All-new Fuel-efficient Small Car to Launch in October
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has received much of its early buzz from its combination of a low MSRP and high fuel-economy marks. As regards the former, the price of admission here is a mere $12,995, while the car’s EPA ratings can reach 37 mpg city/44 mpg highway/40 mpg combined. Those are the highest fuel-efficiency grades of any non-hybrid gas-powered vehicle in the country, and although they do require paying an extra $1,000 for a CVT-equipped model, the base car still puts up a robust EPA line of 34/42/37 with its five-speed manual.
But we covered that last month, and today’s big news is that Mitsubishi has released details about the car’s content, so we now know that the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage comes right out of the box with the two key features any car must have to be drivable in today’s world—air conditioning and an audio system—and in both cases, owners will likely get more than they expected. The a/c, for example is part of a standard automatic climate system with rear-seat heat ducts, and the sound setup combines 140 watts of power with four speakers, AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback and a USB port for iPod input.
Keyless entry, power door locks and power windows are in the mix as well, as are safety features such as seven airbags, stability control, traction control and hill-start assist (for models equipped with a CVT). Efforts also have been made to give the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage some unexpected style, with a standard rear spoiler and highly aerodynamic sheet metal outside, complemented by high-gloss Piano Black accents in the cabin, which further offers the versatility of a 60/40 split-fold rear seat.
Beyond its entry-level DE model, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage also can be upgraded to an ES trim that adds some lux touches to the car, including premium seat fabric and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, with the tiller also integrating audio and cruise controls. Silver accents deliver a more sophisticated cabin ambiance that’s matched by sophisticated Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling. Tech offerings are further enhanced by a standard passive-entry/one-touch engine switch plus available navigation system and rear-camera monitor.
The sleek exterior of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage—boasting a coefficient of drag of just 0.28—is then spruced up in the ES edition with 14-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and front fog lights.
Finally, to help put the finishing touches on the Mirage, Mitsubishi offers a number of option packages that provide aero-style body pieces, LED cabin lighting, chrome exterior accents, rear park-assist sensors, and protective mudguards and body-side moldings.
Motivation in all cases comes from a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that serves up 74 hp and 74 lb.-ft. of torque, and while that may not seem like much, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage weighs in at a svelte 1,973 lbs. As a result, it enjoys a better power-to-weight ratio than its chief competitor, the Chevy Spark. The baby of the Bowtie brand comes in at a low of 2,269 lbs. and makes 84 hp/83 lb.-ft. of torque; it also happens to be smaller and less fuel-efficient—and less expensive—than the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.
Still, there are plenty of reasons why both Chevy and small-car buyers alike should keep a close eye on the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.