2015 Mitsubishi Mirage: The Most Fuel Efficient Gasoline-Powered Non-Hybird Vehicle In America
Tue, Jun 10, 2014
Achieving a lofty EPA fuel mileage rating of up to 37 mpg city/44 mpg highway, the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is the most fuel efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicle available in America today with a combined fuel economy of 40 mpg.
Add into the mix the 2015 Mirage's plentiful standard equipment package, welcome available upscale features, and very affordable pricing, and Mitsubishi Motors' 5-door subcompact makes the ideal new car for a wide array of automotive consumers – first-time drivers, retirees, short-hop urban dwellers who live/work in the city or those with marathon commutes.
Mirage Awards and Accolades
Priced at a remarkably low starting MSRP of only $12,995*, its extreme fuel efficiency has helped the cute and fun-to-drive Mirage capture numerous awards, with value-based accolades coming from Cars.com (ranked #1 in Cars.com's "New Cars for Penny Pinchers"), the Automotive Science Group ("Best All-Around Performance" and "Best Environmental Performance" in the Mini-Compact Class) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (Mirage named to the ACEEE's "Greenest Vehicles" list).
In fact, when Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) held a Las Vegas-to-MMNA headquarters hypermiling driving event in March 2014 with select top-tier members of the automotive media, the winning driver made the trip averaging just under 75 mpg!
New Features for 2015 Mirage
A great thing gets even better with the Mitsubishi Mirage receiving several equipment upgrades for its sophomore year. These items include:
- New chrome interior trim accents for the audio and HVAC panels (all models)
- New rear-mounted short pole antenna (all models)
- New interior seat fabric (ES model)
- New side view mirrors with turn indicators (ES model)
Long List of Standard Features
Along with its low price and high EPA-rated fuel economy, both the entry-level 2015 Mirage DE and the upscale Mirage ES boast an extraordinary level of features and accessories in their standard equipment packages.
Among the items included on the DE trim level are a sensational 4 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB input; automatic climate control; upscale-looking rich high-gloss piano black center console trim; stylish rear spoiler; keyless entry with panic alarm; tilt steering; power windows with driver's side auto-up/down; variable intermittent wipers; convenient split folding rear seat; rear seat heater ducts; body-colored power side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle; plus many other welcome features.
For $1,300 more, the 2015 Mirage ES (starting MSRP of $14,295) includes all of the comprehensive content from the Mirage DE, but further ups the amenities ante with a vast assortment of equipment such as Bluetooth® hands-free phone system; One-Touch Start/Stop (OSS) engine switch; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; FAST (Free-hand Advanced Security Transmitter)-key passive entry; cruise control; 14-in. aluminum alloy wheels; fog lights; and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Numerous amenity and accessory packages are available including LED Illumination, Front and Rear Park Assist Sensors, Exterior and Chrome Packages, as well as a Navigation Package that includes a SD Card-based navigation system with rearview camera (the latter package available exclusively on the Mirage ES model).
Precision Design and Engineering
The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage's outstanding efficiency is the result of a number of key design elements engineered into this perky 5-door sub-compact.
The exterior features a chiseled crease along the corners of the bumper, underbody tray covers, a smallish grille opening, a patented teardrop-shaped roofline and a sharp-looking high-mounted rear spoiler "wing" that very effectively help to reduce drag. Furthermore, the entry-level DE trim level of the Mirage includes an aerodynamically-shaped full wheel cover that helps further reduce drag and turbulence. These aero enhancements help the 2015 Mirage achieve a very low coefficient of drag at only 0.28 cd.
And thanks to the inclusion of high-tensile steel to key sections of the Mirage's body and chassis, the vehicle tips the scales at less than one ton (1,973 lbs.) while possessing excellent structural rigidity.
The high-efficiency theme is carried over into the Mirage's interior as well: The HVAC system has been designed to offer reduced weight while providing improved heater performance airflow to accommodate the rear seat passengers, along with the implementation of a new pollen filter to improve interior air quality.
Other thoughtful interior design touches include several handy storage compartments/trays and large cup holders, split-fold rear seats, a generous 17.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume and an included cover for the rear cargo area.
