I've been wanting to purchase a Mirage 5 speed for two years now. Professional reviews are ridiculous. Most so-called negatives are actually positives for most prospective buyers' who would even take a look at such a car.
Right now my wife and I own a 2015 F150 "work truck"; regular cab; short bed; 2wd that we bought new in 2015 and paid $27.8K; paid it off in just three years. It's got the amazing 2.7L twin turbo that is super refined, quick and torquey while also averaging 24.2 mpg lifetime and gives us all the utility we'd ever need and looks great too despite lacking the 30 grand extra for the higher end trim appearance packages with extra doors. Our decision to go very basic in a new car and to try out this idea of choosing "value" over bling and plush and more than we need, has served us well.
I am less ecstatic about our other basic transporter. We traded another very basic car one year ago; a 2015 Fiat 500 auto transmission with 101 hp for a Kia Soul 5 speed with 130 hp (both equally slow). We got the Soul, because my wife loved the styling; we didn't like owning a 2 door hatchback for utility reasons; and the Fiat had only about 300 mile range on a tank of gas; and it was a little top heavy in the handling department. The good: We liked its looks, It got up to 36 mpg on a tank in mixed driving; and it had sharp/tight steering but not a tight radius. The Soul rides and handles fantastically for a an entry compact; simple-built power train with easy maintenance; and roomy inside with its high roofline, but I never liked its looks. I've ended up being the primary driver of a car I don't like, however, because my wife avoids driving it due to deciding she doesn't like to manually shift even though she picked the car out despite knowing it is a 5 speed. Manual is a must for me. Besides not liking its styling; I hate driving a weak-performing car; that's also small; that's also averaging only 32 mpg in a 60 mile daily commute at 60 mph along state routes in a rural area. I don't mind slow and small as long as I'm getting great mpg. I once dove a TDI Jetta along this same commute and averaged 46 mpg versus a 41 mpg highway estimate with 0-60 rated at 11.5 seconds; and I can get 25.5 in my full size pickup driving this route. So this uninspiring, ugly hatchback is unacceptable in the mpg department for my standards even though it beats the epa estimate and is a good, reliable car.
I'm looking to trade for Mirage ES. It is interesting that, when we traded the Fiat for the Soul, we were also considering a brand new Mirage versus a two-year-old Soul. The price I was quoted out the door for a brand new Mirage last year ended up being the exact price I ended up paying for the used Soul. The Soul has no cruise control. I need cruise control.
Two things I don't like about the new Mirage are: automatic climate control and 3,000 RPM at 60 mph; but as soon as I can make it work in the budget, I'll be trading the Soul for a Mirage and put up with a climate control that makes decsions for me and a fast-running engine along my commute. For reference, my truck turns 1510 rpm; and the Soul turns 2750 along my commute. I think its right that the 2019 Mirage comes standard with cruise and manual climate controls, but so far I'm not seeing a low enough price in a slightly-used Mirage to make economic sense. Thanks to this group for all you do.