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Question For Cwatkin Regarding 2015 Mirage - Edit, also my comparison Mirage vs. Fit

So I got to test drive a 2015 Mirage with the manual transmission this afternoon, and I’ve gotta say I was disappointed. The acceleration and handling were okay, I’d say slightly better than my old '93 Festiva, which is to be expected. BUT, the shifter felt, for lack of a better term, “crunchy”. Like you could feel the shifter clicking into each gear. Seems to me the shifter should shift nice ‘n’ smooth, especially on a new car. The salesman claimed that the shifting could smooth out after the car is ‘broken in’, kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes, but I discount that claim. I know a salesman (or woman) will basically say what he (or she) thinks you want to hear in order to close the sale.

My question for you, @cwatkin, since you stated that first your girlfriend, then yourself, bought these cars in a manual transmission, are your gear shifters “crunchy”? Am I describing this well enough? I cannot seem to explain it to my non-manual-transmission driving friends / colleagues.

I suppose its engineered to work that way. Could be that after a few weeks, I’d be so used to it I wouldn’t notice it as strange.

Been over a year since I test drove that Honda Fit, but I remember the shifter was just as nice and smooth as glass. (I can’t wait for all the haters to chime in. . . yeah, Ed you dummy the shifter is crunchy because its the cheapest bargain bottom car on the market - the Honda Fit shifts so much smoother because its a much better engineered car, yada yada yada. . . )

I’d go out tomorrow and take another test drive of a Fit except the 4 Honda dealers around here have a total of 0 of them in stock, the manual transmission that is, which brings me back to the point I made in my curmudgeon thread, its hardly worth it anymore to pursue a manual transmission car, plus the automatic is rated higher for mpg. The Mitsubishi dealer offered to knock off a little more on the auto but won’t budge on the manual since he says he has to ‘order’ it from another dealer. I would fully expect to run into the same dilemma at the Honda dealer. If he’s got 20 CVT Fits sitting on the lot and he’s gotta ‘order’ a stick shift for me, which one is he going to be willing to haggle over?

I don’t know what this world is coming to. . . . . “Very Heavy Sigh”

My friends / colleagues think I’m crazy (well truthfully they already knew I’m crazy) - - “Why the hexx do you even WANT a manual transmission in the first place?” But its part of my identity. I could see getting an automatic for a tow vehicle, because you need it, but driving a manual transmission econobox is part of my identity. I’m really in an existential quandary here. Getting the automatic (cvt) seems like becoming a sellout. Anyone have any words of wisdom?

Postscript: My Festiva always shifted smoothly until last year when that clutch cable snapped and I had to drive home shifting gears without the clutch. When I got the car back the shifter was “crunchy” - but not the same kind of “crunchy” as the new Mirage if that makes any sense. This is hard to explain. If you all were here in person I could show you and it would make sense. In my head, I believe the “crunchiness” in my Festiva now is either because I damaged the synchronizers when I had to jam the car into gear without the clutch, or, because the transmission has over 200,000 miles on it.

IS IT TIME for me to throw in the towel and surrender another aspect of my life to the 21st century??? Say it ain’t so! ! !

Edit to add: Oh yeah, the whole ‘haters’ thing, I mean that in a lighthearted way. We’re all supposed to have banter and debate about cars and car related stuff in a fun and invigorating discussion right? I fully expect a bunch of you to chime in with "yeah, yeah, told you so, that’s why the Mirage is selling for $11,000 out-the-door, you get what you pay for, and all that hokey-pokey. :slight_smile:

Since a dealer would have to order a stick shift car for you, that would imply you can forget deep discounts, and you might pay close full sticker price. I think the term “dealer trade” might come into play. Dealer A doesn’t have a stick shift car, but Dealer B does, and Dealer B will trade the stick shift car for something it doesn’t have, but the other dealer has it.

Is it worth so much, to keep your identity?

What about this idea . . . find out exactly what dealer has a stick shift Honda Fit sitting on the lot, and drive over there. Chances are it hasn’t sold, and they might accept a low price. A bird in the hand . . .

