2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
February 26, 2019

Buying tip

With gas cheap and SUVs selling like hotcakes, the slow-selling Mitsubishi Mirage should be often discounted.

features & specs

ES Manual
36 city / 43 hwy
33 city / 41 hwy
36 city / 43 hwy

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage challenges the assumption that there are no bad new cars anymore.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact car that prioritizes high fuel economy, a good factory warranty, and a low base price over comfort.

It’s offered in hatchback and G4 sedan bodies, and is available in base ES, SE, and GT trims. We’ve given the Mirage 3.3 out of 10, one of our lowest ratings for any new car. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2019 Mirage ranks below average in styling, performance, comfort, safety, and features, which makes a better case for like-priced used cars. Anemic performance from its pint-size 3-cylinder engine, dreary styling, poor material quality, and an excessive amount of road noise at highway speeds make the Mirage feel like a new car from 30 years ago. Hey, at least it has that new car smell and it’s thrifty on gas.

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For 2019, the Mirage and G4 gain a few visual updates such as a Limited Edition package and 15-inch black alloy wheels, heated front seats, and red accents on the LE trim, as well as standard cruise control and driver seat height adjustment, features we’ve largely taken for granted in other new cars.

While there’s something to be said for minimalism, the Mitsubishi Mirage takes things to extremes, and it doesn’t pay off.


2019 Mitsubishi Mirage


The best things we can say about the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is that it isn’t offensively ugly and that it comes in bright, attention-grabbing colors.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is a subcompact economy car distilled to its purest form: a tall box on tiny wheels that has more space inside than you’d expect. That’s being fairly kind to the styling, which is forgettable to say the least. We’ve given it 3 out of 10 accordingly. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2019 Mirage received a new front end with an actual grille two years ago, so it looks less like a generic toy car than it did. All around, though, this car has styling cues at least a decade old, and its competitors are more exciting to look at, especially when it comes to the ungainly G4 sedan model. The hatchback’s longer roof gives it better proportions than the three-box Mirage G4 sedan.

The base ES has 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, while 15-inch alloys are standard on higher trims. For 2019, a Special Edition package adds a bit more visual flair, as well as the option for black alloy wheels paired with red stitching inside.

Speaking of the interior, hard plastics abound and there was almost no effort made to hide this car’s humble price point. The best thing we can say is that it’s all simple to look at and use, and would be refreshingly minimalist if the material quality wasn’t so brazenly poor.

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2019 Mitsubishi Mirage


What performance? The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is unpleasant on the highway and little better around town.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage makes driving a chore, both at city speeds and on the highway thanks to questionable handling,dreadful acceleration, a choppy ride, and lackluster noise isolation. We’ve given it 1 out of 10 for performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Every 2019 Mirage has a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder that makes 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque, the lowest of any new vehicle sold in the U.S.

A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard. It’s no fun to use, though.  A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a $1,200 option and it provides better fuel economy than the manual. Acceleration is dreadful either way.

The Mirage’s tiny footprint makes for a low weight and tight turning circle as well as good braking performance, but the lack of confidence we have driving it on the highway erases any praise we might have for it.

At speeds above 60 mph, the overworked 3-cylinder screams to keep up with traffic. Minimal sound deadening coupled with small tires and a light weight make the Mirage tedious to drive on the highway. It struggles on hills and when asked to pass another vehicle, and the suspension makes the ride quality bumpy and inconsistent.

Normally, a subcompact car’s city driving characteristics or tight handling make up for poor highway manners. That’s not the case with the Mirage.

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2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage makes decent use of its interior space, but everything else about the interior suggests the owner pinched pennies as much as possible.

There’s often beauty in simplicity, but the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage proves that there can be ugliness in it too. A surprisingly spacious interior and simple layout are worth noting, however, so we’ve awarded it 3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Mirage’s front seats are reasonably comfortable and well-bolstered, and now include height adjustment on the driver’s side. Rear-seat passengers will not be happy, though.While there’s some space for average adults, the rear seat is thin and flat, making for an uncomfortable experience.

Hard plastic trim covers every surface, and the Mirage has the feel of an economy car from nearly 30 years ago, with no armrest for the driver or bin between the seats. Cargo space is generous though at 17.2 cubic feet for the hatchback and 47.0 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. If for some reason you opt for the sedan, note that the trunk only fits 12.3 cubes.

The Mirage is loud, crass, and jumpy with the engine at full blast and the suspension booms into the cabin as it struggles to deal with road imperfection.

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2019 Mitsubishi Mirage


The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage gets middling crash test scores and offers no active safety technology to speak of.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage received below average crash test scores from federal and independent  testers and it lacks the advanced safety tech we’ve come to expect We’ve given it 2 out of 10, dialing points back from average for its poor ratings and for its lack of active safety tech. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The NHTSA gives the Mirage hatchback four stars overall in most categories, but the sedan version hasn’t been rated. The IIHS, on the other hand, gives both the sedan and hatchback “Good” ratings in many tests, minus driver small front overlap on both models which receives a “Marginal” score, and an “Acceptable” rating for the sedan’s side crash test.

No trim level or body style of the Mirage offers any active safety features. That wasn’t uncommon among subcompact economy cars until recently, but Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota include tech such as automatic emergency braking on more subcompact cars every year.


2019 Mitsubishi Mirage


No matter how much you spend, the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage delivers little more than basic motoring.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage does offer some features on its higher trim levels, but not enough to make the increase in price worth it. We’ve given it 4 out of 10 for features overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The base ES trim is as spartan as a new car can be, with a manual transmission, cloth seats, and the addition of cruise control and height adjustment for the driver’s seat this year. All versions of the Mirage come standard with a 6.5-inch display audio head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth and a backup camera, a nice surprise at this price point.

Stepping up to the LE trim yields the option for a new Special Edition trim, and adds seats with red accents, red interior panels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and some new exterior trim.

The SE trim has keyless entry and push-button start as well as fog lamps, and the top-tier GT trim adds automatic headlights, heated front seats, and 15-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

Mitsubishi does offer a decent warranty on the Mirage: 5 years or 60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain.

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2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage boasts excellent fuel economy thanks to its tiny engine.

If the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage has one redeeming quality, it’s excellent fuel economy from its thrifty engine. Its good numbers warrant 7 out of 10 points on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The most miserly version of the Mirage is the hatchback version with the CVT, which manages 36 mpg in the city, 43 on the highway, and 39 combined. The manual transmission version drops those figures slightly to 33/41/36 mpg.

As for the G4 sedan, CVT models manage 35/41/37 mpg and manual models get 33/40/35. If fuel economy is your only concern, hybrids come in at 45 mpg or higher combined, but they cost a lot more to begin with.

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Styling 3
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