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Thread: Roughly 1000km into our 18 Mirage ES 5MT in depthish

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    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.

    Power
    4/10


    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.

    Transmission
    8/10


    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.

    Suspension
    6/10


    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.

    Appearance
    Subjective 9/10


    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.

    Tech
    10/10


    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.

    Interior Layout/Comfort
    7/10


    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.

    Visibility
    12/10


    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.

    Drivability
    9/10


    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.

    Fuel Economy
    9/10


    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.

    Value
    8/10


    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...

    Overall
    9/10


    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

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log 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)


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  3. #2
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    I'll stick with the segments as it's a great idea.

    My Mirage, my 2nd one, is a ES PLus 5mt with AC, a 2017. It's greatly improved over my 2014 which was a weird build, not quite an SE but more toys than an ES Plus, it was a 5mt with climate control.

    Power
    7/10

    I'm OK with the power. I can get up to 110kmh even on the shorter ramps in my area without winding the crap out of it. I wish I had more grunt from 100kmh and up, but, 78hp can only do so much. Once I'm into 3rd I hardly ever shift around town. my 2017 has more power from 4k on up.

    Transmission
    8/10


    I don't get why Mits has such a high 5th ratio, 3600 rpm @120kmh when the CVT only turns about 2100 rpm @120kmh IIRC. I'm surprised the gas mileage doesn't suffer more. I love the shifting, smooth and short throw, I hardly ever use the clutch except when starting out. Really wish it had a 6th gear or better 5th ratio. Compared to my 5mt Saturn, the Mirage feels like a Ferrari shifter.

    Suspension
    7.5/10


    My 2014 was like a drunken clown. It was unstable. Whatever they changed on the 2017 made a huge improvement. I just came in from a 700km drive in windy conditions and the little guy tracked straight and true, even when surrounded by semi trucks.

    Appearance
    Subjective 10/10


    I love it. I is joe cool in it and it is a chik magnet! Lol.

    Actually, compared to competitive cars the Mirage looks great. The Micra looks horrid, weird roundness, the Fiesta is the standard (IMO) for looks, the Mits is far nicer than the Accent or Yaris. The Fit is close for looks.

    Tech
    10/10


    Nothing compares to the Mirage for value. Once you start pricing in a few goodies Fiesta's start pushing $18k, Fit's are more, Accents/Sparks might be close but then I don't want a 120+ hp motor in my econobox.

    Interior Layout/Comfort
    8/10


    I've rented every small car there is over the last couple years and the Mits is the easiest of them all for ergonomics and simplicity, and comfort (for me) Less is more and the Mits engineers used KISS to great effect. Buy the center console box for a Yaris from Ebay, costs about $40, it drops into the rear cup well, gives the missing armrest and lots of storage space. Use high density foam on the door ledge to save your elbow from going numb. I am fussy about seats because I have back issues and the Mits is the only car that allows me to drive 400km without crippling pain at the end of the trip. No other car among the 50+ I've rented has seats that suit me as well. (I could swear my 2014 had lumbar support? ) Oh, buy and use glow in the dark tape on the power window switches, the remote mirror switch and anywhere else you need to locate something in the dark without going crazy or crashing.
    Seats are rigid but supportive which is nice. Would kill for lumbar support. Both my radios have killer reception, way better than 90% of the cars out there.

    THE TRUNK PAN IS ATROCIOUS. Pretty sad isn't it?

    Visibility
    12/10


    Nothing to say here. It's easy to see out of.

    Drivability
    9/10


    Compared to my 5mt Saturn (Vue) the Mits is a blast to drive. I like quirky because that IS fun! Like I said, itz a chik magnet!

    Fuel Economy
    10/10


    Blows me away. I routinely get 20km/l which is 56mpg on the highway. I just drive the thing. That's doing 110-118kmh. Once I used 4.2l/100km, that's 67 Imp mpg, by driving slow and letting semis break the wind for me. That was really boring though.

    Value
    10/10


    I got lucky, twice. My first Mirage sat in a Mits warehouse from 2014 ->2016 when I bought it out the door for $11,600. Sold as new, 67kms, (that's 67 kilometers, not thousands) full warranty. Weird option package, 5mt, alloy wheels, climate control, fog lamps, heated seats, all power windows, no cruise or BT. Its somewhere between an ES Plus and SE for options.

    My 2nd Mirage was luck again, 2017, 157kms, (that's 157 kilometers, not thousands) standard AC, 5mt, BT phone, (got the extended warranty package offered earlier this year) out the door for $12,100. It think it's an ES Plus but it's a bit odd.)

    Needless to say NOTHING came even remotely close to these prices. My first Mirage was the better deal but that's life. I consider myself really lucky to have found both of them. I should mention both came from Ottawa/Gatineau dealers. Ontario dealers were smoking cheap drugs. One idiot told me to offer $1000 OVER MSRP to make sure the car would be mine (it was located elsewhere in Ontario and the dealer was in Newmarket so the car had to be fetched.

    Overall
    10/10


    I have a stack of receipts from renting Mirages, Fits, Notes, Accents, Elantras, Micras, Sparks, Yaris, Kias (dunno the model) over the last 4 years. I got a lot of wheel time on them all. Matter of fact, it's how the Mirage came to my attention. I saw it on the dealer lot in 2014 and lo and behold, my next rental from Enterprise was a Mirage! I fell in love almost immediately. All the subsequent rentals of every make just confirmed my love for the Mirage.

    Sorry to be long winded but the little guys deserves my praise!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2017 Mirage ES PLus 1.2 manual: 39.0 mpg (US) ... 16.6 km/L ... 6.0 L/100 km ... 46.8 mpg (Imp)


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  5. #3
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    With Traction control off on the 15s you don't get the sudden hard rev cut and it makes power for a little bit more RPM. Its a noticeable improvement. Might check it out for fun on the 18?

    While we're on the subject of power and rpm, what RPM is the 2018s limited too? There was a cam change between the pre15's @ 17's+

    I will have to double check my 15 for science of course lol

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    64-65 or so.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log 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)


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