There seems to be a misconception that the Mirage is universally hated by car reviewers.
This is a statement I see regularly on other car sites (both from reviewers themselves and from commenters), and sometimes even around here.
But it's a myth.
Yes, many of the "enthusiast" rags & some big name sites have been particularly hard on the car, but it's not hard to find more balanced reviews. We've summarized & linked to over 300 reviews of the Mirage from around the world, and they're far from all bad.
Oh, and the car has also managed to win numerous awards around the world ... but let's stick to the reviews themselves.
Here are 40 reviews with balanced/positive conclusions:
This Is Why The Mitsubishi Mirage Demands Your Respect, carbuzz.com 2017 hatch review
Good review: 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES – The Practical Runabout (TFLcar.com)It's for people that simply want basic and reliable transportation, and the Mirage is excellent for that. Really.
Review - 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4: A Good Starter Car (autobroadcast.com)The Mirage initially may appear to be just another inexpensive high-economy car, but those who look closer will see there’s a lot more to it than that.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Sedan Review - It's Fine (The Truth About Cars / TTAC)The Mirage is a car that offers you what you need for driving without any of the frills that often come along and hike up the price. If you’re looking for a good car to start out, this is a choice you should consider.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT race organizer review (Murilee Martin - Autoweek.com)not fun, but it’s not a penalty either. It’s more comfortable than a Yaris, feels bigger inside than an Accent, and the build quality seems competitive for the “how cheap can we make this?” class. I’ve driven the pre-refresh hatch. I despised it. This is definitely better. Not massively better, but better nonetheless. It’s fine. Which I seem to say a lot about this car. It sums it up well.
Road Test: 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE sedan CVT (Clean Fleet Report)the Mirage is yet more evidence that we are living in the Golden Age of Cheapo Econoboxes. [...]
Very cheap, very good warranty, Point A to Point B. ... Don't bother with the GT or even the SE; you don't need shiny wheels or Bluetooth or a CVT. Get the ES with 5-speed and an old-school AUX cable for your smartphone.
Another decent review: 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan CVT (Driving.ca)the Mirage is good, basic transportation if you spend the majority of your time driving in a city or small town.... Mirage G4 should be on your shopping list. It does deliver excellent fuel economy and seating for five at a very competitive price.
Good review: 2017 Mirage hatchback (CVT / GT) - Lake Tahoe NewsIf you’re a confident driver, in your hands the Mirage G4 will feel go-kart-like, very nimble and easy to move about in traffic. ... driver inputs are direct and expected. [...] ... sometimes, a cheap and cheerful econobox is all you need. And the Mirage G4 — with its low price, excellent fuel economy, stellar warranty and tech offerings — is a tasty one.
Mitsubishi Mirage - Surprisingly Honest Fun (Malaysia)I found nothing wanting. This is a surprising good car
Motor Week 2015 Mirage reviewa simple and unpretentious car such as the all-new Mitsubishi Mirage comes across as a very refreshing preposition.
2015 Mitsubishi Mirage CVT review (Aaron Gold - cars.about.com)Mitsubishi realizes that they are facing an up-hill battle, but bringing the Mirage to market with a great ride, acceptable build quality, and respectable comfort for a city car is a sound plan.
Car Review w/ video: 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-speed - a decent review (Driving.ca)The Mirage delivers good gas mileage, proven reliability, and a comprehensive warranty. And for the price Mitsubishi is asking, that’s good enough for me.
US: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage long-term test Wrap-up (About.com / Aaron Gold)Value for money: good. Mitsubishi's fuel-sipping, no frills hatchback offers straightforward commuting at an affordable price
A Year in Cars, 2014: The Mitsubishi Mirage Delivers a SurpriseConclusion: A budget car that respects your budget
The Mirage may have its share of detractors, but after living with the car for six months, Robin and I are favorably impressed. The Mirage is small, inexpensive and practical, and proved to us that living with an inexpensive car is easy… especially on the wallet.
Chicago Tribune gets it: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage pushes fuel economy, valueIt may not be a stellar, game-changing hatchback to drive, but it is a basic one that comes with a five-year guarantee [...] we applaud Mitsubishi for its gutsiness in showing American customers that a bargain-priced new car is possible for about 15 grand. Sometimes, the best kind of surprise is the one you weren't expecting.
another favorable review???? what's going on here?Value is the reason for its existence, therefore it succeeds. [...] The Mirage does what it was intended to do and it does it effectively. It may be the solution for budget-minded consumers and for Mitsubishi.
US: Fuel economy no mirage -- (Mirage ES CVT review) -- Northwest HeraldThe '14 Mirage ES offers absolutely nothing to the car enthusiast [...] but it handles transportation duties with admirable efficiency and comfort and comes with a not-at-all-painful price tag. [...] I'm sure many Mirage owners will come to love their cars over the years, and lovable is what you look for in this sort of car.
Australia: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage sedan review/first drive (CarsGuide.com.au)The Mirage is not a glamorous car, but the fuel economy speaks for itself. The warranty might compensate for trim deficiencies such as hard plastics for dashboard and inside panels. [...] Mitsubishi's 2014 Mirage can be described in several ways, but all of them add up to this: The hatchback is small, economical and devoid of pretension.
Australia: Mitsubishi Mirage LS CVT review & video (Carsguide.com.au)Let me come straight to the point. This car is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. [...]
