The Times has a reputation for a certain swaggering fearlessness in its test drives -- remember the Times vs. Tesla battle from last year? -- but John Pearley Huffman's review of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is something else entirely. For starters, there's the headline -- "It's Cheap, but Is It Overpriced?" (that's a rhetorical question) -- and then this first paragraph:
"Low expectations don't guarantee happiness, but at least there isn't much disappointment. The reborn Mitsubishi Mirage lowers expectations, strangles them and buries their remains in a deep unmarked grave. If this car wasn't disappointing, it wouldn't be anything at all."
And it goes on from there with passages like, "Once at the peak, the powertrain settles into a bleak drone as the car grimly builds something like speed. The sound is flatter than the electroencephalogram of a dead hamster."
And, "It's the sort of acceleration that adds terror to every highway entrance and daring to any passing maneuver. A sense of peril is your constant driving companion."
I won't give away the whole thing, especially since it's just under 700 words and I wouldn't want to deprive you of the full pleasure of getting to feel better about your own car. So ... enjoy! (Uh, unless you own a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.)
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.