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Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Mirage Sales Are Soaring in 2024

Clos-ups of Mirage and Versa badges.
Clos-ups of Mirage and Versa badges.

On average, new cars are more expensive than they’ve ever been, and consumers appear to be responding in predictable ways: by buying the cheapest models on the market. Mitsubishi and Nissan, two-thirds of the auto industry’s strangest alliance, reported their U.S. sales for the second quarter of 2024 on Tuesday, and both the Mirage and Versa are posting strong numbers. Especially the diminutive Mitsubishi, which is up 85.5% year-to-date, compared to the first half of 2023.

In fact, in the second quarter of 2023, Mitsubishi shifted just 1,974 Mirages—that includes the hatchback as well as the G4 sedan. This go around, it’s moved 4,859 of them over the same time span. The Mirage starts at $17,840 including destination for the five-door, though we’re obliged to point out there’s a trim that costs about $2,200 more and involves a Ralliart appearance package. Is it actually faster? God no, but look at it.

Rear three-quarter view of a 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart.
2024 Mitsubishi Mirage. Look at the mud flaps!

Mitsubishi Motors

And then there’s the humble Nissan Versa. I actually drove one of these when the latest generation launched five years ago, and it’s a totally serviceable car for the $17,820 it starts at. (Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the Mirage being better, even if hatchbacks are my personal preference.) The Versa is up 45.3% year-over-year for the second quarter. And if you compare calendar year-to-date numbers, Nissan has delivered 6,798 more of them through 2024 so far—17,812 units over the first half of ’24, against 11,014 over the first half of ’23.

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Naturally, we wondered how the Kia Rio’s been doing, as it comprised the trio of cheap subcompacts in America, alongside the aforementioned mainstays, for years. But Kia discontinued the Rio after the 2023 model year, in anticipation of the upcoming K4. I happen to think the K4 looks phenomenal, but it’s also new and decidedly upmarket compared to the ancient bargains that are the Mirage and Versa. It’s hard to say if it’ll remain competitive with them in price—especially the highly compelling wagon variant.

2024 Nissan Versa. <p><em>Nissan</em></p>
2024 Nissan Versa.

Nissan

That said, the K4 likely won’t face the same competition the Rio did, as the writing’s been on the wall for some time that the Mirage’s days are numbered. Mitsubishi doesn’t even sell it in its home market of Japan anymore, and rumor has it this will be the last or, at best, second to last model year the Mirage gets. Perhaps Mitsubishi is making a concerted effort to get these off lots as efficiently as possible. To that end, we have an idea, and we won’t ask Mitsubishi for a dime: Ralliart decals on every hatch in stock.

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