Top-rated fuel economy, sporty styling, fun to drive and a remarkably low starting price of $12,995, what’s not to love about the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage?
Its EPA fuel mileage rating of up to 37 mpg city/44 mpg highway/40 mpg combined makes it the newest member of the 40 Plus club of non-hybrid vehicles offering better than 40mpg. That’s best fuel economy for a non-hybrid in the USA, comparable to the Prius V hybrid and the Ford C-Max hybrid, both of which are larger than the Mirage. No wonder the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACCEE) added the Mirage to its coveted Greenest Vehicles list.
Price and features make it an ideal choice for first-time drivers, retirees, short-hop urban dwellers who live and work in the city where a small car offers bigger parking choices, or those with marathon commutes.
Three-Cylinder Engine: Efficiently Capable
Beneath the hood of every 2015 Mirage is a fuel-sipping 1.2-liter 3-cylinder DOHC engine with the latest version of Mitsubishi’s variable valve-timing system that maximizes fuel efficiency and power output while minimizing exhaust emissions. This tiny powerplant produces 74 bhp at 6000 rpm and a full 74 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. And there’s a choice of 5-speed manual or a high-tech continuously-variable transmission (CVT).
The EPA-rated fuel economy for the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage CVT is 44/37/40, while the fuel economy for the manual is a few miles per gallon less, at 42/34/3740 mpg.
Along with the fuel-sipping drivetrain, additional fuel efficiency is gained through the use of an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system and a helpful ECO indicator light that illuminates to signal you when you are achieving what Mitsubishi describes as “exemplary fuel economy”. Several other manufacturers also offer this feature, including Ford on its EcoBoost engines, and Toyota.
2015 Mitsubishi Mirage features
A nice addition is a new pollen filter to improve interior air quality, plus there are handy storage compartments, a generous 17.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume, and a tight turning radius of just 15.1 feet.
The basic model DE incudles a four-speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB input; automatic climate control; upscale-looking high-gloss piano black center console trim; stylish rear spoiler; keyless entry with panic alarm; tilt steering; power windows with driver’s side auto-up/down; variable intermittent wipers; convenient split folding rear seat; rear seat heater ducts; body-colored power side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle; plus many other welcome features.
For $1,300 more, the 2015 Mirage ES trim level adds on Bluetooth hands-free phone system; One-Touch Start/Stop engine switch; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; advanced key passive entry; cruise control; 14-in. aluminum alloy wheels; fog lights; and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Additional amenity and accessory upgrade packages include LED lights, front and rear park assist, and a Navigation Package with SD Card-based navigation system and rearview camera (the latter package available exclusively on the Mirage ES model).
Safety Features and Vehicle Warranty
Every 2015 Mirage is equipped with safety features including dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver’s knee air bag that’s unusual in vehicles in this price range, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL). Mirage models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) also include Hill Start Assist (HSA).
Another important and welcome safety technology is a brake override system, also rarely found in vehicles in this price range. If you depress both brake and accelerator pedals at the same time while the vehicle is moving, the engine ECU will override the accelerator’s input and give priority to the brakes. It’s a fail-safe function that greatly reduces the risk of an unintended acceleration.
Additional protection is via Mitsubishi’s impact-absorbing safety cell technology, which dissipates kinetic energy away from the driver and passengers, helping to lessen injury in the event of a crash.
And speaking of protection, the 2015 Mirage offers one of the best protection plans in the entire auto industry. It’s a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty; and 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.
ecoXplorer bottom line:
Even fully loaded with all the bells and whistles, the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage still comes in under $20,000.
Definitely worth checking out with a test drive.
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