying.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The suspension is your standard strut front/torsion beam rear, so there won’t be any miracles here. The suspension was tuned for third-world “roads” and was much softer than Americans expect, though the refresh did tighten things up a bit. The US “GT” trim is probably the equivalent of the fully-loaded Canadian SEL.

    • 0 avatar
      CombiNation

      Yes, I was wondering what Evan was talking about with regard to “independent suspension”. This car has the econobox equivalent of an old Mustang solid-axle suspension. Simple and tough, but unsuited for high-speed maneuvering or handling mid-turn bumps.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I really like that color.

    I defended this car the other day because it’s what enthusiasts say they want (inexpensive, no frills, cheap to run), but $17k for this loaded version gets you into “better car” territory – even for new cars.

    Perhaps the base Mirage G4 compares better to other cars at its price level.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “Just don’t ever take the Mirage G4 anywhere near a track..”

    The problem for adults interested in cars is that it is impossible, *impossible*, to find print or internet reviews untainted by car guy. Even CR succumbs.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I can help you senor.

      Some car reviews from nationwide newspapers is oft not tainted by car guy. These are available on cars.com. Some are even written by women, so you know it’s not car guy then.

      Also, Consumer Guide Automotive takes an even keel approach to drive reviews.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Seriously, thanks. I’ll be all over those.

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        Nationwide newspapers may not be tainted by car guy, but they’re frequently tainted by writers who don’t appear to have come within 20 feet of the vehicle they’re “reviewing.” Especially in smaller media markets.

        I haven’t picked up a new edition of Consumer Guide in awhile but I always liked them. They seemed to take a “just the facts” approach to reviews and were a great pricing resource pre-internet. Shoot, they probably still are, given how poor some manufacturers are at allowing you to option out their products online.

        Being held up to enthusiast standards is the least of the Mirage’s problems. Its’ not 1980 anymore, which means that foreign cars don’t turn into rust buckets after 5 years, Honda/Toyota dealers have to sell their cars for invoice instead of tacking on ridiculous ADMs and Detroit products aren’t compete sh*t. Most new B-segment cars are a poor value in America relative to a larger late-model used car that’s more comfortable just as fuel efficient. The Mirage, with it’s sad little engine, dopey styling, mediocre dynamics, and misfortune of being sold by a failing company with an awful dealer network, is an exponentially worse buy. It’s not a bad car in an absolute sense. There’s absolutely nothing that makes this car worth recommending to anyone, anywhere. Anyone who convinces some poor, unsuspecting shmuck to buy a Mirage over a competitor or a used compact deserves a punch in the face.

        • 0 avatar
          Cobrajet25

          Ever driven one? Didn’t think so…

          Yeah, you probably are one of those guys that thinks they will die or turn to stone if they ever get behind the wheel of a car like this.

          Which makes your rant worth LESS than nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “sad little engine, dopey styling, mediocre dynamics”

          *sniff*

          Yep, car guy.

          *pssssht*

          Febreeze.

  • avatar
    vstudio

    When I see something like this I always wonder… there was someone, at the company, who saw this thing as a prototype, looked it over, and said “ship it!”. I completely understand the goal of making a low-cost car, but does it have to look THIS hideous? When they have a chance to create something from scratch, why do they create something that looks awful? Why not take some styling clues from the Mirage or Galant sold in the 90-ies?

  • avatar
    brettc

    As soon as I saw the “It’s fine” quote, I thought about Louis CK describing this car.

    So it’s apparently a car with 4 (tiny) tires, a steering wheel and an engine, with bonuses like Bluetooth and A/C. Sounds like it’s good enough for 95% of the population that want a cheap transportation appliance.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    I think I’d prefer a Hyundai Accent.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Question is: why wouldn’t I buy a equally cheap Versa with 25% more power, more trunk and leg room, and vastly superior dealership network?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Versa sedan is the best argument against the G4 if all you want is basic “car”. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to find a Note as low as a base Mirage hatch.

    • 0 avatar

      Feature for feature the mitsu will save you 10-15% (possibly more) over the versa and with slow moving mitsu dealers the possibility of a deal are higher.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I got my cars.com Versa S listing for $7600 ready to whip out, whatcha got for one of these Mirages? I’ll take a ‘real’ engine that atleast has 4 cylinders and makes over 100 hp over a whole lot of fancy infotainment or whatever. It’s a very real difference in motive force. I bet a 5spd Versa could crack 9 seconds 0-60, the Mirage (in 5spd guise, let alone CVT) is substantially slower.

