By on October 17, 2019

It has come to our attention that there has been a dearth of Mitsubishi products in this Ace of Base series. Seeing what’s on offer at the instant noodle end of a particular price spectrum can be entertaining, so there’s little reason for us to have ignored one of the least-expensive new cars on sale in America today.

Poking fun at an entry-level car is low hanging fruit, one that’s been picked clean by many corners of the internet. Ignoring that dross, what exactly does Mitsubishi offer in an entry-level Mirage? The answer: more than I expected.

Push the styling to one side for a minute and concentrate on the feature count. That’s what I, an unabashed extrovert who delights in annoying the people with whom he shares road space with with automobiles featuring loud colours and over-the-topiary styling cues, had to do. Creeping toward my fortieth year, I’ve learned that not everyone cares (or even *gasp* notices) what their car looks like. “I just know where to put the gas!” they happily chirp, choosing to expend their attention on other matters. To them, this car looks fine.

For a sum of $13,795 one will find themselves in charge of a stickshift Mirage featuring cruise control and the all-important air conditioning. Remote keyless entry is a feature owners of this car will enjoy, along with the likes of a touchscreen infotainment system and Bluetooth wireless gubbins. A power- and joy-sapping CVT is a $1,200 option that should be avoided like the plague. In fact, the base Mirage is the only way to evade it.

Joyfully, Mitsu will allow the choice of seven colors — including the fun Sapphire Blue shown above — as $0 options, even on the base car. This handily beats other manufacturers who simply offer various shades of grey for their cheapest models in what is surely an attempt to upsell cheapskates to the next-highest trim.

It is worth noting that this car’s MSRP is less than that of a Spark, Fiesta, or Accent ⁠— the latter of which has creeped over $15,000 while no one was looking. While it is easy to look down one’s nose at cars like this until one remembers that, for some, this is all the car they want. The assurance of a 10-year warranty is a big deal for folks in that mindset as well, don’tcha know.

Cars like these, and I’m not picking solely on Mitsubishi with this musing, ask an existential question: at which price point does one start shopping for a gently used compact car with a few more features for the same amount of cheddar? A quick perusal of AutoGuide reveals plenty of barely driven Civics for roughly the same price; Elantras are even more plentiful.

I guess this turns today’s post into a twofer — an Ace of Base and a mini question of the day. What’s your take?

[Images: Mitsubishi]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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75 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage...”

  • avatar

    I may be wrong, but I seem to recall this model was very popular in the Philippines for its prowess in Third World road conditions.

    • 0 avatar

      I have also heard these are popular in developing SE Asia. I have been on an off following the Forumns for these, and they seem really reliable honestly.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The Mirage is also sold as the Dodge Attitude in Mexico. The only difference is the badging and crosshair grill. The previous Dodge Attitude was a rebadged Hyundai Accent.

      The mini compact hatches like the Hyundai i10 and Daewoo Matiz are popular there and in the Philippines since they have good prowess on the rough roads.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    I did a search for new cars with manual transmissions in my region. Some of the deals that stood out-
    VW Jetta for 16-17
    Kia Forte for 17-18
    Honda Civic for 18-19
    Chevy Camaro (4-cyl turbo) for 19-20
    Ford Mustang (4-cyl turbo) for 21-22
    Dodge Challenger (485-hp V8!) for 29-30

    Way better cars for just a few grand more.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think too many people are cross shopping a Mirage with a Scat Pack Challenger but if 392 equipped cars are really selling for under $30k that is an incredible value.

      • 0 avatar

        A coworker picked up a demo (5k miles) 392 with a manual for 28K last year.

        • 0 avatar

          A manual 392 Challenger last driven by a car salesman – what could possibly go wrong?

          (Cue laugh track…)

          I sold cars at one point, and had a demo. I abused it so badly that if it were human, I’d be in jail. Same for everyone I worked with.

          • 0 avatar
            Mike Beranek

            Yeah, I think if I was going for a sub-30k V8 muscle car, I’d make sure it had single-digit mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          I just picked up a leftover 2018 Challenger GT for $28k plus tax and fees. The sticker lists as $38k.
          It fits my needs; coupe with enough room and a more than adequate trunk. Since I didn’t want a CUV the AWD is a plus and makes up for the AMC Eagle SX/4 that I really should have bought three decades ago.

  • avatar

    With 1-2 yr old mirages going for $10k, i don’t know why anyone would buy one of these new. The segment this car was designed for seems to dictate that saving the $4-5k is a no brainer. It’s not like this thing is getting massive updates year to year.

    And i have to agree with Matthew on buying used “competitors” over this new. If you’re looking for cheap and insist on a $15k subcompact, a new mirage should be way down the list of options.

    All that said, if i had the extra time/money/space, picking a used mirage up for a few grand could be entertaining enough. There’s something freeing and satisfying about driving a car you absolutely don’t care about.

    • 0 avatar

      Because people treat cheap cars like crap and a late model used one is likely to have been abused. Every “driving fail” video on YouTube is a car that ends up on the used market.

      • 0 avatar

        You can get a warranty on a used car, and you can get an inspection as well. It’s not that hard to find a decent used example of cheap cars.

