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Thread: Australia: Mirage LS 1.2L CVT First Impressions

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    Member AntInOz's Avatar
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    Australia: Mirage LS 1.2L CVT First Impressions

    Ok, some background and then my first impressions of my new LS CVT. I am coming from a Peugeot 206 Auto. The Peugeot was getting too expensive to maintain and most of my driving is from home to the train station so I wanted something small, economical and cheap to maintain. I also have a Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0L CVT for family/weekend driving.

    My test drive was in a manual ES as they didn't yet have any CVT's in the country. That was late January when I test drove the vehicle. I have to say, I agree with most reviewers comments on the manual. The gearbox is very sloppy and the clutch as a very strange feel to it (ok, I used to own and MX-5 so I may have been spoilt in that respect). I found the engine nice and "perky" even with the manual and it felt good with a mix of freeway and suburban driving so I ordered the CVT.

    I picked my car up on Tuesday evening and drove home from the dealership. The CVT to me feels much smoother than the manual and actually seems better at finding a good rev range depending on whether I am accelerating or just cruising. The "kick down" (yeah, I know it's not really kick down with a CVT) is more aggressive on this than on the Outlander and feels more like a traditional auto downshift. The little 1.2L engine has a really nice sound when you accelerate hard.

    Early Wednesday morning (5am) I drove about 90km of freeway driving to the airport to go interstate for a couple of days. The electric steering, which is possibly a little light and low speed, hardens up nicely and feels quite stable on the road at 100kmh. The car does have more body roll than the Peugeot and this is going to take a little getting used to. It leans out quite hard during high speed cornering. There is a nice 270 degree corner going to the airport which I can take at 100kmh in the Peugeot. I am not yet confident enough to do this in the Mirage. After saying that, I am pretty sure the electronics would step in before I got myself into too much trouble.

    Thursday evening, on the trip back from the airport in a reasonably strong cross wind I was very impressed how well it held the road considering the light weight. Fuel economy for the two freeway trips averaged out at an indicated 5.8L/100km which seems reasonable to me. I will check this when I top up, but much better than my Peugeot's 8.6.

    Road noise is at an acceptable level for a small car. The stereo is not speed sensitive so I found I was constantly adjusting the volume depending on background noise. The auto-sensing wipers are way more intelligent than my 2006 Peugeot's. The autosensing headlights work... not much more to say about that!

    Things missing: Outside Air Temperature gauge: I never thought I would miss that but after six years of having one I do. Light in hatch compartment: I didn't notice this during the test drive or looking at specs. Really threw me when I got home, popped the hatch and couldn't see my bags in the boot. A minor thing but probably my only real annoyance so far. Also, no way to enter DTMF tones when using the BT phone kit. I had to ring the toll authority to change over my rego for my account and got "Press 1 to do..." and couldn't press one. The Outlander has a touch screen to do this and in Australia, it is illegal to touch your mobile while driving.

    I am really enjoying the keyless entry and ignition. Except for reaching for the key when I stop the car. I guess old habits die hard. My key hasn't been out of my work bag since I got the car.

    Anyway, that's all for now. All in all a great little practical car. I don't think it is going to set any hearts pounding but it is small, functional and economical which was what I was looking for.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage LS (Australia) 1.2 automatic: 34.8 mpg (US) ... 14.8 km/L ... 6.8 L/100 km ... 41.8 mpg (Imp)


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    aikanazirf (02-22-2013),Alpha_One (02-22-2013),asher (03-02-2013),jamiec (02-22-2013),MetroMPG (02-22-2013)

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    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    Good to have you here and your the first Aussie to report on owning one of these. Thanks for your report please keep us updated on your mirage.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review! I do have a question about the keyless start. If you just step into the car and want to put the windows down without starting the car, is there some analogue to the "acc" position with a regular key?

