Having a subcompact hatchback should provide a good combination of space and easy driveability thanks to a small footprint (wheelprint?). The Mitsubishi Mirage was lucky enough to ride the wave of popularity that the subcompact segment triggered almost ten years ago, and the return of Mitsubishi as a key player in the automotive segment beckoned. Aside from coming from a reputable Japanese manufacturer that Filipinos have enjoyed for many decades, the Mirage embraces its roots as a people’s car, offering the necessities of transportation in a no-fuss package.
While cars like these fall on the lower end of the feature set when compared to more expensive vehicles, we were surprised at the Mirage’s wide array of tech features, elevating the value that this car can bring to any owner. Does the interior and cargo space hold the same promise? Let’s find out.
Playing it too safe
If you’re looking for the most attractive interior in this segment, I’m going to have to ask you to stop reading right now. The dashboard of the Mitsubishi Mirage mixes a number of silver plastic accents with at least two kinds of black plastic. Majority of the entire dashboard is made up entirely of a black glossy plastic with a slightly cheap-feeling textured finish – it feels okay to touch, but doesn’t sound solid when knocked on. The second type of plastic is the awful piano black used in spots where your hands and fingerprints will be touching on a regular basis: the center touchscreen, base of the gear lever, and the aircon controls. I guarantee that they will attract dust and fingerprints, and makes me wonder why they chose this material in these specific locations to begin with. The design of the dash is also rather bland, but they did manage to sneak in a cargo pocket right above the glove box. On a good note, the materials in the cabin will stand the test of time, and everything seems to be well put together. Oh, and this trim level has a leather steering wheel. But it’s also black so it tends to blend in with the rest of the interior. In short, the cabin looks and feels way too simple, yet will probably outlast your ownership of the vehicle. Another complaint of mine is the lack of a center armrest as a standard option, but this can be remedied by ordering your Mirage with one from the factory.
The seats are a black fabric and are good enough for daily driving. The rear passengers get proper seats, doing away with the unapologetically bad bench seats in other small hatchbacks. A low transmission tunnel ensures good leg room, but rear seating for adults is limited to two. Adding a third passenger tightens things up greatly, and we foresee children or small adults being assigned to the center rear seat when fully loaded. Loaded up with four average sized Filipino adults, and you’re looking at a comfortable amount of space. Your rear passengers will be fighting over that sole cupholder, however, but you and your front passenger can enjoy up to four drinks at a time.
On paper, the Mitsubishi Mirage offers 487 liters of space behind the rear passenger seats. That may look like a lot, but in reality, the low floor, high loading lip, and wide opening mean its cargo volume is vertical and spread out way too much. This means that our carry-on luggage for our flight would fit, but one was on top of the other. On the other hand, with the 60:40 split seats folded down, you can enjoy up to 1,330 liters of space. Much better.