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Thread: A Golf R driver's perspective: 2018 Mirage ES-plus Canadian Spec Review

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    A Golf R driver's perspective: 2018 Mirage ES-plus Canadian Spec Review

    Wall of text follows read at your own risk...


    Yesterday I went for a short test drive in a 2018 Mirage ES-plus, Canadian spec hatchback, so the CVT with A/C, power door locks, front/rear power windows, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay integration, not really sure what other differences there are between the ES and ES-plus. If I were to buy I'd like the GT trim, even though the price becomes obscene. In much of Canada heated seats are very nice to have, in Ottawa with our fantastic winters heated mirrors are a plus. Bi-xenon HID's over halogens any day. The human-machine interface should be nice, I prefer leather wrapped steering wheels over polyurethane. The seat trim in the GT looks nicer in pictures, but I haven't seen it in real life. Finally I find that the 15" OEM alloys on the GT trim look good too. I just don't know about the $-value increase from $14,798 to $18,498 (not including Freight/PDI yet), are all of the upgrades really worth 3,700 CAD more ?

    Driving dynamics were fine, acceleration was adequate and with the CVT a bit deceptive (smooth acceleration, looks down at speedometer and oh I'm going 10 KPH over), steering was a bit "darty" but it's not like it wandered within the lane, rather I'd say it moved with "purpose". The R feels more planted with much wider summer-only performance tires, less "darty", I think the best description would be more input required to carry out a directional change compared to the Mirage. There's a big discrepancy in HP/torque between the R and the Mirage, but when you're surrounded by cars in traffic the Mirage moves effectively. You can really only go as fast as the cars around you, and the Mirage keeps up just fine. Starting out there's a bit of engine noise, but after about 20 KPH it quiets down. Braking was fine, you push brake pedal it slows and eventually stops. Overall road noise was fine; the R is actually kind of loud (might be attributed to the "soundaktor" simulated noise generator, but there's also a lot of tire noise), the Mirage didn't appear too much louder (I do have poor hearing though). Getting on to the highway it just sort of went. I merged, I hit 100 KPH, I cruised. Background: I'm a right-lane highway driver and I get there when I get there, I'm neither out to win races nor receive speeding tickets. I would be fine commuting back and forth to work in the Mirage based on the driving characteristics.

    It passes the front/rear space test, if I set everything up for myself in the driver's seat I can fit in the passenger seat directly behind. Rear hatch space is a bit less than the Golf, but it's a physically smaller vehicle so if one uses their brain this can be expected. I managed to fit a boxed Sunday Model C BMX bike in the back of the Golf with the rear seats folded down, I don't think I'd be able to in the Mirage.

    Fit and finish isn't up to the boring but predictable VW standards, door gaps, use of rubber seals etc. but there's a huge base price discrepancy between the two cars so I'm not concerned, in other words this is to be expected. That said there were no noises/rattles. Reminded me of the fit/finish of our 2007 Yaris, except the middle two HVAC vents in the Mirage felt really cheap, almost like they were an after-thought add-on that the interior designers had forgotten about.

    The air conditioning to me was a let-down. I had it on blower speed "3" and cabin recirc, and I still felt warm. The R cools down quickly, no tint on the windows and I'm usually down to 2 bars (HVAC fan speed ranges from 1-8 bars or something silly) and either "LO" or 20*C ( 68*F ) for the temperature setting. The R is the second best A/C I've had in a car, topped by the 2014 base-model Wrangler which would freeze one's gonads solid if one preferred that sort of thing. To the actual owners, how is the HVAC in your Mirage? The A/C felt like the A/C in the 2007 Yaris that we previously owned, marginal at best I suppose. There's only so much compressor that a 1.2L engine can drive.

    I'm still undecided. On one hand I know I could live with the Mirage for the daily commute, which is really all of the car I require and the R is completely overkill for it. On the other hand the A/C performance really was not that great and I hate sweating when I'm not exercising.

    Why not consider something else like a Honda Fit ? Well if I go for a Fit I'd want leather, so that's $26K CAD; why not get a Crosstrek with AWD for our "Canadian winters" then it's only $33K CAD, but hey look at that, Golf R's are only about $10K more with a lot more performance and a sort-of-AWD system, hence how I came about owning a Golf R (I always wanted a GTI too) and why I don't really want a Honda Fit.

    That's all I've got for now...


    2018 Mirage

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2018 Mirage GT 1.2 automatic: 38.0 mpg (US) ... 16.1 km/L ... 6.2 L/100 km ... 45.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Mirage vs Golf R???

