2021 Mitsubishi Mirage
You live in the city. Parking space is tight. Traffic is challenging sometimes.
Manufacturers would like to sell you a subcompact SUV to handle the city. However, you really don’t carry that much stuff around. You get groceries…and that’s it. Sometimes you shop for other things for your home.
If you just need a brand-new car, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback might be the right solution for you.
For 2021, it underwent an update that includes a new front clip, along with new taillights, trim, and rear bumper. We particularly love the integration of Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield design up front elevating the front end towards a more competitive look.
The grille is as bold as the two strips framing it. The headlight units are also nicely integrated, along with the side “vents” on each lower corner of the fascia. With the new taillights and bumpers, the rear end is also elevated with a sportier look.
The rest of the Mirage hatchback is what we like to call “cute.” In fact, the right color would make the Mirage pop out more on your block. It is only 151.4 inches long, 65.6 inches wide, and 59.4 inches tall. Such a small footprint makes it a perfect in-town car.
Our tester is a special model called the Carbonite Edition. This is actually an upgrade from the LE that includes bumper and side extensions in black with a red trim, additional red trim on the grille, a carbon-fiber-like decal on the B-pillar. In all, this package gives the Mirage an even sportier look.
The Mirage’s interior is designed more for function and ease. It starts with a straightforward three dial instrument binnacle. Two of the three dials are analog, except for an LCD display showing the fuel level and other trip information. The controls are easy to use and good to the touch.
You do get a lot of features on this Mirage. These features include power windows, remote locking, a seven-inch infotainment system with smartphone integration, and an automatic climate control system.
We like the softer cloth material on the seats. The inserts sport a design that is from the 1980s, but we love it all the same. You sit comfortably with manual adjustments for rake, recline, and height. Rear seat room is on the small side, but four average adults could find some comfort inside the Mirage.
Hatch space is set to 17.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and the cargo cover removed. The rear seats fold down, but create a “ridge” before using the entire space behind the front seats.
Underneath the Mirage’s hood is a 78-horsepower 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. Don’t let that horsepower number fool you! The Mirage handles highway traffic with ease, while finding a home in town. This engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission, which is responsive when it comes to making your move on the street and on the freeway. This system is driven down to the front wheels.
When it came down to fuel economy, we averaged 40.4 MPG.
We liked how well it handles, with minimal roll and lean in the corners and on evasive maneuvers. The ride quality was confident and absorbent. In all, it has stability that may have been lost on larger vehicles – including SUVs.
The steering system felt direct and exhibited very tight turns with ease. On-center feel is nothing short of great. Brake pedal feel is solid with great feedback to the wheels. We found good stopping power in both normal and panic situations.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is available in four hatchback models, starting from $14,295. Our Carbonite Edition tester came with a sticker price of $18,660.
The Mirage is not the only small vehicle that drives bigger than its size. Consumers have shopped the Mirage against the likes of the Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Spark, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Venue.
When you live in a place where space is a premium, but you need the space to carry home the goods, you will find that the Mitsubishi Mirage is the right choice. It doesn’t have to be a city dweller, as this car will handle everyday tasks anywhere you drive it.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors