2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 – basic transportation on a budget
A few weeks ago I was driving around town in a car that was all about being cheap and frugal – the 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 4-door sub-compact sedan. This is the perfect car for the kind of driver that could totally care less about how a car looks and drives, as long as it gets from point A to point B – and does so in the cheapest way possible. That’s the purpose of the Mirage – nothing more and nothing less.
The Mirage returned to the North American marketplace back in 2014, but only as a 5-door hatchback. A few years later, the 4-door sedan appeared, carrying a “G4” badge with it. Since then, both the hatchback Mirage and the Mirage G4 have carried on basically unchanged and have clinged on to the idea of being cheap, basic, fuel-efficient transportation.
With an EPA rating of 35 mpg city and 41 mpg highway for a combined 37 mpg, the Mirage G4 does appear to be near the top of the fuel-sipper list of cars that are not hybrids or diesels. And with a starting price of just $14,472, the Mirage is also one of the most inexpensive new cars around.
On paper, the Mirage looks pretty compelling. The base ES model comes standard with keyless entry, cruise control and a 7-inch touchscreen display with a rearview camera. Move up to the SE, like the tester, and features like foglights, keyless ignition and heated front seats are included. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the SE, optional on the ES.
Inside the Mirage, it’s clear to see why the price for admission is so low. The cabin looks like it was designed about a decade ago – and on a very tight budget. Most surfaces are hard plastic and not particularly high in quality. On a positive note, all the essential controls are there and are simple to use. The cloth bucket seats are fully adjustable and comfortable. And the Mirage is actually quite spacious and even tall drivers and passengers will find adequate head and leg room.
Driving the Mirage, the motor sounds like its working extra hard just to move the car. And it is. Feeling like a dog missing a leg, the three-cylinder 1.2 liter engine struggles to make the 78 hp that it is rated at. I found myself flooring the gas pedal many times just to keep up with traffic. And that was just with me in the car. Add three passengers in the car and what little acceleration the Mirage has evaporates. The Mirage G4 SE comes with a CVT automatic transmission, which is optional on the base ES model. Standard on the ES is a 5-speed manual, which may add some much needed spunk to the car’s fun factor.
But one area where the Mirage does shine is in the value department. With such a low price and delivering excellent fuel economy, along with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage, for those watching every penny and each drop of fuel, the Mirage just may be what they are looking for. As long as they don’t want anything more.
-Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2019 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE
Base Price: $17,495.00
Price as Tested: $18,525.00
Layout: front-engine / front-wheel drive
Engine: 1.2 liter 3-cylinder
Transmission: CVT automatic
Horsepower: 78 hp
Torque: 74 ft/lbs
Fuel Economy: 35 mpg city / 41 mpg highway
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