Several years ago, Mitsubishi launched the Mirage, and it soon became a punching bag for automotive journalists. And it’s not hard to see why- the Mirage feels like it’s powered by a lawn mower engine, handles like a broken shopping cart, and generally feels like a throwback to 1997. But to people who simply want the new car smell for the lowest price possible, none of that matters. And it appears that there are enough of these people in the world for Mitsubishi to justify updating it for the 2020 model year.
Given that the Mirage sells on price, the updates are minor. It has new bumpers with squared-off edges, which are designed to visually widen the car, and make it look less unstable. Up front, it also has a noticeably larger grille, which allows the new turbocharged 180 hp engine to breath. Not really, it’s the same 78 hp 3-banger as before. You will still need to turn of the A/C to maintain highway speeds while going uphill. The new grille is just intended to make the Mirage more closely resemble the other cars in Mitsubishi’s range.
Like Mitsubishi’s other cars, it now gets some new LED headlights and taillights. Just like any other modern car! But if you really want to look like the king of the road you will have to order the larger 8-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, which proudly display the tiny front brake rotors, and the even smaller drums at the rear.
Inside, there are some fancy new features. Like a new armrest. And a carbon fiber pattern around the window switches. It even boasts the option of fake leather. Just like in a BMW or Mercedes!
Maybe I’m being a little harsh on the Mirage, because it does have some merit. The updated model is likely to retain the current models 10-year warrantee, and $13k starting price, which means it will continue to be sold by dealers for under $10k. And that means it will continue to sell well, so expect to see it at an Enterprise Rental lot near you soon.