SEDAN20131022LOOKING to further the smashing success that the Mirage model has chalked up—Car of the Year honors, best-seller in class—Mitsubishi Motors Phils. Corp. (MMPC) last week officially introduced the Mirage G4, the four-door sedan twin to the popular hatchback.

The new model, destined for global showrooms (explaining the “G” in its name, according to Mitsubishi executives present at the car’s regional launch in Thailand in June), is a package that’s a bit more mature than the Mirage, with styling details that includes a grille and other chrome pieces. It also offers the additional benefit of more cargo space, obviously courtesy of a trunk, which MMPC said can swallow three golf bags or 450 liters worth of cargo. The company added that the Mirage G4’s marginally longer figure makes for better legroom in the cabin, too.

Mitsubishi’s new B-segment bet, like its hatchback sibling, packs a 1.2-liter, 12-valve, three-cylinder engine that received the corporate Mivec variable valve timing system, which is governed by two camshafts. This engine makes 77hp at 6,000rpm and 100Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, and can be mated to either a continuously variable transmission (called CVT) or a five-speed manual gearbox.

The G4, whose launch last week was preceded by an intensive information and advertising campaign, also shares the architecture of the hatchback—both are built side-by-side at Mitsubishi’s Laem Chabang manufacturing plant in Thailand, which serves as the models’ hub in Asean. So, like the Mirage, the G4 is built around a skeleton made from lightweight but high-strength steel, allowing it to take advantage of whatever modest power rating its small engine outputs. Tipping the scales at 930 kilograms, the G4 gets an ideal power-to-weight ratio that means miserly fuel consumption—21 kilometers to a liter, according to Mitsubishi.

Two variants of the Mirage G4, which went on sale starting this month, are offered. The first is the GLS, which can easily be identified through its shiny chrome grille, and the other is the GLX, whose grille is finished in black. Also marking the top-spec GLS are its 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and side mirrors that have turn signals in them. The GLX makes do with 14-inch steel rims with covers.

In the cabin, the GLS shows off premium-car kit like two-tone, black and white furniture and trim pieces, automatic climate control and an engine start/stop button that’s coupled with the keyless smart entry system. Furthering the variant’s upscale aspirations is an optional (fitted at the dealerships) multimedia audio and navigation system, the functions of which can accessed or viewed via a 6.5-inch touch-screen panel. It throws in together a DVD and MP3 player; tuner; iPod, USB and auxiliary jacks; Bluetooth connectivity; and an SD card slot. The GLX has a simpler, all-black interior but still gets most of the toys, including an audio unit, air-conditioning, cubbies and cup holders, and a multi-information display on the instrument cluster.

Both variants pack the same safety equipment; Mitsubishi’s crash-absorbing Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution body structure—found in virtually all present Mitsubishis—and an airbag each for the driver and the front passenger. The GLS adds ABS and electronic brake-force distribution to the list. An immobilizer secures the car from theft.

Like in the hatchback’s case, MMPC is offering the Mirage G4 in myriad colors. Exclusive to the GLS are Medium Blue Mica, Pyrenese Black and Savanna White. The GLX gets its own shade of white—Aurora. Both variants can be ordered in Majestic Red, Gemstone Grey Mica and Cool Silver.

At the launch, MMPC said the Mirage G4 GLX with manual transmission costs P578,000; the GLX with a CVT P628,000; the GLS manual P668,000; and the range-topping GLS with a CVT P718,000.


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