I can speak from my personal experience as a consumer looking (for the last 2 months) to buy a new car:
First I started looking at the Versa Sedan (S Base model with manual windows, locks, bluetooth but has no usb connection for the radio)
As I watched review videos on the Versa on YouTube, a couple of people mentioned the mirage. I looked into the Mirage but immediately noticed it was a hatchback and I was turned off (We dont really care for hatchbacks very much in the USA)
But as I read more and more reviews on the Versa I continued to hear the Mirage mentioned and the rebates that made it very close in price to the Versa S. (I think this was a big problem with Mitsu that instead of using a lower MSRP they use rebates to lower the price but consumers only read a review and see the MSRP so they are led to believe that the Mirage costs $2k more than the Versa S)
As I read more reviews and epsecially reviews on KBB from actual owners of the car (rather than the professional reviewers that insulted the car because they where comparing it to a much more expensive car such as the Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta) I noticed on KBB that the Mirage has much better, consistent reviews from owners than the Versa did.
I went to test drive a Versa S and was really turned off by the cheapness of the interior, the fact that the headrest on the front seats was not adjustable and the seats themselves looked really cheap as well as the interior with the manual windows, it really made me feel that I would be embarassed to take a girl on a first date in this car (the Versa). ALso the fact that the rear seats do not fold down was a royal pain in the a$s (But there is a solution, you have to remove 2 bolts and actually take the rear seat backs OUT!) LoL
THe Versa is cheaper but Nissan went way too far and left out features that are really considered essentials nowadays and me being a minimalist am saying this, I need to have USB in for the radio and because its manual windows and I like to roll down the front and rear window on my side it would be a real inconvenience every day to open the rear door to roll down the back window and then roll it back up when I arrive to my destination(after having to open the rear door once again).
Mitsu could have introduced the Mirage sedan in 2014 and if they had done that I think they would be way ahead in the numbers. They should have known the aversion that USA has to hatchbacks and they are way behind in that regard.
The versa is selling so well in the USA because
1) It is a sedan
2) It has alot of room in the backseat (which the professional reviewers continue to chant over and over again)
3) It is the best selling subcompact in the USA for several years in a row (which the professional reviewers continue to chant over and over again) and most Americans are sheep that follow the trends
4) There are several favorable reviews for the Versa where as 90% of professional reviewers of the Mirage have insulted the car
5) Nissan is more well known, has a larger presence, is spending more on advertising the Versa than mitsu is
6) The VErsa is a more "typical" looking car compared to the Mirage which looks "unusual" to Americans and most of them are sheep and too scared to go outside the box. Just look at how well the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have sold for years (plain janes)
I have good hopes for the 2017 Mirage Sedan in the USA, with the proper marketing strategy and a lower MSRP (rather than using rebates to lower the price) and if they would bribe some of the professional reviewers to give a positive review...... I think they will turn things around completely.
Of course with low prices of oil currently, the Americans have little to no interest in subcompacts and are mostly looking for SUVs, CUV's and V6 sedans