        Someone pointed out leasing a new car vs buying. I guess that’s the only way I’d ever consider one of these new – if i had to have the lowest payments and couldn’t spring to buy/didn’t want to stretch out my payments due to the low value of the car.

        But that said, there’s still better options available. The mirage might not be as bad as it’s reputation online, but it’s still near the bottom of the pack among its competitors.

    • 0 avatar

      The dealership in my area is selling them at around $11k new. When I was young, poor, and starting a family such a car would appeal to me. I would want a new car without the sketchy history of a used car that would be safe, reliable, and I would be able to save my money for other things.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to guess the average Mirage customer is some young kid who is so excited that someone will give him a car loan with his 512 FICO and assistant manager at Best Buy career that he didn’t count on paying for stuff like maintenance.

      I’ll pass *hard* on this car used.

      • 0 avatar

        I would love to hear from someone who bought this thing.

        • 0 avatar

          I own one. In September, 2017, I bought a brand-new ’17 Mirage ES off the lot, out the door for $9,600 American greenbacks. It regularly gets 50 mpg, has everything I need in a commuter, and has been trouble-free for 13,000 miles. It’s got a great warranty, and I like the simplicity.

          Most publications note the MSRP, and people still say it’s too high. Unless your credit score is more in line with your shoe size, I cannot imagine paying MSRP. And by the way, these things keep increasing in sales, and it is a hit for Mitsubishi.

          I would buy another one. I put a rear sway bar on mine, stickier tires, and Eibach Pro Kit springs as well as lightweight 5Zigen wheels in a Kei car fitment. I make no illusion of it being fast or luxurious. But it’s basic, reliable transportation that I’ve made more entertaining to pilot—for the low, low price of $9,600.

          • 0 avatar

            What made you pick it over a Spark, 500, or Fiesta?

          • 0 avatar

            As for why I chose this over a Spark, 500, or Fiesta: A lot of it had to do with reliability and previous brand experience. I was a long-time member of Spark, 500, and Fiesta groups/forums. Saw a lot of people having issues. I did consider the Spark (we got my mother-in-law one), I also considered a used Abarth (more money, sketchy reliability history), but did not consider a Fiesta. I’m not a fan of the driving position on the Fiesta. I did consider buying a used Yaris, too, but most of them had much higher mileage, or a much higher price.

            I currently won three other Mitsubishi vehicles as well, and have had them in the past. I grew up with the brand as we had Eclipses, Monteros, and my first car was an Expo LRV. I hadn’t had a new Mitsubishi since the early 1990s, however (I have an ’89 Delica, ’91 Pajero, and ’92 Pajero, all JDM diesels, too). I currently also have a Yaris, which has been a great car. But see my comments above.

            FYI, I sold a 2013 WRX hatch with low miles and bought my Mirage. Before you commit me, we didn’t drive it all that much, and our priorities lie in small cars and JDM 4WDs. The WRX is a great car, but wasn’t for us. Instead, I got our cheap Mirage (new) and put a bunch of money in the back to fix old JDM crap cans.

          • 0 avatar

            I have no experience with Mirages or Sparks(although I’ve seen many awful Daewoolets), but I have seen enough of the 500 and Fiesta to know I wouldn’t take one if I needed a car to get me to work.

          • 0 avatar

            Oh I like this guy. Bravo, bought it right and enjoying it to boot.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty sure these come with a set of Carlashes too.

  • avatar

    IMHO this car is the spiritual successor to the original VW Beetle…cheap, reliable, basic transportation that’s perfectly acceptable for a lot of people. It may only have 3 cylinders and ~75hp but the lack of GDI and a turbo means this mill will likely last a lot longer than the engines in the more expensive compact cars on the market.

    It won’t be ideal for everybody but for somebody who only needs a grocery-getter, or does 95% of their driving in the city, or needs a cheap car for their kid to use at college, the Mirage is a great choice.

  • avatar

    These things and Chevy Sparks are available for under 12 grand pretty much everywhere. Considering the inflated price of used cars I’d call them a smart buy vs a 5 year old compact.

  • avatar

    This is a good new car for a student in need of cheap transportation. This would be especially good for students going to college in a large city. The mirage would be good at navigating the narrow streets of Philadelphia.

    The Mirage is nowhere near as bad as it is reported to be.

  • avatar

    Perhaps not, but not a smart buy either. My favorite was the one in Nashville, the condition was “1.3” so it was all kinds of jacked up without a doubt but still, an MY18 automobile with 14K miles for $2,300. Think on that. If it wasn’t salable I don’t think it would have been purchased so it must have had four wheels, a drivetrain, all the doors etc.


