The venerablewon’t provide you with any driving jollies, like, at all, and it’s about as far from luxury as you can get short of traveling by motorized rickshaw, but this subcompact car is super-efficient and highly affordable.
Mildly updated for 2021, the Mirage subcompact car, which is once again offered in hatchback and sedan body styles, starts at just $15,290, including $995 in destination fees. Curiously, the Mirage G4 sedan is $1,000 pricier than its five-door counterpart. Still, this Mitsubishi remains one of the most-affordable cars offered in America today, even if the most-basic undercuts it slightly.
Improving its appeal, the 2021 Mirage features updated styling and more standard equipment. Both versions feature revised front ends with the brand’s signature dynamic shield grille. At both ends, the bumpers have been reworked for a more planted look. Brightening things up, L-shaped combination lamps stretch across the vehicle’s rear. For a smattering of visual flair, two new paint colors are now available: White Diamond and Sand Yellow, the latter of which is only offered on the hatchback.
As for tech, the Mirage now comes standard with forward collision mitigation and pedestrian detection. A nifty infotainment system with a 7-inch screen and support forand is included at no extra cost, too. Lane-departure warning and automatic high beams are available on the top-trim SE model, as are LED headlamps.
Sprucing up the interior, at least on ES models, designers reworked the front arm rests and added new, soft cloth to areas users frequently touch. Faux carbon-fiber trim is also included. A sportier-looking Carbonite Edition model is offered for 2021, which makes the Mirage look a little zippier thanks to a restyled grille and front air dam as well as B-pillar decals and a few other minor changes.
Unfortunately, however, no alterations have been made under the hood. The Mirage is still hauled around by a fire-breathing 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine that delivers all of 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual gearbox or an automatic of the continuously variable variety are your two transmission choices. In its most economical form, the Mirage stickers at 36 miles per gallon city and a whopping 43 on the highway. Combined, it’s rated at 39 mpg. These scores are good enough to make it the most efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle in the US.
Mirage owners are protected from unexpected expenses by a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and a generous 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee. This small car may not be the most thrilling thing on four wheels, but it’s economical, affordable and apparently built to last.