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Facelifted Mitsubishi Mirage teased

Spice fight: The Mitsubishi Mirage used to be Australia’s best-selling micro car, but has since succumbed to popularity of the Kia Picanto.

Mitsubishi Mirage micro-car makeover confirmed for reveal in Thailand on November 18

8 Nov 2019

MITSUBISHI Motors has issued a darkened teaser image previewing what appears to be a substantial facelift of the Mirage micro car that was first unveiled in 2011 and given a mild makeover in 2015.


The company’s local arm, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL), has confirmed to GoAuto that the refreshed Thai-built Mirage will be sold here, although launch timing will not be announced until the full reveal has taken place in Thailand on November 18.


Described in the Mitsubishi announcement as “facelifted and updated”, the reworked Mirage is promised to “feature sharp and dynamic exterior designs”.


According to the Japanese car-maker, the new look will “embody the Mitsubishi-ness that identifies the company’s compact cars”.


From the shadowy teaser image, it appears as though Mitsubishi has gone for a more assertive and mature look for the updated Mirage, incorporating the large curved chrome strips typical of the Dynamic Shield frontal styling applied to its SUV range.


Both hatch and sedan – which wears the Attrage nameplate overseas – are shown, but slow sales killed off the four-door Mirage in Australia within 18 months of its introduction.


In early 2018, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) committed to the Mirage as its only passenger car offering once the Lancer small car ended production.


Speaking with GoAuto, MMAL head of corporate communications and government relations Karl Gehling disputed subsequent reports that the company would ditch passenger cars to focus on SUVs and commercial vehicles.


He confirmed the updated Mirage would be sold here, but that timing of its arrival in local showrooms would be announced after the official reveal. Mr Gehling also said most Mitsubishi dealers had run out of Lancer stock early this year.


With 505 sales year-to-date – a decline of 46.8 per cent year-on-year – the Mirage is Australia’s least popular micro car after the Kia Picanto (4788 units, up 5.2 per cent) and Fiat/Abarth 500 (600 units, down 10.3 per cent).


The micro-car segment, down 13.2 per cent in an overall market that has slumped 8.0 per cent year-to-date, is also shrinking in terms of offerings with the Chery J1, Fiat Panda, Holden Spark, Nissan Micra, Suzuki Celerio and Volkswagen Up all exiting the market in recent years.


Mr Gehling attributed the Mirage’s slowing sales to a reflection of a broader move away from passenger cars and shrinkage of the micro-car segment, which is down 13.2 per cent l in an overall market that has slumped 8.0 per cent year-to-date.


However, popularity of Kia’s Picanto is likely a more significant factor as it quickly dethroned the Mirage as Australia’s best-selling micro-car after being launched here in 2016, outselling it more than two-to-one in 2017, and more than five-to-one in 2018.


This year, the smallest Kia, which is priced between $14,190 and $17,990 plus on-road costs, is more than nine times as popular as the Mitsubishi that costs between $13,990 and $16,490 plus on-roads.

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