2019 Chevrolet Sonic vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sonic LT/Premier offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Mirage doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Chevrolet Sonic has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Mirage doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Sonic LT/Premier’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Mirage doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Sonic’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Mirage doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Sonic has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Mirage doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Sonic and the Mirage have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Chevrolet Sonic weighs 602 to 903 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Mirage. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Sonic is safer than the Mitsubishi Mirage:

 

Sonic

Mirage

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

152

362

Neck Injury Risk

31%

40%

Neck Stress

262 lbs.

435 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

68 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

328/406 lbs.

291/454 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

273

307

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

36%

43%

Neck Stress

166 lbs.

204 lbs.

Neck Compression

74 lbs.

203 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

200/219 lbs.

297/155 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Chevrolet Sonic Sedan is safer than the Mirage Hatchback:

 

Sonic

Mirage

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

21 cm

21 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.9/.8 kN

4.9/1.8 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

3%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.52/.41

1.87/.8

Tibia forces R/L

3/1.6 kN

4.2/1.8 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Sonic is safer than the Mitsubishi Mirage:

 

Sonic

Mirage

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

104

168

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

252 G’s

Hip Force

366 lbs.

519 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

239

275

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

79 G’s

Hip Force

761 lbs.

959 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

885 lbs.

970 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonic the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 159 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Mirage is not a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Sonic. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mirage.

There are over 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sonic’s warranty.

Reliability

The Chevrolet Sonic’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Mirage’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sonic has a standard 100-amp alternator. The Mirage’s 85-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Sonic’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (138 vs. 78) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (148 vs. 74) than the Mirage’s 1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sonic has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mirage (12.2 vs. 9.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A six-speed manual is standard on the Chevrolet Sonic, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Mirage.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Sonic has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Mirage doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sonic’s brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Mirage:

 

Sonic

Mirage

Front Rotors

10.8 inches

9 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sonic has larger standard tires than the Mirage (195/65R15 vs. 165/65R14). The Sonic LT’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mirage (205/55R16 vs. 175/55R15).

The Sonic’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mirage GT/LE/G4 SE’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sonic LS/LT has standard 15-inch wheels. Smaller 14-inch wheels are standard on the Mirage. The Sonic’s optional 17-inch wheels are larger than the 15-inch wheels on the Mirage GT/LE/G4 SE.

The Chevrolet Sonic’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mitsubishi Mirage only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Sonic has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Mirage’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Sonic has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mirage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonic’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Mirage Hatchback (99.4 inches vs. 96.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sonic is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Mirage.

The Sonic RS Hatchback handles at .84 G’s, while the Mirage ES Hatchback pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sonic Hatchback a Mid-size car, while the Mirage Hatchback is rated a Compact.

The Sonic Sedan has .8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mirage G4 (90.3 vs. 89.5). The Sonic Hatchback has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mirage Hatchback (90.6 vs. 86.2).

The Sonic Sedan has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mirage G4.

The Sonic Hatchback has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom, 5.2 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mirage Hatchback.

Cargo Capacity

The Sonic Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Mirage G4 (14.9 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

The Sonic Hatchback has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Mirage Hatchback with its rear seat up (19 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Sonic Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Mirage Hatchback with its rear seat folded (47.7 vs. 47 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Sonic has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Mirage doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Sonic automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Mirage’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Sonic has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Mirage doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The power windows standard on both the Sonic and the Mirage have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sonic is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mirage prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Sonic LT/Premier’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Mirage’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Mirage’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Sonic’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Sonic has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Mirage has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the GT.

The Sonic LT/Premier’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mirage doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Sonic LT/Premier’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Mirage’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sonic’s optional (except LS/RS) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Mirage doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

With optional voice command, the Sonic offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Mirage doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonic is less expensive to operate than the Mirage because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sonic than the Mirage, including $69 less for a water pump, $179 less for a starter, $158 less for fuel injection, $67 less for front struts, $51 less for a timing belt/chain and $540 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Sonic, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sonic second among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Mirage isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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