So you're looking for a runabout. You need something new. You need something cheap. And you need something that has a trunk because you can't stand the thought or looks of a hatchback. If this sounds like you, the new-for-2017 Mirage G4 Sedan could be an option.
This Thai-built subcompact sedan is all about low-cost motoring. At $14,498 it is one of the most affordable sedans around. It's also very economical, and has an unmatched warranty of 10 years and 160,000 km, should you plan to keep it for a while. Usually sedan variants of hatchback designs offer more cargo space thanks to their extended rear-ends; the G4 does not. Its 348 L trails the 487 L of the hatchback.
All Mirage G4s are powered by a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder engine that develops 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. Even by class standards, this is low; the Smart ForTwo generates more power and torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a CVT is available. While the Mirage's lukewarm power output isn't anything to write home about, its fuel efficiency is. City consumption is 7.2 L/100 km city and 5.9 L/100 km highway with the manual, and 6.9 L/100 km city and 5.7 L/100 km highway with the CVT.
Despite its lowly output, the Mirage is a decent urban companion. Its turning diameter is small, its steering is light, and it has enough power. It's less happy out in the open; the engine is strained, the cabin is noisy, and the ride is not especially comfortable. Larger rivals or the Lancer compact may be worth considering if you spend the majority of your time on highways.
For the money, the G4 SE comes standard with air conditioning, Bluetooth with streaming audio, a four-speaker 140-watt sound system, seven airbags, power windows, keyless entry, tilt and telescoping steering column, and a trip computer. That's a lot of equipment - certainly more than its closest-priced rivals from Ford (Fiesta S Sedan at $15,365) and Chevrolet (Sonic Sedan at $14,498). Adding the CVT adds $1,200 to the price. Adding this equipment to rivals will significantly boost their out-the-door price.
The SEL trim level costs $18,298 but adds an appealing level of equipment. The CVT is included in the price, as are 15-inch metallic-painted alloy wheels, chrome lower grille accents, fog lights, and even LED-accented mirrors give it a more respectable, adult-approved look. Inside, there's automatic climate control, reverse camera, and even Apple CarPlay. Fancy stuff.