The new Mitsubishi Mirage five-door hatchback will return 40 mpg in combined city and highway driving, according to estimates of Mitsubishi Motors North America. The Mirage minicar will return 37 mpg for city driving and 44 mpg for highway driving when equipped with a continuously variable transmission, Mitsubishi estimates.
The Mirage will be powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that could provide up to 74 hp of output and 74 pounds-feet of torque. Mitsubishi is targeting the Mirage against other small cars like the Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.
According to Masatoshi Hasegawa, executive vice president of corporate planning of Mitsubishi Motors North America, they expect to sell around 500 to 600 Mirages in the United States every month. The US Environmental Protection Agency still has to approve Mirage's fuel economy figures.
Once approved, the mpg numbers could help Mitsubishi in its bid to label itself as an eco-friendly brand. Yoichi Yokozawa, chief executive of Mitsubishi Motors North America, remarked that the starting price of the Mirage would be similar to the Chevrolet Spark, pegged at $12,995 including shipping.
The Mirage will be the first all-new vehicle to the Japanese carmaker’s lineup since the 2011 rollout of the Outlander Sport small crossover. Mitsubishi logged a 27 percent decline in sales in the US in 2012, which is the biggest slump for any carmaker in the country. The decline reflected the cancellation of the Endeavor crossover, Eclipse coupe, Spyder convertible and Galant sedan.
Coming as standard on the Mirage are seven airbags, tire pressure monitoring system and a hill-start assist function on CVT-fitted models. A Mirage in ES trim is endowed with 14-inch alloy wheels, push button start, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation and backup camera. Mitsubishi recently unveiled the Thailand-built Mirage at the ongoing New York Auto Show.