Mirage 3 1.2 CVT
and streamlined is as good
a way to go as any if, that is,
youre aiming for maximum miles
per gallon. So if economy is your
passion, then say konnichiwa!
to Mitsubishis new Mirage...
NEW MIRAGE FIVE-DOOR SUPERMINI STEPS NEATLY into the Mitsubishi Colt's shoes
which it replaces and it sips fuel with the best
of them. In fact, the Mirage is the lightest, most aerodynamic and most efficient
petrol-powered five-door hatchback range on the market but then
you'd expect good aerodynamics of something named after a military fighter plane.
It's also the only model in the UK today to offer 100g/km of CO2 or less across
the whole line-up, which means zero road tax and no London Congestion Charge.
Fuel economy across the range is between 67.3 and 68.9mpg (official combined
Powering the Mirage is a new generation of lightweight petrol engines. UK customers
have two choices: a three-cylinder 69bhp 1.0-litre (grade '1' trim only); or
a 1.2-litre three-pot engine that powers the rest of the range ('2' and '3'
spec cars). The 79bhp 1,193cc models get Stop & Go as standard. All engines
come mated to a five-speed stick shift while the top-spec Mirage offers the
option of a CVT automatic transmission, which is what we've been road testing
this past week.
consequence of its aerodynamic-led looks is that body sculpting is there primarily
for function hence the minimal letterbox slit of a front grille and the
oversize rear roof spoiler that's been wind tunnel-optimised.
One consequence of
its aerodynamic-led looks
is that body sculpting is
there primarily for
function hence the
minimal letterbox slit of
a front grille and the
oversize rear roof spoiler
thats been wind tunnel-
However, our test car came in a can't-miss-me metallic 'Pop Green' that more
than made up for its wind-cheatingly clean-cut body styling.
Inside it's also clean-cut. The dash doesn't protrude into the cabin, meaning
more room for passengers. An equally neat and orderly centre panel with a high-gloss
piano-black finish houses the straightforward controls for the audio and AirCon
(which does a refreshing icy cold).
Unlike many, the Mirage's glovebox opens wide enough for easy access, but not
so low that your stuff spills out. Other storage is provided by three dual-use
cup-holders and okay-size door pockets with bottle-holders.
The seats, upholstered in a dark purple-and-black patterned fabric with metallic
highlights that actually looks rather good, are deceptive: they might look simple
but are well-shaped with enough, but not too much, bolstering and built-in lower
back support to keep you comfortable. And climbing in and out of them is easy.
The driving position is very good even though the nice-to-hold three-spoke leather-rimmed
wheel only adjusts for height. Seat base height adjustment and adjustable front
belts ensure the driver is sitting comfortably before driving off. Shin room
is equally good, with a comfy rest for your left foot; and there's plenty of
space for big feet in the two-pedal footwell.
Visibility is fine all round so placing the Mirage in traffic or when parking
in tight spaces is no hard-to-master trick and a best-in-class turning
circle gives you the same edge enjoyed by London's Black Cabs.
Range-topping '3' trim models come with four electric windows (the driver gets
one-shot up/down operation), radio/CD & USB, privacy glass, auto lights
and rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable door mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering
wheel, keyless operation (entry, start, and locking), push-button engine start,
auto AirCon (with pollen filter), front and rear parking sensors, and Stop &
Go. A set of 7-bar, 14-inch alloy wheels shod with 165/65 low-friction tyres
is also standard.
equipment includes six airbags, Active Stability Control with Traction Control,
ABS with EBD Brake Assist, Emergency Stop System and daytime running lights.
Small cars can be pretty
wide of the mark
when it comes to ride
quality but Mitsubishi
has got the Mirage fettled
about right given its
likely usage it does a
good job of smoothing
out the lumps and bumps
without derailing the
the front cabin accommodates two, the rear compartment goes one better
three can travel side-by-side on the plain-looking but comfortable rear bench
although two adults would be happier with no third party between them. There's
ample headroom and legroom for a near-six-footer sitting behind another near-six-footer.
Luggage-wise there's a reasonable 235 litres for shopping or luggage with passengers
travelling in the back, but fold the rear seatbacks and that goes up to 910
The seatbacks don't fold totally flat but flat enough to make it a working cargo-carrier
when needed. There's about a seven-inch drop down to the boot floor but the
loading sill is not that high, and when the seatbacks are folded there's a small
step-up from the boot floor but nothing that should be a problem Mirage
owners are unlikely to be carting around washing machines. A tyre repair kit
under the boot floor.
Keys in your pocket or bag, press the button on the door to unlock and climb
aboard (both front doors and the tailgate work the same way); finger the start
button and the 1.2 fires up cleanly. On the move the Mirage's no slowcoach
in fact in CVT guise its 0-62mph time of 12.8 seconds feels agreeably sprightly.
Drive it hard and you'll find it has an eager-to-please nature with a typical
three-pot signature engine note likeably thrummy! The CVT transmission
offers a Sport mode (flick the selector lever half-an-inch sideways to the left)
that really keeps it on the boil and is surprisingly effective when cutting
along winding secondary roads.
On motorways its wind-tunnel-sculpted 'skin' keeps noise down and economy up
and ensures it doesn't feel out of its depth at the legal limit; in fact it
feels reassuringly stable remember, it only weighs-in with a light 865kg
Talking of the CVT... it's a nice fluent transmission that changes seamlessly
and, really, you don't even notice it going about its business. Just how a good
auto should be. The Stop-Start is well integrated and while you can turn it
off, there's absolutely no reason to.
for the CVT option won't harm your running costs either: emissions are 95g/km
with an official combined 68.9mpg (urban 61.4 and extra-urban 74.3) better
than the 1.2 manual version's 100g/km and combined 65.7mpg. And, yippee!,
no forking out for road tax.
We drove our CVT
Mirage pretty hard and
still recorded an overall
average of 50.6mpg.
Pretty good for a petrol
engine particularly a 1.2-litre...
In everyday driving you wouldn't expect to match those figures, but we drove
our CVT Mirage pretty hard and still recorded an overall average of 50.6mpg.
Very impressive for a petrol engine, particularly a 1.2-litre.
you're trying your best to be economical, the third dial in the dash is there
to help: it's an eco-meter that lights between one and three green bars depending
on how light-footed you're being; keep the throttle close to the floor and you'll
be red-flagged but in the nicest possible way. But it's not annoying or intrusive;
just keeps you in the picture.
cars can be pretty wide of the mark when it comes to ride quality but Mitsubishi
has got the Mirage fettled about right given its likely usage it does
a good job of smoothing out the lumps and bumps without derailing the handling.
The steering is fit for purpose and when you brake you stop without any drama.
The Mirage's mission statement is to keep things comfy and economical. Mission
Mitsubishi Mirage 3 1.2 CVT
Top speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 12.8 seconds | Average Test MPG: 50.6mpg
Power: 79bhp | Torque: 78lb ft | CO2 95g/km