I’d really hoped to make analogies with salvation-type mirages in barren wastelands; cures for dried up sales numbers; and maybe even a heavens-opening-up type situation in which the Mirage dropped down to save the day… but I just can’t when it comes to this particular vehicle.
The real issue with this vehicle? It’s a true economy car in every sense of the word (which I have no problem with), but it commands a subcompact price that just puts it leagues beneath its competition in the same bracket.
What is a Mitsubishi Mirage?
The Mirage is essentially a revamped and renewed Mitsubishi Colt. They were reluctant to release the vehicle’s name when it first appeared. Rumours circulated that the name “Mirage” would once again be used -- a name that Mits has attached to quite a few of its compact car models since the mid-‘70s.
Built as an affordable, fuel efficient vehicle with a decent amount of space, the Mitsubishi Mirage is not about high-quality, drivability or comfort. At least, not that I can see.
2014 Mitsubishi Mirage Price and Specs
Here’s where the Mitsubishi Mirage really fails, in my opinion. Forget about the 74 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque from the 1.2L 3-cylinder engine. Forget about the CVT (although there is an available 5-speed manual, thankfully). Where the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage really falls flat is in its price.
A 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES base model starts at $12,498. Jump to the SE model and you’re looking at $15,398 to start, and that’s before you start adding things that actually make the car livable and tolerable. My particular tester edged in on the $17k mark. That’s Honda Fit and Fiat 500 territory -- both of which are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of quality and construction.
Driving the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage
How can I put this delicately? The day I was to pick up the Mitsubishi Mirage my body decided to evacuate a kidney stone on its own. When the excruciating pain had finally stopped and I could focus on the task at hand (driving the Mirage) I wondered if the stone was my body’s way of preparing me.
Driving the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is painful in a different way; it’s almost embarrassing, actually. From the moment you turn the key and hear the 1.2L noisily rattle to life, feeling the little car shake and tremble to life, you’re aware this isn’t the best car you’re ever going to drive in your life.
Close the ridiculously cheap and clunky doors, strap yourself in and put the Mirage in “D.” From that moment on you’ll either need to turn the radio up to extreme levels to block out the droning, ear-bleeding noise levels created by the CVT and the wind from body-panel gaps or bask in the ridiculousness of it all, and possibly invest in some noise-cancelling earmuffs. The Mirage does move well enough though, but the noise…
And, oh, the body roll. For a car so tiny, this thing has more body roll than a Greyhound bus. It’s almost funny, but a little off-putting as well. Of course, college guys will enjoy this feature: take a corner too quickly (once the wheels actually respond to turning input) in the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage and your date will surely end up in your lap (take note).
Inside and Out the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage
Where to start? I wonder if Mitsubishi decided to try a new “design while blindfolded” trick? If so, they did a bang-up job for being blindfolded. If not, well… that’s a shame, really.
From the outside, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage lacks any sort of discerning character traits or lines. Sure, they slapped a sporty roof spoiler on the SE model, but that’s clearly just a sad attempt at attracting buyers who think wings add horsepower (they don’t, and neither do racing stripes in case you were wondering).
Inside the “sad” continues. When you realize that felt liner is being used as carpeting throughout, as well as the headliner, and that the door armrests seem to be constructed of pre-production plastics, and the passenger sun visor doesn’t even have a mirror, you start to really question the vehicle’s price. At least I do.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage’s seats are flat and uncomfortable for longer journeys, and the back seat is very upright and not at all cozy. While there is a good deal of headroom for all, legroom can get tight in the back when taller riders are up front. A baby seat fit easily, but I dislike the rear anchor off at an angle in the trunk.
Sure, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage SE comes with heated front seats (that are actually painful if left on high for too long), fog lamps, and even Bluetooth, and cruise control, but that doesn’t justify the rest.
Comparing the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage
Truthfully? A good, fair comparison for the Mits Mirage would be a ’07 Hyundai Accent hatch or a Toyota Yaris from the same year. Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, both those cars have stellar new versions that are still in the same category, and so far above the Mirage that it’s almost shocking.