If cost considerations and the lack of relevant infrastructure still make you think twice about electric vehicles, the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback could be the next best thing.
Customers marveled at its fuel efficiency and maneuverability while boasting features such as push engine start and a touchscreen audio unit which made its competitive pricing even more attractive for buyers.
Back in 2012, the original range consisted of four variants, with the base GLX and upper-spec GLS each available with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
After almost a decade, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has slashed the range effectively by half, dropping the trim level names and downsizing the hatchback’s array of features, in what is probably a more extreme version of the maxim, “less is more.”
The Mirage is now available as a single trim level with two transmission options
The model now simply comes as either the Mirage Manual or Mirage CVT reflecting the transmission choices. MMPC has opted to combine the GLX and GLS trims into a single unit, at least as far as exterior elements are concerned.
The new Mirage still sports the facelifted fascia, with blacked-out trim elements such as the lower bumper, side mirrors, and B-pillars. Foglamps are no longer an option for this model, although it does retain the roof spoiler and third LED brake lamp. The car rides on a set of 15-inch gloss black alloy wheels.
Inside, the 2021 Mirage maintains its cabin dimensions, which means customers can expect the same roominess for both passengers and cargo. Fabric seats are still the norm, but the tilt-adjustable steering is no longer clad in leather, aside from losing the audio controls.
Even the shift knob now comes solely in urethane. The onboard 2-DIN multimedia unit is no longer a touchscreen affair, although it still features USB, Bluetooth, and AUX IN connectivity. Climate control is handled by a row of manually actuated rotary switches.
There's still room for five occupants inside
Under the hood, the 1.2L 3A92 three-pot still chugs along on 76 hp and 100 Nm of torque, so the Mirage’s famed reputation for fuel economy is intact.
As far as safety is concerned, the Mirage is still built around the Reinforced Safety Impact Evolution (RISE) body, as well as featuring dual front airbags.
However, a glaring omission is the lack of anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, as well as any semblance of a warning system (be it cameras or sensors) for the rear.
The same 1.2L 3A92 MIVEC engine continues to power the Mirage
Color choices for the 2021 Mirage are now limited to just Virgil Gray and Majestic Red, compared to the more colorful selection in previous years.
But despite its significant reduction in features, the Mirage costs more now: Php 704,000 for the manual, with an additional Php 61,000 if you prefer the CVT. This represents a Php 5,000 premium over last year’s pricing.
Gone are the other color variants in favor of just red and gray
Watering down the Mirage means one of two things for MMPC. Either it is positioning the model as a budget alternative to the G4 subcompact sedan, or the company is preparing for the arrival of the Dynamic Shield version of the hatchback. Given the changes to the model, would the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage be on your shortlist?
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Know more about Mitsubishi Mirage 2021
<p>The Mitsubishi Mirage is a five-door hatchback classified as a city car. In the Philippine market, this Mitsubishi-made model can fit up to five passengers including a driver. It is powered by a 1.2-liter inline-3 gasoline engine capable of making up to 77 horsepower and 100 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front-wheels either by a continously variable transmission, or a five-speed manual transmission. The same engine is shared with the Mirage G4 sedan. For that matter, its sedan brother also shares a majority of components found on the Mirage hatchback.</p>
Joseph Paolo Estabillo