Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: Mirage vs Prius C review

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mitsu
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,359
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 311 Times in 243 Posts

    Mirage vs Prius C review

    So as an owner of '14 Toyota Prius C I had a chance to drive '15 Mitsubishi Mirage for 400mi, and to be honest I am impressed with 'lil jelly-bean! So I decided to sit down and write a short review/comparo, for the sake of people who might be looking for budget commuter. Suppose for unbiased review there should be Spark, Fiesta, Mazda2 etc. Not today though.

    So here we go: the comparison based on cheapest Mirage model (DE manual) and almost cheapest Prius C two.
    *** Updated ***

    Features
    Both are very comparable in features. Mirage is missing automatic transmission (who needs it anyways, manual is more fun to drive), Bluetooth ($200 option), cruise control and height adjustment on driver seat. Both have A/C, automatic climate control, more or less decent radio (more about it later), power windows/locks and keyless entry.

    Accommodations/Interior
    Both sizes very similar. EPA volume (87 vs 86), trunk (17 vs 17.2), leg/knee/shoulder room, etc. The seat design follows different philosophy (Prius C seats are bucket and Mirage flat and firm) but they good enough in their own way. Since both are very much a purpose commuters (o'k Mirage is also college/high school kid car) it is very unlikely someone will be spending more then a couple hours a time in them anyways. The height adjustable front in Prius C may be a better choice for really short <5' but Mirage's driver seat is just fine for reasonably sized guy or gal. The flat open seat on jellybean looks like it can accommodate more different sizes and shapes, but I know "big" people who find Prius C seats are fine.

    Rear seat on Mirage is broad and flat. Thanks to low rear roof line Prius C has really deep buckets, and if your college friend fell asleep drunk, he will find backseat in Prissy uncomfortable and Mirage's backseat welcoming.

    There is more knee room in front in Prius C, and the bin in dash above steering wheel is great for stashing cellphone, earnings, ponytail clips, etc. Steering wheel is 2-way adjustable (only height on Mirage). Prius C has phone, radio and climate controls on steering wheel, and Mirage does not. There is no cruise control on Mirage, but how often you'd need while commuting?

    Radios are "basic" and would likely benefit from better speakers. On Prius C they were horrid out of the dealership, but after 40-60hr burn-in and adjustment they are passable. Meaning they perform better than FM air signal. To get the most out of it I've used audio tests and set for the best flat curve (+1 bass, +1 treble) in mid-loud range. Mirage has not gotten similar treatment, but out of the dealer it was better than on Prius C.

    UPDATE: the best setting for linear response on Mirage speakers (+2 bass, +2 treble). They are passable if you listen to FM signal, and don't try to push them as they distort. ~10-15hr of burn-in will reduce initial muddy feel. Speakers are rated at 15watt, so they will be first on your replacement list anyways.

    You can stream audio to Prissy, and I think you cannot on Mirage (update: you can). BUT if you connect your iPod to Mirage via USB you can control it via radio buttons, what else would you need? I mean it is basic!

    Must say that 2015 Prius C has Toyota's entune, but '14 and below have entune only on three and four levels.

    Style
    The beauty is in the eye of beholder. Both designed for the least possible drag coefficient, with toyota lower and longer, and perhaps more modern feel. Mirage looks better in person than on pictures, the parts of the car flow. 2015 Prius C went through Toyota's "lets give it really ugly nose job" refresh, but it did not suffer from it as much as Prius v (wagon).

    BUT how much time do you spend admiring your car from outside? It is inside what you will be staring at for loong time! And even with all crazy colors it is unlikely either of them will get you laid. It is a budget car for christ sake!

    BUT where Prius C is pleasing to look at (from inside), Mirage interior throwback to the times when Monica Lewinsky was a household name. It is soo nineties! Nevertheless the gadgets on Mirage a simple and easy on eyes with really nice orange color which will not distract you at night.

