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The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is built for a ‘long-term relationship’ with its owners

The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 is built for a ‘long-term relationship’ with its owners

Tessa R. Salazar

Last week, I finally had that long-overdue spin with the ubiquitous Mitsubishi Mirage G4—the latest GLS Sport variant. Of course, the song that played in my mind as the keys were handed to me was “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?”

Indeed, since the time the Mirage was first introduced in the Philippines in 2013, I only had the chance to try its hatchback variant years ago—on a fun road trip to Baguio. The new Mirage G4 subcompact sedan was introduced here in August last year. Well, better late than never, and I got to know first-hand why the model has been added to the long list of bestsellers of the iconic Japanese badge, and why all of the Mirage owners I had talked to put this car among the most practical they’ve owned.

The 2022 Mirage G4 GLS Sport is a looker, too. The engine is a fuel-efficient 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder Mivec (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control) that puts out a modest but satisfying max power of 78 PS and 100 Nm of torque. The body design comes with touches of sophistication (especially from the side), and a distinct fascia accentuated by that sparkling 3-diamond insignia recognizable even from a distance.

Seen from the front, the Mirage G4 GLS Sport has a bold stance, owing to the headlamp and fog light combo, and the striking advanced dynamic shield fascia. The 15-inch alloy wheels and rear lip spoiler also provide hints of sportiness. However, as I stressed from the start, practicality is the Mirage’s strongest suit. Combined with low ownership costs and the rock-solid Mitsubishi reputation for reliability and accessibility (especially for parts and services), being so handy all of the time has what endeared many Filipino motorists and families to the model.

The instantly recognizable 3-diamond insignia

Practically all the features of the Mirage G4 GLS Sport have a purpose relevant for the no-nonsense Pinoy motorist—from the front and rear cupholders, to the seat and side door pockets, to the 6-way adjustable seat, and even automatic climate control. The Engine Push Start is a nifty added tech that enhances driver convenience (though, for me, its location on the left side of the panel takes some getting used to). So does the steering wheel audio controls (that even comes with voice command for hands-free communications).

The 7-inch touchscreen Smartphone Link Display was especially useful for me, as I linked it to my iPhone to navigate my way to unfamiliar destinations. With Apple Carplay and Android Auto, the smartphone link allows the driver and passengers to play music, answer calls, and read messages hands-free through voice commands.

Caught in pre-pandemic level traffic jams last week, I was still able to squeeze out a remarkable fuel mileage (combined city and highway runs) of 17 km/liter.

Though the price range of the Mirage G4’s four variants (starting from P769,000 up to P929,000) is a bit steep for me, that cost should be worth it over time. Its edge does lie in the model’s overall reliability and low cost of ownership.

Mirage G4 owners I’ve interviewed some time ago still stand by their previous judgment of the model—that the car is a keeper. I recently reconnected with two of them, and here are their updates on their own G4s.

In her 60s, Tetel still drives her G4 every day

Tetel Gamolo, who is in her 60s, yet still busy working for the government, “inherited” her 2018 Mirage G4 GLX from son Ezra Abellanosa Gamolo last October, just before Ezra’s job required him to be assigned to Tacloban province. So, the Mirage G4 stays with Tetel as her everyday car in Cagayan de Oro. So far, Tetel is happy with her “hand-me-up” car, as she says it’s convenient for her to get in and out of the car, even at her age.

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“I’m definitely looking at long-term ownership with the Mirage,” she says.

From the time Ezra handed over the keys, Tetel has amassed over 48,000 km in the odometer. She estimates that she routinely gets 18.5 km per liter mileage—slightly better than Ezra’s 18 km/liter. However, Ezra did get a fuel economy result of 22 km/liter on a trip to Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Tetel said she “would definitely recommend the Mirage G4 to friends.” Tetel’s most memorable drive with the G4 isn’t a one-off trip. “Being able to visit my grandchildren in the nearby city almost every week makes it memorable, every time.”

Tom and Vanessa want a cool ‘matic for Baguio traffic

From the south, let’s go to the extreme north, in Baguio City, where couple Tomas Quinto III and Vanessa Quinto, both 40, are still in a happy relationship with their 2016 Mirage G4 GLX manual transmission. I featured the couple a year ago. Tom is steady with his work as an online freelance virtual graphic designer and Vanessa carries on as a virtual assistant. Their Mirage has continued to be a dependable school service for the kids, for running errands, and for regular visits to their parents in La Union.

It seems, though, that the couple’s Mirage just got even better at being fuel efficient. Last year, they said their Mirage did 21 km/liter from Baguio to La Union. After a year, it has become 22 km/liter.

Now that traffic in Baguio City has come back to normal (read: pre-pandemic congestion), the couple would want just one thing different in their Mirage. “If given a choice, we also want to have a Mirage G4, but this time in automatic transmission,” Tom assesses.