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Old 06-09-2014, 08:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,796
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Review notes: I've got a 2014 Mirage 1.2L 3-cyl 5-speed for a week. Any questions?



I have a borrowed base model Mirage 5-speed for a week.

What do you want to know about it? If you have questions - fire away!

Disclosure: car & insurance provided by Mitsubishi. I'm not a journalist - don't believe anything I say. Also, I paid my own train fare home after returning the car to a Montreal area dealership.

Of interest to EcoModders...
  • We just took the car in the 2014 SMCC Economy Run in Montreal, and unfortunately flushed our chances in the corrected standings with a navigation mistake. But the car turned in a respectable 3.98 L/100 km / 59 mpg US on a challenging course.
    .
  • Aero modifications test: for the SMCC run, I did a handful of quick aeromods to the car: grille blocks; mini-kammback addition; front air dam; passenger mirror replaced with smaller convex one; passenger wiper delete. I managed to A-B test these mods (collectively) at 90 km/h (~55 mph): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ini-29182.html
    .
  • Speed vs. mpg numbers: we already got some for the 5-speed thanks to EM member niky in a Philippine spec car, but I will be repeating them with this one as well.
    .
  • CVT vs. 5-speed real world test: last November, I compared the fuel economy of the two transmissions on a test drive in Ottawa. I'm hoping to do a slightly more controlled version of that test this week against a CVT Mirage running at the same time on a 25 km city/rural highway route.

CVT vs. 5MT commute fuel economy comparison hopefully coming this week.


General observations...

First, anything I write here should be taken with a grain of salt. I've read literally over 150 reviews of this car, and seen lots of blatant contraditions on subjective things that are presented as facts. If you're curious about this (or any) car, the only opinion that matters is your own... just go try one.

With that out of the way, overall, I quite like it.

Efficiency:

The engineers aimed for efficiency, and achieved it through remarkably low weight (sub-2000 lbs for the manual), good aerodynamics (0.28 Cd), and an efficient engine.

Owners are reporting it's easy to beat the EPA ratings of the car in "normal" (not eco) driving. The 5-speed is rated 34 city / 42 highway / 37 combined by the EPA. The CVT is rated higher, at 37 city / 44 highway / 40 combined.

I'm seeing ~57 mpg US (4.1 L/100 km) in mixed driving on the current tank, which has been about 15% city, 85% highway (at ~90 km/h / 55 mph). That's with basic eco-driving (no P&G, but shutting the engine off at/approaching long stops).

Engine:

The 1.2L, 3-banger is a hoot. I love the sound it makes when you push it, and it's relatively quiet when you don't.

For those of familiar with the Geo Metro/Suzuki 1.0L engines, this is far more refined and more efficient. It's got 74 hp (instead of 55), yet gets essentially the same fuel economy.

Europe gets the choice of a 1.0L or 1.2L engine. I'd would choose the 1.0L in a heartbeat if I could. It's ~65 hp.

Transmission:

The clutch is the lightest I've ever driven (makes the Metro/Firefly feel like driving a truck), and the shift action is buttery smooth. It's not snick-snickety fun like a Miata, but it's very easy and pleasant to drive.

Of course like many manuals it revs too high on the highway: ~3k RPM at 100 km/h (62 mph). The Euro Mirage has a taller final drive than the North American cars... a future source for mods/swaps?

Suspension:

I'll save my biggest criticism for the suspenders (and I'll also note this is entirely a subjective issue).

This isn't a taut handling car; Mitsu went all out for comfort (possibly because the car sells in big numbers in developing countries where the roads may not be particularly smooth). So if you prefer a compliant ride, you'll be pleasantly surprised: it soaks up bad roads like a champ and feels like a bigger car in that respect.

However if you like to push it a little on bendy roads (which admittedly very few owners ever will), there is a surprising amount of body roll. Ultimate grip is OK (for a little economy car) when the suspension loads up and takes a set. But with so much suspension travel, quick transitions are definitely a weak point. Enthusiast owners are adding aftermarket rear anti-roll bars to the car, and I would too.

I'll post more impressions later. Questions welcome!

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__________________
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to MetroMPG For This Useful Post:
California98Civic (06-09-2014), Insight for life (06-09-2014), mikeyjd (06-09-2014), niky (06-09-2014)