Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) closed 2013 with a modest launch of the highly-stylish Mirage G4.  This subcompact sedan has a more upscale design that befits its image as an urban commuter.  But since the G4 is badged as a Mirage, one of its main selling points is fuel economy and Mitsubishi put it through the ultimate and thorough test last January 16-17, 2014 during the 'Mirage G4 Media Test Drive' to Baguio City.

Your team, represented by Vince Pornelos, Jet Rabe and yours truly, took off from Mitsubishi's dealership in Balintawak with Ulysses Ang of Philippine Star making it a 4-man cast plus equipment and baggage.  In a fuel eco-run like this, every single pound the vehicle carries counts for a lot, which made this event even more challenging and exciting.

Mirage G4 en route to Baguio City

All of the 10 G4s (which were split in to groups of two) five models with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and five with manual transmission, lined up and topped up to the brim at Shell Tabang NLEX to establish an equal start and flag-off point.

It was a no-holds barred, do-your-best contest with just one proviso, follow all the safety procedures and the traffic rules and regulations.

Since the weather was more than cooperative, we travelled with no air-conditioning 99% of the time, turning it on briefly and only when conditions made it uncomfortable.

We kept up with the minimum speed limit (60 km/h) and went a little faster on some occasions (70-80 km/h) to simply avoid zoning out on the long stretches of NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX.

If you haven’t used TPLEX or the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the convenience it offers by allowing motorists to bypass much of Tarlac's small provincial roads. For now you'll have to get off at Paniqui, and from there it’s basically a straight shot to Urdaneta, Pangasinan.

That’s where we concluded the fuel eco run, topping off again at Shell.  By using the number of liters added to the tank after 150 kilometers, give or take a few, from Shell Tabang in NLEX to Urdaneta, MMPC computed for the number of liters consumed by each vehicle.

After a quick lunch at the tourist-friendly Matutina’s in Urdaneta, we were off to Baguio taking the longer but more scenic Pangasinan-La Union Road, with a view of the West Philippine Sea. The detour was taken to avoid a dozen or so road repairs that were causing more than its fair share of traffic along MacArthur Highway (a fair warning to everyone with plans to drive up to Baguio within the next month or so).

It was a nippy 17-degrees Celsius in the country’s summer capital when we drove in at around 5PM.  Baguio traffic was tipping the scales already with people taking advantage of the 'wintery' feel, as expected this time of year.

Mirage G4 Manila to Baguio City

We were booked at the posh and exclusive Baguio Country Club for the night and as evening descended on the fair City of Pines the mercury dropped to a chilly 14-degrees Celsius. That was our cue to make our way to Mario's to cap-off another sure-to-be-successful fuel eco run.

The awarding ceremonies were held that very same night after a media bowling tournament at the Baguio Country Club. I know you're all anxious to see the number so here it is below:

2014 Mirage G4 M/T                                              2014 Mirage G4 CVT

1st     33.6 km/l                                                   1st     26 km/l

2nd    28.5 km/l                                                   2nd    17.7 km/l

3rd     17.4 km/l                                                   3rd     17.5 km/l

Please bear in mind that to achieve these numbers, it will require more than the usual fuel economy tips and tricks and should be left to professionals. That being said, one media team driving the G4 with CVT left all the 'bells and whistles' turned on including air-conditioning the entire 150-kilometer trip and they still only used up 16.6 km/l.

Mirage G4 in Baguio City

That clearly puts the Mirage G4 right up there with the best in its segment in terms of fuel economy. Even in current day driving conditions and with normal driving habits, the Mirage G4 proves itself to be fuel efficient, period.  Add the chic and modern exterior that makes it look good as a daily drive to work or school, to a very comfy and spacious interior and you’ve definitely got a winner with the Mirage G4.