It wasn’t that long ago that the subcompact segment was something of a joke in North America. There wasn’t much interest in them and manufacturers put very little effort into generating interest in a segment with such slim profit margins. But, when gas prices shot up a few years ago, manufacturers realized that they needed to turn out some much better small cars or they would risk being left behind in what has now become a highly competitive segment. Mitsubishi could be said to have been left behind, and the Mirage is consistently the lowest-rated car in this segment by any number of automotive publications.

So Mitsubishi has given the Mirage a facelift, one that is undeniably an improvement. The facelift isn’t a complete redesign though, so a lot of the Mirage’s characteristics, both good and bad, have remained. But enough has changed that it’s worth taking another look at the car, and for some who were on the fence about buying one, this might be just the right amount of encouragement. Of course, those people will have to wait a little while, as the Mirage being shown at the L.A. Auto Show is a 2017 model, and therefore won’t be available for a little while.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage.

  • 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    78 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    74 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    1.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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The styling of the Mirage has never been one of the first things to be criticized about the car, but this shouldn’t be taken to mean that it is in any way good. There are bigger problems with the car than the way it looked, but even just looking at it, you can tell that you’re in for a no-frills sort of an experience. This has changed with the facelift, and the Mirage is now much more attractive.

There is a new grille, new headlights, a new bumper and a new hood.

It is a huge improvement over the current styling, with most of the changes focusing on the front fascia. There is a new grille, new headlights, a new bumper and a new hood. Around back there is a new bumper, spoiler and redesigned lights. The Mirage has been given a new set of much better looking wheels, and all of these combine to give the car a look that is far less aggressively cheap.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 96.5 Inches
Length 149.4 Inches
Width 65.6 Inches
Height 59.4 Inches
Track, Front 56.3 Inches
Track, Rear 55.7 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 6.3 Inches

Interior

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Interior
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The interior of the Mirage has faced a lot of criticism, and Mitsubishi has changed the seat fabric and the steering wheel as an answer to the those saying the current versions are cheap and unpleasant. The gauges and shift panel have been redesigned as well, and this is again an improvement. But the most important part of the interior is the infotainment system, which now includes an optional 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate stereo system.

The Mirage will also now offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a first for any Mitsubishi. Of course, those are options, and the difference will be less noticeable on the base model, but at least there is a choice now. What is worrying is that there is no mention of sound deadening for the new car. The cabin noise in the current car is much worse than in its competitors, and this will probably carry over.

Drivetrain

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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One of the great things about subcompacts is how well so many of them manage to balance fuel economy and a fun driving experience, Making it all the more disappointing that the Mirage completely fails to do this. The car is powered by a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that currently produces a lackluster 74 horsepower. The new car will produce 78, thanks to a new camshaft, but that’s not the sort of improvement that you’re really likely to notice.

The car is powered by a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that currently produces a lackluster 74 horsepower.

What you hopefully will notice is the brakes, which have been upgraded to bigger discs and Mitsubishi says it’s even gone with a new kind of brake pad material, all of which will hopefully improve the Mirage’s lackluster stopping. The suspension has been gone over as well, something that is bound to be an improvement, if for no other reason than it’s difficult to imagine it being any worse. One thing that the Mirage does do well is sip fuel, partly as a result of being the lightest vehicle in its class, and hopefully we’ll see the same 44 mpg highway on the new version.

Drivetrain Specifications

Feature Description ES SE GT
Type 1.2 L MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve Inline 3-cylinder 1.2 L MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve Inline 3-cylinder 1.2 L MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve Inline 3-cylinder
Engine Code 3A92 3A92 3A92
Materials Aluminum Head/ Aluminum Block Aluminum Head/ Aluminum Block Aluminum Head/ Aluminum Block
Bore x Stroke 75.0mm x 90.0mm 75.0mm x 90.0mm 75.0mm x 90.0mm
Compression Ratio 10.5:1 10.5:1 10.5:1
Displacement 1193cc 1193cc 1193cc
Horsepower 78 HP @ 6000 RPM 78 HP @ 6000 RPM 78 HP @ 6000 RPM
Torque 74 LB-FT @ 4000 RPM 74 LB-FT @ 4000 RPM 74 LB-FT @ 4000 RPM
Fuel System ECI-MULTI ECI-MULTI ECI-MULTI

Safety

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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You would be right not to expect much in the way of electronic driver’s aides on the Mirage, beyond the usual anti-lock brakes and traction control. Those are usually seen as too expensive to be practical to offer on a subcompact and the Mirage is no exception. But it can still do well in crash tests, and the Mirage does. It has a four star rating from the NHTSA, going up to five in side impacts. It has exactly the same ratings as the Toyota Yaris, and this is a very normal sort of rating in this segment. The Honda Fit rates noticeably higher, but it is an exception for subcompacts.

