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Stellar fuel economy and impressive safety features are some of the Mitsubishi Mirage’s strongest suits, making it one of the most reliable subcompact cars on the road. It has a fuel economy of 33-36 mpg for highways and 40-43 mpg for city drives with its CVT and manual transmissions. The Mirage also has a depreciation rate of 59% after five years with an estimated resale value of $6,632, according to CarEdge.com.

Is the Mitsubishi Mirage a Reliable Car?

RepairPal gives the Mirage a 4.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking it 7th out of 21 subcompact cars. The model also has excellent ownership costs. The annual repair and maintenance cost for the Mirage is approximately $457, which is lower compared to the average $652 for all vehicle models.

The frequency of unscheduled repairs for this model is below average, with owners needing to bring in their vehicles to repair shops 0.1 times a year compared to the average 0.3. The Mirage also has a 9% probability of needing a major fix compared to the usual 11% for subcompact cars.

The Mirage’s 2021 model received good crash test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the model an overall four-star safety rating.

Common Mitsubishi Mirage Problems

As reliable as the Mitsubishi Mirage is, it’s no exception to having damaged or worn-out parts that could affect its drivability and overall quality. Here are the most common issues associated with this model:

Malfunctioning Airbags

There have been cases of some 1995-2002 Mirage airbags being unable to deploy due to a shorted airbag wire harness. If you’re dealing with the same issue, it’s best to have the part diagnosed and repaired to ensure your airbags will deploy when needed.

For newer models like the 2014-2018 redesigns, a recall was issued by the NHTSA in 2017. According to the official report, the internal acceleration sensor in the supplemental restraint system (SRS) electronic control unit (ECU) could misinterpret vibrations from poor road conditions or a flat tire. This could prevent the airbags from deploying in the event of a crash.

Screeching Brakes

Some owners of the 2018 redesign have reported that their brakes produced screeching noises when they stepped on the brake pedal. While the sounds have no effect on how the Mirage works, what’s causing them can affect the vehicle’s performance.

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT Mitsubishi News
Some owners of the 2018 redesign have reported that their brakes produced screeching noises when they stepped on the brake pedal. Image source: Mitsubishi Newsroom.

Debris such as twigs, pinecones, and rocks could get stuck between the brake pad and rotor, causing the brakes to screech. Moisture may also create the same issue.

No Cold Air From the A/C Unit

There have been reports about some 2017 Mitsubishi Mirages failing to blow cold air from the air conditioning (A/C) unit due to a lack of freon. While this is a common reason why the A/C unit is unable to blow cold air, keep in mind that A/C compressor issues and leaks may also cause the same problem.

If you’re dealing with the same issue, it’s best to have your vehicle checked by a licensed mechanic for an accurate diagnosis.

Premature Brake Wear

Premature brake wear has been a common 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage problem. Many owners of this model year have complained about needing to replace their brake discs and pads earlier than expected. Some have noticed that their brakes wore out as early as 15 miles, while others had to deal with worn-out brakes with 30,000 miles on their odometer.

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
Premature brake wear has been a common 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage problem. Image source: Wikimedia.

Several factors could contribute to premature brake wear. They include failure to flush brake lines and switch to lower gears, constantly traveling under high speeds, using warped rotors and calipers, and traveling with excess weight. Replacing faulty brake discs and pads can cost anywhere between $50 and $200 plus labor costs.

Premature Tire Wear

Premature tire wear has also been a common complaint among some 2015 Mirage owners. This problem is typically caused by improper inflation pressure and out-of-spec alignment conditions. There have also been some reports that the tires would stick and the front axle would sometimes vibrate.

No-start Condition

Owners of many 1993-1999, 2001, and 2014 Mirage redesigns have reported that their vehicles couldn’t start due to a faulty distributor. There have also been instances where the affected cars would idle roughly or show signs that they’re out of gas despite having enough fuel. Replacing the distributor usually resolves the issue, and a replacement can cost anywhere between $100 and $400 plus labor costs.

Stuck Ignition Key

There have been cases of a stuck ignition key in some 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2001 Mirage redesigns. Some owners have also reported that their vehicles would start despite having a stuck key, while others had to disconnect the battery due to a faulty ignition lock cylinder. Replacing this part can cost anywhere between $40 and $60 plus labor costs.

Defective Door Hinge

Many 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage owners have complained about their doors falling off due to a faulty door hinge. Some drivers have also reported having trouble opening and closing their doors, while others complained that their doors would make unusual noises.

Shifting Problems

Shifting problems have been a common issue in some manual transmission 1996-1998 Mitsubishi Mirages. Some owners have reported that there was no clutch power when shifting in first and second gear. This problem is typically caused by binding between the synchronizer and gear surface. A special friction modifier can be added to the manual transmission fluid to correct this condition.

Being aware of the Mirage’s most common issues is important to keep yours running for a long time. This will make it easier to stay on top of its repair and maintenance needs, helping you prevent its common problems from arising down the road.

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Velma Williams

My problem excessive gas uses Only have Vehicle 3 Mos 3wks?

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