Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage GLS CVT

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Car of the Year – Philippines: that’s high praise indeed for the Mirage, the first sub-compact to have won the award and the first for Mitsubishi. It certainly bodes well for a car that beat the entire resurgence of affordable sports cars. But it also raised expectations given it handily wiped out the competition. So is the hype surrounding the Mirage all worth it, or is it all, well, just a mirage?

With that frame of mind, it’s time to get behind the wheel with the Mirage—and Mitsubishi gladly arranged a top-of-the-line Lemonade Yellow GLS CVT for a week’s use. And since it’s designed primarily as a Point A to Point B transport, no special out-of-town trip, no special economy or high-speed run has been factored in. For a week, it will simply do what an Average Juan would do: go to work, home, and perhaps a mall on the weekend.



Though it’s clearly no sports car, it’s hard not to admire the Mirage’s design simplicity. Free from most embellishments (the only one actually being the rear deck spoiler), the Mirage exterior is clearly function over form. Relying on aerodynamics to give it a fuel-efficiency edge on the competition, the Mirage features subtle lips on the front bumpers and reduced air inlets to give it a slippery 0.29 co-efficient of drag. The design brief notwithstanding, the Mirage features oversized triangular headlights and a smiling face to give it a cheeky and almost comical look. This makes the Mirage stand out of the competition and combined that with a slew of bright color choices (including blue, yellow, and lime green) and you’ve got one young-looking car. Each wheel well is filled with 7-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels with (surprisingly) performance-oriented Bridgestone Potenza rubber (they’re V-rated), further leaving an impression of being a good value proposition.

That said, there are minor design weaknesses that betray the Mirage’s low-cost origins. First, the door handles which have been moved to beneath the side character line reduces the metal stamping cost at the expense of a clean and uninterrupted profile. Next, the key hole whether it’s on the doors or the rear hatch is located separately from the door handle, again reducing production cost, but at the expense of lending the Mirage an 80’s or 90’s car vibe. Lastly, the sheet metal used in the Mirage itself is quite thin. Though it’s been done to reduce curb weight while still maintaining exemplary crash safety standards (it uses high-tensile steel in its construction after all), pressing down on the roof, door, or hood may be enough to cause a dimple mark. These minor gripes aside, the Mirage is actually cute, refreshing, and cheerful. And given its list price of P 638,000 for this top-range model, it seems you’re getting exactly what you paid for.



Though some level of nitpicking can be thrown at the Mirage’s exterior, the same can’t be said with its interior which is well-built, solid, and generally well-executed. The all-black interior lends a much more serious attitude than the cheery exterior would suggest, but it’s designed very well and is a nice place to actually spend some traffic in. It gets the driving basics right with a good driving position, supportive seats, and good visibility all around. The amount of adjustment offered in the Mirage is above and beyond than anything else in its class with a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. The gauges are pretty straight-forward but highly legible with a large speedometer dead center and flanked by a tachometer on the left and a bank of warning indicators on the right. Nestled in the LCD display is an on-board trip computer which computes for Average Fuel Mileage and Distance to Empty. It even integrates a maintenance service indicator. Coming with FASTKEY as standard equipment, the Mirage GLS has a push-button engine start/stop to the left of the steering wheel (ala Porsche) and there’s even a nifty slot on the center console just above the cup holders to store the key in.

The front passengers will have little to complain about since despite the Mirage’s diminutive size, it has successfully maximized the interior cabin to create a truly spacious feel. However, those in the backseat won’t feel as lucky with the rear bench’s flat and contour-less design which maximizes seating space at the great expense of passenger comfort especially in the area of hip and lumbar support. And this is a bummer given the Mirage comes with three individual headrests and three three-point seat belts for those sitting in the back. Opening the rear hatch reveals merely adequate luggage space. Though the Mirage has a 60/40 split-folding seatback, with the seats up, it will have difficulty even swallowing the typical 26 or 28-inch wheeled luggage.



Given the Mirage’s sub-P 700,000 list price, it’s surprising that its list of standard equipment can shame even some luxury cars. Aside from the FASTKEY push-button start/stop and automatic climate control, the Mirage comes with a leather steering wheel; variable intermittent wipers; a touch-screen multimedia entertainment system with CD/DVD/MP3 input, Apple iPod support, Bluetooth hands-free and even GPS;  and the typical range of safety equipment such as dual SRS airbags and anti-lock brakes with EBD and brake assist.