        • 0 avatar

          Alright you got me I had just assumed using local dealers here in CT. but a nation wide search does indeed find some cheap Versa’s wholly crap I’ve never seen a cheap car marked down 3-4k under MSRP before. You still get more stuff in the Mitsu but that’ll cost 10k vs under 8k for a versa apparently. Odd thous here in CT looking at the ads and true car the Mitsu is like 8-900 bucks cheaper before adjusting for features.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I hated Versa Note on extended rentals. Haven’t gotten Mirage long enough to know though. There is still a chance that it’s not as bad (admittedly, not a great chance).

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Well, for starters, how many people still wouldn’t use all 78 of the Mirage’s horsepower? Because there’s an inordinate number of those people who I get stuck behind on a regular basis. I know we’re spoiled in an era of V6 Camries that apparently render every sports car redundant, but adequate commuter performance is a lot slower than we seem to think.

      So, is the extra power worth the fuel economy hit? The Versa’s a bit on the thirsty side for such a small car.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Versa is rated at 31/40, not exactly ‘thirsty.’ The potential savings in fuel comparing a car that gets upper 30s mpg in mixed driving and one that gets low 40s is pretty moot.

        @ Cobrajet below: it’s not 400-500 lb, comparing the G4 sedan to the Versa S, I’m seeing a difference of less than 200lb.

        Again, I can assure you that the Versa would bury the Mirage in any contest of acceleration. Now, the point that most people never drive cars at the limit and accelerate slowly is valid, to a point. However even a low key driver will appreciate the bump in power and torque when you’re talking about something as low-power as the Mirage and Versa. At this level, it becomes a legit difference in hill climbing power, merging power, two lane passing performance, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Okay, but you can’t simultaneously quote the $7600 Versa and the 31/40mpg Versa – those aren’t the same car. To get 40mpg highway, you need the CVT, which gets bumped up to $14k MSRP (not sure of selling prices, different market).

        • 0 avatar
          Cobrajet25

          @gtemnykh, above:

          The base Versa S weighs 2,363 pounds, the base Mirage G4 weighs 2,106. Keep in mind that the test car is an SE with a CVT, and that weighs quite a bit more than the base car. We need to compare base model-to-base model here. So you are right…it’s actually about 250 pounds. I forgot that the G4 got a little heavier. The ’14-’15 base Mirage hatches weighed 1,973 pounds.

          Trust me, neither of these cars are fast. Reviewers whinge about both of them being really slow. Unless you are timing each car against a stopwatch, I doubt the difference would be too noticeable.

          But the Mirage CRUSHES the Versa’s EPA rating for economy, which is what it’s designed to do. Even a decent driver can bury the EPA numbers, and that is evidenced all over the internet. I have a lifetime average of 48 mpg in mine. I can’t imagine doing that in a Versa.

          In the end, it all depends on what the buyer wants..and the more choices, the better IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      Cobrajet25

      Yes, the Versa has more horsepower, but it is also about 400-500 pounds heavier than the Mirage. So you don’t really pick up much performance with that extra power, but DO end up sacrificing a lot of mpg.

      Nobody will see a Versa at the track, either.

  • avatar
    gasser

    In defining cheap, basic transportation you always come up to the question of whether your will be happier, 5 years down the road, with this new Mitsubishi or with a used Honda/Toyota/Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      New-car warranty and financing will answer that question for many people.

      • 0 avatar
        Cobrajet25

        Absolutely true. Used, warranty-less $14,000 Civic with 60k on the clock can be financed for 3-4 years, with a payment of $300.

        New $14,000 Mirage can be financed 6-7 years, with a payment of $195.

        Sometimes the bank decides you can afford the $195 payment, but not the $300 payment. They don’t really care which car is ‘better’ according to online car guys.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “The car isn’t quick to accelerate, but it’s not slow either. My daily is a Civic Hybrid and this Mirage definitely feels quicker than that.”

