A dynamic first date: Getting acquainted with the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLS 1.2 CVT

A dynamic first date: Getting acquainted with the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLS 1.2 CVT

When people need comfort in times of distress, they always turn to whatever makes them feel more at ease — something that can comfort them at times of need or simply something that they do not have to give much thought to. Religion, perhaps or even comfort food or maybe even just your favorite TV show that you’ve re-run over and over again on Netflix — anything that can spirit you away from your current state of mind and bring you back to a sense of normalcy. The car equivalent to comfort food? The Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Mirage G4 headlamp close

The subcompact sedan market in the Philippines has withstood the barrage of SUVs and crossovers that have, for the past few years, gotten pretty close in terms of price — making them a more appealing option to have at times. They’re taller, can carry more stuff and are well appointed, but at the end of the day cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 offer a sense of comfort and security. 

Mirage G4 red in line

For the 2022 year model, Mitsubishi has finally acknowledged this fact and given its yet best-selling Mirage G4 a much needed update. It now features the modern Dynamic Shield facia, officially welcoming it into the nameplate. If you want to have an idea how important the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is for the brand, keep in mind that it is the only remaining sedan in the lineup despite a sweeping mandate to focus more on trucks and SUVs as well as going for electric propulsion. 

Exterior

The most apparent update to the 2022 Mirage G4 is the grill. Skeptics can be forgiven to think that Mitsubishi just slapped on a dynamic shield design onto the already existing body but this isn’t entirely true. The front body work has been completely redesigned to accommodate the new grill. From the bumper, front fenders as well as the headlight, the design engineers have put much careful thought to avoid being labelled as copy-paste artists.

Mirage G4 dynamic shield angle

Call me a cop out, but I’ve always loved the design of the Mirage G4 when it was first released, but It has been eight years since it was first introduced, and everyone else has caught on. Applying the Dynamic Shield to the tiny sedan has done wonders to the overall look. Where the blob-shaped headlamps used to reside is an all new, sleeker and chiseled unit that gives the vehicle a more focused look. The headlamps flank parallel chrome strips that serve as the anchor of this iteration of the Dynamic Shield. I’ve always been a fan of simplicity and my cup of tea usually consists of honeycomb, mesh type grills but somehow, it works on the Mirage G4.

Mirage G4 Dynamic SHield

The bumper features the signature cheeks that act as braces for the Dynamic Shield. My favorite part of the bumper design is the fog lamp housing. Mitsubishi designers could have just taken this part for granted by digging recesses into the bumper and calling it a day but the geometric designs create a sense of symmetry with the chrome strips and the angles of the Mirage G4.  When I first saw this design on the Xpander, I thought it was the right step to give Mitsubishi a new corporate look, and I’m glad that the Mirage G4 has finally received it. It focuses the observer’s eye line towards the very center of the facia. I could talk about the front end all day, but the fact of the matter is that Mitsubishi just nailed it.

Mirage G4 Quarter Front profile

While the side profile has remained pretty much untouched, I’ve always loved how the character lines sweep upward to create an atmosphere of dynamism. It's as if those who initially penned the design of the Mirage G4 all those years ago had the foresight to know that the Dynamic Shield design was just around the corner. 

Mirage G4 Profile side

What is new are those 15-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. While filming the Mirage G4 in advance, I had to second guess myself if these truly had the same size as the previous model, or if they had different and more negative offsets to make the wheels pop out more because I could have sworn that those were 16-inch wheels. To my surprise, they were of the exact same specifications; the design was just different. The spokes seem to have a certain sheen to them and play with the light ever so delicately and look even better in motion. It just goes to show how little details go a long way.

Mirage G4 Mags Close

I thought to myself that Mitsubishi had already redesigned so much about the Mirage G4 that they couldn’t possibly have anything left for the car’s posterior, yet I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t the case. Do the taillights  look different as well? I had an internal struggle as well and had to do a side-by-side comparison between the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 and the previous model; apparently they were. This Mirage G4 is continuously playing mind tricks with me and the revised rear bumper was the culprit. 

