I know that the cheap Mitsubishi Mirage had quite the discussion here a little over a year ago when myself and at least one other member decided to buy one. At the time it was the cheapest car on the market with all the incentives I got. I have about 20,000 miles on my car. My GF has the same car but has about 25,000 miles.
Sure, the car isn’t a Mercedes or a Cadillac but I have overall been impressed with the quality of the car for basic cheap transportation. I smashed into a deer before 3000 miles and it didn’t total the car. I just just bought oil and a filter to conduct the first oil change and held off until I knew it wasn’t totaled. I am sure it being so new was the main reason it wasn’t declared a total loss. It was repaired and I went on my way.
The small engine has plenty of power for most driving. I don’t find myself slowing down on hills or having trouble keeping up with the speed limit or faster. Sure, the car isn’t a powerhouse but that isn’t the intention. I find it fine for most driving.
The car requires a 0W20 synthetic oil. I am sure much of this is for mileage and the extended change interval. They suggest a 7500 mile oil change interval for most driving styles. Some people change sooner and some go a lot longer than this. Their oil analysis results say this is OK but I want to keep my warranty so I have been doing 5000 mile OCIs after the first one at 3000 miles (break in). I have seen this with my GF’s car as well. Forums dedicated to this car also mention no excessive oil burning although some break-in consumption is normal. I find that pretty good for using such thin oil.
The car used some oil during the initial break in period but that was it. It dropped about 1/2 of the way between the full and add marks on the stick. I wasn’t going to add oil until it got to the add mark as I didn’t know if there was anything special about the factory fill for break-in and wanted to keep that oil as pure as possible. I have seen no noticeable oil usage between changes since the first 3000 miles. Apparently the engine has broken in well and tolerances must be within pretty tightly controlled specs. This can’t be said for a lot of cars with a much higher level of respect such as Toyota, VW, etc.
The only actual problem I had with the car was likely related to the deer collision. I got a check engine light and horrid running right after getting the car back from the deer repair. The code indicated a mismatch between engine sensor inputs (forgot the code) so simply unplugged and reconnected the various sensors under the hood in the Autozone parking lot where I had the code read. The code cleared on its own within a few miles of this and there have been no further drivability issues. Yes, I know this is a new car and it is under warranty but I thought this was a simple thing to check, especially considering I was busy and the dealer is 100 miles away. Yes, they do offer free towing but I just figured it might be something simple. Apparently they hadn’t snapped the connectors in quite tight enough during the repair.
My GF has had no issues besides an air bag recall. Apparently mine was caught before I bought it so I didn’t have a recall. I had the dealer run the VIN just to be sure.
We both got the base model so don’t have cruise control. That is my fault as this is an option on upgraded trims of the car. I understand aftermarket or factory parts salvaged from wrecked cars can easily be added as the harness and computer are ready for cruise if I really wanted it. I might look into this once the warranty is up as that is one thing I kinda miss.
I wish the car was offered with a 6 speed manual. I would want the first 5 speeds to be the same and the 6th to be a taller gear for better economy on the highway. I think the engine could easily handle a taller gear at highway speeds and feel this would be something worth offering.
Overall I think it is a fine car if you can live with some of the bare bones features. I kinda like not having everything controlled by a computer/touch screen to be honest. I find some higher end cars frustrating. I tried to open the door to see while backing into a tight space on a Mercedes recently and the car locked up the brakes and put the transmission in park.