KBB Editors' Overview
By Keith Buglewicz - Updated Date: 6/20/2014
The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is noteworthy not just because of its tiny size, or its low price, or its excellent fuel economy. No, the Thailand-assembled Mirage is a genuine third-world car that wasn't originally considered for the U.S. market. However, stricter fuel economy standards have brought the little 4-door, 5-passenger hatchback to our shores. The Mirage's low price and good fuel economy fulfill its promises of being inexpensive to own and operate, and it's surprisingly well equipped, with standard features like automatic climate control. But make no mistake, making it in America is harder than ever, and even at this price point there are cars offering a more refinement. The Chevy Spark, for example, is no Cadillac, but it's still a marked improvement over the little Mitsu.
You'll Like This Car If...
If the most important thing to you is getting the cheapest new car you can find with the most equipment and best possible fuel economy, you'll like the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage. It even features a confidence-boosting 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you want a car that was engineered with some thought given to comfort, or quelling the noise, vibration and harshness that are inherent with driving the 2015 Mirage, you should look elsewhere. However, be prepared to sacrifice some fuel economy and maybe pay a bit more.
What's New for 2015
All-new last year, the 2015 Mirage gets only minor changes. Aesthetics are improved with the addition of a short antenna mounted on the rear of the vehicle, and ES models get turn signals in the side mirrors. Inside, there's now added chrome trim, and ES models get better seat fabric.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is a strict fuel-sipping commuter, in the same vein as elemental subcompacts from the early 1990s. Like those cars, it functions well in that capacity. The car is tiny, making it maneuverable in traffic. Its small 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine produces enough power to keep up with traffic, and when paired with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), it gets up to 44 mpg on the highway. It's even decently equipped, with automatic climate control, tilt steering and power windows as standard. However, it's important to note that the Mirage's lack of refinement quickly transforms from quirky throwback to quirky annoyance. The 3-cylinder engine shakes ridiculously at idle, and the noise under full-throttle acceleration is unpleasant and plentiful. The suspension is comfortable, but the little car leans heavily in corners, and the imprecise steering requires constant corrections just to stay in a straight line.
AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL
With one of the lowest base prices of any new car for sale in the U.S., the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is surprisingly well equipped with things like automatic climate control. It's a small gesture, to be sure, but set-and-forget air conditioning is handy.
NAVIGATION WITH BACKUP CAMERA
It's not like you really need a backup camera in a car as small as the 2015 Mirage, but it's still nice to see that it's available, along with navigation, for just $900.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…