Is The Mitsubishi Mirage America’s Worst New Car On Sale?

Small economy cars are almost never described as being fun but the Mitsubishi Mirage is probably one of the few new cars right now that don’t even know what fun means.

There’s a general blandness surrounding the small Mitsubishi while the obvious cost-cutting in places is really obvious and never lets you forget that this is one of the cheapest new cars in the market right now.

Of course these cars are used for commutes and nothing much more really and while the Mirage is more than capable of getting you safely to your destination, people who like cars will almost definitely prefer something a bit more interesting for their everyday travels.

Even the three-cylinder engine is laughably small and underpowered -by U.S. standards, mind you- measuring 1.2 liters in capacity and producing 78hp and 74lb-ft of torque. Opt for the CVT automatic transmission and then you’ll get the perfect car to make your petrolhead friends hate you eternally.

Want to know more about this fascinatingly cheap Mitsubishi? Let Doug DeMuro then give you a tour around the strongest contender for the title of USA’s worst new car right now.


  • rodriguez256

    I see so many of these in the purple/pink color.

    • Bo Hanan

      Its like Mitsubishi is deliberately trying to piss us off.
      I mean killing off the EVO was crossing a line, then they put the Eclipse name on an ugly SUV, now this.

      • rodriguez256

        They have gone to complete crap. They don’t have one single vehicle that’s worth a test drive compared to every other competitor. I just don’t understand them. It’s like they want to go out of business.

      • Daniel Vega

        They been pissing USA buyer for a long time. Remember after the Evo X went on sale, Mitsubishi wanted to sell a cheaper version to compete with the WRX instead of the STi. Well they had a good idea with the Lancer RallyArt. Detuned Evo X engine and Evo 9 AWD system. Good idea until they decided to sell it only as an AUTOMATIC! What a joke.

  • Not only in US but possibly most of the world, the interior is cheap, the engine and transmission is woeful. The only redeeming thing are the price. But if you live in Europe you will realized that Dacia feels like BMW compare to Mirage with that price.

    • Status

      I wouldn’t say it’s the worst in the world. For that, the Mirage would have to be worse than the Suzuki Maruti Alto.

      At least the Mirage has airbags.

  • Christian

    I once comment here on Carscoop (Can’t remember what the conversation was about…) that the worst new morden car I have ever driven was that Mirage. We call them Space Star here in Europe, and even have the option for a 1-liter with 71 Hp or that 1,2, just with 80 bhp.

  • BlackPegasus

    A car with 72 horse power is down right dangerous.

    • Bo Hanan

      God help the person driving this car if they got caught between the headlights of a Hellcat. Or even a Civic Type-R. LOL.

    • Dennis Scipio

      it’s actually 74 HP for the 2014-15 Model (which he reviewed), 78 HP for the facelifted 2017-18 Model.

    • SamuraiJack

      I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers in cars with less than 72hp. Not once have I been endangered due to a lack of power. Although I can see how an American used to lots of power can be dangerous behind the wheel of a low hp car.

      • Matt

        In inner city driving 70hp isn’t an issue but in passing on 2 lane highways or going uphill is when that low amount of power can be dangerous as like you said, if someone’s used to having more.

      • Bo Hanan

        “I can see how an American used to lots of power can be dangerous behind the wheel of a low hp car.”

        You mean FEEL IN DANGER behind the wheel of a low hp car…

    • Cobra Kai

      Gimme a break. It only weighs 2,000 pounds. A 1991 Honda Civic only had 70 horsepower and nobody whined about how ‘dangerous’ it was.

  • Justin Spencer

    I’m not sure the reviewer is impartial enough to make reasonable judgements about this car. He obviously hasn’t seen too many base model subcompacts which very much mirror this cars level of equipment.
    No, you’re not going to get a center storage box, definitely no cruise control, and not too much in the way of comfort and the bare minimum in convenience. I’m actually impressed that it comes with power windows, locks and mirrors.
    The imperfect quality aspects he points out are certainly substantiated although this is not a new Mirage….probably a ‘15 and they have changed since then.
    It’s definitely no Hellcat but perhaps not a bad choice for a first time driver and you can get them at about half the cost of a new, base model Honda Fit.