    Your review of the Mirage is a good one, but I wouldn't expect a Mirage (78 hp economy car) to be in the same field as Golf R (292 hp). The Canadian market may be different than the U.S. market, but I did a local search (250 mile radius) for a Golf R. At the price I paid for a new Mirage last fall, I could have bought 4 of them for the same price of one Golf R. The math came out to 4.0859.... Granted I never tried to deal on a VW Golf R, & I may only be able to buy 3 Mirages for the same price as one Golf R in reality. By the way - this discussion doesn't include the extra tax & other extra costs that occur with a larger auto loan.

    I once owned a 4-door VW Golf. They are nice hatchbacks, & they have stood the test of time. Even though the Golf/Rabbit has been in the U.S. since 1975, they have maintained their identity all this time. I admire that in any car. I doubt the Mirage will have that type of history, because Mitsubishi is already guilty of reusing the Mirage name from the past.

    In the real world, I feel the Mirage competes with good used cars that are in that $8,000-12,000 range. The base level Mirage is by far the best value in my mind. It's a really nice $10,000-12,000 economy car. You couldn't put anything on the Mirage that would make me pay more for it. If a person is looking for a good used Yaris, Fit, Golf, Rio5, or whatever, a new Mirage may be worth the look. A Mirage gives you a low car payment for a new car with an extensive warranty (5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper, 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain, & 5 year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance), & that’s the appeal for some. The Mirage is an affordable, reliable, economy car, & it’s not really meant to be much more than that.

    As far as the A/C goes, I am just thankful this economy car has A/C. I live in Wisconsin, & I don't even use it that much. It's nice to have when needed, however. If it's really hot, I have to run the fan on 2 or 3 setting, but I don't find the fan to be very loud. Then again, it's not the quietest car on the road either.

    At any price, the Mirage has its shortcomings. In my case, it's an awesome 2nd car. When I need to tow something or a winter storm hits, I still have my AWD vehicle that I can pull out the garage. If I only owned one vehicle that could do it all, the Mirage would not be that car. Having said that, most AWD vehicles are expensive to replace & most of the time the AWD isn't even necessary. I love the fact I am racking up the miles on my Mirage, while extending the life of my AWD vehicle parked in the garage. The Mirage is an awesome commuter vehicle for the money. If you buy one at the right price new or used, I feel the Mirage is in a league of its own!

    The VW Golf R is probably a great car, but at that price it should be! Given its price & mpg rating, it's not an economy car.

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    ...It's a really nice $10,000-12,000 economy car.
    ...You couldn't put anything on the Mirage that would make me pay more for it.
    I agree. A Mirage GT is $18,000 in the US...which seems like a crazy high number. If you spend that much on a new Mirage, you'd better be sure you love it because if you don't put a ton of money down on it, you will be upside-down in it for the first few years you are paying on it. Remember...the only thing less popular than a new Mirage is a used one. So don't get stuck in a situation where you need to sell a slightly used one.

    I don't think you could give me a Mirage (or any car, for that matter) with a CVT. If Mitsubishi wants to lose me as a future customer, just start making cars that only come with a CVT.

    On the subject of AC... Mine works amazingly well...but I never use the Auto mode. I use it in manual mode only and I turn the temp down as low as it will go and set it on recirculate.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.4 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 61.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Guys for my specific scenario the R is paid for, it would be a straight up trade-in with cash-back from the dealer for the difference in the value of the R compared to the Mirage. Personally I prefer how the GT trim is optioned out, and that's the one I would be going for. I know it doesn't make fiscal sense to everyone, and we're all different, that's just how it is This coming from the guy that cross-shopped a BMW 1-series and a Jeep Wrangler

    As for CVT, I have my own reasons [ again everyone's different {despite my better half growing up on manual transmissions she no longer wants to drive them. When I had the Wrangler with the 6-speed our FozXT was written off by a red-light-runner, and she refused to drive the Wrangler. This led to a bunch of awkward scenarios while we awaited a replacement FozXT} ]
    2018 Mirage

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2018 Mirage GT 1.2 automatic: 38.0 mpg (US) ... 16.1 km/L ... 6.2 L/100 km ... 45.6 mpg (Imp)


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    I bought my 18’ Mirage because I wanted a cheap economy car mainly for work but to take an occasional trips to see my kids who live a couple states away. I was driving my F-150 supercrew to work ant the gas mileage was pretty dismal. I also have a Vette for weekends/days off.

