2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Cars.com Review

2014MitsubishiMirage

Our mothers told us that if we don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But if Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger had listened to her mother, her critique of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage would be shorter than the inexpensive microcar is small. So let's just say that the Mirage has surprisingly decent cargo space and superior fuel economy compared to its competitors, and leave it at that. But for all the stuff Geiger's mom told her not to say — about the Mirage's ride, handling, cabin quality, passenger comfort — read her review below.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

Comments 

Ouch! Harsh review!

I'm in the market for my first new car later this year and the Mirage is on my short list, along with the Accent and Sonic.

What has drawn me the Mirage has been its pricing, level of equipment (standard automatic climate control, push button start, smart key), fuel efficiency, and its simple, unapologetic approach and honest-to-goodness engineering, plus the long Mitsubishi warranty. I even like the clean 90's styling more than some overwrought modern designs.

However, I really want to rent this car to get a feel to how bad it is. I've test driven a few on 2 mile circuits and it seemed fine, but it'll be interesting to see how it feels after three hours of driving on interstates and hilly roads.

Looking for the right car in this class isn't too different than Goldilocks looking for the right bed. I did cross shop the Spark and it drove decently and had a good amount of space, but it has a shorter warranty, no spare tire, no CD player available at all on any trim, and is a Daewoo sourced Chevy product; not confidence inspiring.

The Versa Note has an impressive amount of room and drove the most "grown-up", but the manual is available only on the base model' no power windows, door locks, or cruise are available in combiation with the manual. Plus I found the styling to look like an 04 Aveo.

That leaves the Mirage, and perhaps the Sonic or Accent, but they are $2k more, and in this price range, that can make a big difference.

I'm not defending the Mirage because I see its faults, but wanted to explain what challenges shoppers in this market, such as myself, face in this price range

Edit: the "standard automatic climate control, push button start, smart key" are all standard on the ES, not the base. My mistake

The S

It is a great little car. my company has a couple as run around cars, We want to buy more!

The S

P.S Horrible review

oasis

If they actually filled the car with gas and did the math themselves they would have seen high 40s to low 50s MPG.
I have a daughter her age and it's easy to forgive her for her ignorance in all that she said.

-Oasis

Brady Holt

Ryan,

You should also check out the Mazda2. There are usually pretty strong deals on 'em, and a nicer manual than on most subcompacts.

Oasis

For your information, I've owned a Mazda 2 and it is a gas guzzler. Secondly it feels like it's going to blow off the interstate when at hwy speeds.

To interviewer, Baby seats don't fit every car. Check

http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm

CTMechE

Pretty much *every* reviewing group/publication thinks the Mirage is a pile of trash by comparison to other new cars on the market, so I don't know why people are surprised to read it here.

Frankly, if I only had $15k to spend on a car, I'd buy a used one rather than this. You can get a 2010 or 2011 Accord for that kind of money, or if you want fuel economy, a 2009 Prius.

I drive by a Mitsubishi dealer every day... and there's about a dozen Mirages in line, all various colors, sitting like leftover Halloween candy that nobody wants. Other than the Evo, the main reason Mitsubishi even sells this junk is by catering to sub-prime buyers.

And think of the gas you could buy with the depreciation hit on a new Mirage.

responder

Some people just want a new car. With a used Accord you have no idea how the previous owner drove it or maintained it. I applaud Mitsubishi for building a non-hybrid car that averages 40 mpg. The trade-offs don't suit everyone, but if you need a cheap commuter vehicle not abused by the previous owner, it is a good choice.

AladdinSane

responder: Amen!

@ CTMechE- I get that argument and if you're looking for the most car for your money- then a used, larger car is worth it at this price point.

As I mentioned, this next car will be my first brand new one. I've always bought used cars that are 2-4 years old, and there is always the odd scrape or blemish that eats away at me (I'm very particular on the condition of my cars). I'm excited to have one in pefect shape and that new car smell.

All of my cars have also been small, living in a city and being a young couple, so a car like an Accord, or even a Civic or Prius, is too much car for us.

The Mirage seems like a good fit, but we also don't a penalty box. If it's okay for the most part and we are aware of its shortcomings, it may be a good car for what we need. I do plan on renting one for a weekend and just living with it for a few days, and doing the same for the other cars we're considering.