    Date Price (USD) Odometer (mi) Condition Engine Transmission Exterior Color Type Region Auction In Sample Year Make Model Style Edition Country
    10/16/2019 $8,200 9,916 4 3G Automatic Orange Lease Southeast Central Florida Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/16/2019 $8,100 7,482 4.3 3G Automatic Silver Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/15/2019 $8,500 9,176 3.7 3G Automatic Silver Lease Northeast Baltimore-Washington Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/15/2019 $8,600 18,146 3.9 3G Automatic Gray Lease Southeast Orlando Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/10/2019 $7,000 12,009 4.4 3G Automatic Orange Lease West Coast Southern California Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/9/2019 $7,600 34,502 4 3G Automatic White Lease Southeast New Orleans Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/9/2019 $8,250 21,439 3.7 3G Automatic Red Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/8/2019 $5,000 50,400 2.7 3G Automatic Silver Lease Southwest Dallas Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/8/2019 $6,900 14,588 3.5 3G Automatic Silver Lease Southeast Georgia Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/4/2019 $6,500 29,170 2.8 3G Automatic Red Regular Southwest Dallas Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/3/2019 $5,200 23,373 2.8 3G Automatic Red Lease Southwest El Paso Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/2/2019 $8,500 17,950 4.4 3G Automatic Orange Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/2/2019 $9,200 13,646 4.3 3G Automatic Black Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/2/2019 $7,400 13,406 3.7 3G Automatic Brown Lease Southwest New Mexico Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/1/2019 $7,600 8,329 3.2 3G Automatic White Lease Southeast Statesville Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/1/2019 $2,300 13,937 1.3 3G Automatic Gray Lease Southeast Nashville No 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    10/1/2019 $7,200 14,114 3 3G Automatic Gray Lease Midwest Ohio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/26/2019 $5,000 9,976 2 3G Automatic Red Lease Southeast Tampa Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/25/2019 $7,000 12,700 2.7 3G Automatic Gray Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/25/2019 $8,000 3,939 2.8 3G Automatic Burgundy Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/25/2019 $8,500 13,217 4.2 3G Automatic Orange Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/25/2019 $7,800 20,593 3.5 3G Automatic Gray Lease Northeast New Jersey Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/24/2019 $6,700 29,748 3.7 3G Automatic Gray Lease Midwest Arena Illinois Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/24/2019 $5,000 26,843 3.5 3G Automatic Blue Regular Southeast Atlanta Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/24/2019 $8,600 14,793 3.5 3G Automatic Black Lease Southwest Dallas Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/24/2019 $7,800 18,327 4.5 3G Automatic Black Lease Southeast Georgia Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/18/2019 $6,000 34,443 3.5 3G Automatic Red Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/18/2019 $5,900 24,876 1.4 3G Automatic Gray Lease Southwest San Antonio Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US
    9/17/2019 $8,800 17,525 4.3 3G Automatic Blue Lease Northeast Baltimore-Washington Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US

    • 0 avatar

      I see these really cheap used on book face and Craigs list. like well under 5K with under 100k miles. Last one I saw was a manual 2016 with 65k miles for 3,800. It’s honestly tempting to ditch my 300 buy a pickup and one of these to abuse in communing at 40 MPG. Hell it would pay for itself. It would save $90 bucks a month just in gas. I’m just not sure I really want to spend that much time in one.

      • 0 avatar

        Here’s one MY18 in avg condition and 26K on the clock that went for 5 even on 9/24 in Atlanta. I wouldn’t pony up 5K to some CL rando for an example with 90K.

        9/24/2019 $5,000 26,843 3.5 3G Automatic Blue Regular Southeast Atlanta Yes 2018 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 4D HATCHBACK ES 10/17/2019 US

        If I was going to buy one of these, this is what I would do:

        1. Find a large dealer that is stuck with one say under 30K miles.
        2. Explain nobody is buying this which is why it sits, I’ll offer you maybe 6,5 if average condition (clean, add a grand).
        3. Walk away if rebuked, only move they have is a sucker buy because the block isn’t paying much for these and they are not in demand.

      • 0 avatar

        65,000 miles in three years tells me this was ridden hard.

        I like the idea of an uber-cheap commuter car, but what price do you put on something that you don’t have to worry about crapping out? Unless I was a master Mitsubishi mechanic that could fix whatever crops up, I’d pass.

        YMMV, of course.

        • 0 avatar

          The Fiesta we disucssed below might make more sense at the right acquisiton cost. Mitsu isn’t serious about moving these and is asking too much. So nearly 15, then 15,7 with CVT, but then 1K mfg cash so its down to 14,7 again. Yet I just showed an MY18 which went for just about 1/3rd this amount. 66% deprecation in one model year for avg condition, simply stunning.

          “Starting at $14,790*
          The standard features of the Mitsubishi Mirage ES include 1.2L I-3 78hp engine, 5-speed manual transmission”

          This is funny though… current Saturn customers? LOL

          “Mitsubishi Motors is now offering eligible current Mitsubishi, Saturn, Suzuki, Scion, or Isuzu customers a $250 loyalty rebate on 2019 Mirage. Important restrictions and rules apply. This offer may be combined with Retention loyalty rebate program when offered. See your participating dealer for program details. Offer valid from 10/01/2019 through 10/31/2019.”

          • 0 avatar

            Mopar needs to come to the Church if he wants a daily-commute beater. On crappy days, my Audi stays in the garage, and the old Buick gets pressed into service. Hail on it…door ding it…whatever. Make my day.

            (Seriously, I have no idea who sold GM the steel for my LeSabre, but it’s NEVER had so much as a hail dimple, and it’s been in a ton of *horrendous* hail storms over the nine years I’ve owned it.)

          • 0 avatar

            Indeed Brother Freed he who shalt put his trust in the The Lord shall be rewarded all his commuting days.

