Mitsubishi Mirage is $11,990 drive-away

21 January 2013
, CarsGuide
Mitsubishi Mirage is $11,990 drive-away
The Light Car class now represents 12 per cent of all vehicles sold.

Small-car buyers are set to be the big winners in a new pricing war -- but they continue to be caught out by the hidden cost of metallic paint, up to $550 extra on what are supposed to be bargain basement cars.

The big-name small-car brands have reacted to China’s $9990 hatchback just two weeks after its price was slashed to a four-figure sum.

Japanese car maker Mitsubishi has today launched its new Mirage city car with promotional pricing from $11,990 drive-away, matching the Suzuki Alto which has continued its run-out pricing from late last year (plus $475 for metallic).

Buyers of the Mirage have the choice of taking a $1000 gift voucher or $1000 off the regular $12,990 price. The only catch is metallic paint: it adds $495. Mitsubishi Australia vice president Paul Unverkov says the deal may be extended beyond the end of January if it proves popular.

“We’re having a serious go in the small-car market after being absent there in recent times.” Mitsubishi has aggressive sales targets (12,000 a year) that, if successful, would see the Mirage overtake brands such as the Honda Jazz, Holden Barina and Ford Fiesta.

Mitsubishi’s move is likely to prompt a reaction from the other big players in the Light Car class. The Nissan Micra has been as low as $11,990 drive-away briefly in the past two years, but its price has climbed back to $13,990 drive-away (or $13,490 plus on-roads at 0 per cent finance). Metallic paint on the Micra is $495.

Holden’s Barina Spark is currently available at $13,990 drive-away (plus $550 for metallic paint) but dealer bonuses have trimmed up to $1000 off this car during weekend sales. The Light Car class now represents 12 per cent of all vehicles sold, more than twice as many as large cars and the second biggest segment overall.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling