Mitsubishi has had a tough time with car sales in the U.S. in the past few years, and in the past year they’ve ended production of a majority of their longstanding models like the Galant and Eclipse. Stepping up to replace these cars…is a three-cylinder econobox called the Mirage. Good idea, or the final nail in the coffin for Mitsubishi?
The Mirage name has been used in the U.S. before, but the new Mitsubishi Mirage, which will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April, is an entirely different beast. The Mirage is a new “global car” that will go on sale in many different markets, and powering it is a 1.2 liter three-cylinder engine.
Mitsubishi will be the third automaker to offer a three-cylinder engine in the U.S. (Ford and Smart being the other two), and the engine will reportedly make just 79 horsepower. Ford’s turbocharged, 1.0 liter EcoBoost will offer around 123 horsepower when it arrives in the Fiesta this spring. Sadly, even the under-powered Mitsubishi i EV will probably be more fun to drive than the Mirage. No word on MPG numbers, but we can assume they’ll be competitive with similar offerings, probably between 30 and 40 mpg.
With about 50% less power than the Ford EcoBoost, and bland looks to boot, the Mitsubishi Mirage probably won’t make much of an impact on Mitsubishi’s American market woes. That means it’ll be up to the soon-to-be-released Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid to turn around the Japanese automaker’s fortunes.
While a three-mode hybrid SUV is an interesting idea, it also won’t be cheap, and considering Mitsubishi’s less-than-stellar reputation in America, buyers for an unproven hybrid SUV might be few and far between. That leaves the Mirage to make up a bulk of Mitsubishi sales…but with little horsepower and blah looks, that won’t be an easy sell either.
Source: Car & Driver