2017 Mirage GT

Now, this is more like it. The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage has been revealed at the 2015 LA Auto Show and it debuts with a proper grille. What? The outgoing North American Mirage, which is identical to ours, has the meekest of faces and a slim letterbox slot of a grille.

Besides the new grille, lights and front bumper, the refreshed small car also includes a new hood and redesigned wheels, rear bumper and tail lights. Two new paint colour are available – Wine Red as seen here and Sunrise Orange.

The redesign is functional as well. The front bumper features a chiseled crease for smooth airflow. The front tyre air dam is optimised, and a rear tyre air dam is added to reduce drag resistance. At the back, the new bumper is optimised for air flow while the angle of the rear spoiler has been changed to reduce lift. These enhancements reduce coefficient of drag (Cd) to 0.27.

Inside, the Mirage receives a design update with new seat fabrics and a revised gauge cluster, steering wheel and shift panel.

In addition, a new available 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with EcoPunch is available with Smartphone Link Display Audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the first MMC model to feature this infotainment system in the US. Higher SE and GT variants get a new illuminated semi high-contrast combination meter.

The 2017 Mirage continues to use the 1.2 litre three-cylinder MIVEC engine. With the addition of a roller-type camshaft, the US market car’s 3A92 engine now pushes out 78 hp and 100 Nm of torque, up from 74 hp. Our Mirage does 78 PS and 100 Nm.

2017 Mirage GT

Also improved for the new model year are the handling and brakes. MMC says that optimising the spring rate and damping force of the shock absorbers while adding stiffness to the front end has improved the subcompact’s handling and stability. Bigger diameter brake discs (251 mm) are used in front, while the rear brake drums are bigger by 23 mm. The brake pad material is new, too.

All US Mirage variants have seven airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and ASC. CVT-equipped cars come with Hill Start Assist.

In Malaysia, the Mirage received a minor update in May this year. Will we eventually get this more comprehensive, bolder facelift? Let’s hope so.

GALLERY: 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, Malaysian-spec