Indeed, the Mirage scores very high in being a well-designed sub-compact and being extremely good value for money, but how is it on the open road? How does it drive? Well, just like it’s designed to do: a Point A to Point B commuter car. And this certainly isn’t necessarily a bad thing.



Settling into the driver’s seat, it’s immediately noticeable that the driving position is much more upright, much higher than most sub-compacts. This gives a less than sporty feeling, but at least it gives a much more commanding view of the surrounding traffic. Pressing the ‘Engine Start’ button cranks the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder to life. And though the sound is somewhat lacking, once it settles into an idle it purrs evenly. Slotting into ‘D’, it’s time to tackle the city streets. With a small displacement engine mated to a CVT transmission, the Mirage is surprisingly quick on its feet. From a standstill up to around 60 km/h, it actually accelerates very well and makes quick work of slotting in and out of traffic. Though it’s got some spritely performance, maintaining a good, constant pace is what this car does best. Applying full throttle will not really result in a jolt of power—just the sound of a taxed engine permeating into the cabin. And oddly enough, despite touting figures of 21 km/L, a week’s worth of driving resulted in just 8.7 km/L—and this is with a fuel-miser mindset. What’s worse is that with the Mirage’s 35-liter tank, refueling every three or four days can be the norm.

The less than stellar fuel economy aside, the Mirage is simply king when it comes to heavy traffic situations. The steering is feathery-light and combined with a quick-ratio rack, it results in a 4.6-meter turning radius—easily the smallest in its class. It’s actually nice to take the various U-turn slots from inner lane to inner lane—shocking even motorcycle riders in the process. The suspension is clearly tuned for comfort rather than spirited handling so combine that with the skinny tires results in the Mirage feeling tippy through corners. It’s stable and all, but it just doesn’t like quick left-right-left transitions. In addition, the Mirage is one of those cars which behave very differently depending on how many people are onboard. With one or two, it tackles any obstacle, including steep inclines, very well. When fully-loaded with four or five onboard, it feels asthmatic and lacking in straight-line power. Plus, the rear suspension tends to bottom out even at speed bumps. The brakes bite very well, but they’ll need a good jab to engage with gusto.



So, is it Car of the Year material? If being the Car of the Year means being attainable by the masses, then it’s rightfully so. If it means being great value for money, then it’s a resounding yes. If it aims to break ground in offering technology in its price segment, then yes sir, it’s Car of the Year material. However, if it aims to be an enthusiast’s car, then it’s best to look elsewhere. If it aims to be an all-in-one car, one that caters to every need of the Filipino buyer, then it doesn’t work. Indeed, it’s Car of the Year material, but for a price. After a week with the Mitsubishi Mirage, it’s clear that it isn’t the perfect car. However, it does the job of being a commendable Point A to Point B transport very well, and for most buyers, that’s perhaps what they need and what they had in mind in the first place.

74 comments:

  1. The 21km/li is possible in highway and not on the city

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  2. I agree, 21km/l is not city driving. Did 25km/l going down Kennon Road from Baguio to Rosario using Mirage GLX AT. From Rosario to Manila, averaged 17-18km/l at 80-100km/hr speed. fyi & guidance.

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  3. try driving it at long distance & you'll be proven wrong.....

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  4. The mileage is the result of city driving - "For a week, it will simply do what an Average Juan would do: go to work, home, and perhaps a mall on the weekend."

    Car companies, like our internet providers, seem to market the maximum or "up to" figures. It's up to the consumers to determine what those figures really mean or the conditions where these figures are achievable.

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  5. Our mirage (GLS M/T) is doing a weekly average 15 km/l (Full tank method)from imus to las piñas zapote flyover then to edsa ayala and finally bgc where we park our mirage (Vice Versa)

    This includes going out on weekends within metro manila.

    Hence we fill our tank full weekly, during weekends. Sometimes our one full tank last for 8 days.

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  6. Any other comments on the fuel consumption of the GLS M/T? The 15km/L sounds good.

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    Replies
    1. I used my G4 GLS m/t last Sept 19, Laguna to Naga City in Bicol. I performed 19.5km/L.

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  7. There are many variables that affects FC. The driving habit and traffic condition is a big part of it.

