Back in the '90s, if you wanted an interesting Japanese car, you were probably directed towards a Mitsubishi showroom. These days, if you want a new car you're generally going everywhere except a Mitsubishi dealership.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is a Mitsubishi you really need to have guts to defend. It's about as basic as new cars get. Jason drove it and said he'd buy it over a Toyota Prius C, though that isn't really a compliment. But kerc bravely insists Mitsubishi makes a good car that isn't an Evo right now. And it's the tiny Mirage, which he's apparently paid money for:
Let me see... I recently got myself a 2014 Mirage. Basic model, 5-speed manual, 74 bhp, 74 lb-ft, weighs less than a ton. I should be suffering, right?
If I'm in the mood, I can go zipping through traffic, revving the 3-cylinder engine hard (loves to rev), upshifting, downshifting. Handling can get a bit hairy sometimes with the tiny 165/65-14 tires, but that's part of the fun. To go quick, you have to drive, as opposed to just squirting the gas pedal. Pay attention to what you're doing. It requires involvement, in a good way. It's fun.
If I feel like just loafing around, I just drive normally, while driving a 44+ MPG car (I've managed to hit 51) that has excellent safety ratings and a 10/100K warranty. All this with simple technology that I can maintain, not with complicated hybrid shit.
Does it look like an angry toaster like the Spark? Nope. And I like that, because in ten years, it won't be looking dated. In a way it already does, but that works in the Mirage's favor.
It's funny when car "editors" want to have light, simple cars, and when they get them, they want all the doodads and shit that add weight and complexity. Go figure.
In my time doing COTD, this is one of the bravest things I've seen. And look, here's someone who actually knows what the inside of a Mitsubishi showroom looks like in 2014!