          • 0 avatar

            I like the 3800 but never owned one. Harder to find one not on it’s third abusive owner these days. I have had plenty of beaters (haven’t financed a car yet) so far the best for get in and drive without fixing have been my 22R Toyota pickup, Eagle Summit, and the current Chrysler. Worse was Gen 3 Golf. Fun to drive when it worked but that’s about it.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, I’m a little biased the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned was a 93 Mirage badged as an Eagle Summit. Great in snow 35MPG and 60-70k miles replacing one wheel bearing on a 10 year old car is impressive. I mean I owned a toyota pickup with a 22R and this thing was way more reliable than that.

          Like I said I have been looking at the forums. these are pretty reliable, and really cheap used. Plus parts are really cheap I can get a CVT with 15k miles and a 30 day warranty from the local junkyard for 270 bucks. Plus the engine weighs 123 lbs pretty easy to manhandle. As was mentioned before this thing was designed for developing countries and as such was designed to be reasonably easy to repair and cheap to run. There is a guy that autocrosses one on one of the forums, he pulled the engine on his in under 3 hours in his garage without a lift if I remember right.
          All that said I’m broke/a cheapskate I daily drive a 3,000 dollar Chrysler 300. So I would buy at the bottom of the depreciation curve. When I can get one with under 100k for less then 2k I probably will.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    If I needed a dirt-cheap new car, I’d head straight to my local Ford dealer, who is blowing out base Fiestas for less than $11,500:

    akear is right that the Mirage is not as bad as it is reported to be (yes, I’ve driven one), but it’s pretty far behind the Fiesta and Accent. I’ve never driven a Spark, but I hear they dumped the old Daewoo 1.2 Aveo engine in favor of a non-turbo Ecotec 1.4, which seems like a huge improvement.

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s break that down:

      Price Before Discounts

      Ford Credit Retail Bonus Customer Cash 1
      – $2,000
      Expire Date :01/02/2020

      Ok so you have to finance though them, makes sense.

      Retail Customer Cash 2
      – $1,500
      Expire Date :01/02/2020

      I guess this is everyone.

      Select Inventory Retail Customer Cash 3
      – $500

      Expire Date :01/02/2020

      -The same I suppose

      Sale Price


      Oh, but its a stick which granted you want bc the DCT tranny is garbage but this disqualifies 95% of the buying public.

      So if you can swing 12ish and can drive a stick, ok maybe not too bad but…


      10/2/19 $11,300 1,808 4.6 4G/A Silver Lease Southwest San Antonio
      10/9/19 $11,300 2,386 4.6 4G/A Red Lease Southeast Tampa
      10/2/19 $11,900 2,611 5.0 4G/A Red Lease Midwest Detroit
      10/15/19 $10,000 3,161 – – 4G/A Silver Lease Southeast Statesville
      9/25/19 $11,300 3,742 4.7 4G/A Gray Lease Northeast Pittsburgh
      10/1/19 $11,400 3,789 4.6 4G/A Gray Lease Midwest Chicago
      10/4/19 $10,500 3,836 5.0 4G/A Green Lease West Coast California
      10/8/19 $10,800 5,060 4.8 4G/A White Lease Southeast Statesville
      10/1/19 $11,500 5,191 5.0 4G/A White Lease Midwest St Louis
      9/26/19 $11,000 6,045 4.4 4G/A Silver Lease Southeast Tampa
      10/3/19 $9,800 6,396 – – 4G/A Black Regular Southeast Tampa
      10/14/19 $10,700 7,491 4.4 4G/A Blue Lease Southeast North Carolina
      10/8/19 $11,200 7,536 5.0 4G/A White Lease Midwest St Louis
      9/27/19 $12,100* 8,093 4.9 4G/A Blue Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
      10/2/19 $10,000 8,103 – – 4G/A Black Regular Southeast New Orleans
      9/26/19 $11,300 8,373 4.5 4G/A Red Regular Southwest Texas Hobby
      10/15/19 $11,000 9,942 4.8 4G/A Red Lease Northeast Baltimore-Washington
      9/25/19 $10,200 10,141 3.6 4G/A White Regular Southwest Dallas
      10/9/19 $10,000 12,001 4.4 4G/A Gray Lease Southwest Dallas-Fort Worth
      9/24/19 $9,700 12,197 2.9 4G/A White Lease Southeast Nashville
      10/2/19 $7,500* 12,364 2.7 4G/A Silver Lease Midwest Kansas City
      10/9/19 $10,700 12,582 4.0 4G/A Black Lease Southeast Tampa
      10/2/19 $10,500 12,782 4.4 4G/A White Lease Midwest Kansas City
      9/24/19 $10,300 13,231 4.6 4G/A Blue Lease Southeast Nashville
      10/9/19 $8,900 13,817 2.5 4G/A Gray Lease Midwest Kansas City

      …if we look at MY15 of the same model we’re between 5,5 and 6,5 for avg miles. So if roughly 7K depreciation is acceptable, assuming your Fiesta has no major issues, and the fact you are driving a penalty box for five years, maybe an attractive proposition to drive then trade in five years (note: nearly all examples are auto and not stick, sticks will go for less on the block).


