I bought my Mirage in '02 used, had 31k on it and have LOVED it. It now has 120k on it and will I drive it till it falls apart. It has beautiful gas usage and plenty of get up and go. The only problem I have had is the A/C compressor chirps.
Considering I have owned a Pinto, 2 Escorts, a SHO, and original Rabbit diesel, that is saying a lot. Bought new. First week engine light started going on and off, 4 years later finally did my own tune up and it went away. The car's paint faded after 9 months and the rust started 13 months after purchase. My wife was diligent at changing oil. At 80k it has been diagnosed as having bad valve seals. Replacing anything is a hassle that requires isn't easy. Lights for instance are held in by silly clip. Now at 80,000 the car looks and drives like a car with 280,000. The door leaks air, the CD even quit at 50k, the gas door has seized up, and it has an exhaust leak.
I got my 2000 Mitsu. Mirage DE in April of 2001 after I wrecked a Honda Accord and I was not happy about it. It was plain and cheap (I was 18 and wanted something sporty). However, when I got it, it only had 15,000 miles on it and I'm still driving it today over 7 years and I have a little over 192,000 miles on it. I put rims on it to make it look nice and a sound system for my entertainment. I have never ever had any major mechanical problems with it, it took 5 years before anything went out on it and I got it fixed immediately, I get my oil changed every 3 months(just because) and I love my car. I've taken good care of it and it is taking good care of me, and it's great on gas.
Great on gas, quiet engine, runs like a champ
Maybe it could be a little heavier; when the wind is high I feel like I might be blown off the road
I have really enjoyed this car for almost 8 years now. Driven all over the US. Good mileage, low maintenance, changed the oil every 3000 miles. Still has another 100000 in it. Will keep it as a second car.
I have had this car for over 4 years. It has always been reliable to me, getting about 30-35 mpg, even with aftermarket wheels that weigh about 3x more than the stock ones. The 5 speed manual shifts very smoothly and has some get up and go to it, and handles corners fairly well. The stock sound system is decent enough to the average driver. The interior cloth pattern is unique, but nothing special. The back seats are better suited for small children as they are compact. The instrument panel is easy to read, but most mirages don't come with a tachometer. Over all it is a reliable, fun, and has a great fuel economy.
My aftermarket parts
Add another 20 horsepower and either add more room for the back seats, or just make it a 2 seater.