- Low running costs
- Easy to drive
- Poor quality interior
- Expensive to insure
Spacious city car with low running costs.
The Mitsubishi Mirage, introduced in 2013 to replace the outgoing Colt, is a city car that favours low running costs and practicality above all else. But with so many outstanding competitors, it finds itself in a tough market. It’s certainly not a class-leader, but it does have a few aces up its sleeve. It’s cheap to run, no matter which model you go for, whilst the sizeable boot space is sure to win over a lot of buyers. Unfortunately however it’s let down by a disappointing drive, cheap interior, and poor refinement. It’s also more expensive to buy than a lot of its rivals, but there are some bargain used examples on the market.
Spacious and well-equipped, let down by a lack of quality.
Above all else, the Mirage is a car that’s designed to be solid, sturdy and spacious. Don’t expect a high-end cabin and you won’t be too disappointed, especially when you take into account the generous kit list.
The dashboard design of the Mirage is one of its main weak spots. It’s simple enough, but it isn’t a match for the design of the Toyota Aygo. Controls are well-laid out however, so it won’t take you too long to adjust. Material quality is disappointing, with cheap, hard plastics used across the entire dashboard. Top-spec models come with a more attractive gloss-black trim, but it isn’t enough to lift the otherwise dull interior.
Practicality is one of the Mirage’s main selling-points. Space in the rear is generous, with enough room for four adults to travel comfortably. The 235 litre boot capacity is reasonable enough, and there’s more than enough room for a bit of shopping, or even a small buggy. It’s not as big as the Skoda Citigo’s however, which adds a useful 16 litres.
Equipment in the Mirage is pretty generous no matter which model you go for. Entry-level Ativo trim comes with climate control, cruise control, electric windows, xenon lights, heated seats, and Bluetooth connectivity, which is a pretty impressive standard kit list for a city car. Range-topping Juro trim adds gloss black interior trim, and leather seats, but it’s unnecessary for a car in this class.
All in all the interior of the Mirage is somewhat disappointing. There’s no doubting its practicality and generous equipment, but it does come at a price. Interior quality is poor, and it really does feel some way short of the class-leaders.
Easy to drive about town, but lacks entertainment.
One of the most important skills that a city car needs is the ability to be easy to drive around town. In some respects, the Mirage ticks the box. It’s light steering makes parking and weaving in and out of busy traffic a doddle. Unfortunately however, that’s where the positives stop. Get the Mirage out on the open road and it becomes increasingly unsettled as you increase speed. There’s a lot of body roll as well, and the steering becomes unnervingly vague, making country road bends a less than enjoyable experience.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride comfort is also an important facet for city cars. The Mirage’s soft-suspension setup should in theory soak up imperfections in the road. Whilst the Mirage does manage it pretty well over smaller bumps, deep potholes and speed bumps thud through into the cabin. Ride refinement isn’t especially good either. At motorway speeds there’s a great deal of road and wind noise, making it a less than impressive car to take out of town.
Gearbox options in the Mirage come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual transmission. To be fair, it actually performs pretty well. It has a short, sharp shifting mechanism, which is especially useful for changing gear around town. An optional CVT automatic is also on offer, though it’s less than impressive.
Only one efficient petrol engine on offer.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Mirage, you really only have one option. All models come with a 1.2 litre petrol unit. It offers low running costs, but it’s not the most refined engine on offer in a city car.
Petrolheads aren’t usually interested in city cars, and they’re certainly not going to be swayed by the Mirage. The 1.2 litre petrol engine produces 79bhp, and accelerates from 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds when paired with a manual gearbox. They’re not mind-blowing figures, and unfortunately the Mirage does feel underpowered, especially compared to the more modern 1.0 litre turbocharged petrol on offer in the Seat Mii.
Eco-friendly buyers will however be reasonably impressed with the Mirage. No matter which model you go for, CO2 emissions are sub-100g/km. The Mirage is at its greenest when paired with the CVT auto gearbox, emitting just 99g/km. Because this gearbox is so poor however, it’s worth conceding the extra 1g/km that the manual model emits. Money-savers should be pretty happy with the Mirage range. Road tax is free on all models, whilst the 65.7mpg fuel economy offers low-cost motoring.
The single engine on offer in the Mirage is functional, but not a lot else. It feels underpowered and noisy, but it does offer impressive value for money, and decent green credentials, which should please city car buyers.
Solid if unspectacular.
Like nearly all city cars, the Mitsubishi Mirage failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Only the Seat Mii/Volkswagen Up!/Skoda Citigo triumvirate in this class achieved the maximum rating. The 4-star results that the Mirage achieved are however decent for a city car. The 90% adult protection rating is especially pleasing, with no rival outclassing it in this department. As standard the Mirage comes with a full set of airbags, traction control, electronic brake distribution, and Isofix child seat points.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Mitsubishi Mirage offers excellent value for money for buyers, but only if you buy used. The Mirage is more expensive than its rivals from new, and because of its flaws, it’s really not an option that you should consider. Go for a used Mirage however, and running costs are low no matter which model you go for. Fuel economy is high, whilst also come with a free road tax bill. So you won’t have to spend a lot of money to run a Mirage day-to-day.
Insurance groups for the Mirage are considerably more expensive than most other city cars. This does vary between model to model, with the cheapest being the 1.2 Attivo, which is in group 18, and the most expensive being the 1.2 Juro CVT, which is in group 19. Compare it with the range-topping Skoda Citigo (group 4), and the Mirage looks comparatively expensive.
Depreciation is a huge factor to consider with the Mirage, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is a city car that fails to excite, but does the basics reasonably well. It’s spacious, practical, safe, and cheap to run, which might be enough for some buyers. But with so many other options on the market, the Mirage’s lack of interior quality, dull driving experience, and high insurance groups, mean it lags some way behind the class-leaders.
Buying a used Mitsubishi Mirage online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mitsubishi Mirage for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Mirage. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mitsubishi Mirage online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Mitsubishi? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mitsubishi Mirage, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Mirage, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mitsubishi to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.