Mirage Juro 1.2 CVT
ice-caps are shrinking,
our road space is shrinking,
parking spaces are shrinking...
but our cars keep getting bigger!
The question is: Can you really
get a big
ACTUALLY, YES, YOU CAN. And we've just spent a week driving one. It comes
from a brand best known for its big, tough, go-anywhere motors Mitsubishi.
But its recently and comprehensively made-over Mirage supermini is one of those
hard-to-find 'big' small cars.
It's a supermini, of course, and answers to the name 'Juro'. It's a snappy dresser,
too, with well-considered upscale chrome external 'jewellery', a wide grille
beneath its power-bulged bonnet, C-shaped LED combination rear lamps topped
by an elongated roof spoiler and roof antenna, and a set of standout, machine-faced
Resplendent in gleaming Polar White, our test car had undeniable kerb appeal.
And the appeal grows when you look at the price £12,499. Plus
there's more to like when you run your eye down the kit-list.
that, what do you get in terms of doors, seats, luggage space and economy? Truth
to tell; a lot for your money. For starters, the Mirage Juro is a five-door
hatch with 4/5 seats, 175 to 910 litres of boot space, and officially returns
65.7mpg in the Combined Cycle.
are upholstered in a
tactile 3D-feel fabric and
the heated seats warm
you really quickly
even when youre
wearing a coat!
Better still the seats offer
particularly on long trips
(our longest was three
hours and we climbed
out feeling as fresh
as when wed set off)...
Getting behind the Mirage's wheel is no problem thanks to big doors and keyless
entry and locking. Once there you can appreciate the roomy interior and smart
cabin ambiance that makes good use of neat chrome filleting and high-gloss piano
black (inner rim and boss edging on the grippy, leather-wrapped, sports-style
multifunction wheel, armrests, selector gate surround and centre stack, and
even on the rear door armrests) to create an elegant accent to the interior.
The well-padded seats are upholstered in a tactile, 3D-feel fabric and the heated
seats warm you really quickly even when you're wearing a coat!
Better still, the seats offer good support, particularly on long trips (our
longest was three hours, and we climbed out feeling as fresh as when we'd set
There's a comfy rest for your left foot during 'cruising' trips, full length
armrests on the doors, decent headroom and although the wheel only adjusts for
rake/height and not reach the seat is height-adjustable and the spot-on driving
position offers good visibility in every direction.
Adding to all that, and in spite of the black themed décor, the cabin has any
airy feel. It's also very easy to feel at ease courtesy of a traditional pull-up
handbrake, keyless engine start button on the fascia, deep glare-blocking sun
visors, the logical design of the centre stack, and crisp and clear central
speedometer (with inset trip meter) plus a smaller rev-counter to its left,
both with foolproof white-on-black markings.
Adding to the convenience of four side doors is plenty of personal storage with
ample trays and cupholders dotted about, and good-sized bottle-holding door
bins. And you're not left wanting when it comes to connectivity; there's compatibility
with a wide range of multimedia systems, for instance, USB, Bluetooth, and iPod.
Plus there are remote buttons on the wheel to control the media, phone and cruise/speed
Like the front, the rear cabin is an equally good place to travel in; getting
in and out is no hassle and two (or even three) sit about six inches higher
than those up front which is good for taking in the views through
the back windows.
is fine for those under six-feet tall and the headrests are nicely padded. The
outer rear armrests are good to use, you'll find plenty of foot room and good
legroom plus the backrests offer good lower back support two adults
can travel a long way without fidgeting in the back of the Mirage. Which is
definitely more of a 'big' rather than 'small' car marker.
unlikely to be
carting around American-
style double fridge-
freezers in the Mirage
but then thats not why
youd buy one in
the first place. However,
so far as fitness for
purpose goes, its 175-
litre boot is perfectly
given that theres seating
for 4/5 in a bodyshell
3.795 metres from
nose to tail...
unlikely to be carting around American-style double fridge-freezers in the Mirage
but then that's not why you'd buy one in the first place. However,
so far as fitness for purpose goes, its 175-litre boot is perfectly adequate,
especially given that there's seating for 4/5 in a bodyshell measuring just
3.795 metres from nose to tail.
