The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage doesn't have much in the way of features or power, but it can offer good value for the dollar with its low starting price and first-rate fuel economy figures, provided you avoid the pricier trims.

Pricing and Equipment

After skipping the 2016 model year, the Mirage is back with new styling and updated features. It's also offered in a second body style. In addition to the hatchback, a new four-door sedan variant known as the Mirage G4 is available (listed separately).

Pricing for the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $13,830 in the base ES trim (including an $835 destination and handling fee), making it one of the lowest-priced new cars on the market. The ES features:

  • Air conditioning
  • Keyless entry
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat back
  • Full power accessories
  • A four-speaker, 140-watt sound system

Next up in the lineup is the SE grade, which starts at $15,630. These mid-level models feature a new infotainment display with Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, automatic climate control, cruise control, keyless ignition, and a rearview camera system.

Last but not least is the Mirage GT. Starting at $17,330, GT models build on the SE and adds heated front seats, bi-xenon HID headlamps, 15-inch alloy wheels, and various trim upgrades.

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage is offered with just one engine. The 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine makes 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque, making the Mirage one of the least powerful cars sold in the U.S.

Owners can choose from either a five-speed manual transmission, or, for $1,200 more, an available continuously variable transmission. GT models are available exclusively with the CVT, and expect the majority of Mirages sold to use it too.

Performance Pros

Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Road manners in and around town are fine if you keep the Mirage around 30 mph.
  • The Mirage's CVT doesn't exhibit most of the usual CVT criticisms.

Performance Cons

  • Acceleration is sluggish, especially when getting up to highway speeds, because the Mirage simply doesn't have very much power.
  • The handling is dreadful. The Mirage rolls and wobbles and generally feels ungainly at anything above neighborhood speeds.
  • Accelerating brings a loud howl of engine noise that remains at full blast until you let off.

Interior Pros

  • The Mirage has enough room for four adults.
  • Control knobs for audio and climate control are large and easy to operate.
  • Front seats are reasonably comfortable and spacious.

Interior Cons

Mitsubishi Mirage
  • The Mirage's hard plastic materials and surfaces, as well as the lack of standard and available features, scream "basic transport."
  • It's hard to believe that there's no bin or armrest to support the driver's right elbow.
  • Noise, vibration, and harshness are appalling. The engine's vibrations easily infiltrate the rattly cabin and even small road imperfections are heard and felt from the behind the wheel.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage has the highest fuel-economy ratings of any vehicle sold in the US that isn't a hybrid. With the manual gearbox, the hatchback achieves an EPA-estimated 33 city/41 highway/36 combined mpg. Upgrade to the CVT and those numbers climb to 37/43/39 mpg. While figures decline slightly with G4 sedan variants, those numbers are still impressive.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Mirage's handling and driving dynamics at speed are borderline unacceptable. With its poor body control and the way it wanders, the Mirage requires constant driver attention and correction at speeds greater than 40 mph. Driving is especially unpleasant on the highways, where acceleration is painstakingly slow, which makes merging and passing more difficult, and far too noisy.

The Bottom Line

You get what you pay for with the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage. The very basic Mirage offers a low starting price and remarkable fuel economy, but that comes at the expense of engine power, bells and whistles, and driving dynamics. Ultimately, the drawbacks result in the Mirage coming up short against similarly-priced competitors.