Mitsubishi facelifted the Mirage compact car. I was able to test-drive this model at a nearby area from the 2015 Thailand International Motor Expo venue where this model was launched. I will immediately report about the result of my test drive before it will be launched in the Japanese market.
It is said that the facelifted model has a fixed number of springs, optimized front and rear shock absorber attenuation, safer running performance due to its high body rigidity, and better riding feel. Further, Mitsubishi also applied thorough improvements in each part, such as better power steering control and revision of the CVT clutch control.
The first thing I noticed when I started driving was that it has fewer friction tendencies in its riding feel. It was equipped with a 1.2L engine. It quickly moved forward when I lightly stepped on the accelerator. And when I took my foot off the accelerator at 40km/h, it felt like the car was gliding, as if it had a coasting function. It made me think that it is a bit scary for big cars to be gliding, but it is not that scary for compact cars. Instead, it has more efficient fuel consumption.
It had strong handling. The test driving course had a slalom area so I was able to check its condition when switching the car back. It also had a lot of rolling, but it did not cause any anxiousness. It’s the kind of rolling that allows steady damping so it provided allowance in the suspension limitation. I turned 90 degrees to the left corner with full rolling yet its tires had great grip. I was able to drive well on the road despite the rolling.
I noticed later that it was equipped with Bridgestone Potenza 050A tires. Since it was equipped with tires that have sufficient grip, it remained firm, and that’s the reason why I felt more rolling when I drove it.
The facelifted model also had a sporty style. The first things that caught my eye were its LED positioning lights and round high intensity discharge (HID) headlights. Its hood already has an accented design, and aside from that, the center of gravity of its appearance was also lowered through the addition of black and silver accent on the lower part of its front bumper.
The greatest selling parts of the all-new Mirage are the FCM-City brake system that reduces low-speed collisions, and the unintended acceleration control (when driving). Both technologies use safety functions that apply Laser Radar Surveillance System, and you can activate the automatic braking of the FCM-City at 5km/h to 30km/h when driving at low speed. As for the unintended acceleration control, it can give you an alert information and control its engine output when it detects an obstacle in front as you drive at below 10km/h speed from stopping.
I was not able to use these technologies, but it can certainly reduce the possibility of these being the cause of accidents. It will be first applied to a compact car that will be released in Thailand, but it will certainly be equipped for the Japanese version when that model will be launched in Japan as well.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Yoichi Moroboshi | Automotive Journalist
He became a freelance journalist at 23 years old after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He competed in races like the Fuji Freshman series in his late 20s for seven years. He does motorsports photography and works as a photojournalist. His hobby is cooking.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)