Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the Mitsubishi Mirage Sedan.
Priced from $14,990, the Mitsubishi Mirage sedan might just be the best value car the market in Australia. Sharp pricing though is only one element.
While there is plenty of competition in this segment of the market, the bigger question is whether we can justify recommending that you stretch to the sedan over the hatch.
As such, the Mirage sedan is 535mm longer, 5mm wider and 15mm taller than the hatch, measuring 4245mm long, 1670mm wide and 1515mm tall. It also gains an extra 100mm between the front and rear wheels (now 2550mm) which is said to improve the amount of space inside.
Some of the notable standard features include six air-bags, climate control air conditioning, remote central locking and push button start with smart key, auto headlights and wipers, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming and steering wheel mounted audio/phone controls.
There’s also a leather trimmed steering wheel and privacy glass.
As with the hatch, Mirage sedan is powered by a willing little 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine, which churns out 57kW and 100Nm. The ADR fuel claim is a scant 4.9 litres/100km.
Styling is in the eye of the beholder and the Mirage sedan isn’t exactly pretty. This segment is about value more than anything though, so saving money might be a whole lot more attractive to potential buyers than worrying about a style line or design feature.
Cheap, comfortable, nimble, efficient, with light steering, easy to park, tight turning circle and a modicum of driving fun – these requirements sum up the brief for this ideal city car.
Hit the starter button, and the Mirage barks into life and settles into a slightly lumpy idle. It’s not offensive though by any means and in reality, it’s this uneven tempo that gives the three-cylinder some of its charm.
The CVT works well with the engine at city speeds, and while the Mirage sedan is no racing car, it gets off the mark quickly enough, gets up to speed easily, and holds that speed without having to be worked too hard.
The auto undeniably dulls some of the tiny engine’s performance, but the payoff with the self-shifter comes the minute you’re stuck in traffic.
A quick trip down the freeway indicated that the Mirage can easily handle 110km/h, although if your commute sees you negotiating the freeway both ways each day, you should note that cruise control isn’t available on any model. That said, the Mirage is easily up to it, which is a handy insight to have in your back pocket.
Road and wind noise is kept to a minimum too, which indicates just enough insulation and sound deadening not to impede on overall weight.
It responds to the city commute comfortably and without getting unsettled, the lightweight steering especially making tight streets and sharp corners a pleasure.
The longer wheelbase and revised suspension make the sedan more competent and comfortable than the hatch. Three point turns are reserved for only the narrowest of laneways, thanks to the impressive turning circle.
The cabin is comfortable, airy and a whole lot more spacious than you might expect. The rear seat space is good for a car in its class, and there’s excellent visibility from behind the wheel too.
Reverse parking the Mirage is as easy as pie thanks in no small part to the steering, but also the large side mirrors – and despite the fact reversing sensors or a rear-view camera are unavailable on any Mirage sedan variant visibility is excellent both front and rear.
You sit ‘on’ the seat more than ‘in’ it, but both front seats are still comfortable. There’s plenty of headroom too, which means you never feel claustrophobic.
Climate control is a bonus at this end of the market and running the air-conditioner doesn’t tax the engine too much either.
The boot is a luxury previous city car owners would never have dared to dream about. It’s big enough to handle every daily chore and the occasional run to the airport loaded with a few suitcases if need be.
At 450 litres, the sedan’s boot is 215 litres larger than the hatch.
The Mitsubishi Mirage range comes with a full five star ANCAP safety rating.
In summary, the Mirage is a value buy that offers enough ability to handle more than just the city commute.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.2 litre petrol producing 57kW and 100Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $14,990