Road testing cars is one of the most important parts of a motoring writer’s job but do not assume for one moment that car manufacturers are queuing up to give out their wares, even to highly experienced former local newspaper journalists whose Over The Limit With Roy Lanchester blog is now one of the top 109 car-related blogs in the country. Indeed, for every ‘oh alright we’ll lend you one for a day’ there can be just as many cases of ‘oh we thought you died in 2004’ and ‘oh do piss off you delusional alcoholic’! However, despite the odds being stacked against him, you will not find this ‘muttering rotter’ filling his blog with blandly complimentary reviews just to keep himself in test cars!
Nonetheless, I was especially looking forward to testing the excellent Mirage, which is an excellent new small car from those excellent people at Mitsubishi. The test car arrived looking excellent in a vibrant shade of green which I was able to admire at length while a typically grumpy delivery driver bent my ear about the ‘hours’ he had been waiting on my doorstep. It’s simply not my fault that lunch at my local pub became a little longer and more refreshing than anticipated, a fact he seemed unable to grasp even as I gave him details of the walking route to the bus stop that would take him to the other bus to the station.
The next day I was delighted to be able to take the excellent Mirage out for a spin and discover just how excellent it is. First impressions are of a commanding driving position with all controls falling easily to hand. It’s out on the open road, however, where this excellent car really excels. The ride is excellent and would shame a Rolls-Royce whilst the whole car truly corners as if it is on rails. Performance is excellent too with impressive numbers on the Mitsubishi website such as Max. output kw (bhp) at rpm 59 (79) 6,000 Max. torque Nm (lb.ft) at rpm 106 (78) 4,000 Acceleration 0-62 mph secs 11.7 Maximum speed mph (kph) 112 (180). When behind the wheel, performance feels even more excellent than that.
In controlled conditions I was able to really open her up and saw impressive speeds in excess of 80mph. The Mirage handled this with excellent aplomb and I’m pleased to report it is also impressively composed when the driver is passed by a police car going in the other direction, remembers the amount of wine he had with lunch and is forced to swerve into a field, dump the car behind a hedge and walk home through the woods.
If I had one criticism, which I don’t, it would be that the Mirage has simply no flaws whatsoever and is excellent. Excellent.
Roy Lanchester is the motoring correspondent for Amateur Scaffolding magazine and founder of Over The Limit with Roy Lanchester a blog which takes a sideways glance at the world of motoring (blogmaker.com/freeblog/overthelimitwithroylanchester57)