Mirage body roll: from Cars Bikes Trucks (left), Autoworld (right)
Would you prefer the Mirage had less body roll?
VOTE in the poll at the top of this page, and I'll pass the results on to Mitsubishi North America.
The car's soft handling is one of the most common complaints in media reviews. (I've read over 200 of them.) And I'll be honest: when I drove the car myself I was surprised at the copious lean. In fact, I can't think of another small car I've driven that's quite so rolly (and no, I've never driven a Citroen 2CV). I've owned & driven a lot of sub-compact economy cars.
Of course, nobody expects Mitsu's budget "global car" to be a flickable handler, despite the engineers' almost Colin Chapmanesque attention to weight savings.
And let's not forget the upside to a soft suspension is the unusually plush ride for a car this size. Reducing body roll would take away from that to some extent. And of course it would also add something to the price.
But my opinion is they they didn't get the ride/handling balance right for those of us lucky enough to drive on mostly smooth roads. So I was genuinely surprised at Mitsubishi's response when I asked why they didn't firm things up for the U.S.:
With respect to Mitsubishi's friendly P.R. rep Alex Fedorak, I wonder if he had to hold his nose with one hand while tapping out the official company line with the other."We felt it was not needed."
Guess which car handles better?
Heck, even my 17 year-old, ridiculously basic Geo Metro (Pontiac Firefly) came with factory front and rear stabilizer bars (the Mirage only has one on the front). Did it come with a radio? Nope! Power steering? Nope! Any safety, comfort or convenience features even remotely comparable to the Mirage's? Definitely nope! Yet I'd rather drive the Metro through an S-curve or emergency maneuver than the Mirage.
In Canada, the Mirage's biggest competitor is the new, $10k Nissan Micra. Care to guess how many stabilizer bars the Micra comes with? Care to guess how many reviewers have said they prefer the Mirage's ride/handling balance over the little Nissan's? Exactly.
I know how I'm voting!