2022 Mitsubishi Mirage

Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Review: The Most Economical Car In America

by Aiden Eksteen

Tiny cars have been getting less popular in the US with every passing year, in favor of larger, more practical crossovers, yet many subcompacts such as the Mitsubishi Mirage have zealously continued production into the 2022 model year. Entry-level budget-friendly cars seem to still be a major consideration for first-time owners, with the Chevrolet Spark and Kia Rio also in contention in this corner of the market. Remaining unchanged is the Mirage's meager 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with insubstantial outputs of 76 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque driven via either a five-speed manual gearbox or CVT automatic to the front wheels. While it won't be setting any racetracks alight with those figures, the Mirage still clings on to bragging rights in two aspects - it's one of the cheapest vehicles on sale in the USA, and it's also the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline car in the States, too. Can these perks justify the substandard interior and sloppy driving dynamics, though? Unfortunately, we don't think they can.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 5 /10
  • Performance 5 /10
  • Fuel Economy 10 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 5 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 6 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 6 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
What is BuzzScore?

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Changes: What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage?

Precious little change is afoot for the 2022 Mirage. The standard specification is slightly boosted by adding a passenger-side vanity mirror and welcome/departure lighting as standard to all trims. There is a new Black Edition trim that essentially replaces last year's Carbonite Edition and it comes with a roof spoiler, black 15-inch alloy wheels, red grille trim, and red trim on the interior door panels. Automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers are now standard on the Black Edition and SE trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Class-leading gas mileage
  • Easy to maneuver around town
  • Extremely affordable pricing
  • Extensive warranty coverage
  • Lackluster acceleration
  • Unrefined engine
  • Cabin floods with noise at highway speeds
  • Low-grade and tacky cabin materials

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Prices

Prices for the Mitsubishi Mirage are really attractive; for 2022, the Mirage ES, equipped with the five-speed manual gearbox, sets the tone for the budget-oriented lineup at an MSRP of $14,645; the Mirage ES equipped with the CVT automatic gearbox is priced at $15,995. The mid-tier Mirage LE, which starts at $16,595, is followed by the Mirage Black Edition, which has a starting price of $17,195. The Mirage SE, the top-spec model of the lineup, is given an MSRP of $17,895. Those prices are excluding Mitsubishi's destination and handling fee of $995 as well as any tax, registration, or licensing fees.

Best Deals on 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Black Edition
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Couple a subcompact vehicle with low-grade underpinnings and you're more likely to get better ride quality and handling from a home-made go-kart. Its unenthusiastic engine makes the Mirage a bore to drive and its standard suspension setup and dampers feel incompetent at supporting its featherweight chassis. Typical road imperfections and undulations permeate throughout the cabin, and the chassis feels unsettled over any surface, short of perfection. The cabin does little to isolate exterior noise including engine, road, and wind noise, which all penetrate the cabin notably - excessively so at higher speeds.

In terms of handling, the steering's responses are slow, and a lot of effort is required to get the steering back to center after a turn. Body roll is prominent through corners and because of the Mirage's high seating position, unsupportive seats, and tiny wheels, it feels top-heavy and uneasy overall. Mid-corner bumps unsettle the chassis drastically, too, and the small wheels provide little grip. The brake pedal is easy to modulate in everyday driving, but the stopping power provided by the small brake discs does not inspire confidence.

On the plus side, the Mirage, being a small car, is very nimble in tight streets and parking lots, thanks to its tight turning circle and small size. At the end of the day, the Mirage is nothing more than a means to get from point A to point B faster than on foot, and at a low cost. Many of its core rivals offer greater driving pleasure in engagement and comfort.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage A Good Car?

What needs to be understood is that the Mitsubishi Mirage is a car designed to get its occupants from one point to the next at the lowest possible cost. It's a budget-friendly vehicle by design, so there should be no expectations of luxury or superior technology. At least it boasts best-in-class fuel efficiency and excellent cargo space, but that's about it when it comes to the Mirage's perks. Mitsubishi has also fitted the Mirage with a semi-decent infotainment system comprising full smartphone integration, in an attempt to balance out its inefficiencies. And, the Mitsubishi Mirage gets a decent rating for reliability. Unfortunately, those perks do very little to distract from the Mirage's terrible performance, handling, and ride quality. The cabin also exhibits a low-quality impression and the seats are notably uncomfortable and unsupportive, bringing down the overall rating of the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Mitsubishi does offer the Mirage with an industry-leading powertrain warranty, but its shortcomings heavily outweigh its advantages. But, if you had to compare, almost any of the Mirage's core class rivals offer greater packages overall, from driving experience, to value, and everything in-between.

What 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Model Should I Buy?

If you're buying a new Mitsubishi Mirage, you're likely doing so because you want to spend as little cash as possible on a new vehicle. In light of that, we'd simply go for the base Mirage as it has the most appealing price and isn't a fundamentally different car from the other trims. You still get the same infotainment system, most of the same safety features, and at least the choice of a manual gearbox. All the other trims use the CVT. Basically, trying to dress up the Mirage with more features doesn't change that this is little more than an efficient, no-frills daily runabout.

Check out other Mitsubishi Mirage Styles

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Comparisons

Nissan Versa Sedan CarBuzz
Chevrolet Spark Chevrolet

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage vs Nissan Versa Sedan

Although only available as a sedan, the Nissan Versa begins at $15,080 so is a worthy alternative to the Mirage. The Versa gets off to a promising start by boasting much more modern styling since it was fully redesigned for the 2020 model year. With a more powerful 1.6-liter engine, the Versa is the more pleasurable vehicle to drive. There's more pep under the hood and a little more verve from the chassis. The Versa isn't as fuel-efficient as the Mirage, but it isn't too far behind with EPA estimates of 32/40/35 mpg for the automatic version. The Versa is outfitted with a far more premium-feeling and commodious cabin, the visual impression is more contemporary, passenger room is ample, and the seats are a lot more comfortable and supportive. There are many more in-cabin storage solutions than in the Mirage, and in terms of infotainment, full smartphone integration is included with most of the Versa models, too. The Nissan Versa is definitely the better vehicle in this comparison, delivering greater value for money, and a better package overall, despite lacking hatchback practicality.

See Nissan Versa Sedan Review

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage vs Chevrolet Spark

The Chevrolet Spark is slightly cheaper than the Mirage, and, while a little more compact in size, is equipped with a larger, more powerful four-cylinder engine. The Spark proves a little peppier than the Mirage with its more competent engine, though it isn't quite as fuel-efficient, returning EPA estimates of 30/38/33 mpg with its CVT gearbox equipped. A five-speed manual gearbox is made available for more than one model in the Spark lineup, which may appeal to those who want the slight level of driver engagement along with the creature comforts of the upper-level models. There's more value found within the Spark lineup as well, with more features included as standard on all models and more optional features available, specifically driver-assist technologies. The Spark is also equipped with a best-in-class ten airbags which means it would be the safer entry-level car. Overall, the Spark delivers far more value for money than the Mirage, and though a lot smaller and less practical, is the better all-rounder.

To Top