Since its release, the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage has received so much positive attention it’s hard to know where to focus first. If I was a Mirage, I’d be blushing.
Named “The Most Affordable” vehicle by Cars.com, the Mirage is also the most fuel-efficient gas-powered, non-hybrid vehicle in the United States, boasting a 37/44 city-highway mpg ratio.
This is an extraordinary fact to keep in mind as the American economy continues to claw its way out of the recession. Kind of like running into a friend who seemingly shed twenty pounds overnight, the question is, how did Mitsubishi do it?
How does the Mirage enjoy such an impressive fuel economy, especially when compared to other subcompact cars? The answer is deceptively simple. Kind of along the lines of eating right and exercising.
The mystery of how the Mirage is able to get 44 mpg is hidden beneath its hood. It’s all in the engine or better yet, what’s not in the engine.
While other subcompacts are equipped with four-cylinder engines, capable of 100+ horsepower, the Mirage uses a 1.2-L, three-cylinder, and exceptionally lightweight engine, which only reaches a maximum 74 horsepower.
So, it weighs less than the competition. Basically, it’s sporting skinny jeans.
Also, the ability to shift - literally - from manual or CVT transmission means the Mirage more effectively and efficiently meets the demand of the drive, without unnecessarily burning additional fuel.
This is the hallmark of Mitsubishi’s MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System), which works by balancing a vehicle’s power with its fuel efficiency.
What this means is optimal valve timing, no matter what speed.
It’s simple, like adding one plus one. One featherlight engine plus one variable transmission system equals the best fuel economy on the American roads.
The Mirage, Mitsubishi’s most affordable car to date, is a subcompact hatchback, easy to customize and personalize based on some fun options.
A baseline Mirage starts at MSRP $12,995 and moves up in price, depending on personalization, which starts with one of four trim level options: the DE five-speed manual, DE CVT, ES five-speed manual, and ES CVT.
The DE trim level, with either transmission, has standard power windows and door locks, keyless entry with panic alarm feature, USB port, rear spoiler, split folding high-back rear seat, Electric Power Steering Assist, ECO status indicator light, and power side-view mirrors.
DE trim levels are offered between $12,995-14,095.
Giving those standards an added edge, the ES trim level provides standard fog lights, 14-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, FAST-Key passive entry system and push button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, complete with mounted Bluetooth and audio controls, and a leather-wrapped shift knob to match the steering wheel, which also features a silver accent.
The extra edge comes with added cost, which is still minimal when you consider the value of these cars, not to mention how much you will save in gas money.
ES trim levels run between $14,295-15,395.
Though practical considerations like fuel economy are crucial when selecting a new car, it’s important to have fun, too. When it comes to the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, fun is live and in living color.
Eight colors, to be exact. Whether you want serious or spunky, the color palette is sure to inspire. For the more conservative consumer, choose between Thunder Gray, Starlight Silver, Mystic Black, or Cloud White.
Looking to make an entrance? Try Sapphire Blue, Plasma Purple, Kiwi Green, or Infrared. All Mirage interiors are covered in simple and solid black fabric for a sleek, clean look.
For additional, almost endless customization options, choose from one of the 2015 Mirage’s eleven packages, priced from $45 up to $695. To stick with these examples, the $45 Cargo Tray Package is just that, the addition of a cargo tray; whereas the $695 Exterior Package comes with front and rear bumper extensions, side sill extensions, and an exhaust finisher.
With such a wide price range for such a low base priced vehicle, why not choose a few packages for you new Mirage? Compared to other new car purchases, you’ll have plenty of cash left over to purchase some pizazz.
Consider these packages:
Cargo Package with cargo mat and net for $95
Black Body Side Moldings Package for $155
Color-Keyed Side Moldings Package for $155
Bluetooth Hands-free System Package for $210
LED Illumination Package with blue illumination on floor and central console and room lamp for $225
Chrome Package with garnishes on fog lights, lower front grille, tailgate, and meter hood for $230
Fog Lights Package for $295
Protection Package with scuff plates, black rear bumper protector, and color-keyed front and rear mudguards for $295
Park Assist Package with front and rear park assist sensors for $450
With so much personalization potential offered by these unique packages, and at such a measly MSRP, the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is a slick choice.
But how does it stack up against one of its prime subcompact class competitors?
Not to put too fine or obvious a point on it, but the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is clearly more affordable than the 2015 Honda Fit, priced at $15,650.
With more front head and legroom than the Honda Fit, the Mirage is roomier, more comfortable for drivers and passengers alike.
Compared to the Mirage, the Honda Fit has wider dimensions which makes it a bit hard to squeeze into smaller parking spaces, especially in city settings. This is further compounded by the Fit’s larger turning radius, making it tougher to maneuver around corners.
Although the Fit bests the Mirage when it comes to higher horsepower, it is important to keep in mind when purchasing that higher horsepower often equals higher insurance premiums.
When considering a purchase, it’s also important to examine the warranty.
With the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, you’re looking at far more extensive and generous coverage compared to the 2015 Honda Fit.
In fact, when it comes to added protection, Mitsubishi offers complimentary 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance. Honda offers...its condolences.
Put the fun back in car shopping. Select one of the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage trim levels, outfit it with a cool color, and dress it up with packaged extras for a fuel-efficient, but rocking ride.