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Thread: Considering my first Mirage/manual

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    Considering my first Mirage/manual

    Hello everyone! I am considering a Mitsubishi Mirage towards the end of this year. I have always been interested in learning how to drive a manual car. I am in my late 40s and have never had the opportunity. I am not really a car guy- I am just the kind of person who likes new challenges and different experiences and thought it would be interesting to learn a new skill set. I also have kids that will be driving in a few years and I love that stick shift driving reduces distracted driving, letting friends get behind the wheel etc. I like the Mirage because it is simple and offers a low cost to entry to try out a manual car and see if I like it. I was even considering leasing <gasp!> one, although purchasing is still on the table. My question is whether or not the manual transmission in the Mirage is beginner friendly. I get the sense that this car is a little quirky and so I was wondering if the manual transmission in this car was better suited to drivers that have more experience driving stick shift, or is that not an issue. I also want to know if I start taking lessons now to be ready later in the year is there likely to be a significant difference in the manual transmission in the car that I am learning on versus the Mirage? Living in Connecticut, I also have concerns about the Mirage in highway traffic and snow and hills, but for now my foremost question is whether or not this is a good entry point for someone who is manual-curious. Thanks so much!



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    Senior Member Dodge Aries K's Avatar
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    It's a very easy manual transmission to drive. I enjoy it even with all my aches and pains.
    -Karl B. 2015 DE 5 speed x 2. Plenty of other cars as well.

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    The Mirage 1.2L is an easy to drive manual. The 1.2 would be what you get in the States.

    The 1.0L (Asia, Europe) is much more difficult, because the engine is extremely "peaky" and shifting gears is much more frequently needed. When wanting to acellerate the 1.0, you usually have to shift down over two gears, and then shift up two gears for maintaining speed, not for everyone.



    If you have no experience with a manual, let it be said it is not difficult at all. Ask a biker.
    There are however a few things that should be done correctly, and learning-by-doing without any asssitant is not the good method for learning a manual.
    Folks who learnt by doing alone often change gears at the wrong revs, jam in gears quickly instead of slowly letting them simply plop-in almost by themselves, ride the clutch, and much other evil habits.
    Therefore I recommend asking an older person with lots of manual experience, preferably a heavy truck driver for assistance. You won't need much help at all, just a nudge in the right direction, and maybe some oversight later on to ensure you do not perpetuate bad habits.
    Its all about the correct revs, not applying any force at all on the lever, and using the clutch properly without resting your foot on the pedal. High revs only when needed, otherwise as low as possible. Outside of the Americas, where folks drive economical vehicles, a manual is the prefered car, automatics will not sell and have only about 2% market share.

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    if you have an experience driving a manual vehicle with bigger engine, driving the mirage is trickier, you need timing between letting go of the clutch and steeping on the gas pedal, some manual SUV especially the diesel one you can just let go of the clutch and it will begin to move without stalling, but the mirage as i said clutch and gas pedal needs to be in perfect harmony in order to achieve perfect shift without juddering and stalling, but overall in can be done you just need practice and patience.

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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Cosmic coincidence. I just spent part of the day teaching a teenage friend how to drive a manual. We used my Mirage, and she did great!

    If she can do it, so can you.

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    MetroMPG (05-10-2021)

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    No, it's horrid. You should not even attempt it. OK, for real though. I'm going to have to guess the biggest difference between what you may learn on, and a Mirage is going to be the clutch push force. After I drive any of my other cars, and I get into the Mirage I practically stomp a hole in the floor behind the clutch pedal. It is so light I hardly even feel it. But I'll say that as long as it never slips (while engaged) then I'm fine with the very light push force.

    Owning a manual transmission will set you apart from probably 90% of the people around you. So it is a cool skill to have. And yes, it will prevent your kids friends from getting behind the wheel for the most part. And it is anti-theft. I've got an extended shifter in mine so my shift knob sits real high. And people see it and go, "this is a manual?" It's as if it transforms into a spaceship with the stick extending up out of the floor.

