1999 Mitsubishi Mirage from North America


The Best car I have ever owned!


Crack in the exhaust manifold at 70,000 miles.

Head Lights not very bright.

General Comments:

This car was the most dependable car a person could ever ask for.

The only complaint is that it had no guts, but definately worth every cent I paid for it. It never let me down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2006

1999 Mitsubishi Mirage DE 1.5L 12-Valve from North America


Great handling and mpg for little $$$


Valve lifters tick on startup for a minute or two. 12 new ones ~250 USD.

Will need a new clutch soon. Kit (plate, throwout bearing, disc) ~ 135 USD.

Rear struts have started to leak. ~ 75 USD for both.

Replaced the timing belt and water pump when I bought it (preventative maintenance, timing belt was original, but should have been changed at 60k.) ~ 150 USD for the belt and pump.

General Comments:

Despite its small engine, the car handles extremely well at high speeds. Even with only 92 Horsepower, I can cruise at 110 with the AC at full blast for extended periods of time, and no signs of overheating. The car will maintain 95+ with the AC running uphill for miles without even thinking about overheating. Also, wind noise at these speeds is very low compared to what my escort would have made going 75.

Despite the car's impressive handling and high cruising speeds, its acceleration is not great. 0-60 time is upwards of 11 seconds, even shifting very aggressively.

The car's gearing ratio is very wide compared to what I'm used to. 1st can be taken to ~ 30 mph, 2nd ~55 mph, 3rd ~ 80 mph, 4~ 115 mph. Engine can't top 5th gear out.

The gas mileage is great, although affected heavily by use of the air conditioner and heavy acceleration. I have gotten 42 mpg by maintaining a steady 60 mph for several hours without using the air conditioner. Cruising with the air conditioner at 85 mph generally gets about 35-37 mpg. In the city, mileage varies a lot more. I have gotten 32mpg over the course of one tank when I didn't use the AC and "drove like an egg shell was under the gas pedal." Generally though, running the AC and accelerating normally yeilds 28-30 mpg in the city.

The self adjusting valve lifters shouldn't be ticking with only 90,000 miles. Switching to synthetic oil quieted them down a bit, but I am a little disappointed. There is no generic version of the lifters available, so I have to order new ones from Mitsubishi at 20 bucks EACH! (I need 12 of them total).

Additionally, there is no Chilton or Haynes shop manual for this car, I had to get one on Ebay for over 60 bucks!! And that was used, the new price is ~$120 USD. Yeow.

Except for the valve lifters though, I have had 0 trouble with this car. Always starts first crank, original AC compressor blows ice cold, and its hard to beat the highway mileage without going to a hybrid or a motorcycle. For the 3000 I paid for it, I'm very pleased. It's a great used buy since the car seems to depreciate quickly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2005

22nd Oct 2005, 10:23

I might add that the 60 bucks I paid for the factory service manual was well worth it... it was very helpful in replacing the valve lifters and saved me much more than its purchase price.

24th Jun 2007, 18:41

I've owned several Mirages (and Colts) and have always had good luck. I own an 01 DE now and average over 40 mpg hwy if I keep it 70 or under. I am surprised how easy this car can drive 110 like you said. That's as high as I have gone for fear of a ticket, but it had more.

8th Oct 2007, 23:06

Exceptional car, especially for the purchase price. Can’t beat the running costs and it has been as dependable as the Mercedes I own. In fact, it was cheaper for me to run the Mirage than my MB 190D with a manual tranny. Mileage was very close (though the MB delivered about 5MPGs more) but maintenance and running costs are way cheaper. My Mirage has over 180K on the original engine and tranny! It still runs like a top, and I am confident it will keep running like this for many miles! Mitsubishi got this one right – they really did!

4th Apr 2008, 14:22

I have a '99 Mirage that I bought used with 19,000 miles on it in 2000. This 5 speed is a jewel on gas mileage with 42mpg on highway at 80 mph. Great handling. Only thing I have done to it is replace tires, breaks, battery, timing belt, and water pump through routine maintenance. Oil gets changed religiously every 3000 miles. It now has 172,000 miles on it and runs just as good as it did when I got it. Wouldn't trade it for the world!