    Here's my FC report for GLS/CVT:
    QC to Makati (EDSA - 630AM): 10 to 11 km/L
    Makati to QC (EDSA - 6PM): 9 to 8 km/L

    Makati to Tagaytay (~8PM) to QC (11PM): 18km/L
    QC to Naia 3 (early Sat and Holiday, EDSA then C5 - going back): 16km/L

    Comparing with other users, M/T seems to be more economical for city driving and CVT shines on long drive. We also had a report of only a half tank of gas being consumed going from Manila to Ilocos.

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  8. My GLX CVT consumed 30 Liters (P1,500 worth of Unleaded Gas) from Manila to Baguio and back to Manila. It's truly a Gas-miser car.

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  9. Which would be a more fuel-efficient variant, the M/T or the CVT?

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  10. inuulit ko lang yung sinasabi ni sir Ulysses Ang - " And oddly enough, despite touting figures of 21 km/L, a week’s worth of driving resulted in just "(8.7 km/L)" —and this is with a fuel-miser mindset. What’s worse is that with the Mirage’s 35-liter tank, refueling every three or four days can be the norm."

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    Replies
    1. Parang nakakatakot tabihan ng dalawang prime movers sa highway. Hehehe

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  11. ow no 8.7km/l bute nln di ko pa binenta sasakyan ko para lang sa matakaw na maliit na makina, kaya pla mahataw ang mirage, kung bilis hinahanap niyo eto bilhin niyo haha

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  12. I use the my mirage for out of town mostly,not city driving. Manila to Pangasinan, manila to Baguio. FC is 22.5k/l (full tank method). Mirage GLS M/T stock rims an tires.

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  13. Sirs, do u advice na bmili kmi ng mirage? balak kc namin bmili e..we live in QC area. maipid po ba ang Mirage GLX??anu po FC nun in CITY driving? thank u po

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    Replies
    1. just compare mirage from its competitors, like picanto, celerio etc which they belong on the same class. when it comes to FC celerio has it but it is not spacious enough. next inline would be the mirage it self.

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  14. question po mga sirs na mirage owners. meron po bang temperature gauge ang mirage? if wala po, how can you determine if mag ooverheat na sya? thank you po sa mga sasagot.

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    Replies
    1. The temperature gauge is a small pilot light. If your engine does overheat, a small red light will turn on indicating that you are suffering from overheating.

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  15. my mirage glx cvt nag gas ako ng aug. 24 ng 16 lit. naubos un ng aug. 31 nsa 183 km. ntakbo nmin city driving in Puerto princesa

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  16. I travel back and forth from Manila to San Fernando, Pampanga. Pag nasa NLEX average is 15 to 19km/l - pero madalas nasa overtaking lane ako. Sa EDSA naman ung gapang na traffic pag rush hour nasa 8 to 11km/l.

    Pero usually ako lang nakasakay at rarely na may kasama ako so baka may factor din na di mabigat ung dala.

    GLX Automatic pala yung sakin. Sana nagGLS na ko, wala kasing central lock ung GLX. Ugh..

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    Replies
    1. pag average speed mo nasa 10-15km/h range hindi talaga malabo ang 8-10km/L na FC.

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  17. Which is better, mirage gls at or gls mt? I'm living in a province...im looking forward with regards to its gas consumption...please help...im planning to have it this month...tnx

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    Replies
    1. GLS M/T po pag mahilig kayong mag overtake kasi kontrolado nyo ang shifting ng gear nyo at dahil nasa province naman kayo at di big deal ang issue ng traffic go with the GLS M/T.,

      but pag nasa lugar kayo na bumper to bumper heavy traffic,. mag GLS A/T na po at para di kayo mapapagod sa shifting ng gear.

      Ok po ang fuel consumption ng mirage ko .. mga 16-18 km/L

      BTW, GLS M/T ung sa akin ., kasi nasa province din ako ..

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  18. Ano po bang mas ok, mirage gls a/t or yung bago ng suzuki na swift dzire a/t? Undecided pa den po kasi kung ano ang mag magandang kunin for our first car.

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    Replies
    1. SUZUKI ka na lang po. :) Mas trusted kasi Japan talaga, ang Mirage-Thailand made. ^_^ Promise. Take it from me.

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    2. India Ginagawa mga Suzuki dito! niloloko ka lang ng ahente

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  19. dzire is not japan made

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    Replies
    1. Made in? India? Maruti?

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  20. Hi guys how will you drive your mirage GLS if you forgot your remote, how can you use the key only?