    I've taught all 3 of my sons to drive stick. The oldest 2 hated it until they learned it. Now, neither one of them wants to drive an automagic. The oldest 2 have Infiniti G35's, with 6 speeds. Yes, the Mirage 5 speed is beginner friendly, my opinion. I consider it a simple entry level manual transmission car. Practice low rpm take off's. Get in a parking lot somewhere and just practice barely revving it over idle, and barely slipping the clutch. Meaning, I can have the clutch fully engaged by the time the rear tires get to where the front tires had been stopped. This is not necessarily the way you'll engage the clutch when in traffic. But being able to do that, and recreating it as well as you can in traffic minimizes the wear and tear on the clutch. I've been driving manual transmission since birth.

    There are no concerns about driving the 5 speed Mirage on highways. It keeps right up. Caveat - I'm not the kind of driver that pulls out of a side road in front of a 80,000 lb semi doing 75 mph. But down here in GA, it seems the popular thing to do. I think it may be a statute I missed: Always inconvenience as many other drivers on the road, when pulling out into traffic.

    I'm the same age as you. And even though I can easily dart out in traffic even with the Mirage, I want to choke people who do that to me, so I just don't do it at all. I'd rather pull out after traffic and be able to granny accelerate as slowly as I care to, with no pressure on me from traffic behind barreling up on my bumper. I suggest everyone do that, especially with a Mirage, as "it ain't gonna win no drag races."

    One of the things I like the most, and was concerned about it pre-purchase and was happy to find out it wasn't a concern, was how well my little Blueberry can hold 70 mph with the cruise control. I haven't found a hill yet it had any trouble pulling. Same thing all the way to 80 mph. The torque max happens at about 80 mph (in 5th gear) so it has no trouble at all holding 80 mph as well. A 5 speed Mirage is a hidden gem in my opinion. I wish I could by 3 more, 1 for each son. But even when I was young like they are, a Mirage would NOT have been a car I was interested in. But now, I just love it.


    7milesout

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2020 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 42.6 mpg (US) ... 18.1 km/L ... 5.5 L/100 km ... 51.2 mpg (Imp)


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    inuvik (05-10-2021)

  9. #7
    Welcome, CTJosh!

    Quote Originally Posted by CTJosh View Post
    kind of person who likes new challenges and different experiences and thought it would be interesting to learn a new skill set.
    That's the same reason I bought my first motorcycle - I just thought it would be fun to learn the skills. Bought a bike, took a course, had a lot of fun.

    I also have kids that will be driving in a few years and I love that stick shift driving reduces distracted driving, letting friends get behind the wheel etc.
    I think it's a great idea, with a caveat...

    We have a few driving instructors here in the forum, and I used to be one too. I'd caution that not everyone is suited to driving a manual transmission. Some minimum level of coordination & mechanical attentiveness is needed to do it well and do it safely, and not everybody has it. I'd say that most can do it, but I've advised a few people to stick to automatics.

    My question is whether or not the manual transmission in the Mirage is beginner friendly. I get the sense that this car is a little quirky and so I was wondering if the manual transmission in this car was better suited to drivers that have more experience driving stick shift, or is that not an issue.
    The Mirage has the lightest clutch pedal I've ever experienced. Very easy to practice on! That said, I'd argue an engine with lots of torque is more forgiving to learn on, and the Mirage is not torquey. (Result: it's easier to stall -- though you could argue that just forces the student to pay closer attention.)

    I also want to know if I start taking lessons now to be ready later in the year is there likely to be a significant difference in the manual transmission in the car that I am learning on versus the Mirage?
    The answer is YES - there can be significant differences. But that's a feature, not a bug!

    Going from car to car, the principles are the same, but one of the interesting things about driving different manual transmission vehicles is you have to use your brain to adjust to different drivetrains, shifter feel, clutch weight, clutch engagement point, accelerator sensitivity and many other points. That's all part of the fun though. And after a while as you get familiar with the car you're driving regularly, it becomes more, well, automatic.

