Mitsubishi Mirage XLS 2016 car review

A perky engine, relative efficiency, and an interior and trunk that appear relatively class-leading.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

When the Mirage is put to the test its attributes shine. A perky engine, relative efficiency, and an interior and trunk that appear relatively class-leading.

Exterior , 3.5 out of 5 Drive , 3 out of 5 Safety , 5 out of 5 Value , 4 out of 5

Overall score , 3.9 out of 5

The good
  • Good value
  • Spacious for a small footprint
  • Economical
The not-so-good
  • Uninspiring drive
  • Competition has moved the bar

On the road

The 2016 Mitsubishi Mirage is airy and spacious for a tiny car considering its diminutive footprint – we managed three six-foot men in the Mirage. It was not the lap of luxury, but fine for a city dash.

The 3-cylinder 1.2-litre powerplant is torquay and bubbly. It's not refined, but then no three-cylinder is. Numbers are modest, just 58kW and 102Nm produced. But at least it is relatively efficient, on a combined cycle it will use just 4.9-litres per 100km. We have achieved less in the car. 

A lot of that is down to its pairing with a CVT transmission, meaning the drivetrain is relatively relaxed when up to speed. But it can be a little frantic getting there and maintaining highway speed.

Nor is it a handler. Soft, with lots of roll, is the order of the day and surprisingly slow steering for what should be a nippy little car. Brakes are sufficient but not stunning.

The Mirage is ANCAP 5-star rated, and for a little car, there is a reasonable level of safety equipment.

Inside and out

Front, side and curtain airbags, traction and stability control, ABS with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution. The only negative aspect is the car only has four shoulder belts — the centre rear only a lap belt. There are two sets of ISOFIX points for child seats.

Content is basic. Air-conditioning is manual; there is a basic stereo with a CD player and Bluetooth with steering-wheel controls. There is a basic trip meter — no elaborate LCD dash screens like others entering the segment.

The audio system does have iPod capability, but don’t expect much past basic controls. The USB plug is a cord hanging in the glove box, hardly convenient and it comes across as a cheap.

Seats are fabric and manual. The steering wheel is only urethane surfaced. Good enough at this price point, but not the nicest feeling.

The upgrade the Mirage received this year is mostly visual, and the new front clip does look significantly more mature than the old one.


At $17,990 it does represent good value, especially compared to other automatic options. The problem? There are other cars in the sector that are now simply better for similar money. The Kia Picanto is a more engaging drive, and the Holden Spark is a strong all-rounder with infotainment specs that will appeal to younger buyers.

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