Saying the 1.2L three cylinder engine has power is pushing the boundaries of credulity.
There’s 57 kW at 6000 rpm and 100 Newton metres of torque at 4000 revs. Bolted onto a CVT transmission, you need a calendar to see 100 kmh.
Overtaking moves are best left to straight roads of runway length and forget about anything like that going uphill. There’s a droning, egg beater like thrash from beneath the bonnet which gets louder the harder the go pedal is pushed in a fruitless attempt to extract some momentum from the engine.
Mitsubishi’s fuel consumption figures quote, from its 42 litre tank, 4.9L per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle, using standard RON unleaded. That’s the only reason Performance and Economy gets a five.
Think of Hyundai’s attempt to distance itself from the Excel by releasing the bulbous Accent and you’ll get an idea of the rounded blob that is the Mirage sedan. There’s nothing, bar the badge, that links it to the hatch, which is baffling. It’s nondescript to look at, particularly in plain white , with the kind of shapeless and unimpressive styling a scrunched up pillow would have.
At the front, two cross eyed headlights frame an indistinguishable grille, with two globe lit driving lamps sitting below them. The rear has two horizontally split, colour wise, taillight clusters that don’t seem to align with or join with any part of the boot lid trim.
Rolling stock is 10 spoke 15 inch alloys, shod with 185/55R rubber, with the smallish diameter contributing to the high riding, out of proportion look.
The interior? Bland. Seats are thinly padded, unsupportive, with backs that a kid’s toenail can poke and be felt by the driver, plastics are drab and dull with the HVAC section clad in a fingerprint and dust gathering piano black, an oddly gated gear lever that had the driver always pushing opposite (from Drive to Park or Reverse) to the illogical direction the gate seemed to have.
The dash dials look stencilled on with watercolour paints and are restricted to speed and revs, however a nod to tech is with a monochrome display for trip and fuel consumption. But no cruise… or Auto headlights.
Being an entry level car, there’s no satnav built in, meaning no display screen of any size so there’s anold school LCD dot matrix display for the radio. And no clock. That’s right, there’s no physical clock mechanism, simply the one built into the radio head unit.
Heating & cooling are controlled by levers, not dials.
The seats themselves have a rather mundane print, with a charcoal colour and fully manual adjustment. You sit on, rather than in them and there’s no lateral support at all.
On the road, acceleration is not a word that applies, gradual progress would be more apt, with the CVT sliding up and down the rev range depending on throttle input. It’s surprisingly effective at that, but the engine itself makes more noise doing what it does than a thousand volcanoes exploding.
On centre, the steering is numb, with some feel coming into play at around a half turn either side. It’s reasonably rapid, with three and a half turns lock to lock however there’s no aspirations towards a sporting feel. The ride itself is OK but woe betide you hit a speed bump as the short travel suspension crashes through and can make the rear feel as if it’s lifting up off the tarmac.
Service: Service intervals of 12 months or 15,000kms (whichever occurs first).
The target market is, apparently, predominantly female, with an age bracket of 18-24 and 50 and above. They shouldn’t be subjected to something this bad.
On the plus side, the car was handed back to the dealership with 4.9L per 100 k’s as the economy with just a splash to get it there after approximately 580 Kays covered.