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mitsubishi mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage

As I get older, I realize more and more that substance always trumps style.

Although there’s something to be said for being cute and small, I’ve learned that it’s more important to be solid, dependable and trustworthy.

Which brings me to the Mitsubishi Mirage.

When I first saw the car on Facebook, I thought it was adorable. In fact, I thought it was so adorable, I immediately reached out to my friends at Mitsubishi to see if I could test drive one for a week.

Mitsubishi Mirage parking spot

As soon as it pulled into my driveway in Kiwi green, I felt a little unsure of that decision but decided to embrace it. I felt a little better when a couple next to me at a red light started gesturing excitedly for me to roll down the window so they could tell me how much they loved the color and how it reminded them of their hippie days. They even suggested I stick some of those big flower decals you may remember from the ‘60s on it.

I didn’t think Mitsubishi would go for that idea but I smiled and starting scrolling down my iPod for some Peter, Paul and Mary.

The good news about the Mirage is that it fit into every single parking spot I attempted. Nothing seemed to be too small for this baby.

Mitsubishi Mirage compact space

The not-so-good news is that it didn’t drive smoothly at all and the ride was very loud. I felt intimidated driving next to SUVs and giant trucks on the freeway, and I could hear every sound the car made.

Because of its diminutive size, I can see people thinking the Mirage would be a good choice for new drivers. But I have to say that, if I felt unsure of myself in it, I can’t imagine how a teenager with little experience handling a car would fare.

Also, the navigation system got us totally lost on our drive to Costa Mesa, which was extremely frustrating. As we’ve had to do with other Mitsubishi cars I’ve reviewed, we ended up pulling out our phones and using Google Maps instead. Even when we were in the correct place, we had to pay close attention because the voice tells you to make a right or left in whatever distance but it doesn’t tell you the names of streets.

Mitsubishi Mirage nav system

Worst of all, though, was the little incident I had. I drove to one of my favorite coffee places, which has a little slope into its parking lot. And I do mean little. I’ve never even thought about it before but somehow – I guess because the Mirage is so low to the ground – the front of the car scraped it.

Not only that but it separated a piece of the car by the driver’s side front wheel well. I was mortified.

Mitsubishi Mirage damage


I drove it home slowly and we were able to mostly push it back into place because, honestly, it felt like plastic. But it wasn’t 100% fixed, and I still feel terrible about it even though I didn’t do anything that warranted a reaction like that from the car.

After that, I left the car sitting in front of my house until it was picked up, and I did a little research on the Mirage. You should know that it does have excellent safety ratings so I don’t want to give the impression that it’s an unsafe car.

It’s just not for me. Although it fit nicely into tight spots, it also put me into too many.

And for someone who is all about making life an oasis, this cute little car was, well, simply a mirage.


  1. Driving a car that small would make me nervous. It is great for parking.

  2. Great honest review! I would love this color so I could find my car in the parking lot!

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    The color is not for me, but I love how small that car is. Very cute.

  4. Great review. I actually love the Color of this car! I don’t drive so I have no idea anything about cars but I do like the size of this!

  5. Cute! And I even like the green color…it speaks of…green!

  6. I love the idea of a smaller car but think I would be intimidated being in a smaller car with larger ones rolling next to me. This is a very great and thorough review.

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oh no, Lois! Your heart must have dropped into your stomach when you heard the car scrape. Yikes! The green color is fun but this would not be the car for me, either.

  8. How is it on gas? I like the color, at least you will see it in a crowded parking lot!

  9. Good to know. It’s small, it’s cute, and good on mileage. On the other hand… I am not a fan of small cars anyway.

  10. The color is not my taste but in silver it would be cute. Back before the family I would have bought it.

  11. The color is cute but if you don’t feel safe, it’s not a good fit. And the bumper should not separate that easily. Parking everywhere though is nice.
    Good, balanced review — thanks!

  12. I can see how the car being so low to the ground would be iffy for traveling. The unreliable GPS wouldn’t be great either. I would be really happy with the safety rating and the car is simply adorable.

  13. Thanks for your honest review. I have often wondered if a smaller car like this would be good for my new driver daughter. I think in Orlando no, but in Minnesota maybe. I wonder how it would hold up in the snow…

  14. Mitsubishi is a good car manufacturer, however, like you, I would not be interested in bantam sized cars. They stand no chance on the freeway because they are too light. Thanks for the review.

  15. Thanks for this honest review. Many times we look at cars like this and think it would be great for a new teenage driver but they usually are not. I love the color of the car…for other people. It is not for me.

  16. What a cute little green car! A small car like this is easier to drive and I love that you can easily squeeze it into small parking spaces.

  17. It looks like a great little car. I have 3 kids, and I doubt I could fit all of us and everything we need in it, but I do love the style. And with that color, it definitely stands out.

  18. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I love the color of this car. I used to have a small hatchback and it was intimidating to pass the big trucks. I would definitely buy one again.

  19. Paula Schuck says:

    I am not a small car fanatic either. I love to look of them and the way they fit into any spot is great. I just feel safer in a SUV. I love the color of this car.

  20. I’m going to have a chance to drive a Mitsubishi for the first time in September. I’m hoping it will be as great as I expect it to be.

  21. I like the idea of a smaller car but it doesnt fit our family at all. That color is fun though.

  22. First off I love the color of the car. As for the size, I don’t think it would work here in the States. However, it would be perfect in countries like UK and India where space is limited.

  23. Melissa Smith says:

    My friend’s mom drives one of these in the exact same green color & LOVES it! She had a stroke a few years ago & it’s really easy for her to maneuver.

  24. This reminds me of the tiny cars in Europe that handle well in the tiny streets of, say, Florence or around Provence. It’s too small for me here with the crazy drivers we have. One bump and adios, baby! But I’d love the lower gas bill!!

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