2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

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MSRP: $13,395 - 17,095

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage Review

Like the desert image it’s named after, the Mitsubishi Mirage is appealing from a distance but disappointing up close. Its excellent fuel economy, long warranty, and low starting price are not enough to overcome its poor ride quality, tepid acceleration, uncomfortable interior, and low predicted reliability rating.

5.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 5.2
Performance: 5.5
Interior: 5.9
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive warranty
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Low-rent interior
  • Unrefined and sluggish powertrain
  • Few optional features offered

Is the Mitsubishi Mirage a Good Car?

Simply put – the Mitsubishi Mirage is a poor choice among subcompact cars. Its cabin has cheap materials, uncomfortable front seats, and tight back seats. Performance is also lacking. The Mirage has a harsh ride, and its engine is loud and provides poor acceleration. Among the Mirage’s few strengths are its long warranty and exceptional gas mileage estimates. Still, that’s not enough to lift the Mirage from the bottom of our subcompact car rankings.

Should I Buy the Mitsubishi Mirage?

The Mirage's below-average starting price of about $13,500 might seem appealing, but even if you have a tight budget, you should avoid this Mitsubishi. Instead, consider higher-ranking yet similarly priced alternatives like the Chevrolet Spark and Ford Fiesta.

Compare the Mirage, Spark, and Fiesta »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mitsubishi Mirage?

For 2018, the Mitsubishi Mirage gains new standard equipment, including Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system. You can find these features in some older models, but you'll have to hunt for them. You'll likely save money by shopping for an older Mirage, but going with a 2017 or 2018 model is a better choice. The car debuted for the 2014 model year and saw no changes before Mitsubishi dropped it from the market for the 2016 model year and refreshed it for 2017. This refresh included an updated interior and exterior styling, an all-new sedan model (it was previously only available as a hatchback), and a 4-horsepower bump in engine output. 

To research used Mirage models, read our reviews of the 2014, 2015, and 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2015, 2017, and 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage »

We Did the Research for You: 24 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 24 professional Mitsubishi Mirage reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has 75-plus years of combined automotive expertise. To ensure unbiased, consumer-focused reviews, we do not accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside team handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Mitsubishi Mirage Cost?

Prices for the 2018 Mirage start at $13,395, making it one of the least expensive models in our subcompact car rankings. It comes in two body styles, with the five-door hatchback being the least expensive. The hatchback’s price ranges from $13,395 to $16,595. Starting prices for the Mirage G4 sedan run from $14,395 to $17,095. For great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program.

Mitsubishi Mirage Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Mirage or Nissan Versa?

Neither the Nissan Versa nor the Mirage does well in our subcompact car rankings, but the Versa is the winner in this comparison. It has a lower starting price than the Mirage, as well as more passenger and cargo space. The Versa gives you more horsepower than the Mirage (109 versus 78), but both vehicles have slow acceleration. Also, don’t look to either for a quality interior. You're better off skipping both of these vehicles.

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Mirage or Ford Fiesta?

The Ford Fiesta is one of the best cars you can buy for less than $15,000. It’s one of the most athletic entries in the class, with agile handling and speedy acceleration. Additionally, it has premium cabin materials, a modern design, and higher predicted reliability than the Mirage. The Fiesta is the better car.

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Mirage or Honda Fit?

The Honda Fit ranks among the best in the subcompact car class. While it costs a few thousand dollars more than the Mirage, it's definitely worth the extra investment. The Fit has generous legroom and supportive cushions in both rows. Moreover, it delivers nimble handling, a smooth ride, and more overall cargo space than the Mirage. It also offers better predicted reliability. Go with the Honda.

Compare the Mirage, Versa, and Fiesta »

Mirage Interior

How Many People Does the Mirage Seat?

You can seat five people in the Mirage, which comes standard with cloth upholstery. The front seats have a decent amount of cushioning, but limited seat and steering wheel adjustments make it difficult to find a comfortable driving position. The rear seat is cramped, a common complaint about many small cars, but passengers in the back of a Honda Fit or Nissan Versa have much more room to stretch their legs.

Mirage Interior Quality

The interior of the Mirage is about as unembellished as you can get. Not everything feels flimsy, but the cabin is awash in hard plastics (even on the armrests), and many of the materials and controls feel low-rent. The standard infotainment screen adds a modern touch.

Mirage Cargo Space

Cargo space is pretty good in the Mirage hatchback, which has 17.2 cubic feet of space available behind the seats. For oversized loads, you can almost triple your hauling capacity by laying down the rear seats, opening up 47 cubic feet of cargo room. The G4 sedan has a 12.3-cubic-foot trunk, and though its back seat doesn't fold, there is a pass-through to accommodate long items.

Mirage Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The biggest changes for 2018 fall under this category, with Mitsubishi adding a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera to the standard features list. The infotainment interface is user-friendly, and controls are easy to reach. The upgraded systems, which come in all but the base model, are even better, as they come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mitsubishi also offers a Rockford Fosgate sound system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Mirage Performance

Mirage Engine: Anemic and Unrefined

The Mirage gets excellent fuel economy with its three-cylinder engine, but the small car achieves this thrift at the cost of performance. Whether you are accelerating from a dead stop or merging with highway traffic, you'll need to plan accordingly, as the Mirage takes its sweet time to reach 60 mph. Adding to this dreary performance is an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that causes the engine to rev loudly. A five-speed manual transmission is standard.

