I realized I made this way too long... so TLDR: Bought a 2019 Mirage ES 5 speed and hoping it's decent.
Hey there! I'm the next new guy here I guess. Took advantage of a "We will pay $4000 for any trade in" and got rid of a derelict rusted out dying 1989 Dodge Spirit and purchased a brand new 2019 Mirage ES 5 speed hatchback. I've looked at them with various amounts of intrigue since they came out back in 2014 and test drove a couple of them (one new one with a CVT which I didn't like, and two used ones with manuals that were very very trashed) and then forgot about them except when I would see the hot pink one drive by that lives near me. Anyway, I spent some time looking at the reviews of the car and by god does it seem that everyone that reviewed it couldn't stand the thing! But it didn't seem their complaints really made too much sense to me because they hated on it for being cheap and basic when it's SUPPOSED to be cheap and basic. Same thing happened with the Toyota Yaris which I've owned quite a few in the past (and still have two here) and they're bulletproof.
Anyway, speaking of the Yaris, Toyota was stingy on the 2012 redesign and you could only get the stick shift with the 5 door if you bought the SE model which cost almost as much as buying a Corolla. Makes no sense really. Plus now, they've pretty much cancelled the Yaris hatchback in the USA so I can't buy one anymore. They have that Yaris sedan now, but it's a crap Mazda with lots of problems. No thank you.
I recently purchased one of the new 2019 Corolla hatchbacks that just came out and love it but it wasn't terribly cheap and the inside of it is really nice leather so I didn't want to use it for carrying nasty car parts and my Shiba Inus. Plus we have terrible road salt here in Illinois so I didn't want what I'm hoping is a car that I'll have for the next 20 years or longer getting full of rust and paint chips from winter so it's stored in the garage until spring. I decided to do a search again for what the cheapest new car is on the market and came up with the Versa, the Spark, and the Mirage. Nissan I hate so that had to go, same as the Chevy which is Daewoo trash. Toyota abandoned the Yaris hatchback so that was out of the running as well. So, looked into the Mirage again. Found what I hope was a decent deal at a dealer in Madison Wisconsin and drove the ol' Spirit up there and came back home with a new Mirage in a dark gray color. No more bright green or hot pink which sucks! Anyway, the dealer adds on a 30 year 300,000 mile powertrain warranty which helped convince me to buy the thing because that alleviated my worry about the engine dying or doing what the old Mitsubishi V6's I've owned in various Chryslers and burning lots of oil. So yeah, the Mirage is the part/dog/salt runner. Here's hoping it lasts to the end of that powertrain warranty!
Two things I'd like to improve or change as soon as possible. One, the stock radio sucks and it is nowhere near loud enough to combat the road noise going 75-80 MPH on the highway. I saw the Rockford Fosgate accessory online for under $500. Is it worth it? The second thing is adding the fog lights mainly because of the switch that's there that doesn't do anything. Total departure from the Toyotas which have lots of blank plates for options you don't have hahaha.
Thanks for having me!