2014 Mitsubishi Mirage at the 2013 New York Auto Show

Mirage500

  • Competes with: Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa
  • Looks like: A generic version of a Mazda2
  • Drivetrain: 74 hp, 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, five-speed manual or CVT
  • Hits dealerships: Fall 2013

There hasn't been much happening at Mitsubishi of late. The Japanese automaker has had mild success with the Outlander Sport because of the low price, but the rest of the lineup is nothing to crow about.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

Today, the company intends to change that with an all-new subcompact, the 2014 Mirage. The five-seat hatchback will be rated 37/44 mpg city/highway and 40 mpg combined, thanks to a tiny three-cylinder engine and a very tiny size.

That will make it the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car on sale in the U.S.

Despite Mitsubishi saying the car will have "eager" acceleration around town, we expect the 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine to be on par with other low-powered vehicles like Smart's ForTwo. The Mirage will have just 74 horses on tap; that's 10 hp less than Chevy's Spark, which our editors did find surprisingly gutsy. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable automatic transmission is optional. And it is the CVT that generates the impressive mileage numbers.

At 148.8 inches long, the Mirage is 4.1 inches longer than the Spark as well but far short of Ford's Fiesta.

Mitsubishi also promises the Mirage will be extremely affordable but did not release pricing. The Spark starts at $12,995, including destination, and we'd expect the Mirage to be priced similarly.

Base Mirage models, called DE, have a decent list of standard features including a four-speaker stereo with USB input, power windows, body-colored power side mirrors, automatic headlights and hill start assist on CVT models.

But make no mistake, it's still missing some features that today's shoppers consider common. The higher ES trim has some of those like Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, 14-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and front seat height adjustment. It also is equipped with keyless ignition and entry, a rarity in this class.

The Mirage is a car Mitsubishi needs desperately to succeed. It fills a hole in its lineup and offers a microcar option that its Japanese rivals haven't brought to the U.S.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

Comments 

PPI

It's not amazing to look at, but 40 mpg sounds pretty appealing to me.

Danny Ulster

YIKES...this thing is terrible! At least the Chevy Spark and Ford Fiesta have some pizazz. This is a very boring looking car and I imagine the feel will be very cheap as well. Mitsubishi needs some help designing some appealing cars.

Infosaur

I find the (return of) Mirage name appropriate. This car doesn't really exist, it's all in your mind.

I don't know what exactly happend to Mitsubishi but they look like they're on life support simmilar to Isuzu a decade ago. This Mirage looks like it's from a decade ago too. It might have high milage and low cost but it's going to hurt what's left of Mitsubishi's image to be associated with "desperate, bottom of the market customers." The ones who's trade-in comes hooked to a tow truck and their new car is repoed inside of 12 months?

If it was one car off to the side, that would be one thing, A lot of manufactures make rides like this. (and better) But this is Mitsubishi's big news of the YEAR!?!

Call the priest, the end is near for Mitsu.

LC

Other cars get 40MPG and have larger engines. I think they should have shot for a higher MPG if your giving up zoom factor!

LC

Bring back the Geo Metro!

Gaius Gracchus

Looks great to us. We are getting one as soon as they come in.
We don't see anything wrong with its appearance, and if you can read English, the article makes clear that it is the HIGHEST MPG in the United States for a non-hybrid vehicle.

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