2020 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

The Golf has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Mirage doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Golf has standard Autonomous Emergency 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 Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mirage doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Volkswagen Golf 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 Golf SE’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Mirage doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Golf’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Mirage doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Golf’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Mirage doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Golf has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Golf and the Mirage have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and rearview cameras.

The Volkswagen Golf weighs 751 to 985 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 Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Mitsubishi Mirage:

Golf

Mirage

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

286

362

Neck Injury Risk

34%

40%

Neck Stress

336 lbs.

435 lbs.

Neck Compression

61 lbs.

68 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/169 lbs.

291/454 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

256

307

Neck Injury Risk

43%

43%

Neck Compression

91 lbs.

203 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

169/97 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 Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Mirage Hatchback:

Golf

Mirage

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.1/.1 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

.55/.53

1.87/.8

Tibia forces R/L

3.1/.7 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 Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Mitsubishi Mirage:

Golf

Mirage

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

217 G’s

252 G’s

Hip Force

310 lbs.

519 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

63 G’s

79 G’s

Hip Force

588 lbs.

959 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

674 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 its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Golf the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Mirage was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Golf for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mirage.

There are over 87 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Golf’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 25th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The Golf’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder produces 69 more horsepower (147 vs. 78) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 74) than the Mirage’s 1.2 DOHC 3-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Golf Auto’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.

The Golf has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mirage (13.2 vs. 9.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A six-speed manual is standard on the Volkswagen Golf, 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Golf

Mirage

Front Rotors

11.3 inches

9 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

7” drums

The Volkswagen Golf has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Mirage. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Golf stops much shorter than the Mirage:

Golf

Mirage

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

The Golf’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 Golf has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 14-inch wheels are standard on the Mirage. The Mirage’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.

The Volkswagen Golf’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

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For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Golf has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mitsubishi Mirage has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Golf has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Golf flat and controlled during cornering. The Mirage’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Golf 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 Golf’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the Mirage G4 (103.8 inches vs. 100.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Golf is 4.4 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Mirage.

Passenger Space

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The Golf has 4.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mirage G4 (93.5 vs. 89.2).

The Golf has 4.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mirage G4.

Cargo Capacity

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The Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Mirage Hatchback with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Mirage Hatchback with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 47 cubic feet).

The Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Mirage G4 (22.8 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Golf’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Mirage Hatchback’s useful trunk space.

The Golf’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Mirage G4 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

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The Golf uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mirage uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Golf 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

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The engine computer on the Golf 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 Golf 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 Golf and the Mirage have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Golf 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 Golf’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, 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.

If the windows are left open on the Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Mirage can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Golf’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Mirage’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Golf to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Mirage doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

The Golf’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door 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.

Both the Golf and the Mirage offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Golf has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Mirage doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Golf owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Golf will cost $333 to $3025 less than the Mirage over a five-year period.

The Golf will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Golf will retain 41.43% to 42.06% of its original price after five years, while the Mirage only retains 33.2% to 34.19%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Golf is less expensive to operate than the Mirage because typical repairs cost much less on the Golf than the Mirage, including $69 less for fuel injection and $731 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Golf, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 14 years. The Mirage has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Mirage has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the Mitsubishi Mirage by 39% during 2019.

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

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