- Economical to run
- Well equipped
- Quite spacious
- Lots of cheaper-quality plastic on show
- Not the most scintillating to drive
- Up against stiff opposition such as the Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo and Skoda Citigo
The Mitsubishi Mirage made its debut back in 2012 when it replaced the somewhat iconic Colt model. Initially it was met with quite a poor reception as it seemed unrefined and, for a new model, actually looked quite dated.
But that all changed when the five-door Mirage Juro was launched and it offered a more youthful appearance to appeal to a younger audience. It is powered by a three-cylinder 1.2-litre 80PS petrol engine and available with a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. Boasting a low emissions rating and good fuel efficiency it brings all sorts of financial benefits.
On The Road
The Mirage Juro may have a brand-new look with a restyled front and rear end along with sharper design cues, but to be truthful the performance from the 1.2-litre engine is not quite as dynamic as the looks.
There is just the one engine on offer which can be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT auto box. The test car featured the manual box and, although it was fine as a city runaround, it lacked any real firepower if driven with a heavy right foot.
The Mirage Juro could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.7 seconds, which doesn’t exactly set the world ablaze, and maxes out at a 112mph. If you push the car over 70mph you will start to feel quite a lot of shaking and noise levels within the cabin are raised considerably.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as the Mirage was designed as a city car and that’s where it is at its very best. The light steering is ideal for weaving through the congested city traffic and parking in tight spaces is a complete doddle.
When it comes to ride and handling it’s a tale of two halves. When being driven along at limited speeds through residential areas, the Mirage is perfectly acceptable and the acceleration through the five-speed manual gearbox is absolutely fine. Comfort levels are high and there is ample room in the back for a couple of adults provided they are not in the local basketball team!
However, venture away from the city lights and the Mirage is not quite so endearing. The light steering that is a real plus factor when meandering through the crowds offers very little driver feedback on the country lanes and bends need to be given a certain amount of respect.
Despite active stability control being fitted as standard, there is an element of body roll on this model and the grip wasn’t too confidence-building either.
It’s also worth pointing out that the road surface and engine noise is increased considerably within the cabin when the Mirage is taken onto the motorways. All models are fitted with 15-inch alloys as standard.
The Mitsubishi Mirage Juro is basically a bargain-basement budget city car so there is little point comparing the build quality to the likes of VW’s equivalent. But that said, the Mirage does lack any real ‘wow’ factor inside the cabin.
However, there is a good level of kit all supplied in the asking price, including the likes of Bluetooth with music streaming, a DAB digital radio with four speakers and MP3 compatibility, climate control and heated front seats.
There is a lot of cheap-looking hard plastic that rather lowers the tone, but Mitsubishi has introduced some neat touches such as gloss black dashboard trim, silver interior door handles, a black leather gear knob, leather steering wheel and leather upholstery.
And despite the criticisms about the quality, or rather lack of it, within the cabin, it’s worth remembering that the Mirage is priced at the lower end of the city car scale.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
Comfort is an area where the Mirage does very well and the height adjustable steering wheel along with a height adjustable seat means it’s simple for the driver to get a good, comfortable driving position.
All the controls are simple to operate and the cabin has a clutter-free style to it. There is no fancy touchscreen and no sat nav, but there is an information display that will offer details about the car’s average fuel consumption, exterior temperatures and trip data.
There is also auto stop and go, front and rear electric windows and the steering wheel has audio controls for driver convenience.
It’s also worth mentioning that included in the standard price are central locking, front and rear fog lamps, dusk-sensing headlights, rear parking sensors, automatic rain sensors and electric folding mirrors.
Space & Practicality
The five door Mirage is designed to be a practical city car and can easily carry four adults with a generous amount of leg and headroom in the back. The boot is perfect for transporting the weekly shopping and can accommodate 175 litres of luggage - a capacity that increases to 910 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
Elsewhere there is a glovebox, front and rear cup holders, front door pockets, a passenger dashboard tray and a centre console storage box.
As the car is in five-door styling only, it means there is easy access to the back seats which is practical if carrying young children.
So, down to the nitty gritty then - how much will the Mirage cost to buy and keep on the road? There is just one engine to choose from which keeps the decision-making to a minimum, but buyers need to select between the manual or CVT transmissions. Also, the Mirage is available with a Leather pack which increases the cost. The entry level Mirage Juro with manual gearbox costs £12,175. The range-topper with auto box and leather costs £14,175 which is quite steep and starts to step on the toes of exceptional models like Ford Fiesta for example.
When it comes to running costs, the Mirage is quite economical with combined fuel efficiency ranging from 65.7mpg and carbon emissions between 99g/km and 100g/km depending which gearbox is chosen.
These emissions figures mean the Mirage would have a Vehicle Excise Duty cost of £120 for the first tax year and £140 after that.
The insurance rating for the car is group 19.
Quality & Reliability
The interior of the Mirage is fairly simplistic in its design and there is a lot of hard plastic within the cabin. Whilst this may not look the best, it is quite easy to keep clean and hard-wearing making it fairly endurable.
The seats are well made and should survive the test of time and the switches, dials and controls are quite sturdy.
Mitsubishi enjoys a good reputation when it comes to reliability and the Mirage, whilst not likely to challenge VW or Ford for sales, is a decent small car that should happily clock up the city miles without any hitches.
Safety & Security
The Mitsubishi Mirage scored a creditable four out of five stars when it was tested during the Euro NCAP safety ratings. It received 90 per cent marks for adult occupant, 72 per cent for child occupant, 73 per cent for pedestrian safety and 55 per cent for safety assist.
The car boasts as standard anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, active stability and traction control, front, side and curtain airbags, brake assist, childproof rear door locks, a door ajar warning lamp, emergency stop signal system, hill start assist, a seatbelt warning lamp, tyre pressure monitoring system and ISO-Fix child seat fittings.
It also comes with an immobiliser to keep any inventoried attention at bay.