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Video Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
…so, I kind of love this car

mitsubishi mirage

I drove the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage recently, and we put together a video review on the car for Autobytel. My initial thoughts were that I would dislike the car, and I’m happy to say that I was totally wrong. It’s a little car that is surprisingly enjoyable. The price is right, the features are great, and that three-cylinder engine makes great noises.

It even has enough power to spin those front tires.

I wanted to share this video review with you because I think some of you will like the car just as much as I do.

  • Feds_II

    In a perfect world, this post gets 100x more clicks than the Aston Martin review.

    • We shall see how the Maserati review does later today then, eh?

  • I Think Not

    My personal history bears out the fact that I love underpowered, durable (read: abusable) cars. I've never owned a 3 cylinder mill, but I currently daily-ride a 25hp thumper (well, when the weather is not icy or snowy), so this car seems right up my alley*!

    *were I in the market for a 4-wheeler, which I ain't.

  • Counterpoint: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/11/2

    Could the CVT really make the car seem that much worse?

    • Yes.

      • So what about their other non-powertrain criticisms: low handling limits, body shake, road noise and cheap interior? I guess I was just surprised by your enthusiasm because I would expect you to be more critical of these sorts of things than the appliance-loving suburba-niks at CR…

        • Road noise was fine. Interior definitely didn't feel cheap, it felt right for a 13k car.
          Low handling limits? It's perfectly suited to every day driving. I didn't take it out to my favorite canyon road because why in the hell would I do that… if I WERE to do that, I'd step up to better tires.

          I'm surprised too though, trust me.

        • Maymar

          I've moved several of these around for work – I can't comment on anything above 5km/h, but it's really a perfectly functional, reasonably screwed together. If you're stepping out of a Lexus, it's going to feel cheap, but to someone rolling in a decade-old crapwagon (like yours truly), it's really not unpleasant inside.

    • CherokeeOwner

      My mother once had a rental Nissan; I believe it was a Sentra. It was my first experience with a CVT transmission, and it was alienating, to put it best. Hit the gas, the engine revs higher and higher, but there is no immediate increase in acceleration, it just takes its sweet time and you feel like you're putting undue stress on the engine. And this was Nissan, who've seemingly gone whole-hog with CVTs and had the best success with them at the time. It made the car feel sluggish and unresponsive. So I can only imagine what this itty-bitty Mitsubishi and other cars, such as the pre-2013 Jeep Caliber twins, are like.

      I haven't had seat-time with a CVT since. I hear good things about Subaru's CVTs, though.

    • wisc47

      You'd be surprised at how sluggish they make the entire car feel. The only CVT I've ever driven was in my mom's 2010 Legacy. It could've been great with either a traditional automatic or manual. It's good for mileage, bad for fun.

    • wunno sev

      i have driven my mom's 2010ish sentra, and i don't hate the CVT.

  • Scandinavian Flick ★

    These lead screencaps you keep posting… You really want me to search for something inappropriate at work, don't you?

    • Honestly, the only reason I use them is for you… totally 100% honest.

      • Scandinavian Flick ★

        <3 (no homo)

        Well, I'm here, so you know I'm workin' up something.

  • kingcrowing

    So Jeff, is it worth the extra few thousand for the Fiesta Ecoboost?

  • CherokeeOwner

    Among the sub-compacts we have on our shores now, the Mirage, to me, looked rather lackluster. It looks like a baby Lancer Sportback that got stung by a wasp, and the horsepower and torque figures also seems comically tiny. (74 HP? That takes balls to release a car like that in America. Impressive mileage for a non-hybrid, gas-powered car though.)

    I dig small cars, but I honestly couldn't see myself in this. Not until they improve the looks of the thing.

    • If you lived in the Bronx and the farthest you ever expected to drive was your Aunt Millie's in Oyster Bay for Thanksgiving once a year, 74 HP would probably not be a hindrance. On the other hand, people in Idaho Falls routinely drive over the Tetons to Jackson WY to have lunch, and think nothing of going shopping for the day at the Fashion Place Mall in SLC…

  • Scandinavian Flick ★

    How the Glucker Stole Christmas.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/c33Phub.jpg&quot; width="550">

    • By the way, is the car actually parked over broken boards?

      <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/mitsubishi-mirage.png"&gt;

      • Scandinavian Flick ★

        That's actually what gave me the idea… Looked kinda like antlers. Like, what the hell, Jeff? Did you run over a reindeer?

        Probably actually tree bark.

      • Feds_II

        C5 Corvettes debuted the balsa wood floor. What's pictured is the kind of flooring you get at a $9995 entry price.

      • Palm tree sheddings…

        • Midwesterner = palm trees not on my radar.

    • failboat

      yep. my beer came out my nose. i havent been here nearly enough lately, thanks.

    • Vairship

      That beard: [youtube lOfZLb33uCg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg youtube]

  • MVEilenstein

    Nice review. This seems like the perfect James May kind of car, like the FIAT Panda he review a few yeas ago. The performance limits are much more approachable in a slow car, which makes them more fun in a way. I get it.

    • 993cc

      I am a fan of James May, and of really small cars too. That's why this car is such a disappointment to me.

      As an enthusiastic former owner of a nicely modified Geo Metro, I'm fine with 74 horsepower in a 1900 pound car. It's just that the rest of the design priorities seem misplaced. Does a base car need electric windows? Does a 1900 pound car need power steering? With less power to work with, chassis dynamics become even more important, especially if you have to run that cloverleaf a little faster in order to merge. Couldn't they have spent less on frills and a little more on getting the suspension right?

      The european reviews of this car all say it is rubbish, when compared to its competitors, like the Fiat Panda or the VW Up!/Skoda Citigo. I guess Mitsubishi felt they could sell this here because in this class, there are no other choices. Shame. I really wanted to like this car.

  • Van_Sarockin

    HATE the color, can't wait to see the video.

  • Rover1

    As pointed out in a previous post, here in NZ they make a connection to the old Mirage (Colt to US) in their marketing. I'm not sure it works as relative to it's current peers it doesn't seem as good as the old one was in it's day. But it must be the lightest 5 star NCAP four door, so they're doing something right.
    <img src="http://www.rotoruamitsubishi.co.nz/site/baycityrotorua/images/mirage/new_mitsubishi_mirage_nz.jpg"width="500"&gt;

  • BobWellington

    "It's obvious you're looking at a Mitsubishi product, and by that I mean it's quite ugly."

    I agree, Jeff, I agree.

    But really, the biggest thing that would stop me from ever getting this car is just how cheap and poorly styled it looks from the outside.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Alright, you haven't lied, but c'mon. Fenders reminiscent of the Evo and that toally styling front fascia? Rear drums get no knock? And all of those totally trippin' interior features and buttons cost about a dollar apiece. Yeah, it's a cheap econobox and can't be compared with top dollar sports cars. You really haven't explained how it distinguishes itself from the competition.

    • That's it, Van – hold his feet to the fire!

    • Why can't it use drums? It's lightweight and underpowered enough that is has no need for rear discs. People knock drums all the time, but drums won't fade and will easily bring this to a stop every time.

      Yes, I knew the Evo thing would be tough to see on camera but I honestly see a dash (if you squint) of Lancer Evo in the front fenders.

      It distinguishes itself by offering quality options for the price point. By that I mean the power and auto-up/down windows, push button start, USB connection, etc. Additionally, the three-cylinder engine makes the car far more fun than it should be. Were it saddled with a standard, low-hp 4 I wouldn't have had as much fun.