    I love trying out different manual transmissions. I turned down the chance to drive an Audi R8 last year because it was an automatic... disappointing!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 63.0 mpg (US) ... 26.8 km/L ... 3.7 L/100 km ... 75.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTJosh View Post
    Hello everyone! I am considering a Mitsubishi Mirage towards the end of this year. I have always been interested in learning how to drive a manual car. I am in my late 40s and have never had the opportunity. I am not really a car guy- I am just the kind of person who likes new challenges and different experiences and thought it would be interesting to learn a new skill set. I also have kids that will be driving in a few years and I love that stick shift driving reduces distracted driving, letting friends get behind the wheel etc. I like the Mirage because it is simple and offers a low cost to entry to try out a manual car and see if I like it. I was even considering leasing <gasp!> one, although purchasing is still on the table. My question is whether or not the manual transmission in the Mirage is beginner friendly. I get the sense that this car is a little quirky and so I was wondering if the manual transmission in this car was better suited to drivers that have more experience driving stick shift, or is that not an issue. I also want to know if I start taking lessons now to be ready later in the year is there likely to be a significant difference in the manual transmission in the car that I am learning on versus the Mirage? Living in Connecticut, I also have concerns about the Mirage in highway traffic and snow and hills, but for now my foremost question is whether or not this is a good entry point for someone who is manual-curious. Thanks so much!
    I hadn't driven a manual tranny car in years when I test drove a demo Mirage, and it is like riding a bike, once you know how to do it, off you go again instantly even if you are a bit rusty.

    Don't worry if you end up stalling / getting frustrated at first, you'll likely pick up on shifting gears quickly. I owned a 1985 Rabbit VW and my 2014 Mirage now, the 2014 Mirage has a super light clutch comparatively, and my VW was not power assist with anything. So Mirage is an easy car to learn stick on. Watch your 5th to 2nd accidental shift, that's the only thing is that will destroy your engine lol but most manuals never get busted, and it seems they last forever for many people. My friend had a Golf diesel and original clutch over 300,000 km's.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 41.8 mpg (US) ... 17.8 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.2 mpg (Imp)


  11. #9
    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTJosh View Post
    My question is whether or not the manual transmission in the Mirage is beginner friendly.
    Hello CTJosh and welcome to the forum. You've gotten lots of good advice here - the Mirage is an easy car to learn on. If you have any mechanical aptitude you'll do fine learning to operate a standard transmission. My suggestion is to take a Mirage for a test drive before buying - little cars like the Mirage aren't for everyone.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.5 mpg (US) ... 21.0 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.4 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    My suggestion is to take a Mirage for a test drive before buying - little cars like the Mirage aren't for everyone.
    If he doesn't know how to drive a manual, I feel sorry for that salesman riding along on that test drive!

    1972 Chevy C20 (parent's), 1978 Honda Civic Wagon, 1988 Isuzu Trooper, 1989 Colt Wagon DL, 1990 Ford Festiva, 1999 Ford Explorer, 1997 VW Golf, 2003 Honda CR-V, 2000 Honda CR-V, 2011 Subaru Forester, & 2017 Mirage - all manuals.

    I learned how to let out a clutch around 3rd grade, but that was on a tractor. I started driving the 1972 Chevy C20 around age 10 or 11. All of the vehicles above are manuals that I have owned, except the pickup was my parents. Some of these were family vehicles before going through a divorce. I've only owned the last three vehicles since that time.

    I can't say driving any one vehicle was harder or easier than the other. You get use to whatever you are currently driving. The VW Golf was probably the most fun shifting/driving.

    The Mirage is so light. What it lacks in power is easy to overcome become of weight. Force = mass & acceleration (Newton's second law). A Mirage is as good as any other vehicle to learn on. I would prefer learning with someone else's vehicle, & then buy my own manual. Why beat up your own car???



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