      9/18/19 $3,000* 12,195 1.8 4G/A Gray Regular Southwest San Antonio
      10/3/19 $5,800 34,631 3.9 4G/A Gray Lease Southwest Texas Hobby
      10/15/19 $3,000 41,520 3.2 4G/A Silver Lease Southeast Georgia
      9/25/19 $6,700 47,383 4.0 4G/A Black Lease Southeast Tampa
      9/24/19 $5,600 49,664 3.8 4G/A Red Lease Northeast Baltimore-Washington
      9/17/19 $2,900 53,397 1.6 4G/A Black Regular West Coast Phoenix
      9/26/19 $5,500 56,383 3.1 4G/A Black Regular Southwest Texas Hobby
      9/25/19 $5,000 58,949 3.5 4G/A Gray Lease Southeast Central Florida
      9/25/19 $3,800 59,366 2.8 4G/A Red Lease Midwest Kansas City
      10/11/19 $3,300 61,283 2.6 4G/A Silver Lease Midwest Minneapolis
      10/4/19 $3,800 65,644 2.3 4G/A Red Regular Southwest San Antonio
      9/20/19 $4,600 69,383 3.5 4G/A Red Lease Southeast Fort Lauderdale
      9/25/19 $5,200 69,395 3.7 4G/A Red Regular Southeast Central Florida
      10/15/19 $3,900 70,316 4.0 4G/A Red Regular Southeast Atlanta
      9/24/19 $2,100 71,730 1.8 4G/5 Gray Regular Southeast Atlanta
      9/18/19 $4,700 74,273 3.2 4G/A Gray Regular Southwest San Antonio
      9/26/19 $3,000 74,514 2.4 4G/A Black Regular Southeast St Pete
      9/25/19 $4,900 78,324 – – 4G/A Silver Regular Southeast Lakeland
      10/3/19 $3,200 80,779 2.9 4G/A Silver Lease Southeast St Pete
      9/17/19 $3,100 80,995 – – 4G/- – Silver Regular Southeast Statesville
      10/3/19 $1,600 83,958 2.7 4G/A Gray Regular Southwest El Paso
      9/18/19 $4,700 84,320 3.1 4G/A Silver Lease Southwest New Mexico
      10/10/19 $1,900 86,063 4.2 4G/A Silver Lease Southwest Dallas-Fort Worth
      9/18/19 $2,900 92,166 1.8 4G/A Black Regular West Coast California
      9/18/19 $4,000 92,296 – – 4G/- – White Regular Northeast Pittsburgh

  • avatar

    You can’t lease a used car, so the monthly payment is usually much more, that’s why cheap new cars will always sell

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Agree. Depending upon the repair estimate (which I will receive later today) for the vehicle that my youngest child is currently driving, it may be more efficient to lease her a ‘base model’ of one of the cheapest cars on the market. We could even go with a low mileage lease. She uses it to go to and from Grad School and her part-time job, but both are primarily shorter distance highway driving in the GTA (407).

  • avatar

    Its a slow, ugly, cheap penalty box. It’s basically only good for saving money, either because you HAVE to or just don’t care enough about cars and driving to justify investing any more than necessary. Which is exactly why this is a smarter buy than ANY hybrid or EV. A coworker who commutes from Vancouver, WA down to Beaverton, OR just bought a leftover’18 manual for right at $10K last year. He raves that it gets just under 50mpg Highway and I forget what city but likely still pretty high. The cheapest hybrids start nearly $10K more and any difference in fuel costs is gonna be completely negligible. This isnt a winner as cars go, but it definitely shows electrified crapboxes for what losers they really are.

    • 0 avatar

      The acceleration and NVH difference between a Mirage and something like an Insight (let alone a Camry Hybrid) is very large.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. But none of that matters if you’re pinching pennies. It definitely won’t matter on a cummute that’s an hour or more of bumper to bumper and never more than 30mph. That’s my point.

    • 0 avatar

      “any difference in fuel costs is gonna be completely negligible”

      For a free-flowing highway commute, sure.

      For an in-city commute, you’re probably looking at the Mirage burning about half again as much fuel as a Prius.

      There’s a reason every full-time Uber/Lyft driver in Seattle has a Prius.

      • 0 avatar

        In that particular usage case (skewed almost entirely toward city driving) hybrids start to have an argument, Im with you there. But as a personal vehicle seeing mixed use, I say no. Cheap ICE is the clear winner.

    • 0 avatar

      In terms of interior room and ride quality, my 16 Prius is far better. Off course the economics of gas prices vs fuel efficiency don’t add up unless fuel prices go up to European or New Zealand prices. For me, I prefer to send money to Japan for superior engineering than to questionable companies and countries for fossil fuel. I like lowering my carbon footprint as well.

  • avatar

    Some of my favorite commuter cars have had the same general shape as this vehicle.

  • avatar

    A/C, power door locks, remote entry, ABS (I assume), traction control (isn’t it now mandatory?), etc. Other than a manual transmission (which I would prefer anyway), this would be considered an “amazing car from the future” if you could take it back to the 1980s.

    • 0 avatar

      ABS is mandated, as are the airbags, and traction/stability control, and a backup camera I believe. There isn’t really any “Ace of Base” here.

      • 0 avatar

        I was trying to make the point that the crappiest car in 2019 has technology that was considered amazing just 35 years ago. The complaint about this car shouldn’t be “this car sucks” — because, it doesn’t suck, at least not in absolute terms. It’s just that for only a modest amount more, you could get a much better car.

