Used 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

The Mirage is totally redesigned for 1997, sharing little with the model it replaces. Mitsubishi claims that interior size has been increased and that NVH have been reduced.

Vehicle overview

Do our eyes deceive us, or is there something different about this latest Mirage? It somehow looks bigger, longer, wider than ever before. There seems to be more of everything: more passenger volume, higher levels of luxury, and yes, a higher price.

In case the first paragraph didn't clue you in, we should tell you that the Mitsubishi Mirage has been almost totally redesigned for the 1997 model year. Available as a coupe or sedan this year, in DE and LS trim levels, the Mirage is now better equipped to do battle with sales favorites like the Honda Civic and the Ford Escort.

The most noticeable changes are to the interior, where Mitsubishi replaces all-vinyl seats with cloth and vinyl upholstery. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but anyone who has spent a summer stuck to the interior of their car will know that we are serious when we say that this is one of the most important improvements made to the Mirage.

As previously mentioned, the Mirage is available in two trims; the entry-level DE which has a 95-horsepower 1.5-liter engine mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic. The DE sedan has a front stabilizer bar that helps the car move nimbly between potholes and slow-moving traffic, and both the DE coupe and sedan have a four-wheel independent suspension. LS models, which are meant to appear to a more fashion conscious crowd, have a larger engine which displaces 1.8 liters and makes 113-horsepower. Other upgrades include alloy wheels, a chrome-tipped exhaust, tilt steering, a stereo with integrated CD controls, and a covered center armrest.

We have always liked the Mirage, thinking it one of the better entry-level cars on the market today. The redesigned version doesn't look like it will diminish our thoughts about the car at all. The Mirage of our choice is the LS coupe equipped with ABS and the LS Value Pkg.; with these options the Mirage has almost every conceivable convenience, costs well under $15,000, and doesn't look like every other car parked at the mall.

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.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.