When You Need A New Car Right Now

A Victory & Reseda review of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4

During these times of necessity in the face of a pandemic, what will you do when your usual essential vehicle needs to be replaced?

Consider your essential job, for a moment. You live on a tight budget. You have to go where transit service was severely cut. You need reliable transportation that can work for you and your family and the week’s essential tasks.

There are two choices. You can get a used car, there are some great deals out there to choose from. However, you may not get something of lasting value for the money you’re about to spend. You may get stuck with a very limited warranty and you could walk away with a hidden problem the previous owner might not be aware of. The other choice is to get a new vehicle. One with a full factory warranty, preferred financing, and everything that is absolutely brand new.

The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is a good place to start. The price is right, the value proposition is spot on, and it is efficient to run.

What is a Mirage G4? It is one of two Mitsubishis in the subcompact class. The Mirage hatchback arrived here over five years ago and have been the darling of the in-town commuter set. The G4 adds four more inches to the wheelbase of the hatchback, translating into improved rear seat room and a spacious trunk.

The result is a handsome sedan for the daily commute. It is a straightforward design starting with a nice chrome grille and two halogen headlamps, stretching to a modern roofline and four-wide opening doors, finishing off with an easy to load trunk and some chrome trim.

My tester came with an upgraded package, including a set of black-finished 15-inch alloy wheels. It adds a little sport to a car with higher aspirations. The Mirage G4 is handsome overall, compared to a lot of its competitors.

The words "simple" and "straightforward" is also used to describe the interior.  There are simply three dials in front of you – a speedometer, a tachometer, and a third for warning lights. An LCD screen gives you the fuel gauge and all the trip information you need. Controls and stalks are solid – as found on other Mitsubishi models. You will find that even on the “base” ES model that air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, and remote locking are standard.

My tester was upgraded with a touchscreen infotainment system that interfaces with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system works very well, and the sound is just fine.

You can seat four adults in the Mirage G4. Front seats are bigger than you would expect in a subcompact. These cloth seats offer ample comfort with manual adjustments. The rear seat room will surprise you. You get great leg room and good headroom for six-footers with very good entry and exit from the rear doors. Not a lot of subcompact sedans can match that. A wide-opening trunk opens to a sizeable 12.6 cubic feet of space.

The Mirage G4 is powered by a 78-horsepower 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine connected to a continuously variable transmission. This combination is a strong driveline, providing ample acceleration and cruising on the highway. Where it shines the most is on the streets of your town. It makes the crosstown shopping spree a fun adventure. Getting around traffic is no problem in the Mirage G4.

Mitsubishi also made this driveline an efficient one. The Environmental Protection Agency rated the Mirage G4 with the CVT at 35 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway.

To go along with its prowess on the mean streets of your town, the Mirage G4’s suspension is designed to handle the rough spots quite easily. The suspension works overtime to provide a smooth ride while absorbing the worst roads in town. Its size and light weight also means that the Mirage G4 can maneuver extremely well to avoid hazards and to manage corners.

Maneuverability starts with a great steering system. This electric system offers a tight turning radius and great feedback to the wheels. On-center feel is much better than any vehicle in its class, keeping within the lane with a solid weight at the wheel. Brakes are also very responsive with good pedal feel right down to a front disc/rear drum set-up. The result is confident stopping power applied to a car that weighs just under 2,200 pounds!

Being one of the lightest cars sold in this country does not mean that your wallet will be equally lighter. Base pricing for the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 starts at $14,995. For that price, you get the base ES model with a manual transmission.

My tester happens to be a 2019 G4 ES model with the upgraded infotainment system and black alloy wheels. The sticker on my tester came to $17,925. This upgraded package is now offered in a new trim level for 2020 – the LE. Mitsubishi adds red trim in the interior for a sportier, more distinctive look. The 2020 LE is stickered at $18,335 to match the equipment level of my tester.

This comes with some solid consumer advice. If you truly need a new car, you may be in luck when you find an all-new 2019 model in their inventory. The financing deals are much better, and you get a fresh factory warranty to go along with your great deal.

The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 represents the kind of necessity that will reward you in the long term. Seriously, if you need a car and want all the trappings of a new car, why not buy a new car? You might as well start here with a brand-new Mitsubishi Mirage G4.

DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by White Bear Mitsubishi, White Bear Lake, MN

All photos by Randy Stern

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