Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ) has begun to import the Dutch-built Space Star, a small five-seat minivan, as its new entrant in the lower-medium volume five-door passenger car market segment.

MMMNZ reckons there is a buyer trend away from small minvans back to conventional five-door hatchbacks and is badging the Space Star as the Mirage, the name used on a regular five-door hatchback model assembled and sold in New Zealand until about 13 years ago.

The Kiwi Space Star specification includes dual airbags, air conditioning, remote central locking, CD player, engine immobiliser and remote central locking for a starting price of $NZ27,700 (£8,060; $US11,700).

A similar version sold in the UK,’s home base, retails for £10,995, and that’s after several rounds of price cuts in the last two years.

Mitsubishi New Zealand also offers an automatic Mirage for $NZ28,900.