Simplicity the best
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.