The ideal town car needs to meet and exceed certain criteria. It needs to be small to fit into those gaps in the traffic and exploit parking opportunities, it must have a decent turning circle so that it’s easy to manoeuvre, a perky engine with good low down acceleration, excellent emissions and economy and, perhaps most importantly, it has to be comfortable.
And let’s not forget, if this is the only car in the household it will need to be able to complete the odd longer journey as well. Getting comfortable in the Mirage is as easy as you would expect in a modern car with enough adjustment for all and the optional leather heated seats are very good indeed.
So here we are, the Mirage and me, 05:00 and 500+ miles until home again as I’m off to South Wales. Sandwiches and pop packed, essential CDs decanted into the side pocket and it’s time to set off. With Sat Nav not available it’s no trouble to attach a phone holder to the windscreen, plug the charger in and let the CoPilot App do its stuff and in a display of ‘real life’ thinking, the charging point is at the bottom of the centre console so the charging lead has a simple journey to the phone. A small point but one worth mentioning as there’s nothing worse than leads being stretched from around or even behind the handbrake, as in some cars.
Setting the Climate Control to 19C, the DAB Radio to BBC 6 and it’s time to begin. As expected in new cars these days, the clutch is light and compliments the gear change well with the shift having a good solid feel. Setting the Automatic Windscreen Wipers and Automatic Lights to come on when needed is completed easily. The central speedometer is clear with the remaining dials easy to decipher and decode which is just what you need when in town or beyond.
With CoPilot suggesting the quickest route possible, it’s off to the M62 to head west towards Manchester before starting to move South towards Birmingham on the M6 and beyond.
Now MotorMartin and early starts don’t really go together well but it has to be said that the little Mirage was doing an excellent job of keeping spirits up. The cruise control is controlled (sic) using the same system as in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and ASX and as such, is simple and intuitive to use meaning that it should be accessible to all who travel in the Juro. With the speed set at 70mph when appropriate you start to notice other aspects of this well put together Mitsubishi. The cabin remains cool and comfortable with the climate control doing its job unobtrusively, the DAB works as well as any and all car based DAB radios do and there’s a business like Thrum from the engine as it barrels merrily along the Motorway.
Stopping for a well deserved snack at an anonymous service station near Bridgend, five hours after leaving Bradford and it’s time to reflect on the Mitsubishi Mirage Juro 1.2 Manual and how it’s coped so far. Fortunately there are no ache or pains and the cabin remains a pleasant place to spend time in, there’s good size door pockets to carry CDs and bits and bobs whilst the drinks holder will hold a can of pop or takeaway cup of coffee securely, so no spillages. The boot has a minimum VDA of 175 (it can fit 175 200 x 50 x 100mm blocks) and is a decent enough size to swallow a couple of small suitcases or sandwiches and the everyday items that we all appear to carry rather unnecessarily as we go about our business.
One of my favourite pieces of tech in the Mirage is the Eco dial on the right of the dashboard, this allows you to gauge how efficiently you’re driving at any given moment as the smoother you accelerate and brake the more green bars you light up with three being the maximum. Periods of strong acceleration or additional input to the throttle can reduce the blocks to one or two and in moments of relative driving madness, down to orange (the worst colour and to be avoided.) MotorMartin loves this as it adds that element of challenge to any journey undertaken, you want the dial to show three green for as long as possible as this will mean that you keep close to Mitsubishi’s claimed maximum 65.7mpg. Indeed MotorMartin didn’t see less than 55mpg throughout the week with the Mirage. Rather surprisingly, this simple piece of equipment really does help you to alter your driving style to suit the Mirage, of course you’re going to lose acceleration as you drive away from the lights etc. But is this really the type of car that your looking to thrash? Thought not.
Leaving the Motorway and hitting the back roads for the final few miles before arriving at the ever welcoming Nathaniel Cars and it’s finally time to have some proper driving fun with this Mitsubishi and I’m pleased to say that as long as you accept the Mirage’s limitations, max power of 79bhp at 6000rpm and max torque of 78 lb.ft at 4000rpm mean that you’re not going to be troubling mechanically insensitive youths in baseball caps and overly loud Corsas, you can still enjoy the responsive steering and good suspension performance. Bumps and pot holes will give you a jolt but the Joro will stay on your chosen line through the bends and provide sufficient quality of ride for both town and country.
Returning to Bradford, after a not inconsiderable 11 hours in this, the smallest Mitsubishi, I can confirm that this is a great little car. It’s more than capable of spreading its wings away from town whilst proving itself to be extremely capable within. It’s well specified and competitively priced whilst providing excellent efficiency and economy and still manages to look good and stand out amongst the competition. Overall then, would MotorMartin be happy with a Mitsubishi Mirage sitting outside? The answer is a most definite yes.
Where will you go?