The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT offers exceptional fuel efficiency and affordable pricing in a compact hatchback that’s perfect for city dwellers. No one wants to drive a giant SUV through narrow city streets and parking one is even more of a nightmare. The Mirage takes care of those problems, but that doesn’t make it a perfect car.
Let’s start with the good. The base Mirage ES with a manual transmission comes in at $12,995. Add in the automatic transmission and it’s still an affordable $14,195. This puts it in reach of buyers on a budget. Our tester was the top tier Mirage GT with a price of $17,330. That’s still an affordable price point for this little 5-person hatchback.
The infotainment system on the GT includes a 6.5-inch display with AM/FM/CD/MP3, 4 speakers, USB port, Bluetooth hands-free, and steering wheel audio controls. It also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless smartphone connectivity.
Seating is comfortable up front with plenty of leg and headroom, but the rear seats don’t match up. Legroom is short and seating is stiff. Although 3 passengers can fit back there, it’s really a 2-person space unless you’re ready to snuggle up and get to know each other better. There’s also 17.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind those rear seats or 47.0 cubic feet if you fold the seats flat.
Adding to the Mirage’s affordability is its fuel efficiency. The Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid you can buy in the United States. It gets an estimated 37 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Those are impressive numbers.
Power comes from a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine with 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. Those are not impressive numbers and you’ll notice the minute you start to drive. Pedal mashing becomes a way of life as you try to coax out every last ounce of power for merging into highway traffic. Passing is even more of a challenge.
A manual is available in the ES and SE trims, but the GT comes only with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and it is loud. It doesn’t matter whether you’re gently driving away from a stop light or pushing the Mirage to tackle a steep hill, the CVT announces its presence to you and anyone who happens to be standing nearby.
This is the big tradeoff that buyers have to consider. The Mirage is an affordable hatchback with good cargo room, a comfortable though Spartan interior, and fantastic fuel economy. What it isn’t is fun to drive due to its small engine and loud CVT.
The sacrifice isn’t so bad if you’re generally zipping around town on short trips, but for those with a long commutes or plans for road trips, consider carefully. The Mirage GT isn’t the car for driving enthusiasts, but it’s a good choice for city dwellers looking for an affordable, fuel-efficient hatchback.