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Thread: Owner review 2013 Mirage LS CVT

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    Owner review 2013 Mirage LS CVT



    Well at last I got to have a decent drive of the Mirage when we went to Napier during the weekend, a 600km round trip, so here are my initial impressions.

    A couple of things to bear in mind when reading these impressions. First we have already replaced the stock rims and tyres with 14" alloys which as well as being wider (6" vs the 4.5" steels), have less offset (38mm vs 46mm standard) so the car now has a wider track than standard and more rubber on the road. Second, we had the bike rack and two bikes on the back so the car was carrying about 40kg of additional weight behind the rear wheels. Both I would expect to have an effect on handling.

    Travel conditions were rat**** with the outward trip being dark and windy, while the homeward trip was dark and windy with torrential rain. If nothing else, the headlights got a good workout and they are pretty reasonable.

    The car was pretty comfortable for my 184cm frame. There was plenty of head and leg room, even when cruising around Napier with an extra couple in the rear seats. The people in the rear weren't complaining. The manual air conditioning kept the windows clear under trying conditions and we were able to get a comfortable climate inside.

    Power wise it is adequate. Coming into and out of Napier there are some pretty serious hills and given that the car is still "running-in" we took it pretty easy but were still able to run with the traffic. On the straights the car feels very relaxed indeed wombling along at our 100km/hr speed limit with plenty to spare for passing. In fact the car seems to have a sweet spot around this speed so no complaints there.

    The CVT gearbox I'm still trying to get my head around. The Mirage replaces a 2006 Mitsi Colt Sport which was also CVT. I have read somewhere that the Mirage CVT assembly runs in conjunction with a two speed planetary gear set to give a wider range of ratios whereas I don't believe the Colt had this. Of the two I do prefer the Colt setup which was totally unobtrusive. The Mirage does fluff about a bit, a little like a conventional automatic hunting for the right ratio, and going down hill with light braking applied the CVT seems to "drop to a lower gear" as it were, second guessing what the driver is doing with the brake pedal. This results in too much deceleration so I release the brake pedal and the CVT then "changes up". Maybe it is just the gearbox settling in and the electronics learning as I believe they do. By and large though it isn't a bad gearbox.

    Handling. Hmmm, here's the rub. There's plenty of grip once the car is set up in a corner, and the steering is pretty responsive, but the fun and games come as the steering is turned to enter a corner. The car almost seems to lurch as the steering is turned, then it settles down again and follows a good line through the corner if the road is smooth. If there are any significant bumps in the corner, the car bump steers significantly. I don't believe the car has bad suspension, but suspect that the problem is the shock absorbers have very little low speed damping in order to produce a very smooth ride, but at the cost of very little control of the initial roll of the car as it is turned into a corner.

    It is always possible of course that the lurch is exacerbated by the greater grip afforded by the wider tyres fitted.

    Jamiec commented that the Aussie market Mirage comes standard with an anti-roll bar and I suspect that one of these would sort things out and produce a nice handling car. I'm working on this, hoping that someone will post a photo of the anti-roll bar for me to palagarise.

    Fuel economy was a long way short of the brochure but not bad considering that the car is new, the trip was done with the air conditioning running constantly, two adults plus baggage for the weekend and two bikes on the rack behind. We recorded 44.3mpg (6.4ltr/100km). No complaints there at all. For comparison, my 2010 Suzuki Alto, 70,000km on the clock, with similar loading including the bikes on a similar run returned somewhere around 52mpg on a similar run recently.

    So overall the Mirage is not a bad wee car at all, and I do believe that with the addition of an anti-roll bar it will be a very endearing car.

    Regards to all
    Flange



  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Flange For This Useful Post:

    CLARK (06-18-2013),MetroMPG (06-17-2013)

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed review, Flange.

    (Hope you don't mind I copied a pic of the car into your review from another thread.)

    You confirmed a few points we've seen in other (commercial) reviews:

    -- The rear seats are decently spacious, despite the car's small size

    -- The handling... ultimate grip is OK, but that initial body roll takes getting used to.

    I'm surprised the NZ spec car doesn't have the anti-roll bar fitted already.

        __________________________________________

        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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    OK, so there's a lesson for myself (again) - ensure eyes are properly engaged before opening mouth. With the help of a torch and a closer inspection I see that our Mirage does in fact have an anti-roll bar fitted.

    So there's something to check out in due course, can it be adjusted ? Any thoughts from the team ?

    Regards to all
    Flange

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    Hi Flange
    Welcome to the forum - good to have another Kiwi on board. MetroMPG is a great host and runs this forum very diligently along with a couple of others. I certainly appreciate their efforts. I see you have spotted the front anti-roll on your Mirage now - it is on the NZ spec sheet. Like you I suspect the rear suspension needs some mods to settle it down - maybe better shocks and a rear anti-roll bar. At this stage I'm living with it and driving accordingly - check out my driving impressions. Although I now reside north of Kaitaia I regularly return to Waimana to my farm and catch up with family and friends. I would like to maybe meet you sometime to compare our experiences with our Mirages. So far I've traveled about 4500km and averaged over 50mpg.
    Regards
    CLARK

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage GLS 1.2 automatic: 46.8 mpg (US) ... 19.9 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Hey there Clark

    Thanks for your welcoming sentiments. I surely do share your sentiments re MetroMPG and his helpers, this forum does have a very nice feel to it and is shaping up to be a treasure trove of knowledge.

    I will PM you shortly on some of the more personal stuff.

    Regards
    Flange

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    Thanks for the wright up Flange.

    Would you mind doing a comparison between the Mirage and your Alto as I have been thinking how they compare and as you have both I think that would be interesting?

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    Hey there Jamiec

    Will do, but I will think it through for a wee while so as to make it as well reasoned as possible.
    Cheers
    Flange

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    Sounds great thanks Flange

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flange View Post
    ...our Mirage does in fact have an anti-roll bar fitted.

    So there's something to check out in due course, can it be adjusted ?
    I don't believe so. Some aftermarket bars are adjustable, by providing multiple connection points (holes) where the bar connects to the suspension. By changing the effective length of the "lever" from the bar's fixed mounting point (on the chassis/frame) out to its free (suspension) end, you change its stiffness.

    Perhaps the Mirage's stock bar is modifiable though?

    EG. see:

        __________________________________________

        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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    Ah so, that makes sense thanks to you MetroMPG and to the nice man from Whiteline. I have difficulty getting my head around the distance between the bush and the mounting point being what makes the bar stronger or weaker. Seems to me that the whole sway bar is just a long torsion bar so it would be a reduction in overall length which would result in a stiffer "spring" in the same way that a coil spring is strengthened by cutting off a coil ?



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