Prices

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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This is where the Mirage has a real advantage. With a starting price of $13,805, it is $1,200 to $2,500 cheaper than the major players in this segment. It comes up short when compared to these other cars in a lot of other areas, but if you want to spend the least amount of money possible on a car that will allow you to spend the least amount possible on gas, this is your best choice.

The Chevy Spark is slightly cheaper, but the Mirage will cost you less in the long run thanks to better fuel economy. It is also cheaper than a Smart, and gets better fuel economy to boot. The facelifted version does offer some improved equipment, so we will very possibly see a slight increase in that price. But if Mitsubishi is smart, the price won’t go too much over $14,000, or else one of the only reasons to buy one will disappear.

Competition

Ford Fiesta

2014 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
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A favorite of the European market for decades, Ford finally brought it back to U.S. shores in 2010. The Fiesta is also offered with a three-cylinder engine, but this one is turbocharged and doesn’t disappoint in the power department. It’s also fun to drive and has been a good looking car for some time. I own a Fiesta and enthusiastically recommend it.

Read our full review on the Ford Fiesta here.

Honda Fit

2015 Honda Fit High Resolution Exterior
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The Fit is another subcompact that was brought over to the U.S. only after enjoying success in other markets. It’s fun to drive in the way that the Civic used to be back when it was actually a small car. In fact, all of the things that made early Civics such a success are present on the Fit, but more so. The styling has also greatly improved with the latest generation. It would have been a good car even if it hadn’t, but this is always a nice bonus.

Read our full review on the Honda Fit here.

Conclusion

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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If you’re one of those people that does their car shopping looking only at numbers, i.e. price and fuel economy, then it wouldn’t be a wrong move to buy Mirage. And, with the new facelift, it won’t even be quite as obvious that you bought something based solely on cheapness. For anyone looking to actually enjoy driving, it’s difficult to recommend the Mirage. There are some appealing features, but they just don’t add up to a whole car that is competitive with the other cars in the segment. Even with the facelift, the Mirage just doesn’t stack up, and it would have been better for Mitsubishi to just start from scratch.

  • Leave it
    • * Nowhere near enough power, even with those 4 extra horses
    • * No mention of a quieter cabin
    • * Most drivers won’t manage 44 mpg, as they’ll be flooring it due to impatience

Press Release

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today announced details for the fuel-efficient 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage featuring a new exterior design, improved performance and enhanced interior appeal. Despite all that is new for Mirage in 2017, a few things didn’t change at all—Mirage still offers impressive fuel economy, attractive pricing and industry leading new vehicle and powertrain warranties. The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback will be available at dealers in spring 2016.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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"Mirage has gained popularity with its affordable and practical appeal," said Don Swearingen, executive vice president, MNNA. "Mirage owners are looking for a vehicle that does its job well and is reliable. The Mirage continues to deliver all of those attributes, and the improvements to the 2017 model year will expand the Mirage’s appeal even more."

The changes for the 2017 model year are led with the new exterior design. Mirage receives a fresh new look with redesigned hood, grille, front and rear bumper, fog and headlamps, rear spoiler and wheels. The exterior styling was given purpose, with an aerodynamic design to maximize fuel-efficiency and a simple, restrained form to help reduce weight, creating a car in which form and function come together.

Inside, Mirage receives a design update with new seat fabrics, gauge cluster, steering wheel and shift panel. In addition, a new 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate™ audio system with EcoPunch™ is available, as is an in-car display audio supporting Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, the first Mitsubishi vehicle to get these popular infotainment systems in the U.S.

The 2017 Mirage continues to utilize a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder DOHC engine featuring the latest version of Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) variable valve-timing system that maximizes fuel efficiency and power output while greatly minimizing exhaust emissions. With the addition of a roller-type camshaft, Mirage increases its horsepower to 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft torque.

Mirage’s handling and brakes are improved for 2017 as well. Optimizing the spring rate and damping force of the shock absorbers while adding stiffness to the front end achieve handling and stability improvements. In addition, bigger diameter brake discs (251 mm) are used in the front and the rear brake drums (203 mm) have increased 23 millimeters. The brake pad/shoe material has also been changed for even better stopping performance.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage High Resolution Exterior
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Every 2017 Mirage comes equipped with a wide array of safety features and technologies. These include a seven air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) comprised of dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver’s knee air bag; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL). Mirage models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) also include Hill Start Assist (HSA).

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