$9,143 - $11,959

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 6.1

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage isn't very polished on the road, afflicted by slow acceleration and an excessive amount of powertrain noise. The all-new sedan has a slightly better suspension setup, and while both it and the hatchback have adequate handling, they don't garner much praise from test drivers. However, the Mirage does earn a gold star for fuel efficiency; it has one of the highest gas mileage ratings in the class. 

  • As with in-town driving manners, the sedan improves upon the hatch's highway performance, but not by much. The floaty ride filters out more road imperfections, but it still comes with an impressive level of wind, road and cabin noise, though a couple of notches below that of the hatch, I have noted. Overtaking is still something that requires some concentration and a healthy dose of realism, but overall, the sedan seems more able to execute some fairly tame maneuvers." -- Autoweek
  • "Sadly, noisy and leisurely acceleration are not the only dynamic problems. The steering's poor on-center feel requires constant correction just to go straight, and if you're not careful the Mirage will just continue to turn in a broad arc. The suspension bounces over larger bumps, and the Mirage leans heavily even in moderate corners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The Mirage is basic point A-to-point B transportation – something Mitsubishi has never been anything but clear about." -- Autoweek (2014)

Acceleration and Power

All 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage trims are powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with a 78-horsepower rating. This is paired with a five-speed manual transmission in most trims, though there is also an available continuously variable transmission (CVT), which functions like an automatic. Out of the two, there is no clear victor; the CVT intensifies the engine's drone, and the manual transmission has an imprecise shifter. It takes some time (and clamor) to get up to speed, but once there, the Mirage cruises fairly well.

What the Mirage lacks in excitement it makes up for in fuel efficiency. With the CVT, the Mirage hatchback gets 37 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway, which is one of the best ratings for a subcompact car. Fuel economy drops somewhat with the sedan configuration or the five-speed manual transmission, but this only increases your annual fuel costs by $100 or so.

  • A 1.2-liter three-cylinder provides the power, driving the front wheels; in the sedan, this unit feels marginally smoother than in the hatch. Getting rolling still produces an intensely coarse and loud buzzing noise, but the Sport Mode (yes, there is a Sport Mode) seems to help with overtaking maneuvers despite producing an even greater amount of noise and plenty of revving. It's a three-cylinder, after all." -- Autoweek
  • "The engine vibrates noticeably at idle – although it's better than it was before – and at full throttle it sings a raspy, groaning song that will discourage exploring the reach of the gas pedal. Unfortunately, even if you just want to keep up with traffic leaving a stoplight, you'll need to floor it, which of course hurts fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Rather than force the little 3-cylinder engine to rev and rev mournfully against the constraints of the CVT, the stickshift permits drivers to find some sweet spots in the engine's modest torque output to maximize-and somewhat quiet-its operation. The shifter's a little rubbery, but gates are easy to find, and the clutch is cooperative and light to the touch." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Mirage is easy to maneuver, and it stops quickly with little effort. Its ride is reasonably smooth, though quite a bit of noise from the powertrain makes a quiet drive unattainable. Some test drivers say the all-new sedan boasts better handling than the hatchback, as it’s aided by a more composed suspension setup.  

  • "The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 offers up a comfortable highway ride for such a small car, and the brakes bring the low-mass sedan to a stop quickly, and with a firm pedal." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Its short overall length and tidy turning circle make it extremely maneuverable and easy to park, and that – combined with a surprisingly decent ride – makes it a natural for inner-city driving." -- Consumer Guide
  • Surprisingly, the Mirage sedan improves on some but not all of the Mirage hatch's long list of issues. The biggest improvement is the ride, which is no longer harsh and serves up decent damping in addition to generous helpings of body roll. The suspension soaks up broken pavement with less noise and fairly decent cushioning, along with some float. The steering setup also feels a little more balanced in the Mirage sedan, though the tail still has a tendency to overreact upon quick steering inputs below highway speeds." -- Autoweek

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