Hello all, it’s been a minute but I’ve finally gotten a free second to put a sliver of thought into this. I’ve had the Mirage coming up on a year; so I’ve decided I’d take you through what this year has brought me with the car.

Overview

I purchased the Mirage from Carmax with an extended warranty for just a nudge over $12,000 out the door. The car had a few exterior touch up imperfections from someone using a very wrong shade of orange touch up paint to cover a few blemishes. Nothing major. In lieu of this eyesore they were quick to replace the two front tires at my request. Score.

Everything else seemed solid, and I threw down the money and walked out roughly an hour later after sealing the deal. I began the 2 hour drive home with it; of course that drive had zero drama save for a TPMS light that popped on. This is why warranty coverage is super handy.

Go On

A few months later I’d noticed two panel clips that held on the under hood heat blanket had mysteriously gone MIA, and took the car to the dealer. Once again thanks to the OEM warranty being intact, it was replaced in seconds.

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From there I’ve had zero things to report as far as issues. Save for oil changes I’ve done absolutely nothing to this car. Of course I did elect to get some nicer beam style wiper blades, some nice all weather floor mats and some snow tires. These are basics when you live in a snowy climate and these costs would be incurred on any vehicle of any age.

The Ups

The Mirage has given me zero problems, and I mean that in the most literal sense. I hit the start button and it goes. I’ve put 20,000 miles on it since taking delivery and I’m on my third oil change. No matter the weather or conditions, it’s reliable.

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Plus as I’ve stated many times before, it is almost egregious in terms of being economical. I average 42 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway cruising 68-70mph. With current gas prices in Ohio being under $2 a gallon I can basically forget about transportation costs. I drive roughly 350 miles per week and the price to do so is laughable. I maybe spend $15-$18 per week to operate this thing.

Other upsides? Well for one it flies under the radar. If you’re speeding a little bit you’ll not get noticed by anyone, I can vouch for this theory. Second, the Apple CarPlay makes commuting quite nice. Being able to blast music while having my messages and Waze going simultaneously is pretty great. Finally, parking this car is like a cheat code. Doesn’t matter how tight a parallel park is in any given situation, it always fits. Always.

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The Downs

There are a few downs I can speak of. First and foremost the lack of power at speed can be a pain in the ass. Around town it is fine, it truly does well. At 60 things get a bit more interesting. It is a little three banger and it shows in these situations. You have to keep that in mind when merging into heavy traffic.

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Second, high speed winds. If there’s a 20+ mph cross wind you’d better have three hands on the wheel. This car is very light and it gets blown all over the road, keep this in mind. You do get used to it but it’s still worth noting.

Lastly, handling. The stock tire size is killer for fuel efficiency; but it’s beyond terrible for quick transitions. Need to swerve to miss an animal? Jesus take the wheel. For summer use I’d highly recommend going with some 195s for stability. It really is necessary.

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Conclusions

You learn so much about a car after a year of straight daily driving. I’ve learned that I indeed do not regret buying this car. My career change totally changed my lifestyle and without the Mirage I’d be struggling to make this type of commute to get my daughter. It truly was one of the more responsible vehicle decisions I’ve made.

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It’s not perfect though. The car does have shortcomings. For a casual buyer a Camry or Accord may be better suited. They offer better handling, far more acceleration and a bit more room. If you’re looking to get the “most car per dollar” and stay as new as possible; the Mirage simply is unrivaled.

Where the Camry and Accord make practical cars for the every person; the Mirage offers efficiency and reliability for the person that is willing to compromise on rear seat space a bit in trade for ease of parking and lower operating costs.

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If you live in a big city and turn lots of miles, get one. If you find yourself driving 10 or less miles a day to work, this car makes zero sense. Stick to the mainstream choices.

But if you do decide to get one, atleast it’s easy to find it in a parking lot...

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