        • 0 avatar

          I think that’s a fair point, especially for most people. For me, I thought—well, I could spend another $2,000—$3,000 and get a base-model Yaris, a Hyundai Accent, or something used and more sporty, but why? I wanted something that was going to be dependable, efficient, and inexpensive. I don’t need it to be fast. I don’t need big power. Mirage fit the bill.

          I should also say that I am one of these people that falls into the group who likes the underdog. I like the unloved cars, the ones that are different; the oddities, strictly from a personality standpoint. Fringe lunatic right here! I’d say that’s one reason why the Mirage piqued my interest in the first place. I thought, how bad could it be? Turns out it’s not bad at all as long as you know what your expectations are and what you’re getting yourself into.

  • avatar

    There is nothing Ace of Base about this penalty box on wheels.

    If your choice is this or a lightly used C-segment vehicle the answer is C-segment. Hell find a manual Sonic with the 1.4T and actually smile when driving.

    This is a big fat – nope.

    • 0 avatar

      While I agree a manual sonic would be nicer and more fun, my guess is that other then deprecation being killer the running costs will be cheaper, reliability better, and repairs easier and less expensive then the sonic and the majority of cars on the road (really for a bigger upfront a corolla is probably the best bet for this) . Looking around it seems there are a few CVT failures but also alot with 200k miles on the original CVT. Other than that the only problem I see is the rear axle sometimes has alignment issues. Plus there is a 10 year powertrain and 5 year full warranty. Basically with the manual it’s cheap durable transportation.

  • avatar

    There are currently four A-segment cars left on the market: Spark, MINI, 500, and Mirage. Smart is essentially gone, unless you want an electric one. The 500 will go the way of the dodo bird shortly. MINI ain’t cheap (and unless you get the two-door, it also isn’t very “mini”). That leaves two small, cheap, new cars. Mirages keep increasing their sales despite the trends in CUV/SUV sales. Mitsubishi has been quoted as saying that this proves there is room on the market for a simple, honest car.

    Remember, not everyone wants to buy used. Not everyone wants to chance buying someone else’s mechanical nightmare. And sure, new cars can have their issues, too. My brand-new Ford Focus (in 2001) was in the shop on average once a month for the time I owned it.

    But really, some people want a basic small, efficient car. It comes with all the conveniences, 772,000 or so airbags, etc., etc. I own a ’17 (which, as mentioned in a reply above, I bought for $9,600 American dollars brand new in ’17) and it’s a great commuter. I regularly get 50 mpg, it’s a 5MT, has A/C, Bluetooth, USB, etc. I even put lightweight wheels, grippier tires, a rear sway bar, and Eibach springs on it. It’s rather entertaining.

    The Mirage is this generation’s Geo Metro, and people buy these for the same reason Metro owners bought their runabouts.

    So why didn’t I just buy a used, oh I don’t know, Toyota Yaris (well, I also own an ’07 Yaris liftback), a larger Civic, maybe a used “something nicer”? I personally like the fact the Mirage has a warranty. I have five vehicles, so it’s nice knowing at least one of them has some factory warranty. I also like hatchbacks, and like the simplicity the Mirage has. Sure, I could’ve gotten something with 50,000 miles that was faster with better driving dynamics. But I wanted something new with a warranty that I could depend on for my commute.

    • 0 avatar

      This reads almost word for word why I quit commuting in used cars 2 years ago and bought a Fiesta 1.0L to drive 100 miles a day.

      There’s a lot to be said for a brand new car with a warranty for a low price.

      • 0 avatar

        I think I’ve gotten to that point in my life where I value having a car I can just get in an drive it. No worry if it’s going to start, no fussing over whether something’s going to be wrong with it (I still have those cars, they’re just not dailys). My problem is, I can’t leave anything alone. But I’m exercising restraint with “The Rage” as I call it. Just springs, wheels/tires, and a rear swaybar. For now. Maybe.

  • avatar

    Having driven an early one when tbey came out, the power steering is arcade like, and you gotta wind em out to do anything in em, but theyre a hoot. Rode in a buddies one one a 2 hr car trip crammed with 5 of us total, not the worst car ive ridden in. Wouldnt mind one now, but with the older face on it. Fun cars

  • avatar

    A couple years ago my cousin found herself with quite a bit of leftover cash after unexpectedly winning a scholarship that basically paid for her entire university degree. She needed wheels and after looking around, bought a 2017 Mirage GT sedan (the Mirage G4?). Exact same colour as the above picture, but with a soul sucking CTV and alloy rims. She bought it because it fit her budget and had emergency brake assist, a backup camera, and heated front seats (Very important up here in Canada).

    I expected myself to hate that little thing, but was floored when it far exceeded my expectations. I’m 6’3 and could sit in the back seat with reasonable comfort, but the trunk is still large for a sub-compact sedan. It drives like a big go-cart and although the NHV is definitely there, but she uses that Apple car-play to play her music and you really don’t notice it then.

    She got all that, plus a ten year warranty, for $15,000 flat after negotiating down from 18 something. (CND $$)
    To be completely honest, I would never buy one myself, but as a cheap little runabout that will sip gas while getting you from A to B all while keeping your buns toasty, it has in that regard earned my respect.

