2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door Hatchback
An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia
This is the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 4-Door Hatchback. The last time I reviewed a Mitsubishi was the 2015 Outlander Sport. Mitsubishi is probably the least famous of all Japanese car companies, but the cars they make are every bit as good as the others.
A little history:
Like most companies, their formation and continued operations have traversed troubled times since Yataro Iwasaki founded the company in 1870. It started as a shipping firm and many other offshoots. It was the first Japanese company to open overseas routes. It then got into copper and coal mining and grew into shipbuilding in Nagasaki in the late 1880s. The company continued to expand their positions in banking, insurance and warehousing. Later the company expanded into Paper Mills and Kirin brewery, and on into real estate, marketing and manufacturer of plate glass.
Mitsubishi introduced its first car in 1917.
I was not surprised to learn future presidents of the company were educated in the US and Britain. Yataro’s son, Hisaya who became the company’s president in 1893 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), and in 1916 at age 38, Koyata Iwasaki, a graduate of Cambridge University (UK), became president.
What we see today is a company with a rich and diverse history and great traditions of the Japanese people. I have spent a good deal of time in Japan and have always been impressed with its people and their culture. Those experiences prompt me to see the good in peoples from all over the world and see how the tides of change over time help to define ourselves as occupants of one planet. Sometimes it seems we’re quite different but we aren’t.
So, if I have an affinity to the people of Japan, I haven’t always been so sure about the products they produce. Many will remember how cheap “Made in Japan” meant in the mid-20th Century. Not so today and we all know how far our relations with Japan have matured. You may recall in 1967 a town was founded in Japan with the name Usa (oosa). Coincidence or was it a marketing ploy to give the appearance (inferior products at the time) were “Made in USA”.
It is assembled in Chonburi, Thailand; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Thailand 87%; Engine and transmission – Thailand; Classification is Compact Cars. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Mirage, Outlander and Outlander Sport.
Handling & Performance:
Although it has good mechanical, state of the art safety features, I found it to be a little light on its feet at higher speeds. To me this is a great around town or short trip car but not so good on the open highway with speeds over 75 mph.
In the 1960s VW Bugs were notoriously light and a stiff wind could move you from lane to lane at freeway speeds. That is not to say this Mirage is as light as the old VW Bug, but it will surely create a tenser driving experience on the open road. . . but then I tend to push the pedal and thus the upper limits.
Basic economy car look. Nothing fancy as you would expect at this price point.
Fit and Finish:
It is hard for me to understand why ‘anyone’ would be without ‘wheels’ in today’s world at these New Car price. Astonishing to me!
Conveniences and comfort:
Basic but good features and the seating is comfortable.
If you are in need of a reliable commuter this class offers so much for so little. I’ve tested them all and personally owned a Ford Fiesta in my early years when economy was high on my requirements list for transportation.
Mitsubishi $17,000, Chevrolet Spark $18,000, Hyundai Accent $17,000, Ford Fiesta $20,000.
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Fantastic pricing and great fuel economy.
A little light on its feet at higher highway speeds.
1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine, CVT transmission, front wheel drive, electric power steering, hill start assist, power ABS braking system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, stability control, front, side curtain and driver knee airbags, tire pressure monitor, LATCH child safety system with rear door child locks, anti-theft engine immobilizer, fog lights, front and rear wipers, 15” alloy wheels, split folding rear seat, power front seats, power mirrors, leather wrapped tilt steering wheel, 6.5” display for audio and smartphone link, rearview camera, FM/AM/CD/MP3 4-speaker audio, Bluetooth technology, USB port, cruise control, steering wheel controls, remote entry and push button start, power windows and locks, 12V outlet.
$3.15 Gal avg. January 5, 2018
for more information.
37 City and 43 Highway MPG
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