Production has ended in Japan, with other countries expected to follow suit.
UPDATE: We spoke with Mitsubishi, who had this to say about the fate of the Mirage: "Mirage remains an integral part of our US lineup at this time, along with Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross, Outlander and the all-new Outlander PHEV just launching now."
Overseas in Japan, the Mitsubishi Mirage has been given the axe. Mitsubishi has had a 44-year run with the little hatch, reports Autocar Japan. The cancellation was initially discovered on Mitsubishi's Japanese website, which states (roughly translated from Japanese) "Because the production of the Mirage has been discontinued, we may not be able to meet customer requests for body colors and options."
Mitsubishi has a few special editions available for the Mirage, and we imagine requests like this will be difficult to fulfill over in Japan. Mitsubishi has played with the Mirage name on and off throughout the company's history.
Initially, the model died during its fifth generation. After that, Mitsubishi revived the car for our North American market in 2013. The revived Mirage returned as a five-door hatch and four-door sedan (called the Mirage G4 in the US), and most models have followed this formula. However, Mitsubishi has experimented with other body styles for the cheap bastion of the brand's lineup.
Early first and second-generation models could be had with three doors - a hatch again. The Japanese brand has also dabbled with Mirage sedans both here and abroad throughout the car's lifecycle. Mitsubishi's small car business has worked well both in the US and overseas for years, especially for customers seeking something affordable and reliable.
But times change and so do customers' tastes. Japan is a haven for small cars thanks to its tax structure (Kei cars, anyone?) and we're genuinely shocked to see the car axed on its home turf. It also does not bode well for the future of the Mirage here.
If it can't survive in a car that relies much more heavily on small vehicles with little motors, what chance does the Mirage have here? We've asked Mitsubishi for comment and will update this when or if we receive a response on the fate of the US-spec Mitsubishi Mirage. For now, production continues in the Philippines, though it appears the car is hanging on by a thread.