...this anonymous-looking $14,490 car is one of the best sedans money can buy.
Why One Young Woman Bought a 2014 Mitusbishi Mirage: Frugal ShoppingIf you need a little hatch that ticks all the safety, value and basic features boxes, the Mirage is a good little unit that’s handy for city use, and comfortable enough for the daily grind.
Murilee Martin from AutoWeek reviews the MirageThe surprise hit of all these vehicles was the Mitsubishi Mirage ... it's possible to get a new car in America, with more features than you might expect, for far less than you might predict
US: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage: New Car Review (AutoTrader.com)In short, the Mirage is a car that doesn't over-promise and doesn't under-deliver. [...] the Mirage competes well with other city cars where its price, fuel economy and slate of standard features are concerned. If Mitsubishi can inform the public about the Mirage's existence and draw prospective buyers into showrooms, we wouldn't be surprised if they're able to beat their modest sales predictions.
UK review: modest and efficient Mirage is making the most out of simplicityThe 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage has a simple goal: to provide cheap transportation with minimal fuss. On the whole, we'd say mission accomplished. [...] ...if your personal test simply concerns whether or not the car fits your budget and gives you great fuel economy, it's hard to argue with the Mirage. Take one for a spin
Australia: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage review - ES auto (Carsguide.com.au)What the Mirage does best is make the most of simplicity. There are few petrol-engined cars that creep under the magic 100g/km barrier at this price point, and it’s as challenging to own and drive as a pre-completed crossword.
US: Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (SubcompactCulture.com)It feels durable, has a five-year warranty and doesn't guzzle the petrol — what more can be expected of a $13K car? ... The Mirage makes value-for-money sense in a segment where money talks.
Canada: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage SE CVT review (Doubleclutch.ca)Despite its Spartan feel and not so noteworthy driving dynamics, there is an honest, simple quality to the Mirage. It’s kind of like finding a pair of inexpensive jeans that fit well. They’re basic, they’re blue, they fit, and they’ll probably last a while, too.
DRIVEN: Paultan's review of the 2014 Mirage (Malaysia)...for the average young city dweller, uninterested in the automotive world, but looking for cheap, safe and reliable transportation, the happy little Mirage will get the job done and is definitely worth a look.
UK: Mirage Review -- Mitsubishi Goes Back to the Drawing Board (PlymouthHerald.co.uk)The Mirage is a decent offering from Mitsubishi. Aside from some concerns regarding its material quality, lack of boot space and power, there isn’t much to complain about. If you’re looking for a first car, or an upgrade from something smaller, you might want to add this hatchback to your list.
US: 2014 Mirage -- Best and Worst Cars I've Driven This Year (Jalopnik.com)MITSUBISHI tends to do small cars rather well ... if you want something a little different you might find a lot to like here.
US: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage First Drive (Edmunds.com)If you want proof that even the cheapest, chintziest cars can make you happy, look no further than the Mistubishi Mirage. I expected the thing to be painfully dull, instead it was outstanding. It felt light, eager, and with its grumbling little inline-three, it just made me want to drive it like a lunatic. And I did, and it was fantastic.
US: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage video review by AutobytelMitsubishi knows this isn't a flashy hatchback, so there are no false pretenses here. This is an inexpensive car that will deliver outstanding mileage. If you want more than that, look elsewhere
New Zealand review: Mirage with character (companyvehicle.co.nz)I've been more than pleasantly surprised. The 5-speed shifts crisply, the engine sounds great... and it's more enjoyable to drive than I expected. Plus there's plenty of great features on the inside. If you're talking bang for your buck, fuel economy, subcompact driving pleasure, you've got to take a look at the Mitsubishi Mirage.
US: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage: The Jalopnik Review (jalopnik.com)reasonably well-equipped for the price, unpretentious, and pretty much the perfect size for city living. Plus, it has ... character.
US: someone finally gets it - Mirage review "Getting from point A to point B"It's cheap, sure, it's loud, low-powered, plasticky, and gripless, but it's also incredibly light, nimble, fantastic on gas, useful, and almost, in its own way, fun.
Canada: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage- Named for what it turns gas stations intoSo if you are looking for a pretty well equipped car that will get you where you need to go and still have plenty of money left over so you're not eating macaroni and cheese every night, the Mitsubishi Mirage might be a good car for you.
Canada: Mitsubishi Drives Onto Hot Sub-compact Market (autonet.ca)So for a second family car or a first for younger buyers, the Mirage has all the tools to handle day to day commuting and a little fun on the weekend without breaking either the purchase bank or monthly fuel bill.
U.K: Mitsubishi Mirage - a roomy and lively small car (thestar.co.uk)7/10 - Overall: A nice little commuter car with good manners and nice fit and finish
Canada: Mitsubishi Mirage is game changer (Nanaimo Daily News)..the car is certainly worth considering especially because Mitsubishi has a longstanding reputation in the UK for producing good quality cars. My Verdict: A roomy and lively small car.
Canada: Mirage is as easy on your wallet as it is on gas (Victoria Times Colonist)The Mirage breaks new ground and could well change the fundamental way we look at economical family transportation.
In absolute numbers, the Chevrolet Spark is smaller, more powerful and less expensive. But if seating for five and fuel economy is more important, the Mirage heads to the top of the class