1999 Mitsubishi Mirage 1.5L petrol
An excellent reliable ultra cheap car to run
Occasional leak onto the right hand floor, possibly influenced by the climate controls.
My Mirage has performed perfectly for 9 years. Nothing has ever broken or failed anywhere. I just replace the oil regularly, and drive it with respect. I do not thrash it, and rarely drive above 110km / hr, even through she cruises at up to 130 very nicely.
It have got as good as 5.5litres / 100 km, when driving with a fairly light foot, and plenty of 100km / hr highway speed. It handles freeway speeds well. It is more quiet than say a Hyundai Excel that I drove a bit around 2000, possibly due partly to better gearing.
I had the timing belt replaced at about 150,000 km, and tyres about 4 times now. Absolutely nothing else has been touched, not even spark plugs, not the air-conditioning gas - nothing. Everything seems as per the day I bought it.
I never liked changing up into second gear; it seemed a bit tight, but the dealers contended that this was normal. I doubted it, but it was not serious enough to pursue, and over time it perhaps improved a little, else I got used to it.
Its been outside a lot, but even the paint is still very good.
I put seat covers on when new. I replaced them last month, and the seats looked like new. All the interior is as new, except for a few scuffs.
I put a tow-bar on, and have towed up to its recommended maximum 400kgs quite often for a couple of years. The trailer's weight was checked at the local tip weighbridge. I towed carefully, and while travel was somewhat sedate, it handled it well enough for its size, and I do not believe I wore anything out. I also carried a lot of stuff on the roof, with one front rack and a rear rack attached to a bike-rack off the tow-bar.
When towing, carrying on the roof, and carrying passengers, I take it easy, and the car has then handled it well. Performance is modest with this extra load, plus with the air conditioning on. I can imagine this being a great car with a 1600 engine like what they raced here with, or an 1800 like in the U.S. As it is, it wins big-time on economy.
I have sold it to my daughter now as her first car. I expect that she will get a good year or six, trouble-free out of it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st June, 2008