The Extremely Cheap Mitsubishi Mirage Is Headed Towards Its Best Sales Year

As new cars get more expensive, the Spartan hatchback is starting to stand out.

Mitsubishi

The Mitsubishi Mirage, the cheap car that auto journalists love to hate, had a strong month with 2,196 sales. That's up 28.4-percent compared to September 2018, and it puts the little hatchback on course for what might be its best year ever. That's not insignificant in an up-and-down year. Likewise, Eclipse Cross year-to-date sales have nearly tripled compared to 2018. Has once-moribund Mitsubishi finally come back from the dead? 

"I think there's an affordability story," said Tyson Jominy of J.D. Power to The Drive. "Many automakers have discontinued models at the lower end of their portfolio. This creates more opportunity for a company like Mitsubishi to succeed."

Indeed the Mirage is an affordable car with a warranty. Starting at $13,795 the Mirage has air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. It carries a 10-year powertrain warranty and a 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. It's also rated at 36 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway, or 39 mpg combined. For a non-hybrid small car, those fuel economy numbers are impressive. The 2020 Nissan Versa's combined fuel economy rating is 36 mpg, which is 3 mpg less and the base price is more expensive.

Enthusiasts will argue that Mitsubishi shouldn't have used the Eclipse name on a crossover, but the Eclipse Cross pulls off the same value-for-dollar argument that the Mirage does. It starts just under $23,000, and a fully-loaded one is less than the competition. It's also not a bad car to drive.

When you factor in the warranty for both the powertrain and bumper-to-bumper, the Eclipse Cross makes sense to some buyers.

Everyone seems to talk about how expensive vehicles are getting. Mandatory safety features and demanded creature comforts haven't helped in keeping those prices low, but there is transportation options out there that can put the buyer in a nice, new vehicle, with peace of mind without breaking the bank. Mitsubishi seems to have figured that out and customers are responding.