    Prius uses hard plastics, and Mitsu interior has soft feel. The Mitsu high gloss plastic on top of the radio is annoying as hell. If you get Prius C get the 2-tone black/grey interior; the all-grey looks really cheesy.

    Driving Experience
    Despite only having 3-cyl Mirage is surprisingly fun to drive! The power to weight ratio on both is about the same, and they are surprisingly similar in driving dynamics. Both underpowered with slow 0-60 times, but enough pep for most 0-40mph city situations. Mirage 3-pot has really broad torque curve, so at the beginning got caught up forgetting to downshift manual. With 13mi on odometer manual was slightly notchy, but it got better as drive progressed. After 400mi it was as good as any better trannies out there. The shifter was in a wrong place, a few inches off. Why Mazda manages to put it right?

    Mitsu is geared just right. The lower gear is not too low, and in 5th you are doing 3k at 60MPH and 4k at 70+. Mirage is light with good aerodynamics, broad torque so at highway speeds it feels alot quicker than most other cars like Civic which are geared for fuel economy. Prius C has eCVT which gives you everything in an instant, but it also has extra 600lbs to push. Neither of them is a dog as the HP numbers could suggest, and while there are not many ponies under the hood, they are having fun in getting loose!

    Assured you'd be having a broad grin while bouncing all 74 of them at the 6,500RPM redline. Mitsu 3cyl is very smooth and it barks right way at the right times. Prissy whines when it is floored, but moves when asked.

    UPDATE: the 3cyl revs eagerly, and since it fires 3 times over 2 revs, it sounds slower than it really is. At 6,000 RPM you only have 3/4 fires of 4cyl, so it sounds like four at 4,500. At the start and <2k it barks like a small diesel.

    Driving around country side at leisurely pace, high sitting position and pogoing rear it reminds riding a tractor. In fact Mirage brings the memory of Gen1 RAV4 and other early small SUVs. Perhaps what it really is? the small SUV of 3rd world? That would explain high sitting position, bigger clearance and soft suspension. It would feel at home on pothole fasted country roads, driven at 25-45 MPH. Owners of SUVs may find this welcoming, but for the ones used to driving tight handling street cars this would not be the strong selling point.

    Where the soft suspension excels in swallowing deep potholes so common in urban jungles in NE. Irregardless if Mitsu wants to succeed in developed countries they need to revise spring rates and shocks, and for US switch to more common tire sizes, 165/65R14 is odd.

    Handling
    Both of cars suffer in this area, but completely in different ways. Prius C exhibits classical "lawyers told us to make it understeer" symptoms. The stock 175/65R15 FuelMaxes are numb and not communicative. You would think they are really bad, that until you get into Mirage and try Enasaves. Dunlop Enasave 01 A/S in unarguably the worst tire on the market, and to make it worse there are not many choices in US for 165/65R14 tires. Not that there are that many in 175/65R15 either, so to get better rubbers expect to move up to 185/60R14 on Mitsu and 185/60R15 on Prissy.

    On rag skid pad tests Prius C managed 0.79g and Mirage 0.71g, and 0.71 is unarguably due to Enasaves

    Mitsu seems to be much better balanced front/rear, but the spring rates are so wrong! Even much taller cushy Chrysler minivan will not roll as much as Mirage. The damping is non-existent. When you hit a road seam in Mitsu, kick back and enjoy pogo action for next 10-15secs. I don't think I've ever driven a car that soft, how they've gotten it so wrong is beyond me.

    By the time we got it home (8hr drive which included some nice tarmac in Alleghenies) we already had a set of coilovers on order. Stiffer springs and at very least heavier rear shocks are a must, if you're planning to keep this car.

    In comparison Prius C springs and dampers while on softer side are better chosen. To manage understeer you need a rear sway bar and $15 15mm camber kit upfront.

    Maintenance
    I have not gone through the schedules, but Mirage will require valve checks and trans-axle oil change every 60k, oil changes every 7.5k. No valves on Prius, oil changes every 10k, and brake pads likely to last 200k or so. Both engines have timing chain, no belts . Iridium plugs good for 100k, am I missing something?