Besides, you're not restricted to just 175 litres because the 60:40-split seatbacks
can be tumbled forward and folded down almost flat, providing a loadbay of 910
litres. Additionally, below the boot floor is a deep, four-section cargo box
offering even more stowage space it can be removed if you need
a deeper boot. Beneath that is yet another level housing tools and a tyre repair
Buyers get one engine choice but it's a perfectly good one: a feisty, three-cylinder
petrol-drinker that puts out 79bhp and 78lb ft of torque.
This comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic that, if
your Mirage is destined for a life in the city, will definitely take the slog
out of driving in heavy traffic. The three-pot has a perky character and it''s
more than happy to 'sing' for its supper work it hard and at higher
revs you'll hear its likeably raspy, three-pot 'thrum'; ask and it will sprint
to the benchmark 62mph in 12.8 seconds, and run on up to 107mph.
Kit is something else that you can rate as 'big car' rather than 'small car'
you get automatic AirCon with a pollen filter, keyless entry,
heated front seats, cruise control, rear parking sensors, DAB hi-fi with USB,
Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, CD player, powerfold electric door mirrors
with integral indicators that fold automatically on locking and leaving, front
and rear electric windows (the driver gets one-shot op), multifunction leather-wrapped
steering wheel, privacy glass from the B-pillars back, auto lights and wipes,
roof spoiler, and a set of 15-inch alloy wheels. For an extra £1,000 full leather
seats can be specified.
If you thought that only big cars can be safe, think again. The Mirage comes
with a steel safety cell around the passenger space. Other safety kit includes
driver's and passenger's front, side and curtain airbags, active stability and
traction control, an emergency stop signal system, Hill Start Assist, tyre pressure
monitoring, daytime running lights, and height-adjustable front seatbelts.
Mirage also comes with strong 'green' credentials: an automatic Stop & Go system
is fitted to eke out the best mpg, especially in heavy traffic, and CO2 emissions
are a low 99k/km so you won't need to pay the London Congestion Charge or be
asked by the DVLA for any road tax. Nice, but they must really hate that!
responds eagerly to the
right foot, helped by
the equally willing CVT:
palm the shapely,
knob and snick the lever
to its D3 slot and youll
enjoy a sporty drive;
its also good for engine
braking when needed.
Alternately theres L
(for Low) for climbing
particularly steep hills
and for stronger engine
braking when coming
also regenerative braking, low-friction tyres, and a wind-cheating bodyshape
(actually, the Mirage is the most aerodynamic is its class). Officially the
1.2-litre CVT auto returns 65.7mpg in the Combined Cycle and during our hard-week's
test we came pretty close, averaging an impressive 60.3mpg.
The Mirage's underpinnings have been tweaked for improved handling; added to
which the electric-powered rack-and-pinion steering has been sharpened up and
you can now punt it about with surprising gusto with bodyweight
kept to the minimum using high-tensile steel, its 79bhp goes a long way.
The perky three-pot responds eagerly to the right foot, helped by the equally
willing CVT: palm the shapely, leather-skinned selector knob and snick the lever
to its D3 slot and you'll enjoy a 'sporty' drive; it's also good for engine
braking when needed. Alternately there's L (for Low) for climbing particularly
steep hills and for more intense engine braking when coming back down.
Surprisingly, it also manages to be comfortable many small cars
can be 'choppy' due to their short wheelbases but the Mirage's reworked suspension
is 'soft' enough to mop up the second-rate blacktop that's more and more the
norm across the UK.
There's a lot of 'big' in this 'small' car from Mitsubishi and with its satisfying
mix of clean-cut good looks, pleasurable-to-drive character, high spec, and
budget-boosting economy, it's hard to think of any reason not to be mesmerised
by this Mirage ~ MotorBar
Mitsubishi Mirage Juro 1.2 CVT
Maximum speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 12.8 seconds | Test Average: 60.3mpg
Power: 79bhp | Torque: 78lb ft | CO2: 99g/km