The 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage is available only as a coupe. It is available in two trims: DE and LS. The DE is only minimally equipped and is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, single overhead cam (SOHC) engine. The LS has a 1.8-liter, SOHC, four-cylinder engine. Both engines can be paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The Mirage’s last major redesign before 2002 came in 1997 when it was restyled to look sportier and sleeker.
Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder. 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Mitsubishi Mirage DE, Mitsubishi Mirage LS
The 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage lost its sedan version to make room for the new Lancer, making the coupe the only available body style. It got a new audio faceplate, emergency interior trunk release, and a chrome badge.
Exterior features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage DE include 14-inch steel wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, halogen headlights, remote trunk release, and rear defogger. The LS trim adds variable intermittent windshield wipers, body-colored exterior trim, rear defroster, power door locks, power windows, and power mirrors. The express-open sliding/tilting glass sunroof is optional for the DE and LS. Power windows and locks are optional for the DE trim. The optional Sport Package has a rear spoiler, chrome tailpipe extension, 14-inch alloy wheels, and side ground effects.
The interior standard features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage DE include cloth upholstery, front bucket seats with a six-way height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilting steering wheel, power steering, four-speaker in-dash CD stereo, and bench rear seat. The LS adds cruise control, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat, tachometer, and a six-speaker CD stereo system. The LS can get an optional 60/40-split folding rear seat, and air-conditioning. Cruise control, map lights, and power mirrors are not available for the DE.
The 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage's overall interior design is clean, plain, and uninspiring, but it is spacious for a coupe and well-constructed. The dashboard is neat with easy-to-reach controls. The gauges are clearly marked and easy to read. The DE is very sparsely equipped and adding options such as air-conditioning and a folding rear seat will quickly increase the price. Head room is good; legroom is good for average-sized adults. Taller passengers may feel a bit cramped. Rear seat entry and exit is difficult, and if buyers are sitting behind a taller passenger, they will lose the little amount of foot room they have when they slide the front seat back. The folding rear seatback in the LS increases the cargo room when it is folded down.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage DE model is equipped with a 1.5-liter, SOHC, four-cylinder engine that makes 92 horsepower and 93 lb-ft of torque. The LS model is powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, SOHC engine that makes 111 horsepower and 116 lb-ft of torque. Both engines cab be mated with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and front drive. The LS trim is only available with the automatic transmission. It has four-wheel independent suspension system with MacPherson strut front/multi-link rear suspension. The meagerly-powered 1.5-liter and 1.8-liter engines are bogged down by the sluggish transmission. The automatic transmission bogs them down even more. Overall performance is better from the LS but not by much. The handling is good because of the four-wheel independent suspension. The wide-set wheels and the front-mounted anti-roll bar for increased stability. The ride is choppy over rough roads, but even on smooth surfaces. Fuel consumption is good for a small sedan because of the small engine displacements in both powertrains. Wind noise is not very intrusive at high speeds, but the engine noise is loud and the tires thump the pavement excessively.
Standard safety features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage includes child seat anchors, dual front airbags, automatic delay-off headlights, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, emergency interior trunk release, engine immobilizer, and electronic brake force distribution. The LS trim can get an optional anti-theft alarm system. Government crash testing shows that it failed miserably in all tests. It did not receive passing scores in frontal or side impact crashes for the front or rear seat passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested this car.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Mirage DE: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Mirage LS: 25/33 mpg city/highway
- Good fuel economy
- Low entry price
- Excellent handling
- Attractive shape
You Won't Like
- Weak engines
- Poor acceleration
- Poor crash test results
- Poor rear seat room
- Difficult rear seat entry/exit
Sadly, not as good as other vehicles in its class.
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