    MPG
    This is where it gets interesting. Prius C is rated EPA 50MPG and Mirage 36MPG?
    1st 100mi in Prius C were ~42MPG, and the 1st tank/400mi ~48.6. With 2 people, A/C, mountains and interstates we managed 45.3 in Mirage. MPG in Prius was in low 50s for 1st 5k, and then it got better. at 15k last 5k were at 59.4 indicated, and Mitsu is still very green <500mi.

    It is much easier to beat EPA in Mitsu with stick, so it looks like the real life the MPG gap btw both is not as critical. WIth current gas prices gassing up Mirage would cost you extra $1,200 for every 100k miles, so given the $6k+ difference, even with higher gas prices and additional maintenance Mirage will be cheaper still. For younger gen the insurance costs could be a game changer. we are talking potentially thousands a year.

    UPDATE: Tooling around town with A/C in auto mode Mirage had shown 36 to 42 MPG. In similar situation Prius C gives 46 to 56. Either way you slice it, for every gallon in Prissy Mitsu needs 1.3gal ~30% more. Prius C stats show that for last 6,000mi EV was used 16% of the time. I suspect after break-in and with higher percentage of highway miles the gap may narrow.

    UPDATE: did a regular 120mi round trip commute on Mitsi, and to tell the truth was really impressed with MPG = 54.1. Was cooler yesterday, so it was w/o A/C. The route included some sections of country roads, freeway and 55MPH with traffic lights highway. In similar situation Prius C would have given me ~60-61MPG, with 6-13% of miles in electric mode. Over long term (oil changes) "C" manages ~13-16% in electric mode.

    So it looks like if you take the benefits of hybrid, Mirage has very similar efficiency to "C".

    Insurance
    Since both are sub-compacts and good "kid" cars, the teenager insurance for Mirage is much lower than on Prius C.

    Headlights
    Prius C has separate low/high with projectors on low beam using H11 bulbs and Mitsu uses old school single dual filament HB2 bulb. While projectors may be deemed better and "premium", in reality the light they produce is too focused. There is almost no light beyond cutoff line, so on low while there is more light where it shines you have very little depth perception. Mitsu puts out less light on low, but at least part of it is used to create flood effect. With stock bulbs Mirage's lights are superior for night driving.

    On a plus side the costs for HID kits are down to $30, so it is cheaper on Prius to get an HID kit. The dual filament HID kit for Mitsu will run x2, so at that point of time cheaper LEDs may be a better option. If your night vision isn't the best, or you drive in all kinds of weather, you pretty much need to get fog light kit for Prius. Not so much for Mirage.

    My Prius friends tell me that 2015 has redesigned headlights with single bulb. Is it an improvement? don't know.


    Last edited by cyclopathic; 08-11-2015 at 12:22 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


  2. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to cyclopathic For This Useful Post:

    Basic (08-04-2015),Car Nut (09-06-2015),Cobrajet (07-31-2015),Daox (08-13-2015),EtotheZ (08-02-2015),laceygirl (07-31-2015),MetroMPG (08-11-2015),philby (09-19-2015),R01k (08-02-2015),wellswebdesign (07-31-2015)

  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    283
    Thanks
    100
    Thanked 206 Times in 99 Posts
    Excellent comparison. A Prius C was on my short list when I bought my Mirage, but I couldn't justify the increased cost. Even with my good driving record, with my short 6ish mile commute, the increased insurance costs would have erased any savings in MPG between the two, let alone initial costs.

    Incidentally, most of the features you mentioned were missing (adjustable seat height, cruise, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls) are on the ES. Also, Bluetooth streaming works from my phone to the Mirage. It was harder to find my ES 5-speed, but worth it.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 44.1 mpg (US) ... 18.7 km/L ... 5.3 L/100 km ... 52.9 mpg (Imp)


  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    canada
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    156
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 21 Times in 14 Posts
    I regularly get 5L to 100 km in my 5 speed es mirage. Love the bluetooth streaming and the audio controls.

