Mass Transit: We Drive The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, The Cheapest New Car In America - SUV VEHICLE

Mass Transit: We Drive The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, The Cheapest New Car In America

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A White 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 LE CVT

The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage stands as an unassuming throwback to the basic, no-nonsense economy cars of yesteryear. This pint-sized car has a simple mission: to provide reliable and thrifty transportation at a price that defies belief.

Model
Mirage G4 LE CVT

Engine
1.2L I-3

Transmission
CVT

Horsepower
78 @ 6,000 RPM

Torque
74 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM

Driveline
Front Engine, FWD

MSRP
$17,795

MSRP (As Tested)
$18,495

Fuel Economy
37 MPG

0-60 MPH
12.0 Seconds
Pros
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Surprising amount of cargo room
  • Cheap entry price
  • Easy to park
  • Excellent visibility
Cons
  • Leisurely acceleration and top speed
  • Rough ride
  • Lack of modern safety features
  • Poor performance at any speed
  • Below average build quality

The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 stands as a relic of a bygone era, when cheap and cheerful economy cars roamed dealer lots. This segment, once the stomping ground of cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, faces extinction as buyers flock to larger vehicles laden with screens and safety aids, and even former economy cars have prices inflated out of reach of first-time buyers. But the Mirage soldiers on.



In order to provide you with an honest and unbiased review, I drove the vehicle reviewed in this article on a daily basis throughout the course of daily life for a period of one week. For detailed insight into testing procedures and data collection, please review
our methodology policy
.

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2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Limited Edition First Impressions

Behind the wheel of this unassuming car, one can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. The engine, a tiny but tenacious mouse, provides just enough oomph to merge onto highways without causing a fuss. The steering, light and somewhat imprecise, recalls the carefree feeling of stirring a pot of soup with a spoon, offering a laid-back attitude towards the road ahead.


It’s a driving experience that’s decidedly old-school, a reminder of a time when the focus was on getting from point A to point B, rather than on the bells and whistles in between. The Mirage’s suspension is like a novice dance partner, bobbing and weaving through potholes with a grace that’s more enthusiastic than elegant.

Exterior Dimensions

Length

169.5 Inches

Width

65.7 Inches

Height

59.2 Inches

Wheelbase

100.4 Inches

Front Track

56.9 Inches

Rear Track

56.3 Inches

Curb Weight

2,161 Pounds


Driving Impressions And Performance

Now, let’s shift gears and explore the joys of driving a slow car like the Mirage. There’s a certain charm in coaxing every last bit of performance from a humble vehicle. It’s akin to playing a video game on hard mode — challenging, yes, but the sense of accomplishment you get when you succeed is all the more satisfying. But with only 78 horsepower it struggles to do relatively basic tasks such as merging onto the interstate.

Braking And Acceleration

The Mirage doesn’t launch itself down the road with the ferocity of a sports car; instead, it gathers speed with the steady, deliberate pace of a suspense novel. Each overtaking maneuver becomes a minor triumph, a testament to the driver’s skill and determination.

  • Acceleration 0-60 MPH: 12.0 Seconds


Performance Specifications

Engine

1.2L 3-cylinder

Transmission

CVT

Horsepower

78 HP @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

74 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM

Fuel Economy (CMB)

37 MPG

0-60 MPH

12.0 Seconds

Top Speed

105 MPH

Mitsubishi Mirage G4 Fuel Economy

The Mirage is somewhat of an unsung hero of fuel economy. With MPG figures that could make a Prius blush, this car sips fuel like a fine wine connoisseur, delicately tasting rather than guzzling. On road trips, you’ll pass more landmarks than gas stations, making your wallet weep tears of joy.

City

Highway

Combined

EPA Rated Economy

35 MPG

41 MPG

37 MPG

Fuel Economy As Tested

32 MPG

40 MPG

36 MPG


Interior Design And Comfort

The interior of the Mirage is where minimalism meets economy. The designers embraced a more Spartan approach. The seats, which are made from cloth, offer a firm, character-building experience. You won’t find any of those soft-touch materials here; it’s hard plastics galore, as if the car is challenging you to find any trace of leather.

The seats…offer a firm, character-building experience.


As for spaciousness, let’s be real: it’s cozy. You won’t be mistaking it for a limousine, but it’s got enough room to make long journeys manageable, as long as your companions are not professional basketball players.

Inflation Or Higher Expectations?

  • The original Honda Civic was introduced in 1973 with a starting price of around $2,200. Adjusted for inflation, that would be equivalent to around $14,000 in today’s dollars.
  • The average horsepower of cars has increased significantly since 1980. In 1980, the average a car made 120 horsepower. By 2019, average horsepower had more than doubled to around 280.
  • The weight of cars has also increased over time. In 1980, the average weight of a car was around 3,000 pounds. By 2019, the average weight increased to around 4,000 pounds.
  • Certain features that were once considered luxuries have become commonplace in modern cars. Touchscreens, infotainment systems, and power windows/locks began to become standard in cars in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Heated seats and steering wheels also became more common in the 2000s, to the point where many buyers now expect them as standard features in their cars. This all contributed to the cost of cars increasing.


