Compact car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,700*


1993 Mitsubishi Mirage LS 2-door coupe


1993 Mitsubishi Mirage 4-door sedan


1995 Mitsubishi Mirage 2-door coupe


1993 Mitsubishi Mirage interior


1993 Mitsubishi Mirage interior

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
Cons:
  • Acceleration (automatic)
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room

In short, Mirage ranks as a good small car, but hardly a great one. An ES or LS 4-door with the bigger engine does a good job, but it’s not appreciably better than most rivals.

Overview

Noticeably larger in most dimensions than earlier Mirages, the new model for 1993 weighed 120 pounds less. A 4-door notchback sedan went on sale again, but a new 2-door notchback coupe replaced the prior hatchback. Both the coupe and the sedan came in three trim levels: base S, midrange ES, and top-line LS. Coupes and the 4-door S used a single-cam 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, rated at 92 horsepower. ES and LS 4-doors got a new 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, making 113 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard, with 4-speed automatic optional for ES and LS 4-doors. Other models (except for the S coupe, which was stick-shift only) could get a 3-speed automatic transmission as an option. Antilock braking was available on the LS 4-door only. No airbag was installed. Eagle dealers sold a similar car as the Summit. Dodge and Plymouth dealers called their version the Colt.

Yearly Updates

1994 Mirage
A driver-side airbag went into 1994 Mirages, but the optional antilock brakes were deleted. A motorized shoulder belt remained on the passenger side, but no longer was installed on the driver’s side of the front seat. LS coupes now were equipped with the 1.8-liter engine, like the ES and LS sedans. The LS sedan now came only with automatic transmission.
1995 Mirage
A passenger-side airbag joined the driver’s airbag, eliminating motorized shoulder belts completely. The S coupe gained color-keyed bumpers, while the LS got 14-inch alloy wheels (formerly 13-inch). Both models got a new center console with a covered storage bin.
1996 Mirage
Mitsubishi’s subcompact coupe changed little, except for a little less standard equipment in the base S model. Mirage was redesigned as a 1997 model.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Early Mirage coupes and the S 4-door held a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. A bigger (1.8-liter) 4-cylinder, making 113 horsepower, went into the ES and LS 4-doors. Five-speed manual shift was standard on all, with either a 3-speed or 4-speed automatic optional, depending on model. In 1994, the LS coupe got the larger engine, and the LS sedan came only with automatic. A year later, as sedans dropped away, the S coupe came only with manual shift and the 1.5-liter engine, while the LS, with its 1.8-liter engine, could have either manual shift or the 4-speed automatic (3-speed automatics were dropped). For its final season in this form, the S coupe could be equipped with an optional 3-speed automatic.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/112
Engine HP 113
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 116
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
26/33
26/33
33.1
24.3
ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.5/90
Engine HP 92
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 93
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
32/39
28/32

Road Test

Acceleration is lackluster with the basic 1.5-liter engine and either transmission. On the other hand, a Mirage with the 1.8-liter engine and 5-speed manual moves more than adequately–though it cannot be called snappy. An automatic transmission saps a lot of the verve from that engine, too. Fuel economy is good with any powertrain setup. We averaged 31.4 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving with a 1.8-liter Mirage.

Interior design is pleasant, but seating arrangements clearly favor front-seat occupants. The backseat is too crowded for adults to be comfortable.

Still, Mirages have an impressive list of plus points, starting with a good ride on most surfaces, and simple instruments and controls. You also get nimble and predictable handling, but only if the car has power steering. Manual steering demands too much muscle for easy parking. The large trunk has a bumper-level opening for easy loading.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage ES 4-door automatic

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 35

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
96.1 171.1 66.5 51.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.7 13.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 36.4 42.9 31.1
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98.4 172.2 66.5 52.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.5 13.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 37.2 42.9 33.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Mirage 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 144
Injury 188
Theft 60

Trouble Spots

Climate control
Description: Interior temperature-control knob rotates but does not change the temperature due to a defective heater-control lever. (1995)
Engine misfire
Description: Automatic-transmission models may vibrate at idle due to the radiator being installed incorrectly. (1993-94)
Fuel pump
Description: The vehicle is sensitive to fuel starvation caused by a clogged in-tank filter. (1993-95)
Hard starting
Description: The engine may not start when the transmission is in park or neutral or may start when in drive due to the park/neutral switch being out of adjustment. (1993-94)
Horn
Description: The horn(s) may be too high- or low-pitched or not sound at all. (1993)
Vehicle noise
Description: Popping or squeaking from the front is caused by the springs vibrating in their seats. (1993-94)
Vehicle shake
Description: Vehicle vibration at idle may result if radiator brackets are not installed properly. (1993-94)

Recall History

1993
Description: Automatic-seatbelt system may fail to operate correctly during crash.
1993
Description: Due to cable abrasion, shoulder belt may become stuck.
1993 sold in Caribbean
Description: Shoulder-belt anchorage could remain at A-pillar when door was closed.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.