City cars are more relevant than ever as traffic grows and road space decreases. Yet Aucklanders continue to fuel the SUV craze regardless of whether they need the size and utility of an imposing high-rider. In doing so, many are missing out on the simple joys of compact cardom.
Step forward the new Mitsubishi Mirage, a comprehensively equipped city slicker in a compact 3.85m package boasting five-door practicality. That means excellent passenger access front and rear, and easy access to 235L of boot space for day-to-day shopping. The folding rear seats are split 60:40 to help juggle passengers and cargo and, when folded flat, you suddenly have 600 litres at your disposal.
Inside, soft-touch materials combine with comfortable and supportive seats in premium woven cloth with a geometric pattern. A new dashboard layout enhances the driving experience, and there’s a welcome simplicity with controls that fall easily to hand and are intuitive in their operation.
The steering wheel houses audio, cruise control and hands-free phone function, while a seven-inch touchscreen display takes care of infotainment options. This includes the all-important Smartphone Link Display that connects seamlessly to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A reversing camera is also cleverly integrated in the display.
Speaking of safety, Mitsubishi’s Active Stability Control is complemented by Active Traction Control, and driver and front seat passenger benefit from six airbags in total. Besides the latest braking technology, the Mirage also offers Forward Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning. And Hill Start Assist holds the brake for two seconds on an incline to prevent you rolling back while shifting from brake to accelerator. The bottom line is a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Under the bonnet lies an efficient 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine paired with a smooth CVT automatic. This combo promises town and around fuel consumption of just 5.0L/100km. Further highlights are a turning circle that’s tight enough to delight a London cabbie and excellent forward visibility.
Front-end styling is strong for a small car with large headlights blending with a dynamic shield grille framed by bold chrome brackets. Circular daytime running lights are pushed out to each front corner to emphasise width. Machine-finished alloy wheels give the car both a confident stance and underpin an eye-catching profile with a dynamically rising shoulder line. So the Mirage is no shrinking violet, and that’s before you set about cloaking it in one of seven options from a bold colour palette.
And despite Mirage being the most approachable model in the Mitsubishi range with an RRP of $19,995, a five-year new car warranty applies. For absolute peace of mind, Mitsubishi covers the powertrain for 10 years.