Review: 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage Sport

It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the previous generation Mirage has been on showroom floors. In between that time the name is back, but now offers a compelling package that, on paper, is hard to resist. 

 The 57kW 3-cylinder petrol engine won’t be claiming any land speed records, though when connected to the optional CVT Automatic Transmission it might just amaze you with its fuel economy of 4.6litres per 100km. Throw in a Five-Star ANCAP safety rating, air conditioning, Bluetooth, electric power steering, Active Stability Control (ASC), and Hill Start Control (CVT only) on the base ES model - and you’ll find that this package is worth more than its asking price.  

Don’t forget the Mitsubishi Diamond Advantage 5 year/130,000km Warranty and Capped Price Servicing.

Our review model was the mid-range Mirage Sport which includes 14” alloy wheels, body colour rear spoiler and four speakers. For those who like their personalisation, there’s a nice range of bright colours to help you stand out from the pack. Starting from only $12,990 for the entry level ES Manual, this is value buying at its best.   

There are a lot of reasons why we want to see if this could be a great candidate for being the perfect first car or run about.

Initial Impression

Recently it was awarded NRMA’s ‘Cheapest Car to Own and Run’ which reinforces the value proposition that comes with owning a Mirage. 

When considering the additional costs of ownership, it is refreshing to know that the actual cost is still affordable. Moving to the looks of the Mirage, its hatch design fits the modern look that should stand the test of time. There aren’t any outrageous angles or weird headlights that will leave you cringing after a year of ownership. 

The 14” alloys and body coloured rear spoiler, which is standard on the Sport, completes the look and should assist with future resale value. Once you’ve stepped into the car, the interior is quite functional and gives you everything you need. The dash is easy to reach and to operate. 

The last thing you want is to struggle adjusting the air conditioning whilst on the move.

Target Market

The small car market has shifted significantly since the last Mitsubishi Mirage went on sale. For the Mirage, it isn’t easy to narrow down an exact market anymore. Firstly, there are the first car buyers. Those who demand a cheap reliable car, that can get them to and from school, university or work in relative comfort and allows them to communicate with others easily and safely. 

Secondly, there are the second car buyers. This buyer is after a run about car that is easy to get around in and won’t mean that the SUV has to go everywhere. Whilst the boot space isn’t awe inspiring, it is enough to let you drop into the shops and do the weekly shopping with ease. 

Finally, there are the small businesses. Getting to clients can be expensive when running a vehicle. If you do not need a utility to transport tools or products, why do you need a big vehicle? The fuel economy and air conditioning would be enough for most to do what they need to do in the most cost-effective manner. In no way is the Mirage limited to these target markets, but these seemed like the obvious users after sometime in the car.   

The car proved itself to be a great contender against other smaller brands and older used cars at the same price.

Practicality

Being a small car, the practicality is limited through no fault of its own. It is a small car by nature and don’t expect it to achieve more than what it was designed to do. What it was designed to do was to get you and your passengers from A to B in a safe, cheap and reliable way. 

It does exactly that. Passengers in the rear weren’t squished and wishing the trip to be shorter than it was and you can still use the boot as a traditional boot. This means being able to store items in there. In our use, we found ourselves really only with two people in the car. 

This means that if you need to transport larger items, you can drop back seats down easily and get away with what you need to. Which is the most important thing. 

Drivability

The best thing about driving a small car like the Mitsubishi Mirage is the go anywhere attitude it has. Of course, we aren’t talking about taking it off road, but instead, the city and tight shopping centre car parks. 

With a short wheelbase and electronic power steering, there were no troubles at all with navigating tight spaces and trying to judge whether or not you would fit into that space on the street. You just fit with no doubts. 

Once you’re out on the roads, visibility of what is happening around you is great and the Mirage is able to sit at 110km/h easily without any signs of instability. Acceleration isn’t something that the Mirage has plenty of. What it does have of it will be enough though, to make sure that you’re not left behind at the lights when the traffic starts to move. 

Keeping the cost and the size of the car in mind, it does a great job on the road.

Cost

During the review, we needed to remind ourselves of the price point. It isn’t a $20,000 car or $17,000 car. The Mitsubishi Mirage starts from $12,990 and the Sport model we reviewed is priced from $13,990 with a bonus $1,000 cash back from Motorama. 

The Mirage LS, the range topping model, offers the best value if you’re able to stretch your budget a little further. Starting at $14,990 (with a bonus $1000 cash back), you get Smart Key Access, Push Button Start, Automatic Headlights and Windscreen Wipers, and more speakers. With that in mind, and remembering the Diamond Advantage program with a 5 Year/130,000km warranty, Capped Price Servicing and Roadside Assistance are all part of the package.

You are looking at a really compelling deal compared to its competition.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the previous Mitsubishi Mirage was a best seller, and that it had a lot of happy owners. 

The new generation Mitsubishi Mirage, we think, will share the same success. Not because it is using the Mirage name, but because it has brought a great piece of kit at a great price which will be hard to beat. We would like to see Cruise Control added to the Mitsubishi Mirage, or at least available as an option. In our part of the world, a drive to the coast isn’t a rare occurrence and would make the trip a little more enjoyable. 

A part from that, we look forward to seeing more on the road. They look good, drive well, are great value with five star ANCAP safety. 

What more could you ask for?