2013 Mitsubishi Mirage review
* New Mitsubishi Mirage supermini * Aimed at buyers on a tight budget * On sale early 2013, priced from around £8000...
The 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage is an all-new model that's designed to provide simple and affordable transport.
It's one of the smallest cars in the supermini class, but will also be one of the cheapest – with prices likely to start at around £8000.
For this you'll get a Mirage with a 70bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine, a five-speed manual gearbox and a pretty basic specification.
A couple of thousand more will buy you a 79bhp 1.2-litre manual car that's better equipped, while a CVT automatic model will sit at the top of the range.
Whichever version you go for, the Mirage emits less than 100g/km of CO2, which means it's exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge.
What's the 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage like to drive?
The Mirage has a soft suspension set-up that's good at soaking up minor imperfections in the road surface. However, the car still tends to thump over potholes and drain covers.
You also have to put up with quite a lot of body roll in bends, and while the steering is light and easy around town, it's disconcertingly vague at higher speeds.
We tried the 1.2-litre manual model, and this offers sprightly performance when you rev it, although the power delivery isn't particularly smooth.
The engine also emits a loud three-cylinder thrum at higher revs and sounds busy on the motorway. There's also enough wind noise to make you think one of the doors isn't properly shut.
What's the 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage like inside?
The cabin is spacious enough for four, and a fifth person can squeeze in for short journeys.
However, some people may struggle to find a comfortable driving position because there's no reach adjustment on the steering wheel and you can change only the angle of the seat base – not the height.
Over-the-shoulder vision is also compromised due to thick rear pillars and a rising window line.
What's more, there's no disguising the fact you're sitting in a budget car; the cabin has exposed screwheads, and most of the plastics look and feel rather low-rent; the piano black centre console trim on our high-spec test car was an exception. The dashboard layout is at least simple and easy to use.
The boot is pretty pokey, and there's a step in the floor when the rear seats are folded down.
Should I buy one?
Mitsubishi says it's benchmarked the Mirage against the Nissan Micra, but we can't help thinking the company should have set its sights a little higher.
The forthcoming Dacia Sandero will give you more space for similar money, while the Seat Mii/Skoda Citigo/Volkswagen Up trio prove that small, affordable cars don't have to be overly compromised.
When the competition is this strong, it's hard to recommend the Mirage.
By Steve Huntingford
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