It seems that, for the most part, the segment which does the best sales-wise is unsurprisingly the one appealing to those with tight wallets, which is the small car A to B segment and, because of this, every manufacturer wants to and offers a vehicle to appeal to said market.
When Mitsubishi introduced the fun little Mirage at last years’ Johannesburg International Motor Show, South African’s were eager for Mitsubishi to give it’s Mirage competitors a run for their money. In this segment we see the likes of the Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Sonic raising their eyebrows on either side of the pricing bracket, with the Mirage sitting comfortably between them, offering the Mitsubishi brand a fair and decent option when looking for an affordable little hatch.
Our time spent with the Mitsubishi Mirage saw a lot of open road travelling, which was a good test to gauge a vehicle mostly intended for city driving. On long, winding roads with hills to challenge you, overtaking is a bit of a push but, then again, you only have 57kW to work with and that power is best utilized downhill and with the air-conditioning off. In the case of the Mirage, keep in mind that going anywhere is a marathon, not necessarily a sprint.
The drive is a little noisy from about 100km/h upward, and handling is surprisingly wallowy for a vehicle of this size, but this is due to the fact that Mitsubishi have tried to keep the weight of the vehicle as low as possible at a mere 825kg’s. This means that, even though you have a relatively small turning circle, as you would with any little hatch, you may not want to really throw the Mirage into a sharp bend for fear of, well, ‘coming unstuck’.
However, you can’t snub it for the fact that even though Mitsubishi claim low fuel consumption numbers of 4.9l/100km, we saw a small click just under that at one point as it sat on 4.8l/100km – not a huge difference, but it can be done if one is patient and conservative through gear changes. On average though, we comfortably sat at around the 5.6l/100km mark, which is still fantastic no matter which way you look at it. It will make all those who shop around with making every cent count in mind, the happiest.
However, I would definitely say this vehicle is the perfect every day runaround for a college student who has a busy social life and is constantly on the go. The fact that it’s a small car means that rear seated passengers don’t have all that much leg room, but a few adjustments to the front seats and a quick trip down the road wont prove impossibly uncomfortable for them.
A group of youngsters will enjoy the Mirage for its not-at-all- terribly sound system, which is kitted out to offer to play your tunes via the radio, CD and USB (USB available only in the GLS and GLX models).
Another cool feature is that, at this price, the Mirage GLS has keyless entry which locks and unlocks from about 70cm in distance from the car; a fun little party trick.
Other features are your standard air-conditioning, electric windows, power steering, fog lights, ABS, EBD, central locking, keyless operating system, ISO-FIX child seat anchors, front dual airbags and Mitsubishi’s very own Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE), which is Mitsubishi’s patented safety body construction system. This combines an energy-absorbing front and rear section with a strong, rigid occupant cell to provide protection in the event of an accident.
The Mirage is a cool little city-oriented vehicle which is incredibly light on fuel, ideal for city driving and is priced well at R 144 900.
We enjoyed it for the market it’s aimed at, despite spending about 80% of the time on long, open roads, and it’s a great option to consider if you’re already looking at the likes of its competitors.
Mitsubishi offer a 3year/100 000km Manufacturer’s Warranty, a 2 Year/30 000km Service Plan and all this with service intervals every 15 000km or 12 months.
Visit www.mitsubishi-motors.co.za for further information.