  • avatar

    I’m an expat in Thailand (where these fine cars hail from) and a 2016 CVT model was my trusty steed here. They are one of 3 or 4 very common cars here (the others being a Toyota Altis/Corolla, Honda City/Fit, and Ford Fiesta). Thailand has very high import tarriffs on cars to protect their domestic production, which gives the dealers (and used cars) a big price boost. That being said, these cars are surpsingly roomy inside – we can fit 4 people comfortably (which I couldn’t say of the Fiesta I had in the States), it’s quiet, they are fuel efficeint, and the A/C blows strong. They are very basic cars with an engine that makes more noise than forward motion, but there’s also next to nothing to break, and it’s easy to work on. Thai roads are about the same as US roads and these things are pretty bulletproof.

    When I come back to the States, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a 1-3 year old version, or even a new one for ~ $9k – they are a crazy good value for the money. While it certainly isn’t targeted to the vast majority of the audience here, this car is a good deal for someone that gets a new one at a ridiculous discount to MSRP, wants a car that will start every time, and doesn’t want to destroy wealth with massive car depreciation and insurance cost.

  • avatar

    I would take the Mirage over any of those large Trucks like the Sierra. The Mirage actually has better switchgear than the Sierra. I think my post illustrates how much I loath large trucks and SUVs. However, I did see a nice Buick SUV the other day that I would probably take over the Mirage.

    If they could get the Mirage’s retail price under $10,000 they would have the steal of the century. Remember, even a poor to fair new car is better than a either a used Honda or Toyota that has been abused.

  • avatar

    I couldn’t do it myself: 78 hp is just a little 1982 for me. But a lot of people are stuck working terrible hourly jobs where you’re expected to cover any shift you must miss and a car breakdown can get you fired. For someone who NEEDS a RELIABLE car to get to work, NEEDS great MPG to make commuting in from their economically depressed area feasible, wants accident-avoidance features to stay safe and some modern goodies to give themselves some small joy in life, and needs to establish or re-establish credit, this thing makes infinitely more sense than going to the bad-credit used-car store and getting a 24% loan on a crash-involved used FCA product.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is the Mirage performance is not bad. These performance numbers are about equal to the infamous iron Duke Camaro of 1982-84.

      Mirage 2018
      0-60mph 10.9 seconds
      Top Speed 125mph(good maximum speed, look it up)

      Here is the worst performing compact ever.

      1982 Pontaic 100/Chevette
      0-60mpg 32 seconds(not kidding)
      Top Speed 81mph.

      If you don’t believe me go to youtube and check out motorweeks 1982 test of the Chevette.

      • 0 avatar

        To go along with that.
        My 318/727 powered 88 Ramcharger had a 15 second 0-60 time
        My 86 2.8 5 speed XJ cherokee had a 13 sec 0-60
        And my 97 Contour (4cyl auto) had an 11.3 sec 0-60

        In modern times a 10 sec 0-60 is slow but in the mind of history it’s pretty quick.

      • 0 avatar

        “The thing is the Mirage performance is not bad. These performance numbers are about equal to the infamous iron Duke Camaro of 1982-84.”

        While I agree with your statement in principle, bringing up that Camaro may be a blunder in your overall rhetorical strategy. It sure looked nice! But the performance … let’s just say it didn’t measure up. :)

      • 0 avatar

        “Here is the worst performing compact ever:
        1982 Pontaic 100/Chevette
        0-60mpg 32 seconds(not kidding)”

        Well, at least it could go 60mph! In previous decades (even into the 60s!) that was not guaranteed.

      • 0 avatar
        Aaron Costello

        The specs and performance of a 2015 Mirage are nearly identical to a 1963 Porsche 356! It’s true!

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Semenak

        In all fairness, that Chevette was a Diesel with a ginormous 52 HP.

    • 0 avatar

      You paint the Mirage owner as a low-income, sad-sounding individual living in deplorable conditions. Why is it so hard for people to understand that some people just don’t want to spend a lot of money for a car and want something efficient?

      • 0 avatar

        For many, many folks of all socioeconomic classes, a car is no different than a refrigerator or washing machine. A car is an appliance and driving is a chore to be done. I think as enthusiasts of cars and driving (or both) we forget that.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Costello

      The car only weighs 2000 pounds. Honestly, 78 horsepower is fine.

    • 0 avatar

      “But a lot of people are stuck working terrible hourly jobs where you’re expected to cover any shift you must miss and a car breakdown can get you fired.”

      This needs to get printed out and stapled to the forehead of every Jalopnik reader and sanctimonious “only buy used cars” Internet preacher. Lots of people will tell you what you need to do to save money, but they’ll tell you things that only work if you’re in a middle-class or above living situation. Buying used doesn’t work if your credit or circumstances put you in a 15-year-old Chrysler LH at $350 a month. People who are desperate to save every penny don’t have multiple weeks, or even multiple days, to comparison shop. They don’t have 28-cars-later’s access to data. They need a car NOW or they’ll get fired TOMORROW. Does that suck? Yeah. But if you’re in that situation, you can do way the heck worse than taking a bus to the Mitsubishi dealership (or whatever cheap-tin-can vendor) and driving off in something that isn’t going to get you fired and evicted in 8 months.