    • I’m not sure where you come from but in Europe, there are a lot of small cheap cars offering here. Dacia is a strong candidate, it’s actually has good quality, good handling and better value for money.

      If you willing to spend a bit more you can get Hyundai i10 or even the excellent Up/Mii/Citigo.

  • sidewaysspin

    I’m pretty sure any Mitsubishi is not a bad car, Mitsubishi is a giant industrial conglomerate with experience in many areas much more complex than the auto industry, so this may be a basic car but that is its market, and it’s probably safe and reliable for the price.

    • Christian

      Ehm no, not this one… Also, the Mirage was original made for India, until Mitsubishi needed a small car after the dropped the Colt here in Europe. The next Mirage, SpaceStar, Colt or what they gonna call it… It gonna share engine and platform from the upcoming Renault Clio and Nissan Micra… I’m sure its gonna be way better than this shit.

    • The problem is that the car isn’t being praised in third world market either, Indians stick with their Suzuki Maruti and even in Southeast Asia this car only get warm reviews because of their performance and they aren’t that cheaper than their rivals.

      In Europe this car is woefully inadequate in a very competitive market, even Suzuki Celerio looks better than this, and Celerio is cheaper than Mirage.

  • Dave

    The Mirage is what it is. A very basic car. It’s too bad you can’t get more stripped down cars like this. Who needs most of the junk that comes with new cars now anyhow? This thing also gets the best mileage of any regular gasoline car on the market. Last I heard Mitsubishi wasn’t really having that much problem selling these things. It’s so simple, reliability will probably be pretty good. I would love to get my hands on a stick shift one and flog the hell out of it. Yes it’s like a cheap car from the 90’s, but who says that’s all bad?

    • Christian

      Because you can get cars for less that is better. Like a brand new VW UP or any other Mikro cars here in Europe. THEY’RE AWFALL! Even James May’s lovely Dacia Sandero drives better. Here in Europe you could even get a 1-liter too!

      • Dave

        Yeah but we don’t have any of those in the US. This is about as bare bones of a car you can get here.

      • Totally agree, we got Up siblings, Hyundai i10, Suzuki Celerio and Ignis, Dacias and much more. And the Mirage price isn’t the cheapest either.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Well, it’s honest. And it’s not an SUV or a “hybrid.”

  • Honda NSX-R

    I want to see a heavily modified one.

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      ….Ricer detected… 😉

  • FlameWater

    The previous generations look so much better than the new one

  • Chris C

    OK it is needlessly crap – a bit of product engineering would sort many issues, and I guess with Nissan/Renault now being sister companies to Mitsubishi it is not much longer for this World, However, seeing the ground from above the engine suggest you can actually get a spanner around it while carpet on the back seatrests is better than the painted backrests of some Fords & Fiats, etc. Bonnetline to clear the badge – no, they’d just move the badge 5mm down. I remember a senior staff engineer saying how they deliberately engineered exposed screwheads on facias (but never convinced by his arguments). $14,000 seems very expensive considering what small cars cost in Europe never mind China (where you can get some really awful cars from $2,500 even if they are very dated clones of clones….

  • Shane

    Pity me, I drive one of these in Houston.

  • Eli Grinberg

    i’m a little disappointed of this review. not of the car, but more surprisingly from what Doug said. i guess he is used to reviewing a much more exotic cars, so he thinks all of the cars should be special and unique. he forgets that this Mirage is a low budget and low cost car (and the price tag follows), and it suppose to deliver the most simple and reliable A-B transportation. there’s no need to laugh at it or compare it to other, much powerful and expensive cars (yes, even to the Honda fit). i was expecting him to be more professional In his review.

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