Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Petrol power is the only option for the Mirage, which is offered with two engines: a 1.0-litre or a 1.2-litre unit, both with three cylinders.

The 1.0-litre engine is available only with the basic-entry level Mirage. It generates 70bhp and 88Nm of pulling power, which is enough to push the Mirage from 0-62mph in 13.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 107mph.

Most buyers are expected to opt for the more powerful and better equipped 1.2-litre Mirage which puts out 79bhp and 106Nm. The extra power lowers the 0-62mph time to 11.7 seconds and ups the top speed to 112mph, making Mitsubishi Mirage performance competitive for its size.

As standard, both engines are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox although a CVT automatic transmission is available with the 1.2-litre version. We’ve tested two Mirages with the 1.2-litre engine and manual gearbox and one had a fairly smooth and user-friendly gear change while the other felt rather baulky and obstructive.

The engine needs to be worked fairly hard to make progress, especially to get up to speed when joining dual carriageways, but it’s willing enough. It’s quite gruff and noisy when pushed, though it doesn’t sound entirely unpleasant.

A start/stop system cuts the engine when stationary to save fuel and an optional eco performance display on the instrument panel lets you know how efficiently you’re driving. Cruise along on a light throttle opening and you’ll be rewarded with a maximum four green bars, while driving with a lead foot is admonished by a red light.

As a ‘global car’, the Mirage has been given very soft suspension so that it can cope with a wide range of road surfaces around the world. This makes it comfortable around town, but at higher speeds on bumpy country roads it feels wallowy and imprecise.

Although there’s a bit of weight to the steering there’s not much in the way of feedback and it’s a long way behind its rivals in overall handling terms. Competitors such as the VW Up and Ford Fiesta handle very well indeed and unfortunately the same can’t be said of the Mirage.