      • 0 avatar

        This. I’m certainly awful when it comes to prejudging people and their vehicular choice, but not everyone has the luxury of time or money or both to be wrenching on a 7-10 year old (or older) used car. Or they just don’t want to or don’t have the skill.

        A few years ago, I was able to lease a new 16 Chevy Cruze for about 115/month for two years. Approximate total (excluding gas but including insurance, down payment and turn in fee) was around $6k.

        Could I have bought a car for 6k? Yep, but at the time, I didn’t have cash for it. Do I have excellent credit and did I qualify for all the volume Chevy dealers fine print? Yep. I needed a third car that was reliable and for the little I wanted to spend, it worked. Plus, I hadn’t owned any GM since my early Malaise cars, I wanted to see if they could gain my business. (They didn’t)

        But for someone with no credit or bad credit, they’re getting the 6k car but they’re paying 10k for it on interest. And it will break down on them or they can’t afford to fix little things that turn into big things and the cycle continues. But in many places with awful mass transit (like Pittsburgh) a car is a necessity.

  • avatar

    If my dad didn’t already have a 10 year old Focus, fully paid for, with only 20k miles, this car would be perfect for him. He’s a miser to the core and doesn’t spend money he doesn’t have to.

    He had a 1993 Ford (by way of Mazda, by way of Kia) Festiva and loved that thing. Primarily because of the mileage. His car before the Focus was a 1999 Escort that didn’t even have a tape deck.

  • avatar

    I looked at one of these when I accompanied my sister to look at an Outlander PHEV, which she bought. I have no hatred toward Mitsubishis, I had an 04 Lancer Sportback (wagon) that I put 70k on in 3 years and it never missed a beat. My sister had an 06 Eclipse GT that served her well.

    There’s a simplicity and a cheapness in Mitsubishi vehicles that’s endearing and annoying at the same time. Switchgear feels solid, but the carpet is junk. Build quality is good, but it’s painfully obvious when corners are cut to save money.

    There was a Mirage in the showroom with a stick ( as well as a 2wd Outlander Sport with a manual too.). The Mirage is made in Thailand, all of it. As mentioned by the author, it has “stuff” that would have been unthinkable on a cheap, entry level car 20 years ago like PW, PL Bluetooth audio, etc. Anyone over 35 remembers Dodge Neons with no right side mirror and Toyota Tercels with four speed manuals and no A/C. And, adjusted for inflation, they were more money with less in them. You can argue build quality, power etc. but again, people who want cheap, new, wheels don’t really care.

    The worst thing about the Mirage, in context of a cheap car, was the seating position. It was much too high, because the floor jack is mounted under the drivers seat. Deal breaker there, because I’m 5’10” with short legs and long arms. I couldn’t sit in the car because it was so annoying.

    I understand that it probably doesn’t drive too great, but again, most people who buy these cars don’t care. They want NEW A to B transportation and can’t afford or won’t afford anything else. Sure, a used car makes more sense ( my 17 Golf Wolfsburg would retail for about 15-16k now, about the same as a new ES Mirage) but some folks want no part of a used car.

    I see a fair amount of them, in various conditions of course, over an Accent or Yaris in my area.

  • avatar
    Aaron Costello

    I bought a Mirage new in December of 2014 to use as a work car. It was about $14k. Mine is red, ES trim (fancy one back then), and a manual. Why did I buy it? I have fond 3-cylinder Geo Metro memories, it was cheap, it had a great warranty, lots of features, a timing chain, and nobody in the civilized world was reporting having any problems with them (unlike the Spark).

    It now has just under 130,000 miles on it. It has consistently gotten over 40 mpg, and has never broken down. The only problem I ever had with it was a broken clutch cable at 113,000 miles, but I would probably consider the clutch cable to be a wear item. The cable was about $55, and took about 15 minutes to change. Seriously…NOTHING else has broken. Not a handle, not a clip, not a switch. Nothing. This car was built for Third World abuse, and it shows. It’s like a little urban Land Rover.

    Honestly, it is a neat little car. Incredibly easy to work on. Nothing of importance is on the back of the engine, it is all up front. It is still on it’s original clutch. I tested the compression at 100k, and it was near factory spec. Changed the plugs, but it didn’t need them. All it has needed is gas, oil, filters, brakes, tires, and bulbs. The headlights are great, and the bulbs are easy to get to. You don’t have to remove the front end to get to the battery. Front brakes take about 20 minutes. There is a tiny little spout under the oil filter so oil does not run down the front of the engine block. It has a grab handle for closing the rear hatch. It has speed-sensitive variable wipers. It has automatic climate control. It has ‘one touch’ turn signals. There are just lots of little things that make it awesome.

    Best $14,000 I ever spent, and hands-down the most reliable car I have ever owned. Were it wrecked today, I’d be at the dealership tomorrow buying another one. Hell, I may buy another one before Mitsubishi fcuks it up by turning it into some 30 mpg, AWD, Renault-based cute ute. I know five other people who have Mirages, and all are as happy as I am with mine…and I ask them. If I had to complain about it, I’d note the crashy suspension, easily scratched interior plastics, numb steering, and user-unfriendly TPMS system. This car occupies the same position in the market as the VW Bug did 50 years ago, and you either understand that kind of car or you don’t.

    Oh, and adjusted for inflation the Mirage is CHEAPER than that Bug.

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