_AFTER _ a six-year absence Mitsubishi has relaunched its small Mirage city car and declared it is the company's most competitive entry-level model in its 33-year history in Australia.
With a starting price of $12,990 drive away it will also provide people previously restricted to the used-car market the option of buying a new car with a five-year warranty. Buyers who get in before the end of the month will also receive a $1000 Westfield voucher.
And while it may be positioned in the light-car segment, the stylish hatch is surprisingly roomy with five doors, five seats (though rear-seat passengers could find themselves a little close to their companions) and a decent-sized boot - attributes that rivals such as the Suzuki Alto, Holden Barina Spark and Volkswagen Up cannot match.
A full load could also provide an interesting challenge for the three-cylinder, 1.2-litre engine.
While early indications are that the 55kW/100Nm powerplant - which can be matched to either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission - offers more than enough oomph for everyday urban duties, we will have to wait until we get hold of a test car before making judgment.
The Mirage's appeal is a combination of its keen pricing, interior room, manoeuvrability and class-leading fuel efficiency of 4.6 litres/100km, along with Mitsubishi's 130,000km/five-year warranty and capped servicing costs for the first 60,000km.
There are three grades, starting with the well-featured ES, which is offered standard with six airbags and stability control.
While it has not yet been crash tested, Mitsubishi says the new Mirage has been engineered to be a safety leader, with improved vision from the thin A-pillars and a low beltline.
Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming, USB/AUX input, a CD player, power windows and mirrors, a rake-adjustable steering column, electric power steering, a leather steering wheel with phone and audio controls, and central locking with keyless entry.
The seat trim is a knitted black fabric embossed with a polka-dot pattern. Storage bins and drink holders are located all around the cabin. It also has a 60-40 split rear seat and space-saver spare tyre.
Hill Start Control is standard on all models with CVT.
The Sport model sits on 14-inch alloy wheels and also comes with four speakers (up from two) plus a rear spoiler with high-mounted stoplight. The Sport is an extra $1500 on the base ES model.
Starting from $16,990, the LS gets a better-looking waffle-weave seat fabric in black and purple, keyless entry and start button, climate-control air, automatic rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlights, front foglights, a roof spoiler and 15-inch alloy wheels.
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- LS manual *
- LS auto *