Mirage G4 Rear reflector close

It has been reshaped to feature a boxier esthetic to match the front end. It even has vertical reflector panels on the very edges to create an even more mind-bending illusion of girth. Suddenly, the slight hint of a ducktail spoiler on the trunk makes a lot more sense as the subtle lines connect seamlessly across the tail lamps toward the boxy rear bumper. To top it all off, Mitsubishi also integrated a rear diffuser skid plate swathed in black, exuding an air of aggressiveness and, dare I say, sportiness. Between the Mirage Hatchback and the Mirage G4, I’ve always given more street cred toward the former, but this time the tables have certainly turned.

Interior

There really isn’t much to be said about the interior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4. It remains spartan, with little changes from the previous model, befitting its budget-friendly nature, but the quality and thought placed into designing the interior amenities are evident. Car making, after all, is an exercise of the power of a committee. From design to budgeting, marketing and even selling, companies have to find the perfect balance in this delicate Venn diagram.

Mirage G4 Steering wheel

The plastics are undoubtedly hard and rough but nothing is out of place and the build quality is particularly solid. Even the start/stop button on the left side of the steering wheel doesn’t look tacked on unlike some of its competitors. I am not the biggest fan of piano black materials in the interior, given my penchant to scratch and smudge these types of surfaces with my rough fingers, but the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 makes good use of the devil’s plastic to create a sense of contrast. 

Mirage G4 start stop button

It is hard to find the right material for seats to fit the pencil pushers’ demands to keep costs low and I’m happy to report that despite my larger-than-average frame I still find accommodations quite pleasant. Fabric seats are the order of the day but the padding is reasonably soft and supportive; ditto with the driver side bolstering. Manual adjustments are required to find the right driving position and with the steering wheel adjustable only for rake and not reach, it may take some getting used to for me. I blame my T-Rex arms for that but at least the visibility is superb with a high roof line and wide windows.

Mirage G4 Automatic AC

Here’s my beef with some car releases. If the model has a nice touch screen inside but no Smartphone integration such as Apple Carplay and Android Auto, then why bother having it at all? I was pleasantly surprised to find both on the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage but what’s even more of a joy is just how responsive the screen is to touch. It’s not a 120Hz touchscreen or anything or can it compete with an iPad, but at least it’s serviceable with minimal lag to it. 

Mirage G4 7 inch touchscreen

The interior build quality is above average for this segment and is a testament to the hard-working Filipino engineers who assembled it right in our own backyard. Did I mention the Mirage G4 is one of the few remaining cars assembled right in our country? Car companies should take notice of this.

Performance and fuel economy

I have said more than I should have already about how the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 looks and feels. I realized that it has been quite a long while since I’ve driven this model in the past and it had a manual transmission. Does the Mirage G4 have enough to wow me, considering it’s minuscule 1.2 liter three-cylinder engine? The answer is a bit more complicated than that, really.

Mirage G4 carbon gauges

When it comes to pure performance, there really is little to expect from an affordable and budget-oriented econobox. Car companies can spin it as much as they could but at the end of the day, sub-compact sedans are made for one purpose, transport commuters from Point A to Point B without any drama. It doesn’t take much for an engine to haul a 940-kg sedan and with 76hp and 100Nm of torque from the three-banger, I’d say that the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is at the very edge of what any car enthusiast can consider as acceptable power, what is a revelation to me is the transmission.

Mirage G4 headlamp close

All that power and torque are directed to the front wheels via Mitsubishi’s INVECS-III CVT or continuously variable transmission. This means it has no physical gears to speak of like in a traditional transmission system such as a manual clutch or a torque converter automatic. A series of belts ensure that the engine is spinning at the best possible speed according to the driving need. Marketing figured out that most drivers don’t like the lack of shift shock on cars leading engineers to simulate the sensation of gear changes. I’m beating a dead horse here, but to car journalists, CVT is a four-letter word. The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 however, made me a believer of the technology.

