Review: 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4

– Detroit, Michigan

The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback starts at $12,995. It’s one of the cheapest new cars you can buy in the U.S. today, it delivers up to 43 miles per gallon highway, and you can have it painted purple. If you purchase cars like I purchase toilet paper, then your very short consideration time and disregard for anything used can certainly lead you to the land of Mirage. I get it. Kind of.

Here’s the problem: The car I have here is $17,830, or about the price of a Honda Fit EX. It’s the new G4 sedan, which means the useful hatchback is swapped out for a frumpy looking trunk (you pay $1,000 more for that privilege, by the way), complete with a lid where you can see the wiring harnesses. In base form, yes, it’s cheap and efficient. But I just don’t understand the reasons to buy this “loaded” SE. At $13,000, the Mirage is sort of a bargain. At nearly $18,000, it’s a mistake.

Pros

  • I can’t hate on any car that gets over 40 mpg on the highway. With only 78 horsepower – a 4-hp increase over last year, actually – the 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine’s power is anemic at best. But the sedan’s 42-mpg highway number is actually doable, and that’s hugely important for a lot of buyers.
  • You do get a lot of features, including heated seats, a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and pushbutton start (it’s even on the left, you know, like a Porsche).
  • Every subcompact sedan is horribly ugly, in my opinion – they all look like one of those big baby carrot...