The Mitsubishi Mirage is a spacious city car that will prove cheap to run, but it’s undone by its cheap-feeling interior and tedious drive.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is a small and cheap city car. It has good fuel economy and is easy to drive in town, but it also feels incredibly low-quality. Because of this, it’s often outshone by such alternatives as the Skoda Citigo and Kia Picanto.
The Mitsubishi Mirage has a simplistic and minimalist front end that boasts a nice blend of chrome and jet black accents. Once you get to the side and back things begin to head south. Those 15-inch alloy wheels look too small and the rear looks a little cluttered.
However, the Mirage’s interior is spacious and its boot’s 175-litre space is better than what you would get from some alternatives. However, this is all somewhat overshadowed by the cheapness of the Mirage’s interior materials. Sadly, the dashboard looks like it was taken straight from the 1990s. The LCD screens for the radio and heating combine with the uninterrupted black trim to create a vibe that is not only unimaginative, but archaic – especially when compared with the likes of the VW Up!.
The Mirage’s equipment spec is as barebones as they come. The entry-level ‘3’ trim offers a radio with a CD player, Bluetooth and AUX compatibility, and four speakers. You’ll need to upgrade to the top-of-the-range ‘4’ spec for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a touchscreen with built-in satnav. All told, alternative city cars such as the Skoda Citigo are cheaper to buy and come with more standard equipment. Where the Mirage does excel, though, is with its five-year warranty – two years longer than you’d get with most alternatives.
The Mirage is spacious and will be cheap to run. However, everything else about it scrapes the bottom of the barrel hard enough to give you splinters.
On the safety front, all versions of the Mirage have traction control, brake assist, hill-start assist – which keeps the footbrake active until you press down on the gas pedal – and an automatic Stop & Go functionality that saves fuel during stop/start traffic. You won’t find automatic emergency braking, though, which is a common sight on newer city cars. No Mirage comes with an alarm, either.
The Mirage comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine that goes from 0-62mph in a leisurely 12.3 seconds. There’s no automatic gearbox option until you upgrade to the range-topping ‘4’ but, at a price tag of around £14,000, it’s an expensive choice. To be frank, if you really need an automatic transmission, you’re better off buying an automatic Kia Picanto and spending the £3,000 you’ll save on a nice holiday.
Surprise, surprise – the Mirage isn’t fun to drive, either. Most notable is its abysmal steering. It’s light for easy town driving, but slow and unresponsive, giving the driver little idea of what the front wheels are doing. If you want to turn lemons into lemonade, the Mirage does have an excellent turning circle, but it struggles to stay comfortable over the typically rough and tumble roads the UK has to offer.
All things considered, the Mitsubishi Mirage is hard to recommend next to newer and more rounded city cars. It feels low-quality and uncomfortable inside and is poorly equipped, yet it’s still somehow more expensive than other, superior alternatives.