MITSUBISHI MIRAGE: It’s no illusion

HERE’S a Mirage that’s very real – and one you’re likely to see more and more of on the roads.

And you’ve got to say confidence in Mitsubishi’s latest small car is high. One dealer took 23 orders on his launch weekend and Mitsubishi UK MD Lance Bradley says although they’re targeting 4,000 sales a year, the initial response has been so good they feel they can quite easily sell twice that number.

That’s good news for a company that has seen sales rise 56 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 against the same period in 2012.

The attraction of the new A-sector car will also be heightened by an introductory £1,000 off the list price, making the entry level Mirage 1 just £7,999. And it’s an offer that could extend well past the initial launch period.

There has always been a small car in the Mitsubishi lineup – a range more noted for its efficient and reliable four wheel drive vehicles – and Bradley points out the ability to deliver a good small car to the market has always been important for them.

So what are they launching? For a start, it’s the only model in the UK to offer 100g/km of CO2 or less across the whole range, so no car tax and no London Congestion Charge to pay.

The boast is of fuel economy between 65.7 and 68.9mpg on the combined figure from a small family car that is light, nippy, well equipped and also practical – the footprint might be small but there is a decent amount of room inside.

Adds Bradley: “People are worried about fuel prices and the environment just as we’re launching a small car that’s great to drive, but is doing an amazing 67mpg and delivering incredibly low emission figures.  It’s the perfect car for us.”

But is it the perfect car for you? Prices start at £8,999 (less that special discount) and there are three trim levels – 1,2 and 3 – with Mirage 3 (£11,999) expected to be the best seller as it falls slap bang into the £10,000-£12,000 bracket where most small car sales come from, according to Mitsubishi.

All models come with the full gamut of airbags (driver, passenger, side and curtain), ABS with EBD, active stability control with traction control, hill start assist (on CVT models), brake assist, emergency stop, engine immobilizer, daytime running lights and RISE occupant protection – a massively strong monocoque safety cell structure made from ultra high tensile steel. So, 10 out of 10 for safety.

Mirage is powered by a frugal, low-friction 1.0-litre on Mirage 1; and a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine for Mirages 2 & 3. Auto Stop & Go will be standard on the 1.2-litre engine.

Mirage 1, 2 and 3 are available with a five-speed manual transmission while a CVT auto option is available on the top-specification Mirage 3.

The 1.0-litre unit produces 71PS with 88Nm of torque while the 1.2 variant produces 80PS with 106Nm of torque.

Tucked away underneath is the full palette of low CO2 technologies – Auto Stop & Go, regenerative braking system, high-efficiency alternator, Intelligent battery sensor and 165/65R14 low-friction tyres,

The car also has a clever three-bar ‘Eco Drive Assist’ display in the instrument cluster which gives a visual indication of how economically the vehicle is being driven based on current fuel consumption and vehicle speed.

Mirage has a 3-year / unlimited mileage warranty together with a pan-European roadside assistance package. Service interval is 12,500 miles/12 months (whichever occurs first). Mitsubishi’s extremely competitive Service Plan (MSP), covering the first three scheduled services, can be bought for £350 – an offer that sees a 91 per cent take up across the range.

The Mitsubishi Mirage is currently the lightest, most aerodynamic and most efficient petrol-powered five-door hatchback range on the market. It has been designed with clear objectives, to be a stylish, well equipped and practical small car. And first impressions don’t deceive as I found out when I drove one on the UK launch.

The Mitsubishi Mirage is a stylish car which offers our customers excellent fuel economy, zero VED emissions, is well packaged, comes with a good level of equipment and all at a competitive price.

KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER:

▪   The whole Mirage range produces a maximum of 100g/km CO2 emissions – which means that every model is exempt from road tax.

▪   Low emissions but high in specification. The Mirage 3 comes with alloy wheels, a keyless entry system, rear power windows, climate control, auto lights and auto wipers.

▪   It’s exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

▪   The new Mirage can achieve up to 68mpg – class leading fuel economy.

▪   A generous 235-litre luggage area increases to 600 litres with the seats folded.

▪   It’s extremely strong yet weighs just 845kg, making it lightest in class.

▪    Styling allows the driver to see the front of the bonnet, for exceptional ease of manoeuvrability.

▪   The Mirage has the best turning circle in its class.

 

©  wheelwrite 24-03-2013

 

 

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