It’s not the most dynamic choice you could make in this segment, but in all other respects, we think it’s well worth a look.
Mitsubishi hasn’t set out to make this Mirage an exciting car to drive but the engineers claim to have made a few suspension tweaks to this Juro version that’ll make it feel happier than before at taking to the open road. As ever though, this car’s comfort zone remains town-orientated. For typical citycar drivers, the fact that the driver’s seat offers such a wide field of vision and that you can place this vehicle during parking manoeuvres more easily than almost any other small runabout we can think of will be more than adequate compensation for the fact that it isn’t designed to be driven on its door handles.
A key attribute of this design is its light weight; it’s the only car in the segment to tip the scales at under 850kgs. That helps the impressive fuel economy – 65. 7mpg on the combined cycle and around 100g/km of CO2, whatever variant you choose. It also makes the car reasonably rapid by class standards: 62mph from rest occupies 11. 7s en route to a class-leading top speed of 112mph. Those figures are for this manual model: there’s also a CVT auto transmission option offered for urban-based folk.
Even if you didn’t know that the Mitsubishi design team had set out to style the most aerodynamic small car you can buy, you might guess the fact from a look at this Mirage Juro. Everything about the shape – the front grille with its minimal opening, the wind-cheating front bumper, the deeply sculpted sides – all of it’s there to optimise a slippery airflow, and though the result certainly isn’t the most distinctive look in the citycar sector, it’s one that effectively achieves its objectives, with a 0. 27Cd drag co-efficient that embarrasses boxier rivals.
Time to take a seat inside. It’s now so much nicer, thanks to classy piano-black trimming and black leather upholstery. There’s also plenty of storage space, plus Bluetooth connectivity with music streaming, a USB slot, an aux-in point and a DAB radio. Other rare features to find in this sector at an affordable price include heated seats and climate control for the air conditioning.
On the back seat, things are just as they were with the original version of this design, save for this classier upholstery trim. There’s a usefully low transmission tunnel, the low window line makes things feel light and airy and, as we said when we first tested this car, the overall amount of space you get in the back, is impressive given the diminutive exterior dimensions.
Fitting in larger items is slightly impeded by the high-ish loading lip and restricted hatch opening, but once you’ve got your stuff in and pushed forward the 60:40 split-folding rear bench, there’s 600-litres of capacity if you load up to the windowline and 910-litres of space if you’re able to load up to the roof level. Not many cars in the class can better that.
Overall, you’ll already know that this is a car we think makes a lot of sense. If we were looking to buy a new car as a second family runabout, we’d want it to be affordably priced, able to comfortably take three kids and their luggage in the back and regularly deliver over 60mpg and sub-100g/km CO2 levels to keep running costs low. The fact that this Mirage can do all this while spoiling you a little in terms of its specification is enough to make it worth a lot more attention in this segment than it’s likely to get. Thoughtful citycar drivers ought to go and try one.