Chevy Spark Vs. Mitsubishi Mirage: Little Guys Battle it Out

By Justin Cupler | November 8th, 2018

The compact-car segment has lost sales steam in recent years as buyers move toward crossovers. Despite this lag in popularity, Chevy and Mitsubishi continue to offer great subcompact options in the 2019 Chevy Spark and 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage. Both models deliver great fuel economy and plenty of room, but which is the better buy for car buyers in Midland, Michigan? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

The Mirage and Spark recently went through refreshes, but the Spark’s refresh just occurred in 2019, while the Mirage’s rework came way back in 2017. And despite its refresh, the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage still looks like a significantly older vehicle. The Spark, while no styling marvel itself, looks more modern and less cheap than the Mirage.

The 2019 Spark sets itself apart with its more rugged Activ model. The 2019 Chevy Spark Activ features a higher ride height, black body cladding, roof rails, and more. The Mirage has nothing to compete with this rugged-looking subcompact hatch.

The 2019 Chevy Spark’s tiny body measures 143.1 inches long, 62.8 inches wide, and 58.4 inches tall. It rides atop an equally petite wheelbase that measures 93.9 inches long. The 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage is a good bit larger than the Spark at 149.4 inches long, 65.6 inches wide, and 59.4 inches tall. Its wheelbase is also longer at 96.5 inches.

While both vehicles’ small bodies make them easy to park, the Spark is over 6 inches shorter and nearly 3 inches narrower, making it even easier to park. The 2019 Mirage’s larger body allows for more room inside.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Smaller body makes it easier to park
  • More modern and upscale looks

Advantage: 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Larger body creates more room inside

Interior

Inside, the Spark offers decent room for its small footprint. Up front, it has 39 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom, 50.8 inches of shoulder room, and 48.2 inches of hip room. The 2018 Mirage’s front seats match the Spark’s legroom, but it has a little more headroom at 39.1 inches, shoulder room at 51.7, and hip room at 48.8 inches.

The 2019 Spark’s rear seats offer 37 inches of headroom, 33 inches of legroom, 49.8 inches of shoulder room, and 48 inches of hip room. The 2018 Mirage’s rear seat is larger in most measurements with its 37.3 inches of headroom. 34 inches of legroom, and 51 inches of shoulder room. In hip room, the Mitsubishi comes in a little tight at 46.4 inches.

Cargo room is a huge deal when considering a hatchback. The 2019 Spark’s cargo area is respectable for its size at 11.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 27.2 cubes with the rear seat folded. The 2018 Mirage’s cargo room is significantly larger at 17.2 cubic feet with the rear seats upright and 47 cubic feet with them folded.

Neither of these subcompact hatchbacks are luxury vehicles, so their cabins are basic, but the 2018 Mirage is basic and dated. They both feature 7-inch touchscreens, but the Mirage is slathered in rough, hard plastic and does little to break up the monotony. The Spark, however, boasts more contrast on the dashboard and seats, and some extra niceties to dress it up.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Interior is more creative
  • More tech options

Advantage: 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Huge cargo are
  • Roomier seats

Performance

In the subcompact segment, performance is rarely an issue, and that is clear in both models. The 2018 Mirage has underwhelming power numbers as its 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine delivers just 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission.

The 2019 Chevy Spark does a little more with its 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. This routes through a standard five-speed automatic transmission or an optional CVT.

While performance is not a concern in this segment, fuel economy is a huge issue. The 2019 Spark’s EPA-estimated ratings check in at 30 mpg city, 38 highway, and 33 combined. Opting for the Spark Activ cuts highway fuel economy by 1 mpg. The 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage’s three-cylinder engine delivers better fuel economy at up to 37 mpg city, 43 highway, and 39 combined.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Significantly more power
  • Higher ride quality
  • Optional Activ package increases ride height

Advantage: 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

  • Big fuel-economy advantage

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Spark comes in four main trim levels — LS, 1LT, 2LT, and Activ — and prices range from $14,095 to $17,495.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage lineup is simpler with three trims — ES, SE, and GT — that range from $13,395 to $16,095.

2019 Chevy Spark Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $14,095

  • 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Hill-start assist
  • Power Steering
  • Halogen projector headlights with daytime running lights
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Front intermittent wipers
  • Body-color door handles
  • Rear spoiler
  • Black mirrors
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Floor mats
  • Driver information center
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System
  • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Two USB data ports in center console
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Rearview camera

1LT: $17,095

  • All LS features, plus
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Body-color mirrors with heat
  • 15-inch aluminum wheels
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Cruise control
  • Power door locks
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Remote panic alarm
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls
  • Power windows with on-touch up/down driver’s window

2LT: $17,495

  • All 1LT features, plus
  • Keyless ignition
  • Heated front seats
  • Chrome door handles
  • Chrome liftgate trim
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Rear parking sonar
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents
  • Leatherette seating

Activ: $17,095

  • All 1LT features, plus
  • Black front and rear bumpers
  • Fog lights
  • Unique grille
  • Roof rack
  • Black rocker moldings
  • Sill-plate cover
  • Unique 15-inch aluminum wheels
  • Touring suspension
  • Leatherette seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage Key Features and Pricing by Trim

ES: $13,395

  • 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Hill-start assist
  • 14-inch steel wheels with covers
  • Halogen headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Chrome grille accents
  • Rear spoiler
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Split-folding rear seat
  • Urethane steering wheel and shift knob
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Gloss-black center panel
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • HD Radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls
  • Rearview camera
  • Air conditioning
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • One 12-volt power outlet

SE: $16,095

  • All ES features, plus
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • 14-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • High-contrast gauges with chrome accent
  • Driver’s seat armrest
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Gloss-black shifter panel
  • Gloss-black door-panel accents
  • Chrome-plated inside door handles
  • 6.5-inch Smartphone Link Display Audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • CD and MP3 player
  • Voice recognition
  • Automatic climate control
  • Passive-entry system
  • Keyless ignition

GT: $16,595

  • All SE features, plus
  • HID headlights
  • 15-inch two-tone alloy wheels
  • Heated front seats

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Spark?

The 2019 Chevy Spark is for subcompact car buyers looking for a slightly more premium model. Also, buyers who do more highway driving will appreciate the extra power from its 1.4-liter engine.

Who Should Buy the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage?

The Mirage is a good option for buyers on a tight budget. Also, with its big fuel-economy advantage, commuters will appreciate the extra savings at the pump.

Ready to take the 2019 Chevy Spark for a drