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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Preview

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Preview

By Christian Wardlaw, November 19, 2015
  • New styling, colors, and wheels
  • Revised trim level lineup: ES, SE, GT
  • Upgraded interior materials and appearance
  • More powerful engine, improved handling and braking
  • Optional 300-watt premium audio system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support
  • Kiwi Green and Plasma Purple paint colors are gone
  • Wine Red and Sunset Orange paint colors are added
  • On sale in spring 2016

Mitsubishi representatives freely admit that the Mirage microcar was not designed with Americans in mind. An improving sales outlook in the U.S., however, gives the region more say in product development, and so the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage receives a host of updates that make the small, affordable 5-door hatchback more appealing.

When the 2017 Mirage goes on sale in the spring of 2016, it will be offered in ES, new SE, and new GT trim levels. The company showed the updated Mirage at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Exterior Features
Remarkably, the new 2017 Mirage looks pretty good. Mitsubishi restyled the car’s hood, grille, headlights, bumpers, and wheels. Around back, new LED taillights and a rear spoiler give the car an updated look.

A new Mirage GT trim level debuts, too, complete with a set of machined-finish 15-in. aluminum wheels. Fresh paint colors include Wine Red and Sunrise Orange, which replace two colors better suited to jelly beans than automobiles.

The design changes are about more than just cosmetics. Mitsubishi reports that the 2017 Mirage is more aerodynamic than the model it replaces, boasting a coefficient of drag measuring 0.27 cd. That’s the same as the redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

The themes seen on the new Mirage give the little car a tasteful and balanced appearance. Moreover, they are genuinely attractive, and especially in GT trim with the larger wheels. If only Mitsubishi had applied this kind of refined and sophisticated design approach to the latest Outlander.

Interior Features
Inside, the 2017 Mirage gets a new steering wheel design, revised instrumentation, enhanced trim, and improved seat fabrics.

As far as cargo capacity is concerned, the new Mirage holds 17.2 cu. ft. of cargo behind its rear seat. That’s measured to the roof, and likely beneath the cargo floor. Practically speaking, it’s probably half that. If you fold the rear seat down, the Mirage supplies 47 cu. ft. of cargo area.

Optional Features
New options for the 2017 Mirage include bi-xenon automatic-off headlights and a 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate EcoPunch audio system.

What makes the Mirage GT special is more standard equipment. It includes the bi-xenon headlights, plus a set of fog lights, 15-in. aluminum wheels, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Inside, gloss black trim enhances the cabin, and the GT includes heated front seats.

Under the Hood
For 2017, the Mirage gets a modest power bump, from 74 horsepower to 78 horsepower. Torque remains unchanged at 74 lb.-ft. A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard for the ES and SE, with a CVT optional. The CVT is standard for the Mirage GT.

That doesn’t sound like much in the way of motive force, but the Mirage weighs less than 2,000 lbs. In any case, the CVT likely does a better job of keeping accessible what little power that exists.

Mitsubishi has also reworked the 2017 Mirage’s suspension and stiffened the front end in order to improve the car’s ride and handling. Larger brakes with new brake pads and brake shoes should help the Mirage stop sooner.

Get a Mirage SE or GT and it will have a standard reversing camera. Front and rear park-assist sensors are an option for all three Mirage trims.

The Mirage is constructed around Mitsubishi’s Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) approach to body architecture, but the 2015 Mirage earned a 4-star (out of 5) overall crash-test rating from the federal government and a lowest-possible “Poor” rating in the small overlap frontal-impact test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Unless Mitsubishi made unannounced changes to the 2017 Mirage’s RISE structure, these test results are unlikely to improve.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-integration technology is added to the 2017 Mirage, included with the Display Audio system that is standard for the SE and GT. These versions of the car also have standard Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, and passive keyless entry with push-button engine starting.

Additional Research:

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