Mirage G4 cvt shifter

CVT technology might not be well mated to performance cars but give it to an econo-box and it brings it to life. The 2022 Mirage G4’s engine works beautifully with the transmission and ensures that the engine speed is at the right momentum for any driving occasion —just what a CVT was designed to do in the first place. The gated shifter doesn’t even have the need to have manual mode on it because who needs it? Just put it on D and feel the Mirage G4 use every ounce of horsepower and torque to its fullest. One might wonder what B means on the shifter, it allows the engine to engine brake to decrease speed on downhill jaunts. I learned this fairly recently from one of our YouTube subscribers.

Mirage G4 Engine Bay Right

Braking is precise and direct without the spongy feeling budget cars have and steering is light and agile. This is made even more effortless thanks to electronic power steering. EPS adds even more savings to fuel economy because it reduces the amount of work needed from the engine to pump the hydraulic fluid in traditional power steering systems. Speaking of which, while we haven’t officially tested the actual fuel economy of the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage, previous runs of the outgoing model netted an outstanding 25km/l. 

Competition and conclusion

The 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 will be fighting an uphill battle with equally competitive offerings from other brands such as the value-packed Kia Soluto and Hyundai Reina, the ubiquitous Toyota Vios, euro-chic Volkswagen Santana, funky Suzuki Dzire its tamer big brother the Ciaz as well as relatively newcomers MG 5 and Changan Alsvin. All worthy and some may say offer a more solid options but none of which come with the Dynamic Shield design.

Mirage G4 Quarter Front right

No one gives comfort food second thought. It will always be available and sure there are fancier stuff, much like instant pancit canton. It’s easy to make, easy to scarf down and a sense of euphoria almost always usually follows. The 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is the car equivalent of comfort food. It gets owners where they need to go without the drama, but boy howdy does it have a nice package.

Mirage G4 Profile quarter left rear

Photos by Roy Robles

SPECIFICATIONS

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLS

Model Year

2022

Vehicle Classification

Sub-Compact Sedan

Warranty

3 years / 100,000 kilometers

Under the Hood

 

Engine Model

3A92 

Type

1.2-liter I-3 Gasoline DOHC  Engine

Power

76 hp @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

100 Nm @ 4,500 RPM

Fuel Capacity

42 Liters

Transmission

CVT

 

Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Tested Fuel Economy City

Not Tested

Tested Fuel Economy Highway

Not Tested

Chassis

 

Brakes

F - Ventilated Discs; R - Drum

Front Suspension

F - Independent Macpherson; R - Torsion Beam

Wheelbase

2,550mm

Wheels

15-inch

Tires

185/55/R15

Dimensions

 

Length

4,305mm

Width

1,670mm

Height

1,515mm

Ground Clearance

170mm

Kerb Weight

940 kg

Exterior

 

Headlamps

Halogen; Reflector Type

Foglamps

Yes

Side Mirrors

Electronic-adjustable

Daytime Running Lamps

No

Body Kit

Dealer Option

Interior

 

Instrument Gauge Cluster

Traditional Analog/Digital

Infotainment System

7-inch HD Touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Adjustable Steering

Yes; Tilt

Passengers

5

Power Adjustable Seats

No

A/C System

Automatic

 

Steering Controls

Yes

Speakers

4

Interior Material

Fabric

USB ports

Yes

Power Sockets

Yes; 12V

Safety

 

Airbags

Yes; 2 airbags

ABS with EBD and Brake Assist

Yes

Traction Control

No

Stability Control

No

Hill-Start Assist

No

Hill-Descent Control

No

Seatbelts

F - 3-point with pre-tensioner; R - Rear 3-point Seatbelts and 2-point lap belt for middle

Rear Defogger

No

Remote Start

Yes

Immobilizer

Yes

Forward Collision Warning

No

Autonomous Emergency Braking

No

Adaptive Cruise Control

No

Automatic Headlamp Levelling

No

Lane Departure Warning

No

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

No

Parking Assist

No

PRICE

 P769,000 (GLX MT)

P819,000 (GLX CVT)

P899,000 (GLS CVT)

 

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