I've been a member/admirer of the Mirage for the past 3 years and finally made it to the dealer to drive one. The salesman was super low pressure and didnt even require me to go inside to talk numbers. I drove an SE manual, one of the last few left.
First, I must say I'm impressed and in love with the apple CarPlay stereo. You can do so much with that little radio that I was in awe I was sitting in such a cheap car. It will send texts, take directions Verbally and then put in on the map. It didn't have any trouble understanding requests. I mean it was awesome! The only downside is requiring the phone to be plugged in.
The interior was decently upscale looking, not as cheap as I remembered on a 14 model I sat in. The leather wraps and piano black trim helps a lot here. However, the passenger airbag cover was a completely different shade of gray from the rest of the dash and stuck out like a sore thumb. Are others noticing this? AC seemed a little weak but I don't think it was set on auto and was at a low fan speed. The driver's seat was relatively comfortable and the cloth nice and plush. Trunk space was adequate and the seats fold nice and flat. View out the windshield was panoramic and it was easy to step in/out.
Now for the driving experience... The steering wheel was tilted to the left, as if the wheel alignment was off and that's a big pet peeve of mine so it annoyed me some. I'm hoping just a tire was low or maybe the wheel just needs to be centered (this car has been on their lot for a year and only had 30 miles so it's been sitting a lot). The steering was firm and tight, not overboosted like the magazines mentioned on older models. Suspension seemed to ride and handle just fine, although I did hear a tiny little clunk when initiating a right turn. At 50 mph, the ride was plenty quiet, on par with just about any other car. Clutch was super light and pretty easy to drive smooth. Shifter was easy to work.
Two things were a bit concerning though. One, the brakes had very little bite to them. Granted, they aren't broke in yet but the car just didn't seem to have much stopping power. Two, the power was pretty anemic off the line. I know the car is slow and I was keeping an open mind but pulling out in traffic would be difficult in this car. It felt like I was towing another Mirage behind me. Once under way, the car gained speed adequately. I didn't push the engine too hard as I don't want to wreck someone's engine during the important break-in. Being used to Fiat turbo motors, I'm not sure I could deal with the lack of pull out power as traffic is awful in certain areas and you have to utilize small breaks in the traffic.
Would I buy it? I'm still on the fence. Without actually sitting down, I was offered around 11.5-12k out the door which is a decent deal. I could probably get them down to 10.5-11k. It's calling to me as I'd rather beat it up delivering food then my more expensive Fiats but man, I dont want to get run over trying to pull out!