Basic transportation refined for our times. That’s the ticket.
My tester was the 2017 Mirage GT five-door hatchback, and the sticker numbers that draw your attention right off the bat are: 37 miles per gallon in the city and 43 mpg on the highway.
Yes, that will put a smile on your face. So will a starting price of $16,495.
Naturally, there are some sacrifices to be made to match those numbers.
The power plant is a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder creation rated at 78 horsepower, which is actually up 4 horses from the 2016 model.
Be advised: You really have to mash your right foot down hard to get rolling into the freeway traffic, and the three-cylinder engine will make a hair-raising amount of noise when asked to give its all.
The other side of the coin: This econo-liner is not stripped, and it looks good.
Standard features on the tester included a rear spoiler, a front seat heater, steering wheel-mounted controls for cruise/audio and fog lights.
Best of all, the look has changed for the better … much better, in my view.
Mitsubishi redesigned the hood, grille, front/rear bumpers, headlamps and wheels (15-inch, two-tone alloys on the tester). The result is a cleaner, more-aerodynamic appearance.
The automaker also offers a lengthy list of entertainment and tech options, the better to dress up your Mirage to your liking.
My GT was nimble in downtown traffic, a plus in a driving environment where too many drivers make sudden, unexpected moves in an all-out effort to dent your bumpers. Another downtown bonus: The tester was a snap to park in even the tightest urban lots. And the brakes were surprisingly grippy.
This being a Mitsubishi model, the consumer protections are outstanding – 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, 5-year/60,000 new vehicle limited warranty, 7-year/100,000-anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty and a 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.
Overall, the newest Mirage GT stacks up as a deal-maker, with one potential deal being that you could get your college-age son/daughter a reliable new car instead of rolling the dice on a used model. Likewise, this Mitsubishi is a smart choice as a daily driver for commuters watching their budgets and their fuel expenditures.