Motors: Mitsubishi Mirage

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Mitsubishi claims its Mirage supermini is the first all sub-100g/km vehicle range in the UK and when coupled with a very low asking price, it does seem an interesting option for the budget-minded driver.

It’s not luxuriously finished or especially dynamic to drive but at these prices who’s complaining? Worth a look.

You don’t have to spend too long looking at the engineering of the Mirage to realise it’s been developed down to a price, with cost of running as a priority. Therefore it’s not really fair to expect it to be a pin-sharp driver’s car.

You get the choice of two engines, both petrol-powered. The entry-level powerplant is a 70bhp 1.0-litre unit, which is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

Pay a bit more and you can choose a 79bhp 1.2-litre manual car with the option of a CVT automatic gearbox that really takes the drag out of city driving. This engine is quite perky, getting to 60mph in 11.7 seconds and running onto 112mph.

The suspension has been tuned for ride comfort rather than handling precision, which is what most buyers need for urban use.

The steering is geared for ease of use at low speeds, which makes parking easy at the detriment of high-speed precision.

All round vision out of the car isn’t at all bad, with just the thick rear three quarter pillars that affect most superminis earning a demerit.

The Mitsubishi Mirage looks quite smart, if a little unadventurously styled. It’s neat and a little bulbous, in much the same way that most superminis looked five years ago, without the big signature design flourishes of the latest generation of cars.

There are some nice details though. I particularly liked the deep side sculpting, the very cleanly-styled rear end and the slotted front grille.

The Mitsubishi Mirage is a car that rewards a little perspective. Drive it after stepping out of a Fiesta or a Clio and you may well be left a little flat. Remind yourself that it’s not really gunning for this sort of opposition and look at it in the context of a Dacia Sandero or a Nissan Micra and suddenly it leaps to the fore.

We don’t know whether this one is going to do any better than its Colt predecessor, but if you want something a little different and your new car budget isn’t stretching too far, you might find a lot to like here.