Illinois pizzeria buys 20+ Mitsubishi Mirages each year, cites bulletproof reliability


They may be heading for the chopping block after the 2024 model year, according to a report in Automotive News, but there’s no question that the Mitsubishi Mirage has served the pizza-eating public of Bloomington, Illinois, with substantial success.

Tobin’s Pizza in Bloomington has purchased 20 to 25 new Mitsubishi Mirages as delivery vehicles each year. When your business delivers more than 60,000 pies annually, you need a fleet of reliable, inexpensive delivery vehicles, and Tobin’s Pizza owner Moe Davis trusts the Mirage.

In more than 10 years of partnership with O’Brien Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois, Davis replaces his fleet of vehicles every year. “I’ve bought thousands of vehicles in my life for my various businesses, and I’ve never had a more reliable car,” said Davis.

Tobin’s Pizza in Bloomington, Illinois Mitsubishi MIrage

“Out of the over 200 Mirages I’ve bought, I’ve had only two issues—and that’s with four million miles of use under the tires so far. I swap cars every year to ensure I can keep my drivers on the road, my customers happy and my maintenance bills to nearly zero.”

The Mirage is an obvious choice in a situation like Davis’, as it is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicle sold in the U.S. today. “When I first learned of Tobin’s Pizza, and met Moe Davis back in 2010, I initially had his fleet using the then-new Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle we’d just started selling,” said Ryan Gremore, owner of O’Brien Mitsubishi. “After production stopped on the i-MiEV, it was an easy swap to get the Tobin’s team into Mirages, and it’s just been that way ever since.”

Chevrolet Dominos DXP Pizza Cars line street
Nicholas de Peyer

Most pizzas in the U.S. are delivered in the drivers’ personal cars, but in 2015, Domino’s unveiled the DXP (Delivery Expert) delivery car, a Chevy Spark-based runabout that, through a collaboration with small-batch vehicle-designer Local Motors, sought to revolutionize the pizza delivery experience. From the outside, the DXPs appeared to be mostly normal Sparks with a pizza oven taking up the space that the rear driver’s side seat normally would.

Less that a year ago, Domino’s began acquiring electric Chevrolet Bolts. Why? “The Chevy Bolt EV has zero tailpipe emissions, a 259-mile battery range, advanced safety features and lower average maintenance costs than nonelectric vehicles—all without the financial impact of high gas prices,” the company said.

Simple? Cheap to run? Reliable? Guess that’s what it takes for a pizza delivery vehicle to deserve being called “well done.”




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    Steven, let me be the first to ask, now that you have the pizza why not do a story on the Mary Kay Cadillacs, don’t they replace the Cadillacs every year or is it the drivers? We would like to know!

    1 year of service is great. Pizza driver use is hard on a thing.

    With no follow-up on how these cars do for their next 4-9 years of service this isn’t a ringing endorsement of reliability for me.

    Taxi services using Caprice Classics for years after Police service had racked up miles and unmeasured idling hours is a better example to me.

    How very true.
    I’m still trying to understand how a single year’s use proves “bulletproof reliability”.
    Your taxi example yields much more data and proof.

    Completely agree. Anything can last for one year. I’ve known two Mirage owners and those cars are far from reliable after 5 years and 80K miles.

    I am wondering how it makes sense financially to buy all those brand new cars each year. Even if they got each car for $15k, 25 cars would be $375K spent per year on cars or over $1,000 each day just to pay for the cars, not even counting all of the other expenses that go with running the restaurant and the fleet! Most pizza restaurants have a pretty low profit margin to begin with.

    Tom, I argue 200 miles a day=7,000/year. Trade for a new one. That low mileage the dealer sells high. I bet he puts synthetic oil in and no servicing. Can you imagine. Just drive the car a year then get a new one.

    I believe the Mirage is the car whose engine Consumer Reports said sung a “raspy chorus of lament”, when asked to perform in regular traffic (read: aggressive stop-and-go) conditions.

    Excellent article, and it’s true.

    I co-developed a study called the Long-Term Quality Index. Out of all the new models available in the subcompact market, the Mitsubishi Mirage is the only one to be given an average reliability rating with nearly 2000 of these models inspected by ASE certified mechanics nationwide.

    This reliability is also reflected in the dirt cheap prices for replacing an engine or transmission compared to the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, and the Chevy Spark. is a good source for that. An engine is only $750 with one that has 31k miles for a 2022 model, and the ones available prior to the 2021 redesign are even cheaper. Transmission replacement? Same story. Only $600 to $750.

    For the Chevy Bolt parts costs will likely be sky high once the warranty runs out. It may work out if your business needs only one vehicle, since you can get the $7500 tax credit. But once you buy more than one, the economics are heavily in the Mirages favor.

    Thanks for this write-up. I needed a break from doing my taxes.

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