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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Restyled, More Powerful, Still Cheap

The bargain-basement hatchback gets a new look in L.A.

As expected, the Mitsubishi Mirage will skip the 2016 model year and bounce straight into 2017 with some significant updates. The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage arrives at this year's Los Angeles auto show with a new look and some mechanical tweaks.

The facelift begins with a new narrow front grille opening trimmed in chrome on high-end models, with a new grille opening in the lower front fascia, both of which combine to bring the Mirage's face up to date with the design of other new Mitsubishi models. The hood, rear spoiler, rear bumper, and 14- and 15-inch alloy wheels have also been redesigned, giving the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage a bolder look, though it's still far from the most stylish small car on sale today.

The inside of the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage has received plenty of attention, too, with new upholstery, a new instrument cluster, a new shifter surround, and a new steering wheel. The touchscreen infotainment system on SE and GT models now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and automatic HID headlights are now offered on the GT. The trim level hierarchy is now ES, SE, and GT, matching other Mitsubishi models and replacing the previous DE and ES models.

More than meets the eye

Mitsubishi didn't stop there in updating the Mirage, however. The 1.2-liter inline-three engine receives new roller rockers to boost its output from 74 to a massive 78 hp, while torque is unchanged at 74 lb-ft. The front brake discs and rear drums are both now larger, the suspension spring and damper rates have been adjusted, and there is a new front chassis brace to stiffen the car.

Despite the many jokes made about the bargain-basement Mirage, it remains a huge success for Mitsubishi in the U.S., selling 19,168 units here so far this year -- Mitsubishi's second best-selling car in America, after the Outlander Sport crossover. With these changes to smarten its look and improve its appeal, those numbers are only likely to increase.

One thing unlikely to increase too much is pricing. We don't expect a significant jump from the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage's price range of $13,805 to $16,205, meaning the 2017 model will still be one of America's cheapest cars when it goes on sale in spring 2016