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    Senior Member Alpha_One's Avatar
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    There is. If you push the button without holding down the clutch (MT)/brake (CVT) pedal, the engine will not start. Instead the button's light will cycle through:

    Off -> Orange (ACC) -> Ignition ON (Green) -> Off

    They work exactly the same as the Off/Acc/On position on most cars.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2012 Mirage GLS 1.2 manual: 33.3 mpg (US) ... 14.1 km/L ... 7.1 L/100 km ... 40.0 mpg (Imp)


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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Great review, thanks for the write up.

    So you have the smart key option I take it? In the commercials I've seen, it looks like you have to push a button on the door handle to lock/unlock it. Is this how it operates?
    Custom Mirage products: Cruise control kit, Glove box light, MAF sensor housing, Rear sway bar, Upper grill block

    Current project: DIY Nitrous oxide setup for ~$100

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 45.4 mpg (US) ... 19.3 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 54.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    AntInOz - thanks for a comprehensive summary. There's good stuff in here you don't get from the professional reviewers. Please keep us updated as you get to know the car better.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntInOz View Post
    I agree with most reviewers comments on the manual. The gearbox is very sloppy and the clutch as a very strange feel to it (ok, I used to own and MX-5 so I may have been spoilt in that respect).
    Interesting - I hadn't read a strongly negative take on the Mirage's shift quality. I've also driven an MX-5 (older Miata, here), and they do have a very fun & direct little gearbox. A lot of cars would suffer by comparison.

    Light in hatch compartment: I didn't notice this during the test drive or looking at specs. Really threw me when I got home, popped the hatch and couldn't see my bags in the boot. A minor thing but probably my only real annoyance so far.
    Your first modification:
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    Stick-on tap/touch LED light

    You're welcome!

    All in all a great little practical car. I don't think it is going to set any hearts pounding but it is small, functional and economical which was what I was looking for.
    A car for the head, not the heart, eh?

    One other thing I wonder: As someone who's voted with your wallet, what's your take on the styling? (Poll: What do you think of the Mirage's looks / styling?)

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha_One View Post
    There is. If you push the button without holding down the clutch (MT)/brake (CVT) pedal, the engine will not start. Instead the button's light will cycle through:

    Off -> Orange (ACC) -> Ignition ON (Green) -> Off

    They work exactly the same as the Off/Acc/On position on most cars.
    Thanks. I am curious, though, if it's possible to bump start a manual with this option.

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    Senior Member Alpha_One's Avatar
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    Yes, bump starting is possible at ignition on (start/stop button showing green light).

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2012 Mirage GLS 1.2 manual: 33.3 mpg (US) ... 14.1 km/L ... 7.1 L/100 km ... 40.0 mpg (Imp)


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    Member AntInOz's Avatar
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    An update after a week of, mostly, short trips in my Mirage:

    Fuel usage, it is currently reporting 11L/100km. We will see what it really is next time I fill up as I have only just filled up for the first time and it came with half a tank.

    I am starting to really love the keyless system. Okay, this isn't Mirage specific but half the time I don't even know where my key is. It is somewhere in my work bag. Same goes with the bluetooth, it has worked faultlessly with my phone and streaming.

    Handling, I am still getting used to the extreme body roll on it. To be honest, I would like stiffer springs in it, especially when it leans out under hard cornering. It does soak up the bumps well though. I can take the speed bumps in my estate without slowing down.

    Steering, they have done some really good thinking here. It is incredibly light when maneuvering around for parking and shopping centres etc. to the point where I occasionally oversteer just because it is so light. This is a driver issue not a vehicle issue! But the progression of hardening up is really nice right through to freeway speeds. They need to apply this same smarts to the new Outlander because it feels really vague!

    My wife, who hated driving the Peugeot has really taken to this as well to the point where it can be a fight in the morning around who gets what vehicle. She steals it to do the school run whenever she can as it is so "light and easy to park".

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage LS (Australia) 1.2 automatic: 34.8 mpg (US) ... 14.8 km/L ... 6.8 L/100 km ... 41.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.



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