2014 Mitsubishi

37 city / 44 hwy
1.2L, 3-cyl, 74 hp

The subcompact 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage gives great gas mileage at a low price — but if you want to motor cheap, you must be willing to compromise.

By Aaron Gold


The Mirage is Mitsubishi’s newest and most affordable car, and when Mitsubishi says affordable, they aren’t kidding. The 2014 Mirage has a low price, lots of standard equipment, a long warranty, and is designed for great gas mileage. But those low running costs come with a high price to pay in terms of acceleration, ride and handling.

Ten things to know about the 2014 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE


The Mirage’s claim to fame is that it’s the most fuel-efficient car on the market excluding hybrids, diesels and electrics. EPA estimates are 37 MPG city/44 MPG highway with an automatic transmission and 32/42 with a stick-shift, and we easily achieved mid-40s in mixed driving.


Credit for the Mirage’s fuel economy goes to its light weight (about one ton), slick aerodynamics, and miniscule engine — a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder that develops just 74 horsepower. (Must subcompacts use 4-cylinder engines that put out 100 hp or more.)


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage was shaped purely for aerodynamics, which explains the dull styling. Mitsubishi spruces it up with bright paint colors, including jade green, electric blue, arrest-me red and a purple. (Does purple even need an adjective? Of course not, it’s purple.) For those with more conservative tastes, you can also get it in black, white, silver and gray.


There’s a trade off for that fuel economy: The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is noisy and slow. Very slow. Excruciatingly slow. The Mirage feels scooty enough in town, but merging onto the freeway is not for the faint of heart, and passing on a two-lane road requires a guardian angel and a suicide note. Equipped with a manual transmission, the Mirage is a tad quicker — or perhaps we should say a tad less slow — but with so little engine power, it can be tricky to get it moving without stalling.


Ride and handling are a bit of a mess. Most cars are tuned for individual countries, but Mirages sold in the US get the same suspension setup as developing countries like Thailand (where the Mirage is built) and India. The ride is comfortable on smooth pavement, but it crashes noisily over bumps, heels over like a sailboat in turns and its skinny tires don’t provide much grip on the pavement in panic swerves.


The interior is not bad for such an inexpensive car; the dash is well laid out and made of decent materials, but some bits of the interior (most notably the door panels) feel chintzy and cheap.


Front seats are fine for short drivers but lack thigh support for those over 5’4″, and the back seat is reasonably roomy but unsupportive. The trunk is sized for groceries and gym bags. You’ll need to fold down the back seat for suitcases.


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has seven standard airbags, including one for the driver’s knees. Crash tests had not been performed at the time of writing, but Mitsubishi’s other recent designs have an excellent track record. Still, the Mirage’s small size is bound to be a problem — most compact cars outweigh the Mirage by 500 lbs or more.


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is covered by an epic warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles on the entire car and 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain (engine, transmission, and the bits that make the wheels go ’round). Mitsubishi has designed the car for easy collision repair, which should keep insurance costs down.


Other cars to consider: The 2014 Chevrolet Spark offers more standard equipment and a better driving experience, but the back seat is tighter. The 2014 Nissan Versa offers family-friendly space at a lower price, but it’s sparsely equipped compared to the Mirage.

Pricing and Trim Levels

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

Mirage DE: $13,790 (including $795 destination charge). Manual transmission. Includes air conditioning with automatic temperature control, power windows, locks and mirrors, power steering, remote locking, USB-compatible stereo. With automatic transmission, add $1,000.

Mirage ES: $14,990. Manual transmission. Adds alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth, keyless push-button ignition, fog lights, and nicer cabin trim. Automatic transmission, add $1,000; navigation/backup camera, add $900.
2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Final Thoughts

The Mirage's cheap price and good gas mileage are certainly noteworthy, but it accelerates like a glacier and handles like a car from the 1980s, and driving it is not for the faint of heart. The Mirage is an okay choice for urban and suburban driving, but for high speeds and long trips, you'll want something a bit more substantial.

Low price, amazing fuel economy.

Lots of standard equipment, bright color palette.

Agonizingly slow, obnoxiously noisy, third-world driving experience.

Fuel Economy

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One Response to “Mitsubishi Mirage”

  1. Justin says:

    My mom was looking into getting one of these. If it’s just a getting around town vehicle I think it’d be a decent choice.

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