ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage is shown in Mercury Gray Metallic.
some text
The interior of the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage has bright red accents.

Hmm ... say something good.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage LE Hatchback has excellent fuel economy, 43 mpg city/36 mpg highway, and has the turning radius of a riding lawnmower, which makes it fun to whip into parking spaces.

Otherwise, the Mirage Hatchback packages basic transportation.

Under the snub-nosed hood is a 78 horsepower, 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. If those numbers are gobbledygook to you, congratulations, you might be a prime customer for the Mirage Hatchback.

If on the other hand, if those numbers sound quirky to you, they are. The Honda Fit, another subcompact not known for abundant power, has 130 horsepower — about 70 percent more than the Mirage. And the Mirage's three-cylinder engine is a bit of a conversation piece, too. If you are not a "car person," please know that most engines have an even number of pistons, like four, six or eight — three cylinders, not so much.

FAST FACTS

Model: 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage LE Hatchback

Exterior color: Mercury Gray Metallic

Interior color: Black

Engine: 1.2-liter, three-cylinder

Horsepower: 78

Transmission: CVT

Fuel economy: 43 mpg highway, 36 mpg city

Local Dealer: Adventure Mitsubishi

Price (as tested): $16,925

Locally, Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchbacks are available at Edd Kirby Adventure Mitsubishi at 400 West M.L.K. Boulevard in downtown Chattanooga. When we last checked, the dealership had three Mirage Hatchbacks in digital inventory.

WHAT IS IT?

The Mirage Hatchback LE is a five-door subcompact with room for four passengers. You could theoretically usher three people into the back seat, but they wouldn't be happy for long.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

The Mirage Hatchback would make a more compelling case if it was aggressively cheaper that the competition. But it's not. Our higher-trim tester, provided by the factory for a one-week test drive, has an MSRP of $16,925. All Mitsubishi cars and SUVs come with the brand's excellent 10-year or 100,000-mile power-train warranty.

WHAT WE LIKED

Our "like" list includes heated front seats, crisp steering, red interior accents on the center stack and around the air vents, simple controls and a sophisticated-for-the-class steering wheel design.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

A few more horses under the hood would make a world of difference. The interior is full of hard plastics and we consistently had trouble getting the front driver's side door to latch on the first pull.


View other Test Drive stories by Mark Kennedy



Looking for a used or new car?

NOTABLE OPTIONS

Our tester is the "Limited Edition" series which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 15-inch black alloy wheels and several special visual accents inside and out.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE

Well, it made it up Signal Mountain, although not without effort. The strain on the three-cylinder engine was audible, like a coffee can full of angry bees. With the fan and the radio on the engine drone is not too bad. The hatch has been clocked from 0-to-60 mph in a leisurely 10.9 seconds.

BOTTOM LINE

The government estimates annual fuel cost for an average driver at $1,000, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Still there are better options at this price point, including some exceptional late-model used cars.

Online: In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT