2015 Mitsubishi Mirage: Hybrid-Like MPG for a Bargain

IMG_0273Quick: how much does a brand new economy car cost? I would guess about $17-18K, but I was wrong. The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage starts under $13,000, which is a refreshing change for anyone in the market for a compact car. Need a commuter car, a car to send off with a child to college or a car that can easily be parked in the tightest city spots? This is the car.

I didn’t even know there was a subcompact category distinction, but I was always a little jealous of this one family at school with a small car that could fit into the tightest parking spaces at school pick up. You know the spots where both cars next to it are over their lines, rendering it useless for almost everyone? The Mitsubishi Mirage can handle that! I was given a 2015 Mirage to try out for a week and on my first outing, I passed by an open parking spot where the car on one side was grossly over the lines. I’m used to an SUV, which means I need a wide open spot for parking. On second thought, I threw the car in reverse and pulled into the spot. Not only did the Mirage fit, but there was a good amount of room around it. I was pulling out my phone to take a picture when the driver of the horribly parked car walked up. He looked at me admiring the Mirage park job and quickly got into his car. Aww, yeah! Parking victory!

Never fearing parking and the ability to easily maneuver in tight circumstances were two huge benefits of the Mitsubishi Mirage. We live on a narrow street right after a blind curve and each time I try to do a u-turn in my SUV, it’s a 3-4 point turn of terror as I imagine getting t-boned by an on coming car. The Mirage flipped a u-turn without problem. No back and forth, I just turned the wheel and switched directions in one smooth move. Clearance in tight locations is never a problem with this car. And, the Mirage has an optional rear view camera and GPS, making getting around even safer.

The Mirage’s gas mileage is amazing, making this the ultimate economy car. Mitsubishi says the car gets 37 mpg city and 44 highway, with some people reporting up to 50 mpg. I drove all week, which normally drains my SUV to empty, but I only burned a quarter tank in the Mirage. I started to feel like I was driving an electric car, even though I wasn’t.

The trunk space is more than I expected. It’s a deep trunk that easily held groceries or all of my son’s lacrosse gear, including the stick.

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The downsides: This isn’t the best main car for a family, unless you’re a small family without a lot of gear. The car seats five, and my two kids fit comfortably in the back, but adding a third big kid or an adult would have been tight.

The other downer was a drag in power when starting up hill. We live on a hill and when I’d turn onto one of the streets leading up, there was a hesitation before the acceleration kicked in. The car didn’t stop, but it slowed up for two seconds or so before it picked up speed.  For normal city driving, the hill hesitation will probably never be an issue, but it was for us in the uphill suburbs.

Still, the value cannot be denied. The value overshines any limitations, for sure. This is a great commuter car or a second family car for running errands when a big minivan or SUV just isn’t needed.

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