Mirage Gas Mileage: Fuel Sipper

The 2018 Mirage posts one of the highest fuel economy ratings in our subcompact car rankings. With the CVT, the Mirage gets 35-37 mpg in the city and 41-43 mpg on the highway. Gas mileage dips slightly with the manual transmission, to 33 mpg in the city and 40-41 mpg on the highway.

Mirage Ride and Handling: Adequate at Best

You'll feel some of the most notable differences between the Mirage hatchback and sedan in their handling. Body lean and jolts from rough roads are both more pronounced in the hatchback. The G4 sedan’s ride is smoother and feels more composed overall, but it still doesn't feel polished compared to other cars in the class. On the plus side, the Mirage is very maneuverable – which is especially handy in cities and parking lots – and its brakes are solid.

Read more about performance »

Mirage Reliability

Is the Mitsubishi Mirage Reliable?

The 2018 Mirage has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out five from J.D. Power.

Mitsubishi Mirage Warranty

The Mirage comes with a five-year/60,000-mile new-vehicle warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is one of the longest warranties among small cars.

Read more about reliability »

Mirage Safety

Mirage Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2018 Mirage hatchback the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and a Marginal rating (the second-lowest) in the small overlap front driver-side test. The G4 sedan has a Good rating in three crash tests, an Acceptable rating (the second-best) in the side crash test, and a Marginal rating in the small overlap front driver-side test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Mirage hatchback four out of five stars in all three crash test categories and a four-star overall rating. The NHTSA hasn't evaluated the G4 sedan.

Mirage Safety Features

The Mirage comes standard with a rearview camera (a new addition to the 2018 base model) and hill-start assist, which holds the car's brakes for a few seconds after you lift your foot off the brake pedal to prevent the car from rolling backward on hills. Front and rear parking sensors are available.

Read more about safety »

Which Mitsubishi Mirage Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Mirage five-door hatchback is available in three trim levels (ES, SE, and GT), while the G4 sedan has two (ES and SE). All models come with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. A five-speed manual transmission is standard in the base ES trim – with the option to upgrade to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for $1,200 – and all other trims come standard with a CVT. Prices start at $13,395 for the hatchback and $14,395 for the G4 sedan.

Mitsubishi adds a bit more technology to the ES trim for 2018 – including a touch-screen infotainment display and a rearview camera – but even with these extras, we recommend the midlevel SE Mirage. With this trim, you get smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can access many of your favorite apps using the car's touch screen. Goodies like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic climate control add a touch of class to the interior as well. We cover standard features for each trim in more detail below, and you can use our U.S. News Best Price Program to build your new car and find great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

Mitsubishi Mirage ES

The base ES trim is available as a five-door hatchback ($13,395) and a four-door sedan ($14,395), and you can upgrade the standard five-speed manual transmission to a CVT for $1,200. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a four-speaker stereo system, a USB port, and a rearview camera.

Mitsubishi Mirage SE

You also have the choice between a hatchback and a sedan in the SE trim, with prices starting at $16,095 and $17,095, respectively. This midlevel trim comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a proximity key, push-button start, single-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback GT

The top-of-the-line GT trim comes only as a hatchback, with prices starting at $16,595. Among its few added features are heated front seats, larger tires, and GT badging.

See 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage specs and trims »

The Final Call

With its long warranty and low starting price, the 2018 Mirage looks to be a good value, but resist the temptation. Many of its quirks make this a hard car to live with on a daily basis. For example, few front-seat adjustments make it difficult to find a comfortable driving position, and the sluggish acceleration can make every outing feel labored. If price is your biggest concern, you may be able to look past all its rough edges, but for most car shoppers, the appeal of the Mirage is more of an illusion than a reality.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "We'll get straight to the point: The main reason to consider buying a 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage is its inexpensive price. When new, it's one of the cheapest cars you can buy. If you're on a tight budget, the Mirage represents a viable new-car option that also gets you the warranty and financing benefits that come with it. Just know that you're also getting one of the least appealing cars to drive right now. … The Mirage may be inexpensive, but rivals still offer more car for the money." -- Edmunds
  • "Among the many subcompact cars one can buy, the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan wouldn't be our first picks. Why? Because while perks like a frugal 3-cylinder engine and the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto impress, in just about every other category that matters the Mirage comes up short, especially when compared to such established competitors as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa and Kia Rio." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base sedan starts at $14,830 – a number easy enough to swallow if that's all you're buying – but the G4 SE version that I drove stickered out at $17,830. That's the starting price of the Lancer, a vastly more capable car that's also a couple of thousand dollars below the base Mini Cooper or a Jeep Renegade, for that matter. Even among small hatches turned into sedans, the Ford Fiesta and the Chevy Sonic offer far better road manners and more capable engines." -- Autoweek (2017)
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