Sorry if this is NOT what you wanted to hear

It seems you’re asking for advice about the Mitsubishi Mirage . . . and I’m giving you advice on how to buy a Honda Fit, instead

I actually feel sympathy for the sales people Ed is dealing with.

@db4690 " . . . find out exactly what dealer has a stick shift Honda Fit sitting on the lot, and drive over there. . . " I’ve just spent the past 2 hours or so searching the websites of every Honda dealer in the tri-state area (or at least as far out as I think my old junkers will take me) and found a grand total of ONE Honda Fit with the manual transmission. And, its an EX, with the sunroof. I’ll hitchhike back and forth to work before I’ll own another car with a sunroof, what a horrible invention. . . (incidentally, also found ONE Honda Civic with a manual transmission.)

Just seems. . . odd. . . to me though. You’d think there’d be ONE dealer around who keeps a few of these on hand to attract the handful of throwbacks and eccentrics who want a manual transmission, with the internet and whatnot, we’d all be pulled into that dealership like a funnel.

I’d be willing to bet that there are a few people (more than you’d think) who walk into a dealership with the intention of purchasing a manual transmission car. But then they get hit with the whole 1-2-3, we-don’t-have-any-its-a-special-order, the cvt gets better fuel economy anyway, you can drive out of here today with a shiny new car and it’s only 9.52 a month more for the automatic, and they give in and go along.

“Sorry if this is NOT what you wanted to hear” - Aaahh, nothin’ to be sorry about, I know I’m fighting a losing battle. I may as well be on the Titanic trying to pump out the water with an old Shop Vac.

Besides, isn’t the internet the place where random lunatics are supposed to rant and rave about things nobody else cares about anymore? Although I suppose I’m not a complete lunatic because I’m self-aware. :smiley:

@“VOLVO V70” " I actually feel sympathy for the sales people Ed is dealing with. " Hey, why do you think I don’t work in sales? I wouldn’t want to have to deal with people like me everyday either. People are goofy. I worked in retail and fast food, I’ve been cussed out over a 79c cheeseburger on more than one occasion. But hey, sales doesn’t take a toll on the body like a physical labor job does, so let’s call it even. Every line of work has its drawbacks, ya put on yer shirt & tie & ya takes yer lumps like everybody else.

Well, I think tomorrow I’m going to at least swing by a Honda dealership and harass ask a few questions of a Honda salesperson. Maybe test drive a Fit with the CVT to see how it compares to the Mirage while it’s still fresh in my mind.

I’m hoping @cwatkin will see this thread whenever and chime in to tell me if that manual shifter is supposed to be “crunchy”. Then I’ve got something to mull over, and I’ve got to make a decision.

I’ll ask the Honda sales(person) if a manual trans Fit shows up on the carrier from one time ‘t th’ other, you know, like, if it’s the 30th of the month and you just need one more sale to win that getaway to the Bahamas. . . 'cause technically I can wait until the day after forever, or November 30th, whichever comes first. . . assuming both of my current vehicles don’t disintegrate or catch on fire first, and how often does that really happen? Not including the fist-sized chunk of my car that fell off at the bank last month. . . :smile:

I was trying to think of a humorous way to say this, but a manual transmission Honda Fit is kind of like the inverse of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, which don’t exist but people claim to have seen them. This car does exist (on paper, I ‘built’ one on Honda’s website) but nobody ever has one. . .

@“Ed Frugal”

I think if you want the salesperson to notify you on what day a stick shift Fit is expected to show up, you’ll have to make it worth his while

Slip him a c-note and promise him he’s going to be the one to get the sale and thus, the commission

The North American Fit is assembled in Central Mexico. It seems likely that shipments to the USA are by truck or train, not by RoRo ship. This would mean that special orders can be filled much quicker than if you had to wait for a boat load of cars to ship with yours. I am not sure how distribution is done, but at worst, your dealer would have to review a list of cars available at a US distribution center where all Mexican Honda’s are sent. Dealers have to order cars anyway and ordering one they sell the day it arrives seems like a win for them.