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  21. ito oh ung vios or ung padating po na jazz.. pa sagot nmn po..

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  22. vios nalang kung ground clearance 10city to 12highway , jazz mas matipid mababa naman ground clearance pero dahil hatchback marami kang maipapasok within the body. basta mag manual ka :)

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    Replies
    1. Ground clearance ba hanap mo?...mag truck ka na lang siguradong hindi sasayad ang ilalim panlaban pa sa baha...di kaya jeepney pang maramihan at sigurado pang marami ang maikakarga mo...hindi ka rin lugi sa kunsumo ng fuel jan...di ba?

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  23. Ano naman po ang difference sa specs ng 2013 sa 2014 (Mirage hatchback GLS CVT)?

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  24. Hi... ask ko lang po sana... kamusta naman po ang pang ialalim ng Mirage? kase may naririnig ako mahina daw pang ilalim niya... thanks

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  25. P700,000 for this car?...tingnan nyo nga itsura nyan pati ung design at materials sa interior...hay naku...mas pipiliin ko pa ung hyundai i10 kesa dito e...daming choices...huwag kayong magpaloko sa mitsubishi...auto climate control,GPS,touchscreen panel,push start ignition?...sa una ka lang masisiyahan jan at hindi mo rin ma.eenjoy yan sa ganitong klaseng sasakyan...hindi na nga fuel efficient ang pangit pa ng design inside out...this car is only for dumb people who's only after the BIG (kuno) MITSUBISHI badge...THINK BEFORE YOU BUY...CHECK OUT OTHER BRANDS MGA DUDE...

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  26. Mahal din k c ng ibng kotse

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    Replies
    1. no not really...you could check lower trims of honda city, hyundai accent, ford fiesta or suzuki celerio or kia picanto...these two (picanto and celerio) in my own opinion is way much better than this mitsubishi crap...much better in terms of reliability, design and fuel effeciency...and i'd rather spend P200,000 more rather than having this crap...whats up with this car mitsubishi?...

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  27. Ano mas matipid s gas suzuki swift o mitsubishi mirage?

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  28. Mag spark nalang kayo.. 2014 model is out and awesome..

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  29. Mirage is made in Thailand but the Suzuki Dzire is made in India - even worse! :-P Promise. Take it from me.

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  30. question po? i have an issue? di ko alam tlga kung anu ang kukunin ko? sa hyundai I10 n low downpayment 58k? or sa suzuki swift sports with 78k lastly mitsubishi mirage gls cvt 105k? and anu b tlga ang mas mganda sa tatlo? first time user po ng 4wheels. badly needed po ng suggestions.. tnx alot.. kung motor lng to wala prob eh.. hehehe.. tnx ulet..

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  31. dont fall for this mirage..this car is a total crap..and low DP (downpayment) means higher monthly payment..but if you are able to hold on a bit..i think the remodeled hyundai i10 will be available nxt year..that is 2014 maybe on the 3rd quarter of the year..and please check out china bank's auto loan..they have (significant) lower interest rates compared to other banks..be smart in buying cars dude..watch reviews on you tube and check out the car company's global site for news and for what's coming (of the car which you are interested in of course)..

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  32. car of the year? Bat 2/10 lang to sa top gear uk..

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. Read the review. I'm the only one in the entire Philippine motoring media that pointed out the obvious. Go figure.

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    2. Di ba po parehas lang ito essentially sa g4? Bat parang mas maganda at naging mas fuel efficient un g4 nung eco run nyo sa baguio considering na mas mabigat ang g4 sa hatch? Ano pa po kaya binago sa g4 other than the exterior body?

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    3. Essentially, the fuel economy drive to Baguio was done purely on highways (read the story). Also, since it was a contest, we had to resort to doing extreme fuel economy measures such as turning off the engine when stuck in traffic, pumping the air in the tires to maximum PSI, etc. etc.

      On the other hand, the Mirage I tested is based on daily driving conditions. Likely, the G4 will have similar mileage figures to the Mirage. Only way to find out is when I get to drive one.

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    4. Sa lahat po ng test drive nyo na at or cvt gas alin po pinakamatipid sa gas?

