2019 Toyota Prius c vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Prius c has standard Whiplash-Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Mirage doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Prius c has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Mirage doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Toyota Prius c 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 Prius c’s 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 Prius c’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Mirage doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Prius c 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

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

 

Prius c

Mirage

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

359

362

Neck Injury Risk

37%

40%

Neck Stress

401 lbs.

435 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

292

307

Neck Injury Risk

38%

43%

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

203 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 Toyota Prius c is safer than the Mirage Hatchback:

 

Prius c

Mirage

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.5/.6 kN

4.9/1.8 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

3%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.89/.54

1.87/.8

Tibia forces R/L

2.4/1.3 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Prius c is safer than the Mitsubishi Mirage:

 

Prius c

Mirage

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

922 lbs.

970 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Prius c’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Mirage’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius c for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mirage.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius c’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius c’s reliability 23 points higher than the Mirage.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Prius c’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 21 more horsepower (99 vs. 78) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (125 vs. 74) than the Mirage’s 1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius c gets better fuel mileage than the Mirage:

 

 

 

MPG

Prius c

Hatch

Auto

1.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

48 city/43 hwy

Mirage

Hatch

Manual

1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

33 city/41 hwy

 

Auto

1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

36 city/43 hwy

G4

Manual

1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

33 city/40 hwy

 

Auto

1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

35 city/41 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Prius c’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mirage doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Prius c’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mirage doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The Toyota Prius c comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Mirage.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Prius c

Mirage

Front Rotors

10 inches

9 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

7 inches

The Prius c stops shorter than the Mirage:

 

Prius c

Mirage

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Prius c has larger tires than the Mirage (175/65R15 vs. 165/65R14).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Prius c has standard 15-inch wheels. Smaller 14-inch wheels are standard on the Mirage.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Prius c is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Mirage.

Chassis

The Prius c is 7.1 inches shorter than the Mirage G4, making the Prius c easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Prius c has 2.2 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mirage G4.

Cargo Capacity

The Prius c has a much larger trunk than the Mirage G4 (17.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Prius c 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 Prius c 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 Mirage’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Prius c’s standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. 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.)

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Prius c has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Mirage only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Prius c detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Mirage doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Prius c Four’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mirage doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

With standard voice command, the Prius c 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

The Prius c will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Prius c will retain 40.31% to 41.41% of its original price after five years, while the Mirage only retains 32.68% to 36.59%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Prius c is less expensive to operate than the Mirage because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Prius c than the Mirage, including $147 less for a muffler, $21 less for front brake pads, $77 less for front struts and $188 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Toyota Prius outsold the Mitsubishi Mirage by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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