OP, it is your money and you have a right to ask for what you want. Stick to your guns I say. If the sales people get a little annoyed, so what?, that’s their job. The salesman where I purchased my Corolla got a bit annoyed at me too, but for the most part he thought what I was asking for was amusing. Like I was saying while looking at the cars on the lot that I prefer a color that has a big contrast with the color of the pavement, so the car will be easy for other drivers to see. To avoid collisions. He laughed, said in all his years in the car business nobody ever said that to him before … lol …

I should say that the manual transmission in my Corolla has always clicked a little when shifting into 3rd gear. Even when it was new. Other gears are silent, but 3rd gear has always had a bit of a click on entering. Sometimes it clicks when exiting 3rd gear too.

I like the way you think @GeorgeSanJose . That’s right. $11,000 - $19,000 USD (United States Dollars) is a LOT of money. I have to stress my aging back and knees for a LOT of hours to pull in that much money. “. . . that’s their job.” Yep. We all have good days and bad days at work. Not to digress, but at my job when we get to complaining too much management tells us, “Hey, you came here and applied for this job, we didn’t snatch you off the street and put you to work, and we didn’t promise you that certain things would happen after so many years, so if you don’t like what you’re doing, there’s a big wide world full of other occupations out there.”

". . . I prefer a color that has a big contrast with the color of the pavement, so the car will be easy for other drivers to see. To avoid collisions. " Along those lines, I was told by a salesman that gray cars have more collisions than other colors for this very reason. He said it may only be 1/8th of a second difference, but sometimes that 1/8th second is the difference between a close call and a collision.

Daytime Running Lights make the vehicle color a non issue.

Ended up test driving a Honda Fit CVT today, although that wasn’t necessarily my intention when I left the house. Let’s see where do I start? The Fit is clearly a superior vehicle to the Mirage. As I stated previously, if the price difference were narrower it would be a no-brainer. The Honda salesman was more aggressive, kept asking me what he had to do to put me in the Fit TONIGHT when I made it clear right from jump street I wouldn’t be making any commitments on the spot. A new car is not an impulse purchase, to buy on the first visit would be like marrying a girl after the first date. Yeah, I know, some folks do, and it usually turns out badly.

The Honda salesman was more cagey too, gave me a written price but wouldn’t let me take the paper with me, which the Mitsubishi salesmen both had no issue with. Good news is the price of the Fit is about in line with what I had anticipated, maybe better actually because I had priced out a manual, and the quote was for the CVT.

The Fit accelerates faster with almost no lag time. I stated previously about the lag time in the CVT Mirage and now I understand what you ‘old-timers’ meant about CVT transmissions. If I drove the Fit and didn’t know about the CVT I would assume it was an automatic, it had the same feel to it. The engine runs smoother on the Fit, you open up the hood and it isn’t trembling the way the engine on the Mirage was.

The Fit is a plush car. More room in the back and the front. Seats are better more plush and comforting and seem to be made of better materials. Oh yeah, and the LX does have that AUX jack that the lady at the Auto Show told me the Fit doesn’t have, so another plus. :smile: And, the mpg, at least the posted #'s , aren’t that much different between the Fit and the Mirage.

Hope I’m not offending @cwatkin by saying I find the Fit to be a superior vehicle. Its a superior vehicle, and it costs considerably more as well. Like the slogan I saw on a container of gourmet cheese, “It costs more because its worth more”.

Got some more to post but I’m distracted by the television so I’m going to post this part now.

Sounds to me like the Fit is more expensive, because it’s simply a higher quality vehicle . . . in just about every way

No they won’t let you take the quotes with you because it could be used against them. Went to the auto show today and I think they are actually trying to sell cars again. Stopped by the Acura booth and they said they were desperate for used cars because a lot of their cars are being held up due to the air bag recalls. So maybe we’ll make a deal, I dunno. Changed trans fluid tonight anyway just to stay on schedule. VW was there too but didn’t notice where Mitz was. Actually I wanted to look at the Jeeps. I told the Acura folks that I thought the Jeep or Equinox would work just fine and less money after being blown off by Acura a few months ago.

