2019 Mitsubishi Mirage: A Niche Subcompact Car

The Mitsubishi Mirage has been around in one form or another since 1978, and it was discontinued briefly – but in 2012, it reappeared in the subcompact segment. And despite our love of all things SUV these days, there’s still a place in the market for a car like this.

Today, the newest Mitsubishi Mirage is more of a niche car than it was before. However, for a new driver looking for an affordable, reliable new car with a good warranty, the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is worth considering.

Exterior Styling

At the Mirage’s price, you’re not going to get something with the looks of a Ferrari 458. Cars of this size can look a little like overgrown toys cars sometimes, and that could be said of the Mirage.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact hatch, but there’s also a sedan version called the Mirage G4. This hatchback variant is probably a more attractive model than the G4, and Mitsubishi seems to have come up with a fairly clever idea for making the most of its styling.

Although the Mirage probably wasn’t originally designed with the idea of producing a fun, funky and youthful car, that’s what it can be in the right color. Colors like Wine Red, Sunrise Orange, and Infra Red positively transform the Mirage, but in more standard colors like black or gray, it can look fairly anonymous.

Engines and Performance

Just like the styling, the performance of the Mirage must be taken in context. On one hand, many car buyers will find the performance underwhelming. However, if you’re a young, new driver, the fact the top speed and acceleration are towards the lower end of the scale could be a positive feature.

All versions of the Mirage utilize a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that puts out a very modest 78 horsepower and 74 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission in standard form, but it’s well worth paying the extra to upgrade to the available CVT. Not only does the CVT make the car better to drive, but it also improves fuel economy. What it won’t do, however, is improve performance.

With its low weight and tight turning circle, the Mirage is actually great for nipping around the town or city and for tight parking spaces, but it’s not particularly suited to highway driving. If you spend a lot of your time driving on the highway, you might want to look for something with a little more reserve power.

Interior

There’s more room inside the Mirage than you’d expect when looking at it. The cabin is spacious and has a simple layout, and the front seats are well-bolstered and reasonably comfortable. The rear seats are not as comfortable as those in the front of the car, but the upside is there’s a decent amount of room back there for a couple of adults.

Hard plastic is throughout the interior, but that’s expected from a car in this class and at this of price. There’s a generous amount of cargo space behind the rear seats, and that 17.2 cu.-ft. can be expanded to an impressive 47 cu.-ft. when the rear seats are folded down.

Trim Levels and Features

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage comes in four different trim levels. The entry model is the ES, and then the range goes to the LE, SE and the range-topping GT. Most buyers today will consider the standard features and equipment to be at the basic end of the new car spectrum.

Entry-level ES models have had standard cruise control and height adjustment for the driver’s seat added this year, and they also come with air conditioning, power windows, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and remote keyless entry. In the LE and higher, you get an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

If safety features are high on your list of priorities, a lot of the more advanced tech isn’t available for the Mirage. On the upside, the safety and security features are the same throughout the range. So, if you’re buying a base model, you can rest assured you’re not missing any safety tech.

Fuel Economy

If you’re looking for good fuel economy, you’ll be impressed by the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Base versions with the manual transmission are rated by the EPA at 33 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg combined. That increases to 36/43/39 mpg if you opt for a Mirage with the CVT instead.

The Last Word

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage may not be an exciting car that’ll get your pulse racing. What we will say, though, is this is an affordable, likable, and efficient car that’ll give you peace of mind. It’s certainly not a car for everyone, but there are buyers out there who really should give it a try.  

Art Konovalov / Shutterstock

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