The Mitsubishi Mirage minicar has been an unexpected success for the U.S. arm of what's usually described as "struggling Japanese automaker Mitsubishi."

Sales volume after its 2014 launch was roughly double what the company said it expected to sell, and the Mirage may prove that a market remains for small, inexpensive, basic cars.

The 2015 Mirage continued pretty much unchanged, but the little five-door hatchback will take a break for the 2016 model year and return early next year as an updated 2017 entry.

DON'T MISS: Strong-Selling 40-MPG Mitsubishi Mirage To Get Sedan Model

That's the word from enthusiast publication Car and Driver (via Autoblog), which notes that the company will launch a refreshed 2017 Mirage early next spring.

Missing model years isn't as uncommon as it used to be; there was no 2014 Honda Fit, for example, and the entirely redesigned 2015 Fit was launched in the spring of 2014.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES - Driven, April 2014

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES - Driven, April 2014

The updated Mirage will probably get at least some redesign of its frontal styling, giving it a more defined grille that may echo elements of the redesigned 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander mid-size SUV.

That vehicle was widely panned for its bland styling, and has now acquired a chrome-trimmed grille with swept-back front light units. A less lavish version of the same isn't hard to imagine for the current Mirage, whose front end is all but generic.


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Perhaps more importantly, the five-door hatchback Mirage is reportedly going to acquire a four-door sedan sibling, giving it a lineup that parallels that of the larger subcompact Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent--though the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark remains solely a hatchback.

As of this model year, in any case, the 2015 Mirage retains its title as the most fuel-efficient vehicle sold in the U.S. that isn't a hybrid or a plug-in electric car.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES - Driven, April 2014

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES - Driven, April 2014

Its combined rated of 40 miles per gallon when fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) handily outdoes any other gasoline or diesel vehicle on the market, though at the cost of slow performance and debatable handling characteristics.

With the bulk of Mitsubishi's sales made up of Outlander and Outlander Sport crossover utility vehicles, however, the company can use the higher fuel-economy ratings of the little Mirage.


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