Mitsubishi to launch Mirage small car in India!

Mitsubishi is planning to launch the ‘Mirage’ global small car in India within the next couple of years. Let’s see how the Mirage stacks up against its chief rivals, the Swift, i20, Figo and Vista.

The Mirage was unveiled in March 2012 in Thailand. For the Indian market, the company is considering the Mirage both in the hatchback version and the sedan version. Read more about the Mitsubishi small car launch here.

mitsubishi mirage
Photo: The Mirage is a cute looking small car with just the right amount of curves

Exterior

The Mirage features a clamshell bonnet and front grille styling similar to the Nissan Micra. The side profile has raised shoulder lines and strong crease lines running across the length of the body. The rear styling of Mirage resembles the Maruti Suzuki A-Star and the i20.

mitsubishi mirage
Photo: The two tone interiors look sober and classy

Interior

The interiors of Mirage have a fairly conventional dashboard design with large instrument dials. The clever use of dark grey and light beige makes the interior feel spacious.  Expect the cabin to offer decent space for five passengers, though shoulder room will likely be just adequate for rear seat occupants.

mitsubishi mirage
Photo: The Mirage has a simple yet attractive rear with a large bumper and small glass area

Engine

The Thailand-specific Mirage will be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol motor that returns a mileage of 22 kmpl. There are no official words about the engines for India-bound Mirage.

Competition

Let’s take a very brief look at how the Mirage stacks up against its competition in terms of size and styling. We compare the Mirage with four popular hatchbacks namely Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20, Ford Figo and Tata Vista.

Photo: The Swift is known for its handling and the mirage will have to prove its mettle on that ground

Mirage vs. Swift

The Swift is 140 mm longer, 30 mm wider and 40 mm taller than the Mirage. That essentially means that the Swift is slightly bigger than the Mirage. In terms of looks, the Swift is sporty, has a ‘packed’ feel to it and appeals to the young generation. The Mirage on the other hand, has a conservative design and may appeal to a wide age group of buyers.

The USP of Swift lies in its uncompromised performance and handling. The Mirage can also be a great handler as Mitsubishi is renowned for manufacturing cars with great handling characteristics (Lancer & Evo), thanks to its rich rally heritage.

hyundai i20 igen photo
Photo: The Mirage needs to compete with the i20 which is loaded with features and has good fit and f inish

Mirage vs. i20

The i20 is 285 mm longer, 45 mm wider and 15 mm taller than the Mirage. Hence, expect the i20 to have more boot space and slightly better shoulder room than the Mirage.  The new i20 with its fluidic design theme is lot more attractive than the Mirage. The Mirage looks simple and lacks character while the i20, despite wearing the fluidic theme which is common in other Hyundai cars, has its own unique appeal.

The USP of i20 lies in its long list of features, quality of interiors and impressive fit and finish. The Mirage has to offer as much features as in i20 to attract potential buyers, provide quality interiors and commendable fit and finish levels to tackle the i20 in the market.

ford figo
Photo: The Figo is wider and longer than the Mirage and will hence be slightly more spacious

Mirage vs. Figo

The Figo is 85 mm longer, 15 mm wider than the Mirage while the Mirage is 63 mm taller than the Figo. Hence, the Figo may offer more boot space but the Mirage may offer slightly better headroom.

The Figo is based on an old platform and despite its kinetic design theme, lacks the freshness of new Ford cars such as the Fiesta. The Mirage looks a bit modern when compared to the Figo. The USP of Figo is its competitive pricing without compromising on features. If Mirage is priced competitively and can pack in as much features as the Figo, it may pose a tough fight to the Figo.

tata vista front
Photo: The Tata Vista now looks more refined and is also more spacious than the Mirage

Mirage vs. Vista

The Vista is 85 mm longer, 30 mm wider and 60 mm taller than the Mirage. Hence, the Mirage will have less boot space and rear seat legroom, slightly less shoulder room than the Vista. The Vista also offers more headroom than the Mirage.

The design of Vista looks like the Indica in steroids. The parabolic headlamps borrowed from the Manza, looks great, but the side profile is a bit of let down, due to its almost flat shoulder line that lacks dynamism. The vertical tail lamp cluster in the Vista looks claustrophobic. The Mirage, on the other hand, looks modern and has a subtle cuteness that the Vista lacks.

The USP of Vista is the spacious interiors and the competitive pricing. And together with commendable ride quality and performance, the Vista is a smart buy. To beat the Vista, the Mirage has to offer impressive space for passengers as well as boot at a price that undercuts the price of Vista.

Summary

We feel that the Mirage looks modern when compared to the Figo and Vista, but feels relatively less sporty and dynamic when compared to the Swift and i20. In order to sell in significant numbers, the Mirage has to handle better than or at least like the Swift, must come with as many features as the i20, must have good quality interiors, must be as spacious as the Vista and has to be priced at par with the Figo. The company has to open more dealerships and service centers across the country to reach out more buyers.

Mirage is a key product for Mitsubishi, in order to gain a significant market share in the small car segment and to sustain in the long run. But do you think, the Mirage is capable of resurrecting the Japanese brand in India?