After a yearlong hiatus, the Mitsubishi Mirage has returned to the marketplace, and this time it's not alone. The new 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is basically a sedan variant of the Mirage subcompact hatchback, and it debuts with the newly refreshed Mirage's set of interior and exterior enhancements.
On the outside, the Mirage G4's sharply angled hood and short, stubby trunk give it a look that invokes comparisons to other subcompact sedans like the Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and the now-defunct Toyota Yaris. While the Mirage's cabin is appropriately basic at this price point, materials quality is actually a little worse than the competition. Even so, you can order the Mirage with luxury accoutrements that help detract from the low-rent interior. These include heated front seats, keyless ignition and entry and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Mitsubishi is one of the few automakers to incorporate both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality in its touchscreen display, too, which might give the G4 some extra appeal if you're the type of person who's inseparable from your smartphone.
Even though the G4 similarly benefits from the Mirage hatchback's substantial revisions for 2017, it's a difficult car to fall in love with. The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic is a commendable rival, as it is more tech-heavy than the Mirage and looks a little more distinctive, too. You should also consider the sporty Ford Fiesta, which is much more fun to drive than the Mirage and offers a turbocharged three-cylinder engine that earns competitive fuel economy. Like the Fiesta, the Kia Rio offers full leather upholstery in top trim levels, a feature that lends an air of class to this typically austere segment. The Mirage meets what we'd consider the minimal standards for a modern car, but other small sedans are simply more refined and enjoyable to drive, and we recommend checking them out first.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 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. A rearview camera is optional on the ES and standard on the SE, while rear parking sensors are optional on both trim levels.
We haven't tested a Mirage G4 yet, but in Edmunds brake testing, a 2015 Mirage hatchback came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet. This is an average distance for a car in this class.
In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Mirage hatchback received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Mirage's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. In that agency's small-overlap frontal-offset test, however, the Mirage received the lowest score of "Poor." In the most recent government testing available as of this writing, the Mirage earned four-of-five possible stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is a small, four-door, five-passenger sedan offered in two trim levels: ES and SE.
Standard features for the base Mirage G4 ES trim include 14-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio input.
There are two options packages available for the ES. The Rear Camera package adds a rearview camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Smart Phone Display package consists of the Rear Camera package, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls), cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The Mirage SE includes all of the above, along with 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, foglights, automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and glossy black interior accents.
Available on both the ES and SE trims, the Rear Parking Assist package adds (surprise!) rear parking sensors. Other options include various aerodynamic flourishes, added interior lighting, rear parking sensors and utility items like cargo nets and mud flaps.
Powering the front-wheel-drive 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. The ES is available with a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which functions like an automatic. The SE only comes with the CVT.
The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the Mirage with the five-speed manual is 35 mpg combined (33 mpg city/40 mpg highway). With the CVT, the estimates are even higher at 37 mpg combined (35 city/42 highway), which is impressive for a non-hybrid vehicle.
While we haven't yet tested a Mirage G4, we don't expect performance numbers to be vastly different than the hatchback version. In Edmunds performance testing, a 2015 Mirage (making 74 horsepower) with the CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 11.7 seconds, a slow time even for a subcompact car.
Though we've yet to fully test the new G4, we suspect it will drive similarly to the Mirage hatchback. As such, we expect it will be an easy car to maneuver in dense urban settings. On the highway, though, the Mirage becomes fidgety and demands more of the driver's attention. It also 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. Even more annoying than the sluggish performance 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.
Most surfaces are hard plastic and not particularly pleasant to touch or look at. 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 for some drivers to get comfortable behind the wheel, but taller folks should find enough head- and legroom. On longer drives, the hard door armrests and the lack of a front center armrest reduce driver comfort.
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. Cargo room measures 12.3 cubic feet, or slightly smaller than most other subcompact sedans.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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