My oldest daughter is now licensed and driving herself and her siblings to school and activities. At the moment, we have her driving our oldest car which is just enough for around town. In about a year and a half she’ll be heading to college and will need a more reliable, safer, and more economical vehicle. Recently the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES review opportunity was presented and this tiny little car was cute and sensible and sure packed a punch.
The 5-door hatchback was delivered and shined bright in it’s sapphire glory. Right off the bat we were told it gets a combined 40 miles to the gallon plus, and that is top of the line as far as non-hybrids go in the United States. This can be a real contender for those high school and college students who are light on cash and heavy on dreams. Of course I didn’t agree to the car review for our family of five, but having a small 9-year old, we can all fit in the car cozily. But overall 4 average-sized passengers fit pretty well. Though my daughter didn’t drive the car, she sat in both the driver’s seat and passenger seat and was comfortable with her 5’4″ frame. My 5’10” husband on the other hand felt like a giant, as a passenger when I was driving he had his seat pushed back as far as it went and the passenger directly behind him had to be tiny, non-existant, orlegless (just kidding).The trunk fits groceries, narrow suitcases, sports equipment and more. Putting the back seat down, the trunk doubles in size easily and conveniently and I can see traveling back and forth from college visits being easy on packing. Split folding rear seat can give just that little more room you may need plus space for an extra passenger. The interior of the car is styled pretty basically (plastic), controls are straight-forward and easy to work. Steering wheel mounted cruise control, audio controls, and Bluetooth controls are good to keep young drivers focused on the road and not fumbling with music or phone calls when driving. Is that the ignition button on the left below the dash, that’s odd!Teens love the stereo with iPod and USB compatability for their electronics and the navigation system can be added for importance of learning a new area when away from home. None of our 3 current cars have a screen for navigation, so the rearview camera is a nice add for new drivers but in this tiny car you can really maneuver in and out of spaces so easily it’s pretty amazing! The screen can open for CDs and tilt for glares due to the sun or surrounding lights. Now here’s another oddity, the letter B on the automatic shift panel. We’d never seen this and looked it up, it’s similar to the L on some cars. B stands for engine braking and should be used when you are “riding the brakes descending a long steep slope” and when asking others, they say it’s not necessary at all. We didn’t touch it.
Cup holders are pretty abundant for the small size of the car my daughter noticed, and the bulky key has it’s own spot to hang out. I’ve never given it a second thought or needed to use the panic button on the FAST key, but knowing it exists for a young adult on their own gives me some security for having my child outside our care!The driver’s sun visor includes a vanity mirror (lid and ticket holder) but the passenger side does not. Strange, yes as a passenger would more likely need or want to use the mirror in our experience with kids, just another something we noticed and placed in that odd column.
Despite my daughter saying the car felt low to the ground and louder than usual at higher speeds, the safety and security behind the Mirage is something I feel good about when my daughter will be on the road. Side curtain airbags, driver’s side knee airbag, and advanced dual-stage front airbags are more than what’s in the car she currently drives so if ever there was an accident we have something protecting our precious cargo!
Overall the car is a great buy starting at 12,995 though ours was $16,295 for the model we tested. The gas mileage alone is the biggest selling point for a young driver. It’s definitely cute says the Junior in high school, and would be “so easy to park” in town or a college city we’re currently exploring. To learn more, visit http://www.mitsubishicars.com/mirage
Car was provided for a week’s loan, all opinions are our own.