1 Jan 2013
MITSUBISHI re-entered the booming light-car market in early 2013 with the all-new LA-series Mirage.
About the same size as a Nissan Micra, the Thai-built five-seat hatch followed the Micra’s lead in being priced against the smallest and cheapest new cars in Australia, making the base ES a sub-B segment contender.
Driving the front wheels in all models – ascending from ES to Sport and LS – was a new transverse-mounted 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine delivering 57kW of power at 6000rpm and 100Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
Light weight made it one of the most economical non-hybrid petrol models available, achieving an official combined fuel economy figure of just 4.6 litres per 100km with the standard five-speed manual, or 4.9L/100km with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Electric rack-and-pinion steering aided efficiency and achieved a leading 9.2-metre turning circle, the front suspension consisting of MacPherson struts and coil springs, with a torsion beam axle fitted at the rear.
Equipment levels included the mandatory electronic stability control that curtailed the preceding Colt from being sold in some states late in its life, front, side and curtain airbags, air-conditioning, remote central locking, Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, USB and auxiliary connectivity, and a leather-bound steering wheel with audio and phone controls.
Auto models also scored the advantage of Hill-Start Assist.