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    5. I keep an extensive record of all the cars I've driven, so if you would indulge me:

      2014 Hybrid: Honda CR-Z Mugen CVT (12.10)
      2014 Conventional: Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 V (11.62)
      2013 Hybrid: Honda Insight CVT (19.03)
      2013 Conventional: BMW X1 sDrive 118d xLine (14.92)
      2012 Hybrid: Toyota Prius C (20.30)
      2012 Conventional: BMW 118d Urban (16.50)
      2011: Honda Jazz 1.3 S (11.20)
      2010 Hybrid: Toyota Prius (21.73)
      2010 Conventional: Hyundai i30 CRD M/T (14.83)
      2009: Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo M/T (12.61)
      2008: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 V (11.80)
      2007: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi (14.49)
      2006: Audi A6 3.0 TDI (10.85)
      2005: Honda Jazz 1.3 CVT (17.21)
      2004: Honda City 1.5 VTEC (14.68)
      2003: Ford Lynx RS (10.83)

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    6. is this city consumption sir?

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  33. What?? 2013-14 COTY basic subcompact cat winner is another mirage (g4)? Di ba mababa nga rating ng mirage hatch sa top gear uk? Di kaya major overhaul ang ginawa nila sa sedan version?

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  34. darn- i just went to mitsubishi freeway motors baliwag knina to check out mirage gls. i read some review na 21km/L. i assumed na nlex/slex based to. but going into 8-10kms/l sa city (QC - BGC Taguig City) eh prang ang lakas sobra ng consumption nya. pra tuloy mtipid pa yung 94lancer glxi ko kahit luma na..

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  35. Hello po! Ask ko lang po if this is a good car for a college student to use? I'm planning to buy for my daughter.

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  36. Hi, Fellow Mirage owners, i'd like to ask if it's normal too see green temperature signal on cold start sa guage, nwawala rin naman sya pag uminit na makita? Is that normal for Mirage..Thank you

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    Replies
    1. i also observe this in my mirage GLS..should be normal i guess

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  37. Common sense, full tank na 35 liters, para kang naglagay ng 35 na 1 liter bottles of Coke sa kotse mo. AMBIGAT NUN?! Bakit ka magfufull tank?!?!

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    Replies
    1. why not? if you can afford a full tank. don't compare to 35 1 liter bottles of coke since you don't include the weight of bottles when you fill your tank.

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    2. You don't get the point. It simply means it's like giving your car an extra 35 kgs weight. It's not the 'if you can afford' stuff but it's a question of do you really need that much for the day? Try filling your tank half-full and see the difference.

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    3. It's designed for that weight, no problem if you have it full tanked.

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  38. im planning to get the bare glx 1.2 and i'd like to change the tires to make it more palatable, what are the max tire size you can fit w/ a mirage? (i have a 195/50 R16 salvaged from my old car)

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  39. mirage g4 po ba or swift dzire?? mg buy n ksi ako s friday...pls help me!!!..thnx!!

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  40. ang hirap talaga mag decide specially your a new user of four wheels. . I dont want to waste money. i just want a car that is efficient and will last a life time ! un lang no fancy cool thing to brag the car . help guys . any suggestions ?
    Myx here..

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  41. What will be the best car for you? Toyota wigo or mirage glx?.

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  42. Hello need you suggestions, planning to buy a car before year ends. first time ako bibili ng car on my own, ano ang maganda? Toyota vios, Toyota wigo, Mirage gls at? thnx in advance. -Monique here

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  43. planning to buy mirage gls cvt, hyundai grand i10 S AT and kia picanto 1.2l nila... which is better ba sa 3 .( 3 cylinder Vs 4 cylinder)) gagamitin sa bulubundukin ng tanay rizal all the way to laguna... please advise... thank you

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  44. Somebody needs to make a good comparison between the Mirage GLS 1.2 CVT (Thailand-import) and the Suzuki Swift 1.2 AT (India-import). Both have the same SRP 648k PHP.

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Sana may magreply dito. I am also interested about the two.

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  45. Would you recommend for us to bring our Mirage GLX A/T to Baguio (coming from Alabang) pag 4-passengers ang sasakay (2 passengers na 165lbs, 124lbs then 110lbs + two overnight bags) What you think?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Your Mirage should be able to handle it.

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  46. Hi, I'm planning to buy my wife her very first car. She's never driven anything in her life yet, not even a motorcycle. Would you recommend this vehicle for her? Mainly for home-work use, maybe for her trip to the mall too. Also, we live in Baguio, I want something safe and convenient to drive. Thanks, cheers!

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  47. Ano po yung size ng speakers ng mirage na pede kabit? 6" or 6.5"?

    ReplyDelete

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