Sim­plic­ity the best

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Summer Fun -

Raise your hand if you dis­like lux­ury. Any­one? It’s hardly a sur­prise that we’re all fans of the good life. The only in­evitable down­side of course is that it costs money.

This ap­plies to cars as much as it does to ho­tels. There are lim­ou­sines out there that can give you a mas­sage and blow chilled air at your feet while stream­ing au­dio wire­lessly from the in­ter­net – but do you re­ally need any of that?

It’s this kind of ‘want ver­sus need’ ap­proach that has un­der­pinned the think­ing be­hind the Mi­rage, Mit­subishi’s su­per­mini.

If that sounds like some­thing of a cop out then don’t be fooled; why make some­thing more com­pli­cated than it needs to be? Par­tic­u­larly at this end of the mar­ket, sim­ple makes sense.

The fuss-free ap­proach starts when you first set eyes on the Mi­rage. There’s no big grille to catch the eye, just a slim grille and a dis­creet badge. Step in­side and you’re met with sim­plic­ity and ef­fi­ciency.

The Mi­rage makes the most of its foot­print. For a small car the amount of space in­side is good. You can get three adults across the back seats, while those in the front will have noth­ing to grum­ble about. The boot is rel­a­tively short but makes up for this in depth – 235 litres with the seats up is about par for this size of car.

Fire up the Mi­rage and you’re greeted with a charis­matic thrum. All ver­sions are pow­ered by a com­pact three­cylin­der en­gine in 1.0-litre or 1.2-litre guise, and un­like the dull four-cylin­der ef­forts that most small cars are lumped with, the Mi­rage’s mo­tor is a keen com­pan­ion.

Think of it as half a Porsche flat-six and you’re part way there, in noise if not in per­for­mance.

Even the 1.2 is suf­fi­cient rather than fast, but a top speed of 112mph is more than enough.

The flip side is the im­pres­sive econ­omy – 68.9mpg com­bined is as good or even bet­ter than some diesel ri­vals and 96g/km of CO2 means no ve­hi­cle ex­cise duty ei­ther.

The driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is ideal first-car ma­te­rial – low ef­fort, light con­trols, very safe and sen­si­ble. The light clutch and su­per-slick gearshift makes ur­ban drives a breeze. Head out on the open road and it plugs along more than ad­e­quately.

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