Mitsubishi claims its Mirage supermini is the first all sub-100g/km vehicle range in the UK and when coupled with a very low asking price, it does seem an interesting option for the budget-minded driver.
It’s not luxuriously finished or especially dynamic to drive but at these prices who’s complaining? Worth a look.
You don’t have to spend too long looking at the engineering of the Mirage to realise that it’s been developed down to a price, with cost of running as a priority. Therefore it’s not really fair to expect it to be a pin-sharp driver’s car. You get the choice of two engines, both petrol-powered. The entry-level powerplant is a 70bhp 1.0-litre unit, which is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Pay a bit more and you can choose a 79bhp 1.2-litre manual car with the option of a CVT automatic gearbox that really takes the drag out of city driving. This engine is quite perky, getting to 60mph in 11.7 seconds and running on to 112mph.
The suspension has been tuned for ride comfort rather than handling precision, which is what most buyers need for urban use. The 1.0-litre powerplant is naturally a little more strained than the 1.2-litre when you get it out of town and you will notice a fair amount of wind noise at speed, with the three-cylinder engine also adding a thrumming accompaniment. The steering is geared for ease of use at low speeds, which makes parking very easy at the detriment of high-speed precision. All round vision out of the car isn’t at all bad, with just the thick rear three quarter pillars that affect most superminis earning a demerit.
The Mitsubishi Mirage looks quite smart, if a little unadventurously styled. It’s neat and a little bulbous, in much the same way that most superminis looked five years ago, without the big signature design flourishes of the latest generation of cars. But then if you wanted something like a Renault Clio, you’d probably be paying quite a bit more. There are some nice details though.
It’s not perfect; but if you want something a little different and your new car budget isn’t stretching too far, you might find a lot to like here.