    And that’s the problem – if you’re comparing this to a hybrid, anything will feel faster. But C/D tested this car and it did 0-60 in a ridiculous 12.8 seconds, which is a full ****three to four seconds slower**** than anything else in its’ class. Yecch.

    Much better choices exist at this price point – Honda Fits, Ford Fiestas and Hyundai Accents.

    But I’d pop for a Scion iA, which is a hoot to drive, comes very well equipped, and is being given away around here for $14,500 or thereabouts, which is a massive bargain.

    The base version probably makes more sense as a hairshirt alternative.

    • 0 avatar
      CombiNation

      I thought that was funny as well. This has got to be the slowest new car on the market. Even the smart fortwo is faster.

      The Scion iA is probably the smartest micro-sedan buy, if you can ignore the schnozz.

    • 0 avatar
      Cobrajet25

      Uhhh…why does any 50 mpg economy car need to roar from 0-60 in six seconds?

      Nobody is going to drag race it ANYWAY!

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Not 6 seconds, but I reckon most consumers can appreciate the dynamic qualities of a car that can do 0-60 in about 10 or so seconds, or one that can drive up a hill without having to keep the engine cranked up rpm-wise. Car guys might not mind using the full range of the tach, but many non-car people think it’s ‘bad’ to rev the engine hard. If you have to pin the throttle and listen to a noisy engine thrash away to merge onto the highway, even going to a slightly larger 4 cylinder compact car will feel other-wordly and much more relaxed. If you’re just bumping around traffic all day in big city, then sure the Mirage’s 78hp is less of a hindrance.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          3-cylinder engines have a sort of eager “zinginess” when they wind out that long-stroke 4-cylinder engines lack (25% less reciprocating mass probably has something to do with that). It’s actually kind of fun in a 3, while many 4s just feel labored.

        • 0 avatar
          Cobrajet25

          “Bumping around traffic all day’ is precisely what it is designed for. Not every car is meant to be used as a 70-mph freeway commuter.

          Seventy-eight horsepower is much worse than it sounds because people forget THIS IS A 2,000 POUND car!

          The Mirage’s 3A92 is not a Geo Metro motor, even though they have the same number of cylinders. This engine has dual-overhead cams, 10.5-1 compression, variable valve timing, etc, etc.

          It LOVES to howl and rev. Mash the throttle, let it wind up to 4800 rpm and it sings and wails like an old Triumph Speed Triple!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        No one says it does, cobra.

        But when there are other cars that don’t take THIRTEEN FREAKIN’ SECONDS to get to 60, and they cost about the same money, I’d say that puts the G4 at a distinct disadvantage. I haven’t driven one, but if it’s as slow as it sounds, there’s no way I’d buy one, particularly when I could go down the street and pick up something like an iA, which is a damn sweet little car to drive, for 14 grand or so.

        Could be the reason why the Mirage gets outsold big time by Fit, Fiesta, Versa, etc…

        If you’re happy with the car, then Vaya Con Dios, my friend…but other people are allowed to have different needs.

        • 0 avatar
          Cobrajet25

          I am honestly not sure how they managed 13 seconds? AC cranked up? Four passengers? Why Mitsubishi insists on sending out the heaviest version of this car they offer and saddling it with the CVT…knowing full well it is going to be taken to the drag strip…is beyond me.

          And yes, if you need a car that roars up the freeway on-ramp with twin-turbos singing and flames shooting out the exhaust pipe, don’t buy a Mirage, lol!

          I have no problem recommending the iA to anyone. It looks like a great little car…it just fits in a different niche than the Mirage. Sure, the hard-core, horse-tradin’ car expert can wrangle a Mirage-like price on one. But most people won’t, and the iA is quite a bit more expensive than the Mirage in terms of MSRP. The more choices we have as consumers, the better, right?

          Go drive a manual G4. Tell me what you think. But the professional who wrote this article says, “It’s fine.”

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This seems like the answer to the question: “Do you have your own transportation?”

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yep. There are basically two types of customers for a car like this: people who need something that will get them to work every day and pick up the kids from their ex without 3 or 4-figure repair bills; and the slightly (or not) kooky iconoclasts who want a simple, minimalist car.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Bumpy nailed it.

        P.S. Somehow this reminds me how I wanted to buy Ford Aspire in 1997. Could not fit inside, fortunately. But I can fit inside Mirage. Some packaging miracle made it significantly larger.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          5 door or 3?

