I drive 200 to 300 miles a day as an auto adjuster. I have owned three 1.5 liter 5 speed manual trans mirages and these are the most trouble free and highest mileage vehicles I have ever driven. I am saddened that Mitsubishi stopped making them. 206,000 miles on my first one an a/c compressor, 293,000 on the second and only inner and outer tie rods, third 167,000 inner and outer tie rods.
This has been a great car. I bought it new in 1999. It has been very reliable and fun to drive. It is a great starter car. However, the tires, be it the brand or industry perks, have been my only major headache with this car. I am forever dealing with tire issues. Aside from some minor maintenance, this car needed nothing more than general tune-ups and oil changes to keep it going the 9 years I have had it. I will be sad to sell it.
The stablilizer makes it very agile. Acceleration for a 5 speed is good.
Larger wheels so that a higher grade tire can be used and better safety features.
Bought it rental used @ 27,000 miles. Affordable. Great stock sound system especially the speakers. Very reliable. Excellent design. Sporty look. Gas friendly. Smooth. Quiet. Easy to tune and customize. Light and great handling. Roomy. An excellent car overall - especially for those looking for all of the above without breaking too much wallet. I had to let this go when it got totalled at 110,000. :(
Everything mentioned above - especially the look!
I've added some tuners to give it more kick, but would be nice if more power came in stock. Unfortunately they've replaced this with the Lancer sedan, but if they could bring this coupe back with more power (same as Lancer would be fine), I would definitely get another one.
My 1999 Mitsubishi Mirage has been such a fun, little, reliable car! I'm bothered by folks who view Mitsubishi as bad cars....my first car was a Dodge Colt (engine imported by Mitsubishi) and that too, was a great car until I retired it at 130,000 to buy the Mirage. I've had the Mirage for five years and bought it knowing it was in an accident and was used as a rental (all of which are no-nos for resale)--but I have never had a problem. Absolutely nothing! I'm now looking at the new Endeavor for my next car. Mitsubishi has never let me down!