“2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT”
The Diminutive Hatch is back
When the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage returned to the North American marketplace, it was the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle in America., and it appeared as an all-new stylish 5-door sub-compact hatch that accommodated 5 passengers and boasted of an EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg city/43 mpg highway/40 mpg combined/ (CVT-equipped model; EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg combined/34 mpg city/42 mpg highway for the 5-speed manual transmission model), as the best in its class for combined fuel efficiency.
Back after a year’s hiatus, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback seats five and is available in three levels of trim: the base ES; and a more upscale SE, and the top-of the-line GT – all drawing their motive energy from a 1.2-liter MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve, inline 3-cylinder engine that produces 78 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while producing 74 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The transversely mounted front engine’s energy is geared to the front driving wheels via either a standard 5-speed manual transmission or Mitsubushi’s INVEC-III CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). The ES starts at $12,995 with the manual gearbox (add $1,200 for the CVT). The SE begins at $14,795. With the 5-speed manual and $15,995 with the CVT. The top GT trim level starts at $16,495. All deliver hybrid-like fuel economy.
The new Mitsubishi Mirage GT rolls on 16-inch wheels and tires, with suspension componentry consisting of a MacPherson type strut up front and a Torsion Beam in the rear.
Among the safety features that come as standard fare are: a seven air bag Supplemental Restraint System including dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver’s knee air bag; Tire Pressure Monitoring System; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. Hill Start Assist is also standard on all continuously variable transmission-equipped models. Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic is included on all models.
Mitsubishi Motors engineers fortified the all-new Mirage 5-door with an additional level of driver and passenger protection in the event of a collision by incorporating the most advanced form of Mitsubishi’s Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution impact-absorbing safety cell technology. The patented RISE system utilizes a body structure with an impact energy-absorbing front end along with an abundant use of high tensile steel in key areas throughout the platform.
The exterior design of the 2017 Mirage has been freshened and improved through the use of computer-aided design software makeover to maximize the 5-door’s aerodynamic efficiency for a 0.28 coefficient of drag. This advanced design/emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency is exhibited in the sculpted corners of the rear bumper and the hood that flows gently into the A-pillars. There are new front and rear fascias, new headlamps and fog lights, a new rear spoiler, and new wheels. The refresh update continues inside, with a new steering wheel, gauge grouping, shift panel, and upholstery materials. A 300-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system is now available in conjunction with the new center-stack that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, making the Mirage the first Mitsubishi product to offer these features.
Electric Power Steering is standard and contributes to fuel efficiency while providing the driver with a sensitive steering feel along with a sharp turning radius. The all-new Mirage serves up adequate acceleration in urban stop-and-go driving along with impressive highway fuel economy. There’s an ECO indicator light that illuminates letting drivers know when they are driving in a manner that allows for the best fuel efficiency.
Moving into the cabin, every Mirage features thoughtful design touches including an ergonomically designed instrument panel and driver controls as well as a high-gloss piano black center console trim. The 60/40 split folding rear seat allows for plentiful and easily accessed interior cargo volume.
The Mitsubishi Mirage GT model hatchback features all of the SE trim’s content while adding 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels; front fog lamps; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; Free-hand Advanced Security Transmitter-key passive entry; One-Touch Start/Stop engine switch; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; cruise control and a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.
A number of optional amenity and accessory packages are available including LED Illumination, Rear Park Assist Sensors, Exterior and Chrome Packages, as well as a Navigation Package that includes a SD Card-based navigation system with rearview camera. Also available is a DVD-based navigation system with a rearview camera system.
My 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage was in GT trim with the CVT transmission, finished outside in Infrared metallic and inside in Black with Piano Black interior trim accents. The base price was set at $16,495., while the final total registered $17,330. at the register.
SUMMARY: The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-door hatch serves up a more stylish persona than before, but with a minimalist approach, including its minimized grille opening, tidy yet elegant patented teardrop-shaped roofline, sculpted crease character lines along the corners of the bumper, underbody tray covers and a sporty-looking high-mounted rear spoiler “wing” that effectively helps to reduce drag. Other aesthetically appealing exterior design elements include sharply raked headlights, a forward sloping beltline and an athletically taught rear hatchback design – all contributing to its playful look.
The Mirage’s acceleration is not blistering at all, but is rather on the mild side. When prodded, the little engine makes its presence readily known in a buzzy sort of way, and the idle tended to be on the rough side. But hey, it’s primary focus and purpose is economical operation, and in fact, it has won several green vehicle awards in the past. The handling on the other hand is quite nimble and responsive. The suspension has been tweaked with new spring rates and shock absorbers, the front brake rotors and rear drums have both been increased in size, with upgraded pad and shoe material.
The ride quality is compliant – neither too harsh nor too soft. Seating is comfortable and can accommodate five occupants. A cross-country excursion for five large adults may not however, yield the world’s most enjoyable experience.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage continues to be one of the lowest-priced new hatchbacks in the U.S. marketplace, with Mitsubishi claiming that it’s the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline-powered vehicle available on our shores.
Bottom line, the Thailand-made Mitsubishi Mirage in GT trim is attractive enough in a Lilliputian way and, it is appealing in its affordability, as well as in its operational efficiency. Its content for the price represents good value and the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty; and 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside makes for an added bonus.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Mitsubishi Mirage GT
|Price as Tested:||$17,330.|
|Engine Type and Size:||1.2-liter, DOHC, 12-valve MIVEC inline 3-cylinder with ECI-MULTI fuel system.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||78 @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||74 @ 4,000 rpm|
|Transmission:||INVEC-III CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.|
Front – MacPherson type strut.
Rear – Torsion Beam.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted vented front disc / Rear drum with ABS, BA, EBD, ASC, TPMS and Hill Start Assist.|
|Tires:||Yokohama Avid S34 – 175/55 R15 77V mounted on 4 wide “V” with inverted twin spokes-within machine face with Black painted inners alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||148.8 inches|
|Curb Weight:||2,117 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||9.2 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||37-mpg city / 43-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not Listed.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.