The all-new Mitsubishi Mirage
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist
MITSUBISHI MOTORS has completely re-examined the small car concept to bring a logical, down-to-earth product with the value and reliability for which the Japanese company is so renowned.
The all-new Mirage launched this month (March 2013) looks cute enough from the outside, but the inside of the vehicle is where it impresses. The airy and comfortable cabin has admirable legroom in the back and front and cocoons you in a well-designed and above all, safe, setting.
Indeed this is where the Mirage will get the attention of parents desperate to ensure their kids are well protected in what will undoubtedly be the school-run motor. The car is constructed using Mitsubishi’s ‘RISE’ safety body design – Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution – and involves the use of an extraordinarily strong monocoque structure made from ultra-high tensile steel. The body is designed to ensure maximum crash protection from all angles and directs impact forces away from you, your passengers, and the car’s extremities. Because the Mirage is so new it doesn’t have a Euro NCAP rating yet, but impact testing in Japan shows the car has the highest collision safety among its class.
The Mirage comes in three trim levels – imaginatively named 1, 2 and 3 – and is powered by lightweight and compact petrol engines capable of 106 -112mph. In the UK there are two alternatives: a thrifty, 1.0-litre on Mirage 1; and a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine for Mirages 2 & 3. Auto Stop & Go for extra fuel efficiency is fitted to the 1.2-litre engine. The Mirage 1, 2 and 3 are available with a five-speed manual transmission while a CVT auto option is offered on the top-specification Mirage 3.
In addition to auto stop & go; a regenerative braking system; a high-efficiency alternator; intelligent battery sensor and 165/65R14 low-friction tyres, the Mirage has an ‘Eco Drive Assist’ display in the instrument cluster which gives an indication of how economically you are driving. This all helps to ensure a possible 60+mpg across the range.
Vitally, the Mirage is the only model on sale in the UK where every car in the line-up emits 100g/km CO2 or less, meaning no road tax or London Congestion Charge. Priced between £8999 and £12999 the Mirage forms part of a major product offensive that will undoubtedly see the Mitsubishi line-up go from strength-to-strength in 2013.