Roughly 1000km into our 18 Mirage ES 5MT in depthish
As a general overview, I quite enjoy the little turd. Yes, it's a little piece of crap, I'm not wowing anybody and certainly not turning heads. However having test driven the 2015 model, I can tell that HEAPS of refinement has happened in a short time.
I'm likely going to miss a few things here, but I'll try and do segments.
Now, that 4/10 is considering the market segment, not just comparing it to the modern 350hp sedan. Why 4/10? Because this thing has no powerband. Sure it's got some torque low down, but with redline at 6500rpm, it leaves a LOT to be desired. Letting it sing to 7000 would really keep it in the powerband, whereas each upshift (especially 1-2) really drops you well out of it.
Getting up to highway speeds is a challenge. Each onramp must be tackled with full throttle as soon as you can on the last bend, if you want to have a hope of merging at the rate of traffic. Factor in that the majority of onramps in my area are a short ramp on an uphill climb, and that the 2-3 shift happens around 90km/h at redline, leaving you below the powerband as you reach the highway, well, it's a little threatening.
That said, it's eager to please and can climb the sea to sky highway without often needing to downshift to 4th. And those are some heavy grades.
It works well, and the ratios are decently set, however I'd say a bit longer first gear and a shortening of the other 4 would make general travel a little bit easier. Being a city car, I can see why it's geared as it is. For the highway... there desperately needs to be a 6th gear. 3000rpm at 100km/h isn't horrible, but if you want to maintain 110-120, you are revving high and killing fuel. 3600 on the highway is a bit crazy.
That said, it works. It's a light clutch with absolutely no feedback, but it's still fairly intuitive. 3rd gear takes a heavy hand, and going from 1-R and back again takes a quick N-pop to get the flywheel moving so it'll sync up, otherwise it's like moving the shifter into a brick wall. Easy to drive, with its quirks. I have grown to love it.
This is a VERY roly poly car. Feels quite unstable. It feels to me that the springs are well rated, but slighty stiffer shocks would be a certain upgrade in future. Whatever is happening for a swaybar is the real culprit though.
As an additional note, the wheels need another 1" of offset. Tucked too far under which contributes to the rolling feeling as well.
I love the looks. The rear spoiler, the low front chin, the upswept bodylines, it's a tidy car from every angle except head on. Head on it looks kind of like a new aero citybus. Blunt and a hair too rounded. But, again, I like it.
10? HOW! Well, I paid $12,500 AFTER Delivery/Freight/PDI, AND I got winters mounted and balanced on steel rims. So, for the car itself, I paid about $9000 Canadian. For that, I have bluetooth hands free calling and audio, a back up camera, a not-atrocious 4 speaker sound system, and a decent-ish trip computer. Power windows, power mirrors. For more money I would certainly have expected a few more features, but I'm fine without AC, Cruise, and rear power windows and door locks.
Would be nice to be able to option the Xenon headlamps without bumping up a $4000 package that also includes crap I don't want.
It's tidy and functional. I wish the trip computer had a few features integrated into the touchscreen though. It's a rather tricky single button unit that certainly can't be worked while driving. No instantaneous fuel consumption is an annoyance.
Can't speak to too many features since I don't have most of them, but the blank buttons that do nothing for me seem to be in good places?
The cupholders are in **** positions. The 12V power outlet completely blocks the passenger cupholder. No armrests makes extended travel quite tiring. As a 6'4 240lb man, I fit, that's pretty important. Discovered pretty quick that the rearview mirror is on a dual pivot, so I can crank it as low as it will go and see over it, which is nice for the highway, or slam it to the ceiling for city pedestrian viewing.
Important note, the front defrost doesn't work well at all. With such a long raked windscreen, the heat doesn't really get to the top, which is what I see through...
Seats are rigid but supportive which is nice. Would kill for lumbar support.
THE TRUNK PAN IS ATROCIOUS. Literal cardboard, not cut to fit so all your small purchases fall down with the spare tire. My single largest complaint.
There is no blindspot behind the A pillar compared to anything else these days. There is perfect visibility out the back window. There is perfect visibility everywhere.
Added bonus, since the rear view has such a magical shot out the rear window, you can REALLY crank out the side mirrors to -literally- eliminate 8 and 4 blind spots.
Once you accept that you have purchased the slowest, nearly smallest vehicle out there, it's pretty fun. Not super clunky, not super frustrating, good visibility, nimble in the city, high revving on the highway. It's fun. Quirky, but fun.
It's not bad. Not what you would expect when trying to hypermile a 1.2L, 2000lb car though. It really should fair a bit better. I expect the stupid lack of a proper overdrive gear is the problem though. But, I don't have time to travel at 80km/h to keep it within it's happy range. I'll take 40+mpg at 120km/h though, I mean if I have to.
Again, I took advantage of some fairly significant savings, but still, it's a steal of a deal. A few small things listed above could have made it 10/10 though. Give me lumbar support, and give me the option to pay for Xenon lamps without adding a $4000 tech/bullcrap package along with it, and it could have got a 10/10. Had I not got the free winter tire package, I may have actually thought twice about this purchase though. I mean, why can $12,500 get me an econobox whereas $20,000 got me a 300hp 4X4 convertible able to scale a mountain?
*Yes, I know it's the second cheapest car in the Canadian Market. Still though...
It is important to note that over the past 3 years (I don't make decisions quickly), I've driven the Mirage 4 times. The Versa Note thrice. The Micra a few times. The Fit on multiple occasions. The Spark several times in all trims. The Mazda 2 back when it was around. The Smart. And all the others. 50+ test drives over 3 years, and this is what I bought. That should tell you enough. Every other car had it's equal share of flaws, but no wow factor. This nimble little turd is just a joy to drive.
Last edited by nickels; 11-30-2017 at 04:08 AM.
Reason: Missed section
View my fuel log 2018 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 43.1 mpg (US) ... 18.3 km/L ... 5.5 L/100 km ... 51.7 mpg (Imp)