The thing I DIDN’T like at the Honda dealership was the more aggressive and cagey sales push. I think I’d prefer to do business with the Mitsubishi salesman. The first guy won’t hardly budge on price, but his offer was pretty rock-bottom to begin with, and I suspect he knows it. But hey, business is business, and the end of it all I’m taking the CAR home to live with me, NOT the salesperson.

Since business IS business, I can’t take offense, but the trade in offer for my Jeep was downright insulting. You had to ask me all those questions and have your mechanic “look it over” to offer me $250.? Really??? I can take it up to the junkyard myself and get $400 No Questions Asked. Would have been better had he just said, “Look, we really don’t want your old POS Jeep, in fact we’d prefer it if you didn’t even park it in front of our building, but, if you want to dispose of it, we’ll offer you a nominal amount of $$ for it.”

IF I should decide to buy the Honda Fit, and believe it or not I am truly torn, of course I’ll have to visit a second Honda dealership (competitive bidding and whatnot, ya know?)

The sales manager, or at least someone who came out of the back and introduced himself to me as such, said Honda can’t really special order cars, the ‘factory’ tells them what they can order - different from how the ‘Big 3’ operate; I seem to recall reading that somewhere, so it sounds about right. Bottom line, perhaps it really is time for me to throw in the towel on the manual transmission.

On the other hand, if I forget about color, cruise control, and the 6-way adjustable seat, I could get a brand new car out-the-door for under eleven grand, or I could get a Sapphire Blue Mirage with manual transmission, cruise control, 6-way adjustable seat, aux jack, air conditioning (or rather that ‘climate control’ version of a/c) for under twelve grand. I’m being deliberately unspecific on pricing just in case any of these salespeople are reading :wink:

By contrast, I could get a brand new Fit outfitted exactly the way I wanted it (except for the transmission which would actually be the more expensive CVT) for under $19,000 for sure, perhaps I could hammer it down to $18,000 but I think that would take some hardball. Unless that salesman left something off his price quote, which he of course did not let me take home. No matter, I’m going to get a competing bid anyway . . . (hey I didn’t go to the dealer to make a friend. . . )

P.S. - The Honda salesman said the CVT is going to last longer than the manual transmission, which I discounted to a salesman saying whatever he thinks he has to say to close the sale. I put infinitely more credibility in what you all here have to say than what some salesman says. It not like he’s even the mechanic who works on the darn things, ya know?

Another thing I noticed at these dealerships. Every salesperson who is not talking to a ‘prospect’ is sitting at his / her desk swiping away on an iPad or similar device. I don’t know if they’re responding to internet queries, looking for prospects, or just goofin’ off. I wouldn’t be surprised if they search things like facebook to gather intel, like a prospect posting, “I just gotta have THIS car I just gotta I just gotta” and the salesperson thinks, “oh boy, I got 'em now!” or people posting their credit problems etc. Information is power. I’m not on facebook in any way shape or form, but I’ve heard they have a “real names” policy. I’m always reading news blurbs about people getting themselves into all kinds of trouble because they posted too much personal information on facebook.

@“Ed Frugal”

How would you have reacted if the salesman had in fact told you they don’t want your jeep, don’t even want it to be seen by anybody . . . ?

Would you have been happy that he was frank with you?

Or would you have felt insulted?

Or would you have said “As a matter of fact, that makes 2 of us. I don’t really want it, either, and am embarrassed to be seen driving it.”

Don’t get mad at me . . . I’m just trying to be humorous :wink:

@“VOLVO V70” " Daytime Running Lights make the vehicle color a non issue. " Not sure I can agree with that. When most all the cars on the road have them, it becomes one more thing you don’t notice. Like that salesman said, it could be a 1/8th second difference between seeing a gray car and a bold color car, but sometimes 1/8th of a second is the difference between an angry single digit salute and a collision.

@Bing Well, two different Mitz salesmen didn’t have any problem with me walking away with a written price in hand, 'course that could well be because those cars are clearance priced to sell. The second guy waved his arm at a long row of them and said they’ve all gotta be gone by the end of April.

