In Canada and the U.S., we have relatively few small cars to choose from compared to most other countries. Here, the Mirage's primary (well, really its only) rival is the Chevrolet Spark.
How do they stack up?
Mirage vs. Spark comparison:
At this point, all we know is the Mirage is going to be priced starting "below" (Canada) or "around" (U.S.) $13,000. That puts it head to head against the Spark.
Update - Aug 19th: the base prices (MSRP) for the 2014 Spark LS and the 2014 Mirage with manual transmissions are identical: $12,995 (from the respective manufacturers' websites.)
The automatic transmission option (which will make up the majority of sales) is more expensive in the Spark, starting at $14,305 vs. Mirage CVT at $13,995.
The Mirage kicks the Spark's butt in this competition owing to its more efficient drivetrain, significantly lighter weight, and slipperier aerodynamics:
37 / 44 mpg (US) city / highway for the Mirage automatic CVT
28 / 37 mpg (US) city / highway for the Spark automatic 4-speed
GM recently announced it will be replacing the Spark's 4-speed automatic with a CVT unit, which may help its fuel consumption.
The Mirage's excellent fuel economy and low price will likely win it one of the lowest total cost of ownership ratings of any car in this market.
The Spark's 1.2L 4-cylinder makes 84 hp @ 6,400 rpm, beating the Mirage's 74 hp @ 6,000 RPM from its 1.2L 3-cylinder. Of course power needs to move weight...
The Mirage wins decisively here, tipping the scales below 2,000 lbs for the manual, vs. 2,337 lbs for the manual Spark. The Mirage is the lightest 4-door car currently available.
In an Australian comparison test, the Mirage beat the Spark in a panic stop from 40 mph (60 km/h):
Mirage: 49 ft / 14.9 m
Spark: 58 ft / 17.6 m
Mirage was awarded a top 5-star rating by ANCAP. The Spark scored 4-stars. (Though Australian spec cars may not have the same safety equipment that North America will get. So final analysis will have to wait for U.S. crash tests.)
One major difference: the Mirage has seating for 5; the Spark is limited to 4. Mirage reviews consistently mention the surprising amount of room in the rear.
With the rear seats in the upright position:
Mirage: 8.3 cu. ft. / 235 L
Spark: 6 cu. ft. / 170 L
Mitsubishi's 10-year powertrain warranty is the longest in the industry. Chevy offers a 5 year plan in the U.S.
Have you ever driven the little Chevy? Did you consider one before you decided on getting a Mirage? What were your impressions?