Full 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is an all-new model.
We were, quite honestly, hoping for something like the pictures we'd seen of an overseas model, a taut sedan with the wide-mouth grille and angry headlights, something that looked like a Honda Accord with a chip on its shoulder. Even something that vaguely held to those older lines that followed Civic coupes and hatchbacks would've been fine. But the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, which bowed out of the U.S. more than a decade ago, will instead make its return to America as a diminutive four-door hatchback (the last hatchback Mirage left the U.S. market nearly 20 years ago).
Mitsubishi says the Mirage will be the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid in America. That's a bold claim, but not without merit. The new Mirage will feature a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine generating 74 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled to either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). And indeed, the EPA estimates the Mirage will achieve 40 mpg in combined driving (37 mpg city/44 mpg highway) with the CVT. The manual rates at 37 mpg combined.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is a bona fide subcompact, longer than the Chevrolet Spark but shorter than a Mazda 2 or Ford Fiesta. The base model comes equipped with seven airbags, automatic climate control, power accessories, a 60/40-split rear seat, keyless entry and a USB/iPod connection. The ES model adds 14-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth. Options will include LED interior lighting, rear parking assist and a navigation system. Luggage space is also respectable at 17.2 cubic feet.
Given the Mirage's modest engine spec, it's not exactly quick. Mitsubishi claims the Mirage will get to 62 mph in 11.7 seconds with the manual transmission and 12.8 seconds with the CVT. But in our first drive with a European-spec Mirage, we found the engine does its business with a pleasant hum and the manual gearbox shifts smoothly and easily. A small turning circle and light steering help the Mirage feel light on its feet in a dense urban setting, but out on the highway it becomes less compliant and more fidgety, and demands more of the driver's attention.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage's low base price should be appealing to buyers looking for a no-nonsense car with minimal frills. But for those seeking more performance and refinement, competitors like the Spark and Fiesta are hard to pass up. Check back for more information on the 2014 Mirage, including complete specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.