Full 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is an all-new subcompact, four-door hatchback.
If you're looking for an affordable car that doesn't cost much to fill up and comes with enough equipment to get you through your daily commute, there are plenty of choices in the subcompact car class. The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the newest entries in the field. With an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined with the available continuously variable transmission (CVT) and an impressively low base price, this four-door hatchback is aimed at the thriftiest of car shoppers.
It's a noble mission, and on paper at least, the new Mirage looks pretty compelling. The standard equipment list includes desirable items like keyless entry and automatic climate control, while a visit to the options list turns up features like a navigation system, a rearview camera and parking sensors. Mitsubishi's warranty coverage on the 2014 Mirage is similarly generous, with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
Unfortunately, that's about where the Mitsubishi Mirage's strengths end. The little car's fuel efficiency is one of the few redeeming aspects of a driving experience that's otherwise defined by slow acceleration, an uncomfortable ride and handling that simply isn't as steady or secure as that of most other subcompact hatchbacks. Although there's a decent amount of room for taller drivers, the cabin environment isn't especially pleasant, either. There's a lot of engine noise no matter how fast you're going, and most of the interior materials are low in quality.
For these reasons, we encourage shoppers to consider other options in this price range. If affordability is top priority, the 2014 Chevy Spark actually has a lower starting price. It's also a more enjoyable car to drive, and its interior is notable for its quality design and materials. If you can spend a bit more, you'll find that cars like the 2014 Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa Note and Toyota Yaris offer quite a bit more room inside, better ride quality and quicker acceleration.
Although the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage may be appealing to consumers on a strict budget, rival subcompact cars offer better value and are more likely to put a smile on your face.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is a small, four-door, five-passenger hatchback offered in two trim levels: DE and ES.
Standard features for the base DE trim include 14-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, keyless entry, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, automatic climate control, a tilt-only steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and USB and auxiliary audio inputs. Alloy wheels are a stand-alone option on the DE.
The ES adds those 14-inch alloys, along with keyless ignition, foglights, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls) and shift knob, Bluetooth phone connectivity and metallic interior accents. The optional Navigation package adds a navigation system and rearview camera.
Available on both the DE and ES trims, the Park Assist package adds front and rear parking sensors. Also available for both trim levels are several options packages that add trim like interior lighting and chrome accents, as well as utility items like cargo nets and mud flaps.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the front-wheel-drive 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 74 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. Both trim levels give you the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT.
The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the Mirage with the five-speed manual is 37 mpg combined (34 city/42 highway). With the CVT, the EPA estimates the Mirage will get 40 mpg combined (37/44), which is impressive for a non-hybrid vehicle.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Mirage with the CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 11.7 seconds, a slow time even for a subcompact car.
Standard safety features for the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage include four-wheel antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and traction and stability control. Front and rear parking sensors are optional on both trim levels, while a rearview camera is optional only on the ES trim.
In Edmunds brake testing, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, an average distance for a car in this class.
Interior Design and Special Features
Don't expect anything fancy inside the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage. Most surfaces are hard plastic and not particularly high in quality. On a positive note, all the essential controls are easily accessible and simple to use. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel might make it a little difficult to get comfortable behind the wheel, but taller drivers should find enough head- and legroom. On longer drives, the absence of an armrest (not available as an option) could get tiring.
In the rear, headroom and shoulder room are limited, and average-size adults will likely find the quarters cramped. In addition, the rear bench is quite flat, with minimal cushioning. With the rear seats in place, the Mirage offers a respectable 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space. With the seats folded down, capacity increases to 47 cubic feet -- a good number for this class.
Thanks to a small turning circle and light-effort steering, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is easy to maneuver in dense urban settings. Out on the highway, though, the little car becomes fidgety and demands more of the driver's attention. The Mirage rides harshly over bumpy pavement, and handling isn't what we'd call confident or secure. Rival subcompact cars far surpass the Mitsubishi in these areas.
Although the three-cylinder engine is certainly fuel-efficient, acceleration is quite slow and you'll need to plan well ahead for passing maneuvers on the highway. More annoying than the 2014 Mirage's sluggish performance, though, is the excessive noise from the engine compartment. Even at low speeds, the three-cylinder makes a considerable racket. The CVT often adds to the mayhem, as the slightest increase in accelerator pedal pressure results in a dramatic increase in engine rpm.