  5. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mitsu
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,359
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 311 Times in 243 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTransporter View Post
    I regularly get 5L to 100 km in my 5 speed es mirage. Love the bluetooth streaming and the audio controls.
    is it over full tank or a short trip? with or w/o A/C? summer or winter?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


  6. #5
    Member cortisol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Chicago
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    65
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 10 Times in 6 Posts
    The Prius C is a great car, it probably gives up to 5-10 mpg more than the Mirage, for an additional $4-5k. Both are great cars, not surprisingly my guess is that many (around here) think the Mirage is a better value. It would be interesting to see an optional Mirage-Hybrid for an additional 2-3k, maybe getting the Mirage to routine 55-60 mpg.

  7. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mitsu
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,359
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 311 Times in 243 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by cortisol View Post
    The Prius C is a great car, it probably gives up to 5-10 mpg more than the Mirage, for an additional $4-5k. Both are great cars, not surprisingly my guess is that many (around here) think the Mirage is a better value. It would be interesting to see an optional Mirage-Hybrid for an additional 2-3k, maybe getting the Mirage to routine 55-60 mpg.
    No doubt Mirage is better value, esp with current gas prices. But it is a lesser car.

    IMHO stiffer spring rates, more dumping from shocks and 15" wheels could have brought it closer (if Mitsu-USA is reading this forum, take a note!).

    MPG-wise it is fine as is and the hybrid costs would price it out. Even if you drive 3k a month gas will be <$200, so if you take Prius MPG as a target you're only saving $50/mo. Not worth it, IMHO.

    Perhaps adding Auto Stop and Go system (AS&G) as an option, but until EPA will start factoring it in we will not see them here.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


  8. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mitsu
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,359
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 311 Times in 243 Posts

    impressed with real world Mirage vs Prius C mpg

    did a regular 120mi round trip commute on Mitsi, and to tell the truth was really impressed with MPG = 54.1. Was cooler yesterday, so it was w/o A/C. The route included some sections of country roads, freeway and 55MPH with traffic lights highway. In similar situation Prius C would have given me ~60-61MPG, with 6-13% of miles in electric mode. Over long term (oil changes) "C" manages ~13-16% in electric mode.

    So it looks like if you take the benefits of hybrid, Mirage has very similar efficiency to "C".
    Last edited by MetroMPG; 08-12-2015 at 04:03 PM. Reason: (copied post from related thread)

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


  9. #8
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    7,433
    Thanks
    2,884
    Thanked 2,165 Times in 1,329 Posts
    Thorough review! Thanks for the write-up!

    Check your PMs -- I sent you an interesting question.

    So did you end up getting a Mirage? I don't see one in your garage, but I see you mentioned here that you ordered springs for your "3-potter".

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    583
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    88
    Thanked 215 Times in 158 Posts
    I like the C but I like my Mirage better, currently at $3800 per 100k for fuel with latest gas price drop, by the time the C pays the difference in price in fuel savings, it will loose it in depreciation.

    regards
    mech

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage de 1.2 manual: 55.7 mpg (US) ... 23.7 km/L ... 4.2 L/100 km ... 66.9 mpg (Imp)


  11. The Following User Says Thank You to deleted user For This Useful Post:

    inuvik (08-11-2015)

  12. #10
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    7,433
    Thanks
    2,884
    Thanked 2,165 Times in 1,329 Posts
    With cyclopathic's blessing, I sent a note to Green Car Reports to see if they'd be interested in running a version of this Prius C vs. Mirage owner's review / comparison.

    I got a reply saying that while they don't want to "re-print", they are interested in posting a summary with a link back to this page for readers who want to see the detailed write-up.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


  13. The Following User Says Thank You to MetroMPG For This Useful Post:

    cortisol (08-21-2015)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •