As a girl who grew up on BBC’s Top Gear I have always fancied being a female Jeremy Clarkson. So, I got a bit giddy when Mitsubishi asked me to review their brand new family sedan, the Mitsubishi Mirage. I cannot claim to match Clarkson in wit, prose or knowledge but I like cars and I like driving so here goes my first car review.
I couldn’t take her for a spin on the Nürburgring but the week’s trial, was suitably timed, to coincide with my first weekend away with the girls in a LONG time. It was also the first time my husband has looked after both kids, over night, by himself but that’s another story…
The weekend was a great mix of friends, gossip, food, drink and singing our hearts out to beloved old songs (hence the song title references). A much needed relaxing break in the stunning Blue Mountains for a group of mums.
Space (I believe in)
When I glanced at the pictures I was hesitant about using the Mirage to drive myself and three friends to the Blue Mountains (a two hour drive). Forgive me my sins but I usually drive a huge, seven-seater, petrol guzzling SUV so I was concerned about space for four overnight bags and a weekend’s worth of food and drink.
On receipt of the car I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t a small car but it isn’t a big car. It’s a good sized sedan with a large 450-litre boot! There was plently of room for all our bags, food and drink. It wouldn’t have been big enough to fit my enormous buggy as well but if this was a family trip, a couple of suitcases and a folding umbrella pram would be fine.
Just a warning though, the boot has spirit. A smooth opening it is not. Once you press unlock, stand back, as the boot jumps up quicker than a greyhound out of the starting block.
I used to drive a Alfa Romeo 159 (one of Jeremy’s favourite cars) and I was struck by the similarities in look, size and boot space. My husband, a huge Alfa fan, dismissed my comment as pseudo sacrilegious but I stand by my initial comparison. The Mirage is a nice shape, clean lines and is good-looking.
Driving in my car
I am now used to an automatic but I am now also used to driving a 3.2 litre engine. I found the Mirage a little jumpy in traffic as the much lighter car didn’t hold the road as well as the ‘tank’ but once on the motorway it drove really well and we had a really pleasant drive to the Mountains. It was smooth and I grew to like the lightness in steering and maneuverability. It struggled up the really steep hills in the Blue Mountain towns like Leura and Katoomba but I think most cars of its engine size would struggle with that terrain! My first car was a Citroen AX 955cc and the Mitsubishi Mirage’s 1.2L engine was a lot better than that on hills.
She works hard for the money
There and back to the Mountains in economy mode and it used just under half a tank of petrol so I was very impressed with its fuel economy and efficiency. I would say it very much deserves its merit of being ‘best in class’ in fuel economy of 4.9l/100km. The Mirage Sedan range is competitively priced ranging from $15,990 to $19,485 so extremely affordable for a mum on a budget..
The drivers seat was very comfortable – nicely moulded and well-positioned. I do like a fabric seat but not as easy to wipe clean of the various frills and spills that come with driving with children. My weekend passengers, however, were very well behaved and didn’t drop any crumbs or spill any juice. All agreed that the back seats were comfortable and there was more than adequate leg room, 944 mm to be precise.
Wired for sound
Another comment from the backseat was a tick for the sound quality of the stereo as we blasted W2FM all the way to and from the Mountains.
‘Parking’ on the street
It’s on street parking where I live so it’s always a battle to find a parking space with a large car. With the smaller Mitsubishi Mirage , it was easier to find a suitably sized space but I must admit I missed my rear parking sensors!
My five favourite convenience features:
The Mirage has a push button starter. I really liked this feature. I am a nightmare for misplacing my keys so this is genius for a mum with an million things to remember when leaving the house – you don’t actually have to take your keys out of your handbag!
2) Inbuilt telephone
The car also has inbuilt Bluetooth® phone connectivity with audio streaming and voice control so you can programme in all your contact numbers. I knocked the steering wheel whilst driving through a tunnel and was startled when a voice starting speaking to me. Maybe it was just my hand position whilst driving but I did it a few times so for me not the best place for the steering wheel audio/phone controls. Nethertheless, a great feature for a mum whose only time to speak on the phone to another adult is in the car!
3) Dusk sensing headlamps and rain sensing wipers
The lights and window wipers were sensor controlled so that was another nice surprise as it starting raining pretty heavily on our drive back.
4) Space and storage
Despite being a much smaller car than I have grown accustomed too, the Mirage has ample storage and space for all the gubbins that come with kids. Features such as seat-back pockets, cup holders for front occupants, beverage holder for rear occupants, rear armrest with cup holders and a convenience hook for your handbag.
The Mirage proved itself as a great weekend away car for four adults as well as a good run around for a busy mum of two. Five-door means that you can get the kids in and out with ease without straining your back. The sedan is equipped with a choice of three tether anchorage points and two Isofix hooks so I could switch child seats between the two cars easily. The kids actually enjoyed being able to see out of the windows as they were lower than normal, my littlest got very excited at passing nee-nors!
The all important safety features
Top priority for a mum researching a car to drive her most treasured possessions around. I was pleased to read everything that Mitsubishi has done to ensure safety in the Mirage. The car is kitted out with: 6 airbags (side and curtain), and all the latest safety features like brake assist, a system that can apply additional braking force if needed; ABS and EBD (anti-lock braking system and electronic brake-force distribution) to deliver lock-free braking power and control in emergency situations and on slippery roads and to enhance braking performance; active stabilitycontrolto maintain stability and control when cornering by automatically recognising under-steer and over-steer. A reinforced body construction know as RISE Body, coupled with a four-member battery frame directly connected with the chassis to strengthen the entire body and improve collision protection.
When you have kids you think, ‘I need big’; a big house, a big bank balance, a big amount of energy and a big car but the Mitsubishi Mirage proves that you don’t need everything to be big. A Mirage sedan can adequately ferry a family of four or a group of four friends around in comfort and style.
The Mirage Sedan is designed for families looking for affordability and value for money without compromising on standard features, latest technology, safety and space.
For more information visit the Mirage Sedan Showroom