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Thread: After 3 years, FINALLY drove one

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    After 3 years, FINALLY drove one

    I've been a member/admirer of the Mirage for the past 3 years and finally made it to the dealer to drive one. The salesman was super low pressure and didnt even require me to go inside to talk numbers. I drove an SE manual, one of the last few left.

    First, I must say I'm impressed and in love with the apple CarPlay stereo. You can do so much with that little radio that I was in awe I was sitting in such a cheap car. It will send texts, take directions Verbally and then put in on the map. It didn't have any trouble understanding requests. I mean it was awesome! The only downside is requiring the phone to be plugged in.

    The interior was decently upscale looking, not as cheap as I remembered on a 14 model I sat in. The leather wraps and piano black trim helps a lot here. However, the passenger airbag cover was a completely different shade of gray from the rest of the dash and stuck out like a sore thumb. Are others noticing this? AC seemed a little weak but I don't think it was set on auto and was at a low fan speed. The driver's seat was relatively comfortable and the cloth nice and plush. Trunk space was adequate and the seats fold nice and flat. View out the windshield was panoramic and it was easy to step in/out.

    Now for the driving experience... The steering wheel was tilted to the left, as if the wheel alignment was off and that's a big pet peeve of mine so it annoyed me some. I'm hoping just a tire was low or maybe the wheel just needs to be centered (this car has been on their lot for a year and only had 30 miles so it's been sitting a lot). The steering was firm and tight, not overboosted like the magazines mentioned on older models. Suspension seemed to ride and handle just fine, although I did hear a tiny little clunk when initiating a right turn. At 50 mph, the ride was plenty quiet, on par with just about any other car. Clutch was super light and pretty easy to drive smooth. Shifter was easy to work.

    Two things were a bit concerning though. One, the brakes had very little bite to them. Granted, they aren't broke in yet but the car just didn't seem to have much stopping power. Two, the power was pretty anemic off the line. I know the car is slow and I was keeping an open mind but pulling out in traffic would be difficult in this car. It felt like I was towing another Mirage behind me. Once under way, the car gained speed adequately. I didn't push the engine too hard as I don't want to wreck someone's engine during the important break-in. Being used to Fiat turbo motors, I'm not sure I could deal with the lack of pull out power as traffic is awful in certain areas and you have to utilize small breaks in the traffic.

    Would I buy it? I'm still on the fence. Without actually sitting down, I was offered around 11.5-12k out the door which is a decent deal. I could probably get them down to 10.5-11k. It's calling to me as I'd rather beat it up delivering food then my more expensive Fiats but man, I dont want to get run over trying to pull out!



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    My airbag covers are the same exact color as the dash, and I have 2 17 manual SE's
    If you had the air on during your acceleration testing it does have a fair effect on acceleration especially off the line.

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    The steering wheel was tilted to the left, as if the wheel alignment was off...
    That's not a good first sign (assuming the tires were inflated properly). A fair percentage of Mirages have bad rear wheel alignments from the factory which can only be corrected with a new rear axle assembly. One of the obvious symptoms of this is a steering wheel that has to be constantly held right or left a few degrees when going straight down the road.

    If I bought this car, I would require the dealer to check the alignment prior to the sale. You can read more about this issue here:
    Rear Wheel Alignment Problem

    ...the power was pretty anemic off the line.
    If you ran the AC during the entire test drive, that's the problem. Trying to accelerate in a Mirage with the AC compressor running will make it feel like you are dragging an anchor behind the car. I always kill the AC when merging into fast moving traffic or any other maneuver that requires extra power. This might be a major consideration for you living in Florida.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.6 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 61.9 mpg (Imp)


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    My 17s passenger airbag cover definitely is a slight different shade than rest of dash and fit and finish for that part is off, more than one car reviewer has also pointed this out.

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    What took you so long to try one out? Lol
    Top Fuel is spot on with his comments. I kill the ac on mine too, when jumping on the interstate, or if a line of cars are behind me pulling away from a light.
    Good info too, about the alignment issue. Have it checked before purchasing.

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    My steering wheel on the mirage and on my mom's new civic were not quite aligned.
    You're buying a new car off a dealership - you have the power. Tell them you aint signing papers until that's been resolved.

    I wouldn't worry about the brakes. Mine's pretty good. The wheels and tires are the weakest link in my opinion.
    Also, power is plenty as long as you don't mind shifting at 4k or higher. In all honesty, my mirage sees 5k or higher once a week or so.

    I live in TX and people on here practically race off the line (albeit unintentionally) most of the time - and the mirage keeps up.
    Furthermore, freeway speeds here at 65-75ish. Which means the engine's on the powerband for freeway passing.
    I've almost never downshifted on the freeway.

    A/C is sufficient here in TX. However, my Toyota Solara's AC is a freezer compared to the mirage.

    Lets be real. The car is noisy, both on the freeway or in regular roads - probably unless blacktop. However, the sound system does sound good - minus FM.

    The suspension sucks. Thus I spent under 500$ for rear swaybar, strut bar, and VW lowering springs for the rear. Add 185/195 wide wheels, and I've been doing almost twice the speed limit on turns - like on rails.

