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2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT drive assessment: Curious commuter

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT drive assessment: Curious commuter

It has been a protracted 5 years for the reason that Mitsubishi Mirage roared onto the automotive scene, providing a throwback expertise at a time when compact automobiles have been the most effective they’d ever been. When it debuted, the Mirage was such a distant outlier within the U.S. market that automobiles just like the Toyota Yaris or the Ford Fiesta — autos with which it was ostensibly competing — appeared to be in one other, extra premium phase totally.

What we’ll name the “thrifty” nature of the Mirage was not misplaced on Mitsubishi and yearly the automaker has made a lot of little adjustments to the Mirage. Whether or not these adjustments can propel an getting old hatch that wasn’t precisely state-of-the-art even when it was new into one other stage is a distinct query.

Let’s recall the fundamentals first: This hatch continues to be powered by a 78-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine linked to a constantly variable transmission (CVT), driving the entrance wheels. The GT can also be the highest of the three trim ranges, and it contains all of the goodies together with 15-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch infotainment system, cruise management, Bluetooth connectivity, HID headlights, an armrest and gloss black inside particulars, amongst different objects. The GT is actually the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mannequin, so the cabin can appear nearly cluttered in comparison with base variations of the Mirage. But it surely’s a busy and barely misleading sort of cluttered, the identical method through which Pontiacs from the 1980s tried to dazzle consumers with sheer button depend.

Drive Evaluations

Gallery 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage inside

Having traveled a full 1,700 miles within the Mirage over the course of every week, most of it on the interstate, I can safely say that with one other a number of years of enhancements the Mirage has the potential to supply the identical sort of expertise that the Ford Fiesta did practically a decade in the past. However it can probably make you pay for it dearly.

The GT gives a suspension which truly works, absorbing issues like small rocks and potholes, but it surely does so with the lazy and floaty response of a 1990s Crown Vic taxi. The suspension overreacts in response to simply about every thing, however the welcome information is that it truly smooths out impacts as an alternative of transferring them on to the occupants’ behinds. It is fairly a exceptional distinction to the first-year Mirages, and is the one greatest enchancment within the present Mirage.

The second greatest enchancment is the engine response, however that is nonetheless a matter of levels. The engine and the CVT are much less noisy than they have been earlier than, although the engine nonetheless produces a desperate-sounding buzz even below modest acceleration; the 1.2-liter might be persuaded to get indignant, like a Pomeranian, by activating the Sport mode. This retains the revs larger and provides engine noise, and it truly does make the automobile transfer a bit of faster. Debut variations of the Mirage have been knocked for being borderline-dangerous on account of their incapability to speed up on the interstate when wanted, however most of this admittedly severe draw back appears to have been sorted. The Mirage can now cruise at speeds simply north of 80 mph (the place permitted), but it surely nonetheless takes a stable smash of the throttle to speed up up on-ramps in troublesome site visitors. The web result’s extra succesful response in comparison with early fashions, that simply barely permits the Mirage to tackle trendy site visitors the place nearly every thing on the street packs greater than 200 horsepower.

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT interior

The Mirage gives a primary inside that’s however comfy on lengthy journeys. Picture by Autoweek

The third greatest enchancment for the reason that mannequin’s debut is the inside, though within the GT mannequin that is achieved by way of a better sticker value. The presence of a contemporary infotainment display that gives smartphone connectivity is a crowdpleaser, however Mitsubishi has additionally improved dozens of smaller objects. For instance, there’s extra sound insulation now, and plenty of points with inelegant plastics have been solved. The gloss black surrounds for the shift gate and the middle stack are a fast and straightforward technique to make the inside look like it belongs on this decade, but it surely’s a trick that works within the Mirage. Extra importantly, the AC blows chilly air, and paired with audio system that may belt out some tunes to drown out engine and street noise the Mirage can do a adequate impression of a funds hatch.

Does the GT trim make sense for these delay by the bare-bones interiors of different funds hatchbacks? Sadly, the Mirage makes consumers pay for all of the tools that propels it (simply barely) into the league of competent commuters, and people taking a look at fully-priced Mirages are prone to discover themselves questioning why, for that value, they are not trying elsewhere.

On Sale: Now

Base Value: $17,460

As Examined Value: $17,460

Powertrain: 1.2-liter DOHC I3, FWD, constantly variable transmission

Output: 78 hp @ 6,000 rpm; 74 lb-ft @ four,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 2,128 lb

Gasoline Economic system: 37/43/39(EPA Metropolis/Hwy/Mixed)

Noticed Gasoline Economic system: 38 mpg

Execs: Gasoline economic system the old style method, can use “compact” parking spots, good A/C

Cons: Gradual reflexes, overly floaty suspension, still-loud CVT, outdated inside, dear for what it’s

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