After taking a break for the 2016 model year, the Mitsubishi Mirage has returned to the marketplace — and this time it's brought a friend. Meet the Mitsubishi Mirage G4, a four-door sedan version of what could be the most maligned car on the market today.
With its sharply raked hood and stubby trunk, the Mirage G4 follows the example of its low-cost sedan rivals by emphasizing form over function. Even so, backseat space is limited for average-size adults, and the low, flat bench seat offers little support. Up front, headroom is good but the lack of a telescoping steering column will make it tough for some to find a comfortable driving position, as will the hard armrests on the doors and the absence of an armrest in the center. Decor belies the Mirage's price. We don't expect to be dazzled by a car this inexpensive, and yet the Mirage still manages to disappoint us with materials quality that is not as good as the competition.
That said, there are a surprising number of luxury features on offer. Automatic climate control, heated front seats, keyless ignition and entry, and a stereo compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay all appear on the Mirage G4's options list, and at very cheap prices. Also worthy of note is the epic warranty: five years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. Most of the Mirage's rivals offer three-year/36,000-mile warranties. The extra coverage should give peace of mind to budget buyers who are purchasing on a five-year finance agreement.
Still, the Mirage G4 is a difficult car to fall in love with, in large part because of the way it drives. Power — and we use that term loosely — comes from a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine delivering 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque, which drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Thrust is in short supply. While we haven't track-tested the sedan, we've clocked the CVT-equipped hatchback to 60 mph in a sluggish 11.7 seconds.
But fuel economy is impressive with the G4 EPA-rated at 35 mpg combined (33 city/40 highway) with a manual transmission and 37 mpg combined (35 city/42 highway) with a CVT, impressive numbers for a non-hybrid car. The Mirage is OK to drive around town, where its small size makes it easy to maneuver. But at high speeds it's less pleasant. The Mirage feels fidgety and nervous, with a harsh ride, imprecise handling and an excessively noisy engine.
Mitsubishi offers the Mirage G4 in ES and SE trims. The ES is well equipped for a budget-priced car, and the SE adds features we don't normally expect to find at the low end of the market. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.