I have had this car for 7 years and placed almost 200000 miles on it with no engine complications. I have only replaced a fuel filter, battery and brakes during this time. The car has started every time i have cranked it up.
1.5 engine in DE needs valve adjustments every 15k miles. Tight, rattle-free after 51K miles. Very reliable, engine much peppier than it was in 94 Mirage. Too bad salesman & service personnel do not remind people about the 1.5 needing valve adjustment.
I just got rid of my 97 mirage (Went to 2002 Camry V6), but the Mirage was a great car to me. I never had any major work, except for brake replacement (One of my rotors froze) and I had good success. The car steered and handled very well, but I went through seats to the tune of every 30K. But they replaced them every time they wore through (I am over 300#). I loved the easy to drive transmission, good acceleration (Best in its class in '97) and the long trip comfort. It was actually more comfortable on long trips then the Camry, but it was a lot louder and harder to handle.
I've owned this car for 2.5 years putting 26.5K miles on it. It's fun to drive and has great go up a go response from the engine. Manual shifter a bit stiff when cold but clutch is light. Doesn't break well on wet or icey roads and tends to spin front wheels if you accelerate too much from a standstill. Seats are uncomfortable and cabin doesn't ventilate well resulting in being too hot in Summer and fogging the windows in Winter. Had to replace distributor costing over USD900! Otherwise never had a mech. issue and get 41+MPG on highway and 38MPG city driving. Would highly recommend to young, cost concious driver who wants fun and cheap combined.
Very affordable program car.Ran great and was perfect for me.Uncomfortable on long trips. After about 4 years the cupholder started to break, and the carpeting on the passenger side started to come up.InOct 02 to have the car checked b/c of a recall part. It got a clean bill of health. The very next week, the whole engine fell apart due to loss of the main pulley (the recall part)At first dealer wanted to charge $800+ to fix the car b/c it had been inspected and declared o.k. but after lawyer threats, they fixed at no charge very courteously. I loved the car, but there are more better-quality affordable cars in the same class;I won't buy another Mitsu.