For 2019, Mitsubishi’s Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan offer basic transportation to those on a tight budget. Fuel economy is impressive, but acceleration, smoothness of operation and adept handling didn’t make the standard-equipment list. For the same money, buyers can shop a Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa or Toyota Yaris and get a much better car.
You'll Like The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage If...
If you’re not worried about tepid acceleration and passing power, advanced safety equipment or the sedan’s fixed rear seatback, the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage offers efficient, affordable transportation at a really good price.
You May Not Like The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage If...
If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable hatchback, you’ll be happier in a Nissan Versa Note, Honda Fit or Chevrolet Sonic. If your budget is locked in the $15,000 range, consider a better-equipped used car like a Mazda3, Nissan Sentra or Chevrolet Cruze.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage ES gains cruise control and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, while the Mirage hatchback offers a new Limited Edition package on the ES trim. A new LE trim is added to the hatchback lineup featuring red interior accents, black side mirrors and 15-inch black alloy wheels.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage comes with a 7-inch touch-screen audio system, rearview camera and conveniently located USB port. Sadly, soft-touch surfaces aren’t among the positive, and the Mirage offers no padded elbow rest, although it does offer a driver’s-side center armrest. The supportive seat padding and cloth suggest comfort, and the seat heaters are remarkably efficient. A height-adjustable driver’s seat helps improve overall driving comfort, but it can still be hard to actually get comfortable on long trips. And there are cheap touches everywhere, like the lack of a passenger armrest, only a single USB port and numerous small defects and misaligned trim pieces.
While we wouldn't call the 2019 Mirage ugly, it doesn't benefit from the cutesy charm of some other jelly-bean-like subcompacts. The hatchback and sedan feature a large chrome grille with a handsomely detailed lower bumper. The trunk gives the little car a more mature persona, and while it offers decent cargo space, the rear seats don't fold down as they do in the hatch, although there is a pass-through for longer objects. The Mirage G4 is available in a few eye-catching colors, such as bright orange Infrared, or the purplish Wine Red of our test car.
During our time in the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan, we found the driving experience to be pleasant, but nothing special. The ride is smooth, the brakes quick to action and the CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) more than capable of the job assigned it. However, once the road begins to twist and turn, you’ll discover the Mirage’s weakness: steering response. The on-center feel is so vague our editors found the need to manually return the steering wheel to the center position or risk drifting off in whichever direction the wheels were last pointed. The Mirage will lean noticeably when pushed into curves, and the suspension can get bouncy over uneven pavement. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration, and we use that term loosely, takes nearly 13 seconds. Any sense of urgency requires the accelerator pedal pegged to the floor at all times, resulting in a rather obnoxious sound from the 78-horsepower, 3-cylinder engine. The trade-off for this tepid performance is fuel-economy that's near the top of the segment, with an estimated 41-mpg highway in the sedan and 43 mpg in the hatchback, both with the CVT transmission.
The lowest Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on a 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is on the ES hatchback, which starts at about $14,740 including the $945 destination charge. The automatic transmission adds $1,200 to that price. The G4 sedan starts at about $15,740 with a manual. A fully equipped Mirage G4 SE is automatic-only and starts at a little below $18,440. While those prices are low, they're also not much better than a variety of competitors, like the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit. No matter what you decide, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid; it's a good chance it's well below sticker. As for resale, the Mirage is not expected to hold its value particularly well.
The base Mitsubishi Mirage G4 ES for 2019 comes with air conditioning, tilt (but not telescoping) steering wheel with controls for audio and Bluetooth, and power windows, doors and mirrors. Also standard is keyless entry with an alarm, cruise control, height-adjustable driver’s seat, a USB port, and a 4-speaker touch-screen audio system with rearview camera. It's a little sparse, but not surprising considering the low base price. Safety features include hill-start assist, seven standard airbags, including a driver's-side knee airbag, and stability control. That of course is on top of the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine, which in base models is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.
Foremost among the options is the automatic transmission, which we recommend since the manual is hardly the best. Most options are available as standard equipment in the higher-level SE trim on sedans, or GT on the hatchback. They include push-button ignition and entry, and the upgraded audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Automatic climate control is also part of the upgraded models, but curiously a stand-alone navigation system isn't available; presumably Mitsubishi has decided whatever smartphone you're using will suffice.
APPLE CARPLAY/ANDROID AUTO
Technology has always been a Mitsubishi strong suit, so we’re glad to see that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have made their way to the Mirage’s available equipment list. Are you listening, Toyota?
Taking a page from the Hyundai/Kia playbook, Mitsubishi places a standard 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on every 2019 Mirage. That’s added peace of mind for a car yet to establish a long-term reliability history.
Under the Hood
Power for the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4 comes from a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine capable of just 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. This engine is both noisy and full of vibration, making it somewhat of an irritant at high speeds. Paired with a rubbery 5-speed manual, the Mirage attains fairly decent fuel-economy estimates that go even higher when equipped with the CVT automatic.
78 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
74 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 33/40 mpg (manual, sedan) 33/41 mpg (manual, hatchback), 35/41 mpg (automatic, sedan), 36/43 mpg (automatic, hatchback)
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan are a bit of a head-scratcher. The same company that brings us the excellent Outlander and Eclipse Cross inexplicably continues to tout a car that simply can’t compete with rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio and Nissan Versa. From its hard-plastic interior to its anemic 3-cylinder engine, the Mirage just seems to fall short of the segment’s best. For those undeterred, the 2019 Mirage can lay claim to a comfortable ride, good fuel economy, a large trunk, an attractive price with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty plus available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, advanced driver assists found standard on the Toyota Yaris are nowhere to be found in Mitsubishi’s smallest offering.