2021 Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $14,295; Mirage G4 has a $15,295 base price

The 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is soldiering on as one of America's most affordable and fuel-efficient means of transport. The newest Mitsu Mirage is still available in five-door hatchback and G4 sedan body styles, and both are home to some much-awaited exterior styling updates.

With base prices starting at $14,295 (Mirage hatchback) and $15,295 for the Mirage G4 four-door sedan, Mitsubishi's venerable compact undercuts other compact stalwarts like the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent. The 2021 Mirage has undergone an extensive facelift with its new Dynamic Shield grille, new front and rear bumpers, and updated LED combination tail lamps.

Standard in both the hatchback and sedan is Mitsubishi's gutsy 1.2-liter three-cylinder DOHC engine paired with either a five-speed manual stick or CVT automatic gearbox. The small engine only churns out 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque, and these small numbers play a huge part in the Mirage's notoriety for being slow and bland – which is totally missing the point, to be quite honest.

Sure, that three-cylinder engine may not be the most potent among small, affordable compact cars. But as the iconic James May points out, you don't need tons of power to have fun. Granted, the Mirage hatchback is a better handler than its G4 sedan brethren, but both cars are lively enough and comfortable to drive.

And besides, that small engine can deliver 36/43/49 mpg day-in and day-out, even if you're not doing your absolute best to drive economically. With those numbers, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage remains the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered, non-hybrid vehicle in North America, and that's saying a lot for a small car that carries up to five with enough trunk room for a weekend getaway.

Standard across the range is a 7-inch Smartphone Link audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Connectivity. All trim models of the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage come with standard forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, while lane departure warning and automatic high beams are available in the top-of-the-line Mirage SE, which starts at $17,445 for the hatchback and $18,195 for Mirage G4.

And since we're talking about a Mitsubishi, the 2021 Mirage has an impressive list of warranties like the 2021 Outlander Sport. The new Mirage comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty, a 7-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion/perforation warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.

New for 2021 is a Carbonite Edition (CE) model for the Mirage hatchback and G4 sedan. The package includes a new front grille and air dam, side and rear air dams, B-pillar decals, and carbon-pattern interior surfaces with red accents for a sportier vibe. The Carbonite Edition package starts at $16,995 (hatchback) and $17,995 (G4).

The 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is available to order now.