Used 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage

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1998 Mitsubishi Mirage
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1998 Mitsubishi Mirage

Pros

  • Attractive, roomy, and sporty

Cons

  • Traction control is not available

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Do our eyes deceive us, or is there something different about this latest Mirage? Nope, just some new colors for 1998. But that's understandable, as the Mirage received a major overhaul just last year.

Available as a coupe or sedan, 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 of recent memory are to the interior, where Mitsubishi replaced 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 hasn't diminished our thoughts about the car at all. The Mirage of our choice is the LS coupe equipped with ABS and the LS Value Package; 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.

1998 Highlights

Some new colors to choose from and a new heavy-duty starter and battery make the Mirage more reliable.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Can't justify getting rid of it.
kirk,05/19/2010
Have had my 98 for about 8 yrs. Averaged 34 mpg, and have seen 45 mpg on straight highway driving. Put on a cold air intake and now it sounds more throaty. Very reliable. Never been in the shop. Lots of room to work on engine. (it's smaller than some motorcycles engines). I always talk about the mileage. Why get a hybrid, is what I Wonder.
It gets you were you want to go
t2c4u,04/15/2002
Its not the flashies, fastest, or funest, but it gets you were you want to go very cheeply. I'm getting 40mpg with the standard. And its pretty confortable to drive. Great first time car.
Super reliable
Dylan Singleton,12/24/2015
My mirage has over 136,000 on it anx it always starts instantly no matter what season. It has never given me any issues. It turns on a dime get unbeeleivable mpgs. And i used it to tow my friends full sized oldsmobile and it did it fine. This car can do anything you want it to. I highly recomend it to anyone.
good car
texaspumpkin,05/27/2002
When I got this car in 1/99 with only 11,000 miles on it, I was told by several people (including a mechanic) that it was going to be horrible purchase. Now over 80,000 miles later, it has really proven everyone wrong. It is still going strong after several long distance trips, a couple of years of alot of commuting, a little off road abuse, & my poor maintenance habits. Good 1st car, good for a young family.
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Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
113 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
28 city / 36 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
92 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage features & specs

Safety

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
    Poor

More about the 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage
More About This Model

Mitsubishi loves naming their cars, and we love them for it. Yes, you can argue that all cars are named, but alphanumeric titles are just a poor excuse for a lack of imagination. Who can love a 2.3CL? Or a 200SX SE? When’s the last time you said "SC2" with any real affection? A lot of carmakers use the alphanumeric system to generate more acclaim for the marque. It’s the Acura NSX. That’s a Lexus ES300. Otherwise, as is the case with the Miata, the manufacturer is relegated to backup status. But Mitsubishi takes the fearless approach, and they’re not suffering for creative expression. Of course, names like "Eclipse," "Galant," and especially "Mirage" often lead journalists to horrible cliché-ridden prose when discussing the cars, but that’s not Mitsubishi’s fault.

But we wonder why they designated their economy coupe and sedan with the same word: Mirage. The cars share exactly two common exterior parts: deck lid and taillights. C’mon Mitsubishi, use that imagination.

The Mirage’s interior appears to be made of higher-quality material than most cars at this price. The dash in dressed in black, and the driver’s seat gets a Mitsubishi-style wraparound cockpit, very similar to the layout found in the Galant and Eclipse. The only thing we’d do to change it would be to place the radio north of the climate controls. Map pockets in each door are handy for storage, and the center console has a few cubbies of its own.

Front sport-bucket seats are supportive and excellent for long-distance travel. We spent over seven hours driving around in the Mirage one fine day, and there was no pain to report. The rear seats are small, of course, so stay in the front unless you absolutely have to carry more than two people. And make it a short trip, for the love of God.

The peppy little engine delivers better performance than most compact coupes. We found ourselves up to speed and merging onto freeways without any risk of bodily injury. The Mirage is actually fun to drive, with tight steering and a notchy shifter not unlike those same components found in the Eclipse. The LS Coupe gets a front stabilizer bar for better cornering, and we were impressed. Body roll is well-controlled.

