The Mitsubishi Mirage has been an unexpected sales success for its Japanese maker.
Its sales have remained strong even as those of other subcompacts and minicars declined in the face of low gas prices.
After a one-year hiatus, the Mirage returns for the 2017 model year with updates that Mitsubishi hopes will continue that streak.
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Among the changes are revised styling, updated mechanical components and tech, and a new G4 four-door sedan model to augment the existing five-door hatchback.
The restyled hatchback is distinguished by a new front fascia that includes a more prominent grille and lower air intake, which contrast significantly with the previous, smooth front-end styling.
Mitsubishi claims this—along with changes to the rear bumper, head and fog lights, and rear spoiler—help make the Mirage hatchback more stable at speed, and reduce its coefficient of drag to 0.27.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
In addition to its trunk, the Mirage G4 sedan model boasts somewhat different front-end styling to the hatchback.
In both models, the sole engine offering in the Mirage is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder, which drives the front wheels.
However, it now produces 78 horsepower—4 more than the 2015 model—while torque remains unchanged at 74 pound-feet.
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Transmission choices include a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic.
EPA-rated fuel economy dips slightly compared to the 2015 Mirage hatchback, due in part to minor changes to the EPA ratings guidelines that took effect for 2017 model-year vehicles.
Equipped with the CVT, the 2017 hatchback is rated at 39 mpg combined (37 mpg city, 43 mpg highway), compared to 40 mpg combined (37 mpg city, 44 mpg highway) for the 2015 model.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
The 2017 Mirage G4 sedan is rated at 37 mpg combined (35 mpg city, 42 mpg highway) with the CVT, and 35 mpg combined (33 mp city, 40 mpg highway) with the manual.
The sedan weighs more than the hatchback and has a higher drag coefficient, hence the slightly lower fuel-economy figures.
It also has less cargo volume—4.9 cubic feet versus 12.3—but offers 3.2 inches more rear legroom, and an extra 3.5 cubic feet of overall passenger volume.
Both models benefit from suspension that, unlike the previous Mirage, is tuned specifically for the North American market.
During a brief test drive of a 2017 Mirage hatchback, we found the suspension setup to be decently comfortable, if not exactly sporty.
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT
The 2017 Mirage is also available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—making it the first Mitsubishi model in the U.S. with these options.
A 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system is also newly available for 2017.
Pricing for the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $13,830 for a base ES hatchback with the 5-speed manual transmission (all prices include destination), while the CVT adds $1,200 to that price.
The mid-level SE hatchback starts at $15,630 with the manual and $16,830 with the CVT, while the CVT-only GT model starts at $17,330.
The G4 sedan carries a $1,000 premium over comparable hatchback models, but is only available in ES (manual or CVT) or SE (CVT only) trim levels.