@ Brady Holt
We did look at the 2, but it felt as cramped and cheap as the Mirage, but had a 17k sticker price for the Touring with manual and had much lower fuel economy figures than any other small car. Too bad, I liked the look and driving feel of it. It wasn't worth the extra $2-3k over a Mirage, or a comparably priced Accent or Sonic

AladdinSane

@ Ryan...I forgot to mention before that I totally agree with all your postings here for the Mirage. This little critter has all the haters doing their thing, putting it down. But I agree: it's no BMW and wasn't meant to be...just an extremely simple urban A to B runabout with a good warranty and new car interior smell, so to speak. (I meant that in a good way!). That's all it is. Please inform of your findings upon driving it. I'm curious. Thanx, mate.
Peace!
AladdinSane

CTMechE

@Ryan That's definitely tough to compete with the "newness" of a car, especially if the blemishes bother you. I'm fairly nitpicky as well, and I notice a lot of flaws most overlook, but inevitably the price tag differential wins out whenever I do a cost comparison. I've actually never bought a new car, though that may change this year.

Inevitably, I prefer the "no car payment smell" of something cheaper and used, especially since I don't rack up a ton of miles. (Less than 10k/year, so age will get to the car bfore mileage will)

One thing to consider with the Mirage is how long that unblemished 'newness' will last if the reliability and build quality is poor. Even a warranty won't make up for frustration and annoyance, especially if you're particular about your cars.

My advice comes from the hand-me-down freebie Saturn SL2 that I've been driving - it is a bit of a penalty box, but it's dirt cheap to maintain and it keeps on running. So I keep on driving it. But I would never put up with it if it wasn't free from the in-laws who were going to trade it in. If there was a way to have spent a couple grand more for a better car, I would have done it, but it was a take it or leave it kind of deal. And the only thing that helps me deal with it year after year is that I'm saving a lot of money and will inevitably get something better. But that's only because I didn't buy it initially.

If I really wanted new in that price range, I'd at least try to scrape together a few more bucks for a base Honda Fit. You might be able to score a better deal on a 2014 model when the 2015 hits the dealer lots in the spring, if you can wait that long.

Good luck with your search!

@ CTMechE. All very good points and I totally agree with you. New cars are about the worst investment out there and I've resisted temptation in the 15 years that I've been driving to buy a new car. But I do plan on keeping the next car for 10 years+ and feel it could be a worthwhile investment.

Like you said, once that new car smell wears off, so could the novelty. The SL2 you had was free, but if you were spending your hard-earned money on car payments for it, your opinion of it could turn sour. For all its sins, it's totally fogivable.

I've owned several three-cylinder cars in the past as cheap run-abouts; a Geo Metro, Subaru Justy, and Daihatsu Charade (I have a knack for finding these odd little critters). So I've driven cars that were slow, noisy, and basic, and I loved them all. However, the difference is that I paid no more than $1800 on these cars and for that price, it was more than acceptable. Spending serious money, like $15k for a Mirage, and dealing with the same quirks after the new car smell is gone could become tiresome. Hence, why I'm hoping to rent one and drive it a few hundred miles. If my ears are ringing from the noise, my back is sore, and there was no pleasure from the car, then that will help me make up my mind.

I do like the Fit, and the Accent/Sonic, and see the value in spending a little bit more on them.

We'll see what happens, but good luck with your potential new car search as well!

CTMechE

@ Ryan... Wow, I've known people with Justy's and 3cyl Metros, but never a Charade! No wonder the Mirage seems appealing. There's certainly a lot to like about a "lovable scamp" vehicle...and I might have such a place in my heart for the Saturn if it was a manual rather than a 4sp Automatic. And when repair parts are cheap (nearly everthing costs less than $40) it's tough to complain too much. But as the years tick by, I can't help but wonder if my life would be better spent in something a tad more comfortable and/or enjoyable.

At least you've got the proper experience with that kind of car, so your rental idea seems like the perfect solution.
Speaking of that, do you rent from dealers, and will they rent a manual transmission model? I've never actually tried such a rental, so I've always been curious. (And to be fair, after talking this much about the Mirage, I'm almost tempted to try it myself!)

@ CTMechE. Who knew we'd be writing so much about this darn Mirage? I still have the Charade as my secondary car to my primary one, a 10yo Focus, and it was indeed a lucky find. It was barely driven by its original owner and at this stage only has 54k miles (I bought it in 2010 with 48k). With only 52hp, it's a fun little car around the city, but drives on the freeway take a lot of patience and bravery/ignorance. I've only seen a hand full of Charades on the road; all of them in terrible condition and soon facing the junk yard. Parts are expensive and hard to find, but despite all of the this, I love the car's utter simplicity and quirkiness.

At least your Saturn has the DOHC with some extra grunt and parts are still relatively easy to find; being a popular car in the day and by a local manufacturer. Too bad it's not manual, as that would some extra enjoyment to the car. I remember the Saturns as being tough little cars, with a very low seating position.

