Our little family loves to explore. While school and finances may not allow us to travel internationally as much as we’d like, we appreciate all that the world has to offer- starting in our own backyard. So that means local road trips and exploring. And while a larger vehicle for longer trips might be appealing, the savings factor with a smaller car is what allows us to travel more. So when we had the opportunity to check out the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage, we were curious to see what our thoughts of the first 3-cylinder car we’ve reviewed would be.
According to Autobytel, while 3-cylinder cars were available in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, their low power and high levels of vibration left a lot to be desired. Today’s 3-cylinder engines usually use turbocharging and direct injection to deliver reasonable (or better) horsepower and fuel economy, combined with a number of tricks—including active engine mounts and purposefully ‘unbalanced’ flywheels and crankshaft pulleys—to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.
No surprise here that when hearing of the Mirage being a 3-cylinder, my hubby immediately made a comment about how he expected it to handle on the highway. Driving in NYC can be quite aggressive and his biggest concern was how fast it would be able to pick up speed while merging onto the highways. And while the Mirage didn’t exactly prove him wrong with an insane amount of power, it did perform better than he had initially prepared for.
We had plans to drive out to Southampton on Long Island for a weekend staycation while we had the Mirage- so it was a great chance to see how comfortable it was for a short trip out East as well as storage capacity. We packed up our bags and loaded the backseat with a few activities and snacks, and headed out to the Southampton Inn.
Even in the winter, we love to spend a lot of time outdoors and explore. Places that we love in the summer can be just as amazing to experience in the winter. We strolled on the sand at the beach, explored the site where the first settlers arrived in Southampton, and visited the outdoor portion of a local museum. At 37/43 MPG we were able to drive around the area without worrying about how much we spent on gas.
The technology and design in Mitsubishi vehicles are known for keeping it on the simple side. I did enjoy the sleek black interior- but despite the touchscreen, there was no navigation in ours. Without navigation, I had to use my phone for the GPS to our destinations. This was fine, but then I realized I did not see any USB ports. I resorted to being sure my portable chargers were on 100%, but unbeknownst to me, there was actually a USB port inside of the glovebox the whole time!
I honestly would have never thought to check inside the glovebox for it, but when our friends at DriveShop showed us- there it was. A wire containing a USB port that can sit outside of the glovebox. This was my least favorite feature. With two kids, I really appreciate when there is a USB port for both the front and the backseat passengers. This way, tablets can be charging while being used and there’s no fighting over devices in the backseat. While we like to unplug during our adventures, the car is the one place where allowing the kids to play on their phone or tablets can be the difference between a vacation and the need for another one.
The middle console in the Mirage is fairly simple. Cupholders, seat warmer controls, and the parking brake located where there is usually a arm rest. No bells and whistles here.
Most of the interior functions are quite basic as well. The Mirage isn’t for someone who’s looking for a high end interior or the latest in technology- but that’s not who the Mirage is appealing to. The price point, MPG, and warranty offered are worthy trade offs for a lot of folks- and we could definitely see why.
One thing that we did like was that despite being such a small car, it wasn’t as low to the ground as you’d expect. So, getting in and out or buckling my little one into her car seat was more comfortable than in most low cars.
While the Mirage is on the smaller side, it still provides 47 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are folded down. I jumped inside for laughs just to show how large the trunk is. We were able to fit our cooler, duffel bags, and more during our weekend away.
As for the backseat, with a convertible carseat and preteen in back- an additional passenger was a pretty tight squeeze. As you can expect with a small car, leg room was on the smaller side- but our girls sat comfortably and voiced no complaints during the longer rides.
As for safety, the Mirage features an advanced 7 air bag SRS system including driver’s side knee air bag, dual-stage front air bags with occupant seat position sensors, front seat mounted side-impact airbags and front and rear curtain side airbags.
One thing that we really liked about this year’s Mirage was the face lift it received. A much more masculine front grill- I think this earned points with the hubby. The Sapphire Blue color was also nice- and definitely stood out in a sea of white and gunmetal grey.
Overall, I think we are the type of family that the Mirage would appeal to. Trying to save money, love to travel locally, and a great warranty that won’t leave us questioning our decision to finance again. Being able to plan trips to destinations a few hours away and not stress over the amount of gas needed is something that helps us continue to go places, and the Mirage can definitely be the one to take us.
For more information, visit www.mitsubishicars.com/mirage
We reviewed this vehicle via Driveshop. As always. all opinions are our own.