    The car is a fun and inexpensive daily driver.
    Last edited by Ares; 10-16-2017 at 03:15 AM.

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    Interesting, I have a Fiat 500 (non-Turbo though) and I just bought the last 2017 Mirage SE 5 speed in the area. The Fiat supposedly has around 20 more horsepower or so than the Mirage, but I haven't noticed it. I find the Mirage has adequate power, but that may be my driving style and the fact that I drove a Geo Metro for many years. The advice about switching off the AC when you need power is solid advice.

    However, I'd be hesitant to buy a new car that has the steering wheel off center and whose brakes don't have much bite. I have not noticed any problems with the brakes in my car, and I'm pretty sure my steering wheel is fine. If I were you and I really wanted this car, I'd insist that the alignment and brakes are checked, and have the steering wheel centered. There may be a reason that car sat on the lot so long.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2017 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 45.4 mpg (US) ... 19.3 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 54.5 mpg (Imp)


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    Thanks for all the good comments. I swear the salesman visits this forum as he pointed out that if I look at owner's reviews, they love the Mirage, but the press is overly negative.

    The AC was on the entire time, as this is Florida and it was easily 87 outside. I should have tried to accelerate with it off but it's been a long long time since I had a car that I needed to do that with and I'm not sure I want to deal with that on a daily basis. Off the line, I would say the Mirage is pretty darn close to the 1.5 12 valve four banger that was in my 2000 Hyundai Accent. That car I had to shut the AC off if I needed any kind of acceleration too.

    I think the biggest hurdle for me would be having to change the way I drive. I'm used to cars that produce good torque down low and allow me to shift at 2.5-3k and still have good acceleration. With the Mirage, I would have to allow the engine to spin to 4K regularly and that goes against my natural habits. Driving like that would also lessen the fuel economy advantages of the Mirage, which is a main reason for buying it.

    I do agree with you guys about the specific car I drove and apprehension with getting it with the steering flaw. Thankfully, there are 2 SE manuals so I could try the other one and see if it has straight steering. I'm almost curious to see if the CVT is spunkier since it has shorter gearing off the line but I think the lack of control would annoy/bore me. Anyone drive CVT and manual back to back and can comment on off the line response?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    It's calling to me as I'd rather beat it up delivering food then my more expensive Fiats but man, I dont want to get run over trying to pull out!
    That's exactly what I use mine for, and it is great. I know FIVE other delivery drivers that run '14-'17 Mirages, and all love them. The acceleration isn't dangerous...it's just a matter of getting used to it. Of course, I was coming from a 1997 Geo Metro!

    I really only use the AC for a month or two out of the year in the cool, rainy Seattle area, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    Interesting, I have a Fiat 500 (non-Turbo though) and I just bought the last 2017 Mirage SE 5 speed in the area. The Fiat supposedly has around 20 more horsepower or so than the Mirage, but I haven't noticed it.
    Do you suppose this is because the Fiat weighs more? I haven't looked up the numbers, so I really don't know. The Mirage was designed with light weight in mind for efficiency, and I think Mitsubishi did a fine job there while prioritizing safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    The AC was on the entire time, as this is Florida and it was easily 87 outside. I should have tried to accelerate with it off but it's been a long long time since I had a car that I needed to do that with and I'm not sure I want to deal with that on a daily basis.
    The Mirage has automatic AC, and this automatic operation can easily be turned off. It makes a big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    I think the biggest hurdle for me would be having to change the way I drive. I'm used to cars that produce good torque down low and allow me to shift at 2.5-3k and still have good acceleration. With the Mirage, I would have to allow the engine to spin to 4K regularly and that goes against my natural habits. Driving like that would also lessen the fuel economy advantages of the Mirage, which is a main reason for buying it.
    With fuel economy as my main goal, I easily changed my driving habits to take full advantage of the Mirage design. It was (is) an easy and rewarding change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    I do agree with you guys about the specific car I drove and apprehension with getting it with the steering flaw. Thankfully, there are 2 SE manuals so I could try the other one and see if it has straight steering.
    I think you don't need to worry about this. I get the impression you have a responsible dealer who respects you as a customer. The Mirage warranty covers *all* adjustments for the first year of ownership. Ask your dealer for details. My dealer (Sunnyside Mitsubishi) took care of the alignment and replaced the rear axle on my Speck, with no charge or hassle. If you are concerned about support after the sale, look up your dealer's reputation online and ask folks here if anyone has bought from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    I'm almost curious to see if the CVT is spunkier since it has shorter gearing off the line but I think the lack of control would annoy/bore me. Anyone drive CVT and manual back to back and can comment on off the line response?
    While I haven't driven a CVT Mirage (yet) I get the impression from forum posts that the CVT is not spunkier. The CVT is dual-range and owners have commented on it's operation, which might also take a bit of getting used to.

    It's your first test drive! Imagine how your next drive is gonna go now that you've got some advice to take with you.

    If fuel economy is your main goal, the Mirage is a real performance car and is tough to beat.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.7 mpg (Imp)


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