If you head over to Mitsubishi's consumer-facing website for Japan, you'll discover a disconcerting notice plastered on the Mirage's landing page. The translated text says that the Mirage is dead in the company's home country. Motor1.com reached out to Mitsubishi to ask about the model's future in the US, and we'll update the story when we hear back.
The text reads, "Since Mirage is discontinued, body colours, options, etc. may not be able to meet your request." The model's demise isn't surprising as automakers have been abandoning cars, especially smaller ones, in favour of high-riding crossovers and larger SUVs.
Gallery: 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage
Mitsubishi offers the Mirage in the US, selling over 22,000 examples in 2021, up from 2020 but slightly down from the pre-pandemic era. Sales never crested more than 27,000, but they have been steadily above the 20,000 mark since 2015. However, numbers are down in 2022, with the automaker selling just under 13,000 through the year's first three quarters. A solid fourth quarter could bring the model closer to the 20,000 threshold, but it's unlikely to beat it.
Mitsubishi launched the sixth-generation Mirage in 2012 (it arrived in the US for the 2014 model year), so it's an older model in the market. It's undergone two facelifts during that time, with the most recent one happening in 2019, adding teach and safety features, but they have done little to truly modernise the car inside or out. The refreshed model wouldn’t arrive in the US until the 2021 model year.
The Mirage's saving grace is its price point – $17,290 for the 2023 entry-level model (the price includes that $1,045 destination charge). It's also rated at 39 miles per gallon combined, seats five, and comes with a 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
It won't be surprising if this is the beginning of the end for the Mirage. While Mitsubishi is only so far discontinuing the model in Japan, it could signal a significant change is coming. In 2018, there were rumours that the Mirage could become a crossover, but those contradicted other earlier reports that the company was planning to keep the car as a compact hatchback. Sales remain strong, but it’s an ageing model that doesn’t seem to have a replacement coming anytime soon.