1996 Mitsubishi Mirage Review


Pros & Cons - Not Available

List Price Estimate
$359 - $847

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

This is one of the best kept secrets in the subcompact class, in LS trim. The Mirage LS Coupe is relatively inexpensive, fast, reliable and undeniably attractive (except for the funny bumper blisters on the tail). Think about this: the car performs as well as a Dodge Neon, costs just over $15,000 with every option on it, and is blessed with a shape that won't pass its expiration date soon. It has dual airbags, split-fold rear seats, alloy wheels, a powerful little 1.8-liter engine, and a bunch of other stuff most people don't expect on a car of this caliber. A CD player is optional, as is air conditioning and an automatic transmission. But incredibly, what it doesn't have, even as an option, is antilock brakes. Mitsubishi, it's 1996. General Motors has been equipping such agrarian implements as the Cavalier and Beretta with standard ABS since 1991. Get with the program.

In contrast, the Mirage S is powered by a weak 1.5-liter engine that puts out 92 horsepower. Options on the S are limited; you can get a cassette or CD player, air conditioning, floor mats, mud guards, trim rings and a cargo net. That's all folks. Fully loaded, the Mirage S rolls out the door at $13,500. That's about the same price as an Escort LX with the Sport Appearance package, or a Cavalier coupe with a decent amount of equipment and standard ABS, or a Neon Highline, after rebates. Amazing what the strong yen can do to the prices of cars built in Japan.

We doubt the Mirage will ever crack the best-seller lists in the United States, but frugal-minded performance buyers who want a car with some exclusivity might find merit in this Mitsubishi. The difference in price between a S model Mirage and a LS model Mirage is about $3,000. That $3,000 buys the difference between a bare bones basic econobox and a speedy, well-equipped sport coupe. We suggest you spend the extra green for the LS.

1996 Highlights

Four colors debut, and the Preferred Equipment Packages are revised a bit.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

C'mon, where's the love?
Ed Wood,09/11/2003
S 2dr Coupe
This is a terrific car. Bought new and still going strong. Performance--5. Only 92 horsepower. Handles OK, a little suspect in inclement weather. Comfort-4. Fine in front. Fuel Economy-9. 30 mpg Fun to drive-1. A turtle can beat it off the line but that's not why you'd buy this car. Interior design-8. Controls easy to locate and use. Exterior design-2. Passersby won't look twice. Build quality--9. No signs of rust even with a Midwest existence. Backed into a cement lightpole standard and jarred the bumper pretty good but damage was far, far less than I expected. Reliability-10. Just terrific. Brake job a couple years ago but that's it as far as mechanical breakdowns.
Great gas, engine/timing belt bad
edward yue,06/04/2008
S 2dr Coupe
I have been driving it since June 96. I still get 38 mpg avg (both highway n city) out of it.
14 years of driving this thing
S 2dr Coupe
This was a really dependable car, and required nothing except regular oil, filter, spark, tire changes until about 150k when I had to replace the clutch, timing belt, and master cylinder all around the same time. Now it's 250k and reached the end of its life.
S 4dr Sedan
For most of my life, 16 years, this 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage sedan has been with my family. We call her Gert (short for Gertrude) and she's been the most dependable car anyone can ask for. She's 18 years old with over 303 thousand miles on her and she's just now starting to go. Her transmission is still great, her engine is too, mostly. The only problem is that now she's leaking oil. (once more, after 18 years of relatively heavy use). If you're thinking about buying one, do. It'll be one of the best investments of your life


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage

Used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage Overview

The Used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage is offered in the following submodels: Mirage Sedan, Mirage Coupe. Available styles include S 2dr Coupe, S 4dr Sedan, and LS 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirages are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Can't find a used 1996 Mitsubishi Mirages you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mitsubishi Mirage for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $8,041.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,250.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Mirage for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $22,848.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $18,490.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mitsubishi lease specials
Check out Mitsubishi Mirage lease specials