2021 Mitsubishi Mirage: Long live the subcompact

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi recently unveiled the 2021 Mirage subcompact. It now sports the company's 'dynamic shield' fascia along with a host of fresh updates. Sold in hatchback and sedan body styles – the latter known as the Mirage G4 sedan – the 2021 Mirage remains one of the least expensive cars on sale today.

Without a doubt, the small car segment is a dying breed. Other carmakers are killing off their subcompact offerings including the Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic, and most recently, the Honda Fit. But even as consumer demand is shifting towards larger pickup trucks, crossovers, and sport-utility vehicles, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage fills the void for buyers looking for a cheap, reliable, and fuel-efficient car.

Mitsubishi updated the Mirage's fascia to make it more aggressive-looking than before. The Mirage hatchback and G4 sedan started life in 2014 with a smooth and rounded front end. Its first update came in 2017 with a larger grille and sharper exterior accents. But now, the 2021 Mirage is sporting a new front bumper, redesigned headlights, and a 'dynamic shield' front grille as seen in the Outlander and Eclipse Cross.

The new Mirage also receives LED lighting on higher trim models, a new 7.0-inch infotainment system, and standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. On the safety front, both the Mirage hatchback and G4 have available features including automatic high-beam headlamps, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning.

As it stands, the 2021 Mirage receives no engine updates. It still has a hardworking 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated three-cylinder motor producing 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. It's not the strongest or peppiest motor in its class, but it achieves 36/43 mpg without breaking a sweat. True to form, the Mirage remains the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid new car in the market. It also has a 5-years/60,000 miles basic warranty and 10-years/100,000 miles powertrain warranty.

Standard on the new Mirage is a five-speed manual gearbox, while the optional CVT automatic remains on the agenda. The 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage arrives at dealerships in 2021 with base prices starting at around $15,000 for the hatchback and $16,000 for the G4 sedan.