- Today, Automotive News reported the discontinuation of the Mitsubishi Mirage.
- Starting at $17,340, the affordable Mirage offers excellent fuel economy but less-than-stellar power and acceleration.
- The Japanese brand is expected to shift more focus to the crossover segment.
Mistubishi Mirage Is Officially Dead in the U.S.
Say goodbye to one of our smallest new cars
Death has come for the Mitsubishi Mirage, the Japanese brand’s tiny three-cylinder car. According to Automotive News, which originally reported on the discontinuation, Mirage sales have fallen drastically in the last few years. Going forward, Mitsubishi is expected to put more of its time and money into the burgeoning crossover market and the transition toward electrified vehicles.
Beyond its low starting price — $17,340— the 2023 Mirage's high points are its fuel economy (an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway) and affordability. Standard on the base model are niceties like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control and a 7-inch center display. Power, however, is a low point. Equipped with a 78-horsepower three-cylinder engine, the Mirage is bested by even a $16,000, 122-horsepower Nissan Versa. For that matter, a 178-hp three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot far outstrips the power of a Mirage.
To be fair, the Mirage was never meant for speed. It fulfilled a need for inexpensive transport — the kind of cute and quirky thing that was in the same vein as the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.
"The Mirage became the modern Yugo, a used-car alternative for people who desperately wanted a new car," Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, told Automotive News. "The Mirage's chief competition is a three-year-old Toyota Corolla with more interior space and a better ride.”
Edmunds insights director Ivan Drury told Automotive News that the discontinuation of the Mirage “signals that even shoppers looking for an affordable vehicle in the new-car market aren't willing to buy what is typically seen as a penalty box car."
Mitsubishi dealership owner Chadi Moussa disagreed, saying in the report that he believes people “who never bought Mitsubishi before will consider the Mirage because of the price point.”
The Mirage nameplate was ditched in Japan at the end of 2022 after 44 years on the market, so it’s no surprise to see the Mirage bite the dust in the U.S. as well.
Mitsubishi has shown promise with its redesigned 2023 Outlander SUV, which is leaps and bounds better than the previous generation. We’re expecting better things to come from this brand.