          I’m 5’11” and could (late teens/early 20s last time I tried, I was very skinny) fit in Aspire 5 door, but was better off in a 3 door. I ended up with a 1990 Festiva L, even my 6’6″ friend could drive it.

          The Aspire had plenty of headroom, it was being crammed into the dash that made the 5 door less than ideal for me.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It’d probably make a good “tow car” for folks with those Nimitz-class RVs too. Light and cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        Cobrajet25

        “Kooky iconoclast”? Eh…I have been called worse! :)

  • avatar
    jhughes

    There’s always something awesome about taking a car that was never meant for the track out on a track. For example, the first car I ever tracked was a 1995 Saturn SC2.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Turn it into a Dodge Colt.

    And give it more sidewall.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Don’t give Sergio any ideas!

      The Fiat Tipo (as the Dodge Neon) needs to happen (in US and Canada) first, but this could slot below it.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I found something better than the Mirage for a Dodge subcompact revival: Dodge Vision.

      If FCA could federalize it, add UConnect, and price it a grand below Mirage, its former partner’s days are numbered lol.

      http://www.dodge.com.mx/autos/vision/

      Google it if the link is nonop. The 2016 Dart is also on their Mexican webpage.

      It could be better (needs the crosshair grille, LEDs mimicking Charger), but its already better than the G4 IMO. Give it four cylinders (1.4L ?) and UConnect, it’ll be at least a little bit better than “fine”. I doubt it could be worse.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    The soft plastic fetish of automotive reviewers was always a mystery to me. All of the plastic surfaces in my car are hard, and I like it that way. I can see a point of having knee pads in sports cars, as well as elbow supports in luxury cars. But you watch an Alex Dykes video and he’s touching every surface just to make sure the car’s inside resembles padded room for violent crazies in a mental yard.

    • 0 avatar
      Cobrajet25

      Lol…I completely agree. Do they fondle their dashboards at every stop light or something?

      My BMW has ‘soft-touch’ plastics. Great when new, but now they have flaked and peeled and look like hell.

      Honestly glad I don’t have to deal with that in the Mirage. Plus, the interior of the Mirage, much like that of a Cozy-Coupe, is very easy to clean.

      Fun Fact: The dash and door panels of the Mirage are made of recycled packaging materials from the factory in Thailand where they are built.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, there’s hard plastic and then there’s hard plastic.

      Examples of hard plastic done wrong:
      Nissan Versa, Mirage, an entire range of FCA products

      Examples of hard plastic done right:
      Any Mazda, Scion iA, Nissan Sentra, Honda Fit

  • avatar
    shaker

    “and he’s touching every surface just to make sure the car’s inside resembles padded room for violent crazies in a mental yard.”

    Heh heh – True enough.

    I suppose the thinking may be that softer plastic is less likely to rattle or resonate, making the interior a bit quieter – or at least give that impression.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Yeah. What is all this talk about premium plastic?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      It is, and there’s nothing wrong with pointing it out by the reviewer. Because, if he doesnt, one of you would test drive a Honda and find this much worse. So, if you’re interested in a subcompact, you’d appreciate having been told its cheap feeling ahead of time

      . Its the guy’s job. He isn’t saying “compared to the TSX, this thing blows” as though unrealistically expecting it to be excellent, he’s just giving you the impression he felt.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Enjoyable review, Evan. Please contribute more.

  • avatar
    Joss

    This little blighter’s as close as you can get to the masochism of the diesel Chevette.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The gas Chevette was a zenith of self-flagellation, and the diesel just put the torture level way over the top. I drove one once. I can’t imagine anything worse…maybe a Trabant.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Paternal Grandmother had a gas two door Chevette (still had it in the mid 1990s). Our family of four (Dad, Mom, my sister and I) were visiting her in Florida on vacation. The decision was made for the 4 of us to go the beach and drive the Chevette because the we had come in a massive camper.

        Riding in a Chevette was as if someone had taken our old John Deere 112 lawn tractor and turned into a four seat, two door conveyance.

    • 0 avatar
      Cobrajet25

      Adjusted for inflation, the Mirage is LESS EXPENSIVE than the Chevette.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Just get a used Civic.


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