Interior Dimensions

Front

Rear

Headroom

38.9 Inches

36.8 Inches

Shoulder Room

51.7 Inches

51.7 Inches

Hip Room

48.8 Inches

46.7 Inches

Legroom

41.7 Inches

37.3 Inches

Technology And Ease Of Use

IMG20240214102745-3


The technology and features of the 2024 Mirage — where to begin? This car approaches tech with a philosophy akin to a hermit, less is more. The infotainment system is charmingly basic but has the ability for navigation and more through Android Auto. The air conditioning is automatic — remember the days when a turn of a knob was all it took to cool down? And let’s not forget the power windows and power locks, a feature that, in this car, feels as fancy as a top hat at a casual brunch. It’s a no-frills approach that makes you appreciate the simpler things in life, like a good old-fashioned key ignition in a world of push-button starts.

The dashboard, with its array of basic buttons and a screen that’s more Tamagotchi than tablet, gives you all the essential information with zero fuss. It’s like stepping back into the 2000s, but without the weirdly shaped fashion choices such as baggy jeans. The air conditioning buttons feel like they could survive a nuclear apocalypse, and the sound system? It’s more suited for podcasts than opera.


Cargo And Storage Space

The storage space in this spirited little contender is surprisingly good. Think of it as your favorite pair of stretchy pants; it’s accommodating and flexible, ready to handle a spontaneous shopping spree or the aftermath of a particularly successful yard sale raid.

Cargo Capacity Second-Row

12.4 Cubic-Feet

2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 LE CVT Vs. Its Competitor

In America, we have a love affair with bigness — big trucks, big houses, big portions of food. But deep in the automotive wilderness, a pocket of resistance remains: the humble economy car. Here, the 2024 Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Mirage wage an ongoing battle for the hearts and wallets of the thriftiest drivers.


These modest machines know their place in nature and the market. They understand that while some may dream of roaring motorcycles carving up canyon roads, many of us must navigate the concrete jungles of freeways, ever-wary of the high-speed crash that could shatter our penny-pinching dreams.

The Versa and Mirage are the budget warriors, the foot soldiers in the war against rising costs. They march on fortified by their simple mission: to provide basic transportation without breaking the bank. And so they spar, trading blows of fuel efficiency and affordability, locked in a dance as old as the automobile itself. For when one falls, the other will raise its price to fill the void.

How The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage Compares To The 2024 Nissan Versa

  • 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 LE CVT 2024 Nissan Versa S
    Model Mirage G4 LE CVT Versa S
    Engine 1.2L I-3 1.6L 1-4
    Transmission CVT 5-Speed Manual
    Horsepower 78 @ 6,000 RPM 122 @ 6,300 RPM
    Torque 74 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 114 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
    Driveline Front Engine, FWD Front Engine, FWD
    MSRP $17,795 $16,390
    Fuel Economy 37 MPG 30 MPG
    0-60 MPH 12.0 Seconds 9.2 Seconds


While the Versa and Mirage may seem like pint-sized punchlines in the automotive world, these two subcompact warriors know how to throw their weight around. The Versa leans into its slightly larger footprint, offering a smidge more interior space for those who need to stretch out. But the Mirage counters with an even thriftier price tag and slightly better fuel economy ratings.

Performance

Let’s be honest, neither of these pocket rockets will be setting any land speed records. But that’s not what they’re here for. The Mirage’s tiny triple-cylinder engine feels pluckier than its modest output numbers would suggest, zipping through city streets with a spirited eagerness, although it’s rated 10.3-second 0-60 time is extremely optimistic. The Versa’s four-cylinder power plant has a slight edge in outright grunt, but the trade-off is slightly thirstier fuel economy.


Comfort

Don’t go expect plush Bentley accommodations in either of these cars. But the Versa does earn some points for its slightly airier cabin and more room for larger adults. The Mirage’s back seat is a bit tighter, better suited to compact companions. Cargo space is about the same, with both permitting a long weekend’s worth of luggage without complaint. Just don’t expect to load up a full IKEA flat-pack furniture suite back there.

Technology

If you’re hunting for the latest in in-car tech wizardry, these value-oriented runabouts will leave you wanting. Their infotainment systems are refreshingly no-frills affairs, favoring simplicity over cutting-edge gadgetry. The Versa gets a slight nod for its slightly larger touchscreen display and better smartphone integration. But the Mirage keeps things wonderfully straightforward for the techno crowd.

Related
2024 Honda Civic Sedan: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing

The Honda Civic carries over largely unchanged for 2024, however, it’s still a formidable competitor in the compact sedan segment.


Our Recommendation For Which Model You Should Buy

But let’s not forget, this could be the Mirage’s swan song. There are rumors that 2024 might be the last year we see this budget chariot, as Mitsubishi might pull the plug for the 2025 model year.

What’s interesting is that the Mirage might be the reason why giants like Nissan and Kia are still playing in the budget-friendly sandbox. It’s like the little engine that could, inspiring others to keep chugging along at the affordable end of the market. Without it, we might see the end of truly economical cars, replaced by vehicles that think a heated steering wheel is a basic necessity.

The 2024 Mirage is a statement that says, “I don’t need fancy gadgets, I just need to get from A to B.” It’s a reminder of simpler times, and in its unassuming way, it’s quite possibly the last stand of the true economy car in the USA. So, if you’re looking for a no-frills ride that brings you back to the basics of driving, the Mirage might just be your best bet.


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