Back in the good ol’ days, my dad and I used to rotate three cars a week to avoid the hassle of number coding. Between the two of us, we shared an SUV, a compact sedan, and a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback—one that’s commonly referred to as a “city” car nowadays.
We figured out how to schedule our rotations, and personally, I’d say it’s been a very huge help for us who need mobility to do our jobs and feed our family.
After some time, we noticed a trend that’s starting to put a strain in our relationship. The cause? We found each other wrestling for the wheel of the Mirage on most days.
While we didn’t necessarily come to blows, both of us had to come clean as to why we’re fighting over this car.
And like any Fil-Chi household, we made a list, reasons why we wanted to drive the Mirage over our two technically more capable workhorses. And while we’re at it, we also shared common experiences we had while driving it around town.
Here are some things that only owners of small cars, like us, will understand.
1. Gas mileage is to die for.
We didn’t beat around the bush on this one. With the Mirage, we’re getting an average of 12-13 km/L in the city. A full tank of gas only costs us ₱1,000 that lasts for one and a half weeks of continued use.
Compare that to ₱1,500 for the sedan and ₱2,400 for the SUV. So you can imagine how much our wallets thank us whenever we drive that car around.
2. Maneuverability is so easy!
Technically, it’s not the best handling car by a mile. But in real-world driving conditions, especially in the infamous Metro Manila traffic, driving with the Mirage can turn dire conditions into slightly dire ones.
Squeezing into tight side streets makes you feel like you’re on a bike with AC and weaving around traffic is a breeze but…
3. It’s not built for the open road.
One thing that doesn’t get us excited about driving a “city” car is when you bring it out on the open road. At high speeds, you can literally feel the car shudder for a bit when a trailer truck or provincial bus zooms beside you.
It also takes a little more time to get to that sweet cruising speed and you’ll definitely hear the engine rev for more power on overtakes.
Give it some time and you’ll get used to it, though.
4. You can virtually park anywhere.
This is something we’ll never get tired of. In the urban jungle where you fight for parking spaces vs four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles alike, the Mirage is a fighter you’ll choose. Any spot large enough for two motorcycles is good enough for the Mirage.
5. Space? What space?
On the other side of the “small car” coin is how little cabin space you have for both people and cargo. A couple of weekend bags and you’ve already filled up the hatch.
Bring any more stuff and you’ll lose precious passenger seats, which they advertise as a five-seater but it’s closer to a 2+2 configuration if you ask me.
6. Detailing won’t take a whole day.
An often overlooked benefit of having a small car is how fast detailing takes. A full detail (interior, engine, and exterior) of a normal-sized sedan can take up to 4 hours.
Having a small car virtually cuts that time in half. Then if you want to DIY, detailing is no challenge.
7. Car insurance is cheap.
Another often overlooked benefit of owning a small car is how cheap car insurance costs. We own a two decade old SUV and its insurance premium is almost equivalent to our relatively-new Mirage. Talk about low-maintenance.
8. ‘The tide is high but I’m holding on..’
Made famous by Blondie and revived by the Atomic Kitten, “The Tide is High” is about the songwriter’s struggle not to be swept away by life’s problems.
I find myself in the same spot whenever there’s even a hint of rain. We can’t pass through floods too high for motorcycles. Elevated gutters are going to be your friend in times like this. And that car insurance surely comes in handy. Good thing it’s cheap.
Like many things in life, there are pros and cons to virtually everything. A tired, old cliche that my dad likes to harp on, yet it’s undeniably true.
I guess the good thing that came out of this is it seems like we bonded over and saved our relationship!