Mitsubishi Mirage Debuts at the 2013 New York Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, March 31st, 2013

In the last post, we covered the two new cars Subaru brought to the 2013 New York Motor Show. Today, we’re going to cover another Japanese car from New York, albeit from a slightly less popular brand – the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Mitsubishi Mirage

It’s no secret that Mitsubishi is struggling, especially in the US. It’s not very often that you see the triple diamond logo on the road. Both their dealerships and their product line are in a state of decay, and if something doesn’t change in the next few years, then chances are Mitsubishi will go the way of Suzuki.

What does this have to do with the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage?

Well, even though Mitsubishi won’t say it themselves, the 2014 Mirage will have a very significant impact on whether or not the brand succeeds in the US. This is an all-or-nothing car for Mitsubishi, and one that they desperately need to get right. That’s why I have to question bringing back the Mirage from a profitability stand-point… Just as Mazda has explained in the past, catering to the cheapest-of-cheap buyers is NOT the way to make money in the automotive industry. Quality trumps affordability if you’re trying to make real money.

But enough about marketing and branding, let’s talk about the car. Here’s what the revived 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage will bring to the table:

The 2014 Mirage Offers “Best in Class” Fuel Economy

According to Mitsubishi, what separates the Mirage from every other subcompact in the American market is its incredible fuel economy. In fact, they claim that the 2014 Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market with a combined fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon (37 mpg city, 44 mpg highway). That being said, these numbers aren’t official and an EPA rating is still pending.

How does the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage achieve such impressive fuel economy numbers?

First, the little hatchback is very lightweight with its RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) chassis – it only weighs about 1,850 lbs at its lightest configuration. Second, the car is very small – only ~148 inches long, ~65 inches wide, and just under 5 feet tall. That’s about a foot shorter (legth-wise) than the Ford Fiesta. Third, the car will be powered by a very conservative 74hp 1.2L three-cylinder engine with a continually variable transmission.

Apparently, the Mirage will even give drivers a little pat on the back via an ECO indicator light, letting you know when you’re operating at max fuel efficiency. Neat!

The Mirage Packs Some Other Goodies, Too

Mitsubishi knows that it needs to be able to compete on more than just fuel economy, though, if it wants to stand a chance against the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta. That’s why even the most economical trim-package gets technological goodies like power windows, Hill Start Assist, a 140-watt stereo with USB connectivity, and keyless entry.

Mitsubishi also claims that the 2014 Mirage is the most aerodynamic subcompact on the market. And it’s obvious, too – just look at that sweet rear spoiler! You’ll get plenty of downforce when you’re zooming from 0 to 60 in 11 seconds.

All in all, I’m not sure if the Mitsubishi Mirage and the now-confirmed Outlander will be enough to sustain reasonable sales, much less improve them. The Mirage in particular is late to the party, so the car will need to be incredible if it’s going to compete. Still, it’s always good to see another Japanese competitor against the Ford Fiesta, so I’m not complaining. Whatever you think about the Mirage, thanks for reading and come back next week for some final coverage of the New York Motor Show!

Oh, and I almost forgot, check out this video of the new Mirage below:

Sources: Autoblog, Car and Driver

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