    For what the Mirage is and the price I paid I think it’s a great car. I wanted something great on gas with a great warranty. I find the A/C works great but cycles on and off allot. I also have the CVT. I’ve been driving manuals for years and am tired of driving them. I wish the Mirage had a traditional 4 or 5 speed automatic but I’m ok with the CVT. I plan on driving this car at least 10 years. If the time comes to repair the CVT and Mitsubishi don’t or won’t take care of it I’ll just find a replacement with low miles in a salvage yard and replace it myself. There’s something about a basic cheap economy car that I really like. I’ve had plenty of fast/muscle cars that I’ve owned over the years and I find I like driving the Mirage just as much. I don’t really speed anymore so just cruising around or to work I actually enjoy driving the Mirage.

    Word of caution before you buy the Mirage make sure the rear axle is in proper alignment. Some are leaving the factory with rear axles that are out of alignment.
    Last edited by FloridaG4; 08-19-2018 at 10:00 PM.

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    I'm sure your better half will love the VW Golf R. Even though I have never driven one, it appears to be a really nice car. I am a big fan of small hatchback cars, & the VW Golf has stood the test of time. I can honestly say my 1997 VW Golf was probably the most fun car I have ever owned driving-wise. They are great handling cars!

    If money is no issue & it makes your better half happy, you have made the right choice!!!!

    We are all different consumers, & that is why the car market is so diverse. When I became interested in the Mirage last summer, I decided that I wanted the updated 2017 model. I wasn't willing to pay more more than $10,000 for one even if that meant waiting for a good used one.

    In my case, I have two daughters and they both got married last year (August & September). For obvious reasons, that tapped my savings. When the dust settled from all that & I could still pick up a new Mirage ES (manual) for under $10,000 last October, I pulled the trigger. One of my daughters now lives in Europe. Since my new son-in-law and daughter drive an older Fiat Punto there, I knew they would have no problem driving my Mirage when visiting the states. That has already happened once, & I am sure they will borrow it again in the future.

    Life sometimes comes full circle. When my daughters were young, we had our share of small hatchbacks. As they got older, those were replaced by slightly larger vehicles. Now, I am back to my small, practical hatchbacks again.

    When a person starts looking at the cheaper base model Mirages, there isn't a lot of competition. In all honesty, the Chevy Spark is the closest in the U.S. When a person starts looking a the higher priced Mirages, I think a person can consider several other options.

    It sounds like the VW Golf R is the right choice for you! VW is not using a CVT in the Golf R, & that very appealing. I am not convince CVT are improvement over the traditional automatic transmissions. I prefer my manuals, & it prevents friends from borrowing my car. I totally understand the need or desire for an automatic. If I live in the big city or had to share with someone who refused to drive manual, I would do the same.

    There's something about driving a cheap, economy car that refreshing to me! So far, I have no regrets with my Mirage purchase. I am sure you will feel the same way about your VW Golf R. Thanks for sharing your test drive of the Mirage. It was a good read. It's not the right car for everyone, but I am glad to own one!
    Last edited by Mark; 08-20-2018 at 12:23 AM.

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    Where's the leak ma'am? Marklovski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post

    On the subject of AC... Mine works amazingly well...but I never use the Auto mode. I use it in manual mode only and I turn the temp down as low as it will go and set it on recirculate.
    Mitsubishi is already going the CVT route. The Eclipse Cross has a CVT but for some reason also has paddle shifters. Semi-autos or Semi-CVTs look like Mitsubishi's future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marklovski View Post
    Mitsubishi is already going the CVT route. The Eclipse Cross has a CVT but for some reason also has paddle shifters. Semi-autos or Semi-CVTs look like Mitsubishi's future.
    I am no car expert, but some companies aren't jumping on the CVT bandwagon yet. Mitsubishi, Nissan, & even Subaru have been headed in that direction for quite some time. I also own an older Subaru Forester (5 speed manual). When Forester switched from their 4-speed automatic to CVT, the towing capacity of the Forester dropped from 2500 pounds to 1500 pounds. That may indicate their confidence in the new transmission.

    In 2019, Subaru is dropping the manual option for the Forester. AWD manual options have become very limited in the U.S. You can get a Jeep Compass & Renegade with a manual 4WD, and that is about it now.

    I like the looks and size of the Outlander Sport. If it was offered in AWD manual, I would be interested. CVT AWD not that interested. I would probably put my money elsewhere. I realize mpg is driving the changes in small SUVs, but I have owned small front wheel drive cars that had higher towing capacity than some of these new models.



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