Even though I was traveling most of today, I wasn’t completely insulated from the important news of this world. I know this because in the middle of my flight to Los Angeles, the captain ordered all of the seatback video screens paused, and dimmed the cabin light — all to set the proper somber tone for this announcement. “Passengers of Onanism Air Flight 219,” the captain began, “I have disappointing news. According to reports, as of 2025, the Mitsubishi Mirage will be no more.” The captain paused here to let the gasps and occasional shrieks of grief dissipate. “Let us take a moment of silence to pay our respects to this cheapest of available automobiles in the American market.” Even though the mic was then switched off, the muffled sounds of plaintive sobs and the pounding of fists on instrument panels was unmistakable. I sat in my seat, dumbfounded.
We reached out to Mitsubishi for comment, but they, as you’d expect, declined to comment. And I get it; they’re probably going through some things right now. The source of the news, Automotive News, is a very reliable source, and the source of the source of news seems to be Mitsubishi Japan. So, while it’s not 100% confirmed, this does seem a likely happening, miserable as it is.
If you’re out there thinking, somehow, “Who gives a shit? It’s just some crappy little shitbox nobody really likes?” then I’d like to respectfully ask you to shut your filthy mouth, you. Consider this: Even though there’s a limited handful of cars with MSRPs that start under $20,000, the only model car last month that actually sold, for real-world money, for under $20,000 was the humble little Mirage. And now it’s going to be gone.
Such is bullshit.
Cheap new cars should exist. Period. They just should! It’s absurd that there are so few, and what is arguably the cheap-ass car flagship, the Mirage, is now likely to be gone. The Mirage knew what it was and lived up to that role: cheap. But it worked.
I have a bit of history defending the unassuming little hatchback (and, yes, sedan now, too, fine) that goes all the way back to 2014, when I reviewed Mirage for The Old Site and then, more significantly, defended the little car from the cruel bullying of bigshot car journalists who delighted in making sport of a basic little car whose only real crime was not taking all your money.
Want to read a quote from my defense of the Mirage? Well, too bad:
I’m picking on Mr. J. Pearly Huffman because for whatever reason, his review’s gotten a lot of attention, but he’s by no means alone here. There’s a certain pervasive belief that, somehow, no matter what the car costs, we all deserve the finest-feeling plastics and the best acceleration and that certain aspirational look that tells everyone we’re mere weeks away from being able to buy some islands.
This is bullshit.
In the same review, Huffman also mentions that the car is roomy, and can get 37 MPG city and 47 MPG highway (I personally observed almost 49 MPG in my tests). Then he goes on to say that “Greyhound bus tickets” and “hitchhiking” are viable alternatives. You know who probably doesn’t agree with that? Every fucking person hitchhiking or stuck on Greyhound bus.
I respect the Mirage. It’s an efficient and reasonable way to get your ass from one place to another, and in that respect it does the same damn thing as a Bentley or a Lamborghini Urus or whatever, and costs a whole garbage can full of ice and kidneys less.
Mitsubishi’s plan to drop the Mirage (along with all their other sedans) is bad news. It’s stupid news. It means that another automotive option that’s still reasonably priced is gone, and more people who just need decent, honest transport are going to be shoved into big-ass expensive vehicles that will feel cramped because they’re loaded up with debt.
I suspect not many out there will shed a tear about the Mirage’s death knell, but I can tell you it doesn’t make me happy. Just based on their rairity, unpretentious, inexpensive cars are the real exotics, and now we’re one fewer.
Godspeed, little shitbox.