The LS also gets another big advantage over the base DE coupe: powered by a 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve engine, the LS benefits from 113 horsepower, 21 more than the 1.5-liter 12-valve DE. Performance is smile-inducing, like a sporty car should provide. And noise levels are kept to a minimum, giving a perception of luxury that’s not found in a Dodge Neon or Hyundai Tiburon.

Styling is such a subjective point that it probably shouldn’t be mentioned, but the Mirage begs the exception. And we concur. This baby looks cool. Each time we laid eyes on its curvaceous green flanks, we couldn’t help but smile. Taillights are triangular, and they provide the perfect sporty accent to the car’s rear. A rear spoiler does anything but spoil the appearance, though it did attract some unwanted attention from some Los Angeles-area undesirables.

The last place you want to be tooling around at midnight is downtown L.A. But with an empty gas tank and an early flight out in the morning, I decided to be prepared. So it was that this intrepid (read: dunderheaded) editor set out for a midnight petrol run. In the daylight, this particular part of the city is foreboding but somehow has a clean look. Sure, razorwire decorates the top of nearly every fence, but that’s to keep away pesky pigeons, right?

Wrong. Downtown L.A. is a slum full of demons and crazed department store looters – just like on TV. That’s an exaggeration, of course; these are some of the nicest demons that’ll ever mug you. The scene proceeds as follows: Dunderhead takes out his credit card and motions toward the automatic fuel pump. A sly hand comes around from behind the pump, taking my card and inserting it into the slot.

"You need premium oc-tane, my man?"

"No sir. Regular will do."

"Y’know, I used to be a trucker, till they fired me for too many tickets… I got kids to feed… I can get arrested for doin’ this…" He hands back my card, and his other hand starts twirling an unfolded pocketknife-on-a-chain. "They call it ‘trespassin’.’ Whoa!" The mysterious gas-pumping stranger then slips behind the fueling tank as a black-and-white patrol car drives past – on its way to a donut shop, no doubt.

"Man, you got a empty tank or somethin’? This is takin’ fo-evah!"
"Yeah. It was empty." Great idea, Custer. This area seems safe to camp.

Finally, at 13.2 gallons (we were running on fumes here), the fuel pump shuts off. I look into the glazed eyes of the mysterious stranger, and he looks at the Mirage. "Nice car. Real attractive. I need your money."

I pull three singles, all of my remaining cash, out of my wallet, and that same sly hand quickly covers them, thankfully without counting the loot. Mysterious stranger exits quietly into the night.

Wow, I think to myself, scurrying back into the safety of the Mirage. That was a pleasant exchange. A knock on the passenger-side window, and another mysterious stranger asks, "Hey, you got some change?" I let the Mirage talk this time, dropping the clutch and slamming on the accelerator.

Of course, this same scene would have probably taken place no matter what vehicle I might have been driving, except perhaps one of those black-and-white Ford Crown Victorias. But the pearlescent New Zealand Green Mitsubishi Mirage complete with spoiler made quite an appearance under the bright fluorescent lights of the Texaco, and the local hoodlums must have thought they were seeing things: some fool gassing up at midnight. It was a mirage too good to be true.

The next day, with the sun safely up, we bade farewell to the spunky little pocket rocket by driving it through downtown with haste. Any time we get to spend a few days in a car that makes driving fun, it’s sad to get on a plane and sit confined for any length of time. Comfortable, roomy, powerful and in control, the Mitsubishi Mirage Coupe makes a great compromise between daily economy car and sporty road racer. Complete with air conditioning, adjustable steering wheel, and an AM/FM stereo with CD player, the Mirage is anything but its namesake. We see real value.

Used 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage Overview

The Used 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan, LS 2dr Coupe, DE 4dr Sedan, and DE 2dr Coupe.

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Can't find a used 1998 Mitsubishi Mirages you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mitsubishi Mirage for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $18,158.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $10,354.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Mirage for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,817.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $18,571.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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