Used 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

Although generally a good little car, the dated Mirage is hallucinating if it thinks it can challenge the class leaders.




what's new

The DE Sedan now comes with the more powerful 1.8-liter engine in place of last year's base 1.5-liter power plant. All DE models (sedans and coupes) get a host of luxury items and larger brakes as standard equipment. The LS Sedan also gets a few more standard goodies for 2000.

vehicle overview

Available as a coupe or sedan in DE and LS trim levels, the Mirage is now better-equipped to battle with sales favorites like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla as well as Korean upstarts like the Kia Sephia and Hyundai Accent.

The entry-level DE Coupe has a 92-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic transmission. The DE Sedan now comes with the larger 1.8-liter, 113-horsepower engine that was formerly reserved for LS trim models. This same sedan also 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. Several standard features have been added to the DE trim level this year, including tilt steering, remote outside mirrors and intermittent wipers.

All LS models, which are meant to appeal to the features-conscious crowd, have the larger 1.8-liter engine, front bucket seats, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, rear window defroster, a body-colored grille and body-colored door handles. Other upgrades include alloy wheels, a chrome-tipped exhaust, a stereo with integrated CD controls and, new for the 2000 LS Sedan, a standard sunroof.

If you want your Mirage with some "sport" thrown in, the LS Coupe can be ordered with an optional sport package that includes a rear spoiler, chrome tailpipe extension, a sunroof and side air dams. All LS Coupes come with air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with CD player, a tachometer and a split folding rear bench seat for increased cargo capacity.

Regardless of the specific body style and trim level you order, you can be sure your Mirage won't blend in with the other small cars in the parking lot. Its shape offers more personality than the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, giving the Mirage "coolest-looking kid on the block" status in the subcompact class. Too bad it's not the most refined, best-handling or lowest-priced car in its class and too bad the Mirage's crash-test scores are less than impressive.

Generally we like the Mirage. It's got a good look, a quiet interior, stable road characteristics and comfy seats. But the Kia Sephia is still a better value and the redesigned 2000 Accent looks to be a strong contender in terms of refinement, interior space and overall design. And while the Civic and Corolla may not be as sexy, they do come with legendary reliability at a comparable price. Competition in the small-car segment continues to heat up, and we fear the Mirage may be fading.

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.