2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES Test Drive

?2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES?

All-New Green Penny-Pincher

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The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage returns to the North American marketplace as the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle in America. This all-new Mitsubishi Mirage is a stylish 5-door sub-compact hatch that accommodates 5 passengers and boasts an EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg city/44 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), for best in class combined fuel efficiency.

The new Mitsubishi Mirage seats five and is available in two levels of trim: the base DE; and a more upscale ES, both drawing motive energy from a 1.2-liter MIVEC DOHC, 12-valve, inline 3-cylinder engine that produces 74 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while producing a like amount of torque (74 ft./lbs.) 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).

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The new Mitsubishi 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.

The base model DE starts at a price of $12,995 with the 5-speed gearbox and delivers hybrid-like fuel economy without the added cost and complexity of a hybrid, and it provides a long list of standard amenities no-cost, including: tilt steering; automatic climate control; power windows with driver’s side auto-up/down; power side mirrors; body-colored side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle; a 60/40 split folding rear seat; keyless entry with panic alarm; variable intermittent wipers; a rear spoiler and a 4 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 with USB/iPod? input.

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 all-new 2014 Mirage was through the use of computer-aided design software 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.

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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.

Inside, every Mirage features thoughtful design touches including an ergonomically designed instrument panel and driver controls as well as a rich, high-gloss piano black center console trim. The 60/40 split folding rear seat allows for plentiful and easily accessed interior cargo volume.

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The Mitsubishi Mirage ES model features all of the DE trim?s content while adding 14-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 (available on Mirage ES model). The ES adds $1,200 to the base model cost. Other options include: a DVD-based navigation system with a rearview camera system (ES models); an Exterior Package with front bumper corner extensions; side sill extensions; and rear bumper corner extensions; a Chrome Package with fog light, lower grille and tailgate garnish; an LED Illumination Package with blue floor and console illumination; a Parking Assist Package with rear park assist sensors; a Protection Package adds: front & rear mudguards, a rear bumper protector and body side moldings; and a Cargo Package with a cargo mat and net.

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My 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage was in ES trim with the CVT transmission, finished outside in Alloy Silver and inside in Black with a colored. Patterned seating surface. The base price was set at $15,595., while options and the Destination and Handling Charge bumped the final total to $16,890.

SUMMARY: The all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door hatch serves up a stylish persona, 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 esthetically appealing exterior design elements include sharply raked headlights, a forward sloping beltline and an athletically taught rear hatchback design -? all contributing to its modern youthful look.

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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 idle, it 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 this regard. The handling on the other hand is quite nimble and responsive.

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 yield the world?s most enjoyable experience.

In the final analysis, the Mitsubishi Mirage in ES 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 assistance program makes for an added bonus.

 
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $15,195.
Price as Tested: $16,890.
Engine Type and Size: 1.2-liter , DOHC, 12-valve MIVEC inline 3-cylinder with ECI-MULTI fuel system.
Horsepower (bhp): 74 @ 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.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson type strut.
Rear – Torsion Beam.

Brakes: Power-assisted vented front disc / Rear drum with ABS.
Tires: Dunlop Enasave 01 A/S 165/65 R14 755 mounted on 7-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 96.5 inches
Length Overall: 148.8 inches
Width: 59.1 inches
Height: 56.3 inches
Curb Weight: 2,051 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 9.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 37 mpg city / 44 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.28
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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