This thread is for my thoughts/comments about a base, no options, 2014 Mirage 5-speed manual. That's the "ES" trim in Canada ("DE" in the States).
Disclosure: Mitsu Canada loaned me this car for 2 weeks, including insurance coverage.
First thing to note is that in Canada, the base car is a little different from the U.S. base "DE" trim. Here it starts at $12,498 (Update: starts at $9,998 with the current discount), with the major difference being that it doesn't include air conditioning. If you want A/C in the Great White North, you have to move up to the top trim car.
Second thing is this general observation: the car has taken some serious flack in several reviews since I first test-drove it at an Ottawa dealership back in November. After only a few minutes of driving, I do not see what the over-the-top negativity is all about. I do think the car has some shortcomings, but it's pleasant enough to drive -- nowhere near as horrid as some reviewers would have us believe (hello, New York Times).
People even seem to really like its looks. (More than I do!) I'm on a mission to ask 50 people what they think of the styling, and so far (6 people in) it's doing surprisingly well: 7.8 out of 10, average. An early trend, or a skewed sample of subjects with questionable eyesight? People like the rear spoiler, they like the colour, but they aren't crazy about the bulbous, bull nose front end.
I've got about 160 km / 100 miles on it so far, and I'm filling up a notebook I keep in the door pocket. I'll post updates as I spend more time in it.