Along with the fuel-sipping drivetrain, additional fuel efficiency is gained through the use of an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system – with the added benefit of providing a very tight turning radius of only 15.1 feet – as well as a helpful ECO indicator light that illuminates to signal the driver when they are achieving exemplary fuel economy while driving.
Also helping on the environmental front: The Mitsubishi Mirage has been designed to have a lower environmental impact in the manufacturing process by utilizing recycled materials, vehicle parts that can be easily recycled, and by greatly reducing the use of hazardous materials
Three-Cylinder Engine: Efficiently Capable
Beneath the hood of every 2015 Mirage is a fuel-sipping 1.2-liter 3-cylinder DOHC engine that features the latest version of Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) variable valve-timing system that maximizes fuel efficiency and power output while greatly minimizing exhaust emissions.
Making use of a high compression ratio of 10.5:1, a bore and stroke measuring 3.0 in. (75 mm) x 3.5 in. (90 mm), respectively, and employing a lightweight aluminum engine block, this economical 3-cylinder powerplant produces 74 bhp at 6000 rpm and a full 74 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm – all while tipping the scales at less than 170 lbs.
With a power output of 74 bhp and 74 lb.-ft. of torque, working in tandem with the 5-door subcompact's featherweight curb weight of just less than one ton, the 2015 Mirage has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Chevrolet Spark.
Additional efficiency has been achieved by reducing the friction and mass of numerous key engine components including the lightweight hollow camshaft and pistons as well as resin-coated low friction bearings, low-friction piston rings, improved surface smoothness of the valve stems and camshaft journals, along with the addition of an output optimized engine oil pump that circulates lower viscosity engine oil (0W-20 grade).
Choice of Smooth-Shifting Manual or Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT)
The 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is available with either a precise shifting 5-speed manual or a high-tech continuously-variable transmission (CVT).
Based on the unit equipped in the recently redesigned Mitsubishi Outlander 7-passenger crossover/SUV, the CVT features Mitsubishi Motors' excellent INVECS III technology that automatically selects the optimal gear ratio based on road and driving conditions for a more polished ride quality.
Another welcome design feature included in the CVT is Idle Neutral Logic, a technology that reduces friction loss of the CVT by more precisely controlling the clutch when the vehicle is at standstill while in "D" (drive).
The EPA-rated fuel economy for the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is 40 mpg combined and a phenomenal 44 mpg highway (40 mpg combined/37 mpg city/44 mpg highway) on models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and 37 mpg combined/34 mpg city/42 mpg highway on 5-speed manual transmission-equipped models.
Exemplary Safety Features and Vehicle Warranty
Every 2015 Mirage comes equipped with a wide array of safety features and technologies at no additional cost to the consumer. These include a seven (7) air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) including dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver's knee air bag; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL). Mirage models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) also include Hill Start Assist (HSA).
Another welcome safety technology is a brake override system. Should the brake and accelerator pedals be applied simultaneously while the vehicle is moving, the engine ECU will override the accelerator's input and give priority to the brakes – a fail-safe function that greatly reduces the risk of an unintended acceleration.
Additional protection is provided to the vehicle's occupants by Mitsubishi Motors' patented high-tech Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) impact-absorbing safety cell technology. In the event of a collision, the RISE system's energy-absorbing body structure helps to dissipate kinetic energy away from the driver and passengers.
And speaking of protection, the 2015 Mirage boasts Mitsubishi Motors' exceptional warranty – one of the best protection plans in the entire auto industry: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty; and 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.
Available fun exterior paint hues for the 2015 Mirage include Sapphire Blue, Kiwi Green, Infra Red, Plasma Purple, Cloud White, Mystic Black, Starlight Silver and Thunder Gray.
With its very affordable price, class-leading EPA fuel economy rating of up to 40 mpg combined, and plentiful standard and available upscale features, it's no wonder that the award-winning Mitsubishi Mirage is quickly becoming one of the best-selling models in Mitsubishi Motors' revamped vehicle lineup.
*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Excludes destination/handling, tax, title, license etc. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your Mitsubishi retailer for details. Destination/handling charges for Mitsubishi Mirage $810; Alaska/Hawaii $935.