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STYLING | 6 out of 10
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The Car Connection
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is not a car you’ll stop and gape at on the street. Its rounded shape, especially at the front, is bland to the point of invisibility. Like Mitsubishi’s much larger Outlander mid-size utility vehicle, the Mirage has a rounded nose with a slit-like grille and swept-back headlamps that conveys almost no personality at all. Perhaps the only unusual features at the front are a pair of canards, small wing-like protrusions toward the corners of the front apron.
The roof and upper body of the five-door hatchback narrow slightly toward the rear, in which the company calls a teardrop shape. The back of the car has a hint of last-generation Nissan Versa to the hatch shape and rear lights. Like most such cars, the Mirage is tall for its length, and the small 165/65 tires on 14-inch wheels look much too small for the car. The front wheels are also set deep into the wheelwells, which exacerbates their small size.
It’s all in the service of aerodynamics, and what Mitsubishi’s stylists have sacrificed in distinctive looks has gone to the service of low wind resistance. The company says the 2014 Mirage’s drag coefficient is a remarkable 0.28, which is not only low on an absolute scale but more laudable yet for such a small vehicle.
Inside, the Mirage is straightforward if plain. Seat upholstery is black cloth with purple threads forming a fine-grained check pattern (it’s more attractive than it sounds). Every interior surface is covered in hard plastic, without soft-touch materials even on the door arm-rests. But the textures are good enough that the interior doesn’t feel cheaper than you’d expect in a car with a $13,000 base price.
The gauge cluster is simple—a large speedometer, a small tachometer, and a gas gauge are the dominant elements—and knobs and switches for the automatic climate control and audio system are large and relatively intuitive. The console isn’t large, but it includes two cupholders and a small tray for oddments.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is almost the generic small car inside and out; neither ugly nor stunning, it's almost invisible.