Mitz didn’t even have a display when the auto show came thru my town. Nissan didn’t have any of those Frontiers that @“Rod Knox” mentioned in a thread from a month or two ago, but I’m digressing, sorry. (Nissan did have a $55,000 Titan with the Cummins 6.2 diesel on display)

@db4690 Well, perhaps I “punched up” my post here to make it more humorous to read. But he really acted like they might offer me something for it, “Well, give me the key and I’ll take it around to the service dept and have one of our technicians work up an offer.” As soon as I said “1996” he could have politely said what we both already knew, that thing would be towed off to auction before the ink was dry on the paperwork. I could buy cars on sight for $250 all day and make money off them. All the window glass intact? Does the engine start? Here ya go, $250.

And I will say, he was extraordinarily polite to me the whole time, everything was yes sir this, and that’s right sir that. But at the same time he was trying to stare me down after he showed me his first offer and asked me what it would take to get me to buy “tonight”.

I guess I’ve read too many articles about sales tactics, alpha males, leaders and followers etc. how people (men) are taught to dominate and so forth. I hate dealing with this crap, bottom line is I know if I leave without signing anything I haven’t made any decision I’ll regret later.

You know, like, if you don’t stare back at him, if you keep your eyes on the paper, then he’s established “dominance” over you, control. And if you DO stare back at him, you start to sweat and maybe have a heart palpitation or something. Although I did notice he flinched a little bit about the 4th time I compared the Honda Fit to the MItsubishi Mirage. Kind of like if I went into a BMW dealership and started comparing that salesperson’s cars to the Fit.

I’m not mad at all. This is fun. I find it quite cathartic posting here. I can just imagine some of the people who will read my posts, rolling their eyes, oh-my-God-where-do-these-people-COME-from?

P.S.- What the heck, it may well be worth a $100 or so to have a professional mechanic go over the Jeep and see what all the issues really are? My co-worker who was interested in it didn’t seem concerned about the water issue, I think he knows somebody who knows somebody who knows how to get to the bottom of that. Might be worth slapping a set of ‘historic’ tags on it and keeping it around as a spare vehicle.

Sell the Jeep outright and be done with it ,buy the Fit ,but let me tell you a little secret ,these things sell and they are not going to haggle on the price much,to get a better deal you will probably have to go "Interstate " it makes a big difference around here on the price of a Ford pickup ,get some newspapers from large Metro areas and see what they advertising ,you deserve the Fit ,I looked at a nice one at the local stealership and it listed 17K $ plus ,If I would have had the money ,would have been tempted .
BTW , " Nessie " exists (its a giant eel -thats big enough to eat large mammals , dont go to the Loch at night certain times of the year{a rose by any other name } Enjoy ,you deserve the Honda ,you will never be happy with anything else IMO .

Of course the Fit is superior, that’s why Honda gets a lot more for it than Mitsubishi gets for the Mirage. The question might be whether the differences are enough to overcome the price differential. I made that comparison for all my cars back to the early 1990s.

@“Ed Frugal” , I must respectfully disagree, in the context of buying a new car, $11k-$19k isn’t much. The average new car these days costs over $30k…

I don’t know if I’d purchase a car with a CVT. It would probably be okay on a low powered econobox, but due to the nature of how CVT’s operate you’re going to get alot of NVH on a car without alot of power and not much (comparatively speaking) noise insulation. A couple years ago I had the misfortune of renting a Dodge Caliber with a CVT. It was a terrible car in general, the one I rented only had 600 miles on the clock when I picked it up and it already had squeaks and rattles. but due to it’s lack of power, I was on the throttle alot and with the CVT the engine would just go up to 4k RPM (or more) and just sit there until the vehicle got to the desired speed. I think a conventional six speed automatic or a manual would’ve suited the car better. I will say that fuel mileage was admirable considering how how often I had to go to the proverbial whip. I got 29 MPG out it, which was actually a little better than it’s EPA estimates.