In regards to the Mirage, it seems much more civilized and nicer to drive than the Charade. The Justy I had, with 66hp, was a surprisngly peppy and fun little car to scoot around in. However, I really want to take the Mirage on a windy road and see if it's really as bad at cornering as many reviews state. It's a replacement to the Focus, so it's got some big shoes to fill.

I always just rent from Avis, Hertz, etc. I'm sure they will have Mirages at some point, to haunt the poor folks who paid the lowest rate and didn't upgrade to the luxuries of a Nissan Versa. The issue with that is that they only rent automatics, which I will be buying a manual, but the comfort, noise, and handling/ride will all be the same.

After this discussion, maybe you should stop by to look at those little "Halloween candies" at your Mitsubishi dealer, lol

Foggy

“Mouse in the house”

In buying the Mirage I was looking for basic transpo for work a 3rd vehicle. Also My work commute is 60 miles, with my compact pickup. The gas bill for April was $365.00. So I based the budget on getting at least 37 miles per gallon, as I had to pay the car payment with the gas savings. Well the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE with CVT trany has more than made the budget..! I travel through 12 miles of hills, freeway , highway and stop and go city driving on my commute. After my first oil change which helped, my combined MPG was 51.52. What you need to do is audit where your drive, if most of your driving is stop and go city driving. That type of driving is this cars Achilles heal..! You might look at the Toyota Prius C to drive the stop and go. your MPG can go as low as 24 with the mirage. To do this you need to be the opposite of a heavy foot the car will easily go 75 miles an hour but your gas mileage will suffer . On the freeway I’m in the far right slow lane going 55 miles an hour I was averaging 59+ MPG this morning on flat freeway. Go 65 and watch that drop to 47 or 50. Your choice, if you need to go faster dig into your wallet for a compact hybrid. I got my Mirage for $13,600. with Bluetooth. My first new car was a 1973 VW bug great car. I would say this Mirage is the modern day bug. The bug they have out now which is real nice, but in no way represents the bug of years gone by. For my needs I find very little to improve on.
The one issue, that never crossed my mind when purchasing a new car. Was 3 days after getting the car I came out in the morning to find my wife’s box of Kleenex shredded for nesting in the back of the car. We live on a farm and I knew I had a problem. I started putting sticky traps in the car at night. I’ve caught 7 to 8 field mice making a home in my car so far. I keep no food in the car and keep it very clean inside. My first effort was to take it to the dealership to have service look into how they are getting in. The dealership tried to be helpful but Mitsubishi claimed it was not a warranty problem and not their issue. I’m a mechanic by trade (not on cars) I started installing my fix and started plugging up the holes in the bottom of the car a few weeks ago. One has to be careful what one does. As the car needs to breath or drain from those areas if the need arises. Also you don’t want to put anything in the car that would effect the perforation warranty. You want something that the mice won’t chew their way through. Or that will not rust causing rust on the frame. What I settled on was some stainless steel pot scrubbing pads tucked into the 9 to 10 holes on the box frame that runs the length of the car on both sides and around the back wheel wells. The pads won’t rust are cheap and have just done the trick. I have been mouse free for the last month.
After this in thinking about it In areas that have snakes and other creepy crawly things what could one find in their new car..? I have photos of under the car with and without the fix. I’m wondering where I could post a review with photos ..? As far as drive goes I have a 10 mile section of hills to start my commute all but 1.5 miles is flat to downhill . I live at 1000 feet and end up at sea level at work. At the bottom of the deepest hill I regularly read 62 MPG on the display with a high of 72.37 twice. When I climb out at 1.5 miles I’m seeing 54MPG. Seeing numbers like this one wonders if the MPG display isn’t a feel good meter. But when I figure My mileage after a fill up at a high of 51.52 and the last time at 49.25 combined I’m happy. I don’t touch the accelerator going downhill or on flat leaning downhill I massage it at 1200RPM and am getting to work. I can lose 5 to 8 minutes with these practices but get super gas mileage. Going downhill through corners at a peak of 50 MPH one needs to have the brake at hand and with the CVT use the B setting as needed and when you get a feel for the car know when to slow it down. It doesn’t presume to be a race car so don’t try.

Foggy

There is a couple things I missed. 1. The steering is fine for what the car is and adequate. 2. To much Body roll, am not noticing that though many sweeping downward curves. The narrow small tires have a limit on traction through the curves but one would have to go above normal driving to find it. 3. road noise yes it's above what's found in most cars. But not so high that using easy listening music a little higher volume from the nice (Not Great) 140 watt stereo played through my MP3 player easily offsets this. 4. last but something that can effect the MPG is I live in the pacific northwest US and we don't need AC that much. If you live in a hot area and need your AC you can expect a 15% loss in MPG. That is one reason I picked white as a color to offset the need to use AC.

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