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Thread: Test drive: 2015 Mirage ES vs. 2016 Spark LS

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    Member ComputerAbuser's Avatar
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    Test drive: 2015 Mirage ES vs. 2016 Spark LS

    I took both on a test drive yesterday. Mitsubishi recently dropped the base ES model down to $9000 in Canada while supplies last. Chevy dropped the Spark down to $10000 in January. Both had manual transmissions (which is what I want). We also have a 2014 Lancer purchased 1.5 years ago. The fuel economy of the Nissan Micra is just too crappy to consider.

    I ended up driving the Mirage around for almost 3 hours. I wanted to get a feel for the car keeping in mind complaints I have read about it. Namely weak suspension, vehicle sway & cheap feel. I also wanted some personal fuel economy experience.

    I had the Spark for almost 2 hours. I tried to take it along the same route so that I could compare fuel economy, but I ran out of time.

    In the Mirage, I didn't notice any issues with the suspension, but I could feel the sway when turning hard. It didn't feel cheap to me. The interior is very similar to my Lancer.

    What I liked about the Mirage
    - Fuel economy: I got 4.7 l/100km over 80 km or about 50 MPG
    - How the back seat simply folds down without any fuss
    - Power windows in the front
    - Power mirrors
    - Seat was comfortable
    - Small turning radius

    What I didn't like about the Mirage
    - No power locks (it's an option on higher trims, but you forget what a pain it is to manually lock/unlock 4 doors)
    - No instantaneous fuel economy, only average.
    - No driver arm rest

    What I liked about the Spark
    - Fuel economy: I got 4.9 l/100km over 50 km or about 48 MPG
    - Seat height adjustment
    - Seat was comfortable
    - Dash info (instantaneous fuel economy & average fuel consumption, although not on the same screen)
    - Clutch & shifter were excellent
    - Touch screen infotainment center is very nice in a base $10K car
    - Arm rest - although it was too high for my liking
    - Hill-start assist (not something I need, but it means my wife would be willing to drive it)
    - 15" tires
    - Suspension over speed bumps was great.
    - Excellent handling
    - Small turning radius

    What I didn't like about the Spark
    - No power windows or mirrors (available in higher trims, but for over $4000 more (40%))
    - Rear seat fold-down non-sense

    ***

    In Canada, Chevy really wants you to upgrade to the 1LT. For financing, they drop the rate down to 1% for the 1LT, but stick with 5% with the LS. The price jump is over 40% though.

    The Hill-start assist might be a major factor (for my wife). Luckily, it appears to have been added to all 2017 Mirage models.

    The suspension and handling was better in the Spark. Hopefully that will improve with the 2017 Mirage.

    Without instantaneous fuel economy in the Mirage, I felt like I was driving blind. I couldn't confirm when fuel-cut off was working or when I was driving at optimum levels. All I had to go off of was the average consumption. Of course, the more you drive, the longer it takes to see changes in the average. That's probably why I was able to get such good fuel numbers in the Spark.

    I will definitely have to wait for the 2017 Mirage, which should be here in 3 weeks according to the dealership. I'm really hoping they add instantaneous fuel consumption to the 2017. Preferably like what I have in the Lancer. I don't want to bother with a Scanguage and if they don't that might be a deciding factor.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 53.4 mpg (US) ... 22.7 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.1 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member fc321's Avatar
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    Regardless of which car you choose you may want to get an ELM 327 bluetooth and leave it plugged in while you drive

    http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EQ57BE8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_ detailpage

    I got one for $8 USD and used the free software called Torque to get real time miles/km per gallon. Its a nice device because it teaches you the best way to drive (in real time) to maximize your fuel consumption

    In addition it will read your error codes so you can google them instead of getting ripped of with a bad mechanic that sells you work you dont need

    Personally I did not like the way the spark looks from the outside and did not consider it (I only narrowed it down to the Nissan Versa or Mirage and chose the Mirage in the end. Ive been driving it for 4 days now.

    Love the Mirage so far

    You have a good approach...... to drive both cars. Choose the one that resonates with you. Like choosing a dog at the shelter

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 44.9 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 53.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    No matter how nice GM makes the Spark...it's still actually a Daewoo.

    There is a reason GM only offers a 3/36 5/60 warranty on those cars. Go to the Spark forums if you want to know what those reasons are.

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    It is interesting note on power locks on Canadian models. In US power windows/locks are standard on all trims.

        __________________________________________

        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)


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    Uber Mirage alex16's Avatar
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    I'll admit I would never buy a spark because it's a Daewoo, but I will say this, the new spark looks more like the mirage, which in turn means it looks great! It's such a improvement over the huge 2 foot long headlight spark. I really do like the new spark a lot! I look forward to seeing more sparks on the road, you just won't see one in my garage. There is a lot of issues with new sparks already by regular commuters, I have put 25k miles of taxi commercial use on my mirage 39k miles total and taxi abuse is very hard on a car. My steering wheel and floor mats are worn out but my mirage never burned any oil whatsoever even at 7k oil changes with the thinnest 0w20 on the market.
    2014 ES F5MBD aka 5MT. I am a full time Uber driver, if you want to drive for uber DO not sign up without my referral code for a bonus .

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 44.8 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 53.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Mitsuman's Avatar
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    What issues are 2016 Chevy Spark owners having already? I'll probably have ta go over to the Spark forums and start reading. A Daewoo doesn't sound as good as a Mitsubishi in my book mechanically, right off the bat. I will have to do some research and find out what kind of problems people are having - I do like the Spark's body design and I like that it takes the speed bumps nicely and has a nice shifting operation - because I would definitely buy a stick shift Spark or Mirage or G4 or Soul or iA. Those are my finalists for next new car - whenever that might be.

    Currently I'm driving a 2011 Kia Soul base in clear white and 5-speeds and I love the car. It's warranty expires in July 2016 and I don't want to go without a good warranty on the powertrain of whatever car I drive.

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    Member ComputerAbuser's Avatar
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    I browsed the Spark forum for a bit. The main issues appeared to be with Air Conditioning and PVC in the engine that was causing oil burn and engine failure. The engine has been changed with the 2016 model so there are no reports of issues yet with the 2016. Based on the previous issues I'm not that impressed. The 2016 could turn out to be problem free, but there is no way to know that yet.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 53.4 mpg (US) ... 22.7 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.1 mpg (Imp)


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    Thanks for the review, and welcome to the forum.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Mitsuman's Avatar
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    I browsed the Spark forum for a bit. The main issues appeared to be with Air Conditioning and PVC in the engine that was causing oil burn and engine failure. The engine has been changed with the 2016 model so there are no reports of issues yet with the 2016. Based on the previous issues I'm not that impressed. The 2016 could turn out to be problem free, but there is no way to know that yet.

    Yeah, I'll be scoping the net out for any new reports from people buying the 2016 Chevy Spark. Need ta see how things are working out in the powertrain - I don't have as much confidence in GM-Daewoo as I do in Mitsubishi or Kia or even Mazda, who really built the Scion iA, which is yet another car I am following with a slight chance of buying one.

    BTW - the new 2016 Chevy Spark has a 1.4L I-4 cyl. engine - I've seen comments from people saying the Spark has a 3-cyl. engine - not so.
    Last edited by Mitsuman; 03-08-2016 at 01:52 PM.

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    iA is a nice car but I would not buy one, at least until they bring hatchback. Sedan has lower roof line and anyone taller than 5'5" will have head clearance issues. Rear seat knee space at least 2-3” worse than on Mirage.

    Nice car otherwise, trunk is huge.


        __________________________________________

        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)


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