2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Spark LT Auto offers optional Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, which use 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 Chevrolet Spark 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 Spark LT Auto’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 Spark 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 Spark 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.

Warranty

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 Spark’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Spark’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (98 vs. 78) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (94 vs. 74) than the Mirage’s 1.2 DOHC 3 cyl.

Transmission

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Spark 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 Spark’s brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Mirage:

Spark

Mirage

Front Rotors

9.3 inches

9 inches

Rear Drums

7.9 inches

7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Spark has larger tires than the Mirage (185/55R15 vs. 165/65R14). The Spark’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mirage (185/55R15 vs. 175/55R15).

The Spark’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mirage’s standard 65 series tires.

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

Chassis

The Spark is 6.3 inches shorter than the Mirage Hatchback, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Servicing Ease

The Spark 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 power windows standard on both the Spark and the Mirage have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Spark 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 Spark 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 Spark LT/ACTIV’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mirage doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Spark LT/ACTIV’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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Mirage because it costs $73 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Spark than the Mirage, including $33 less for a water pump, $251 less for a starter, $122 less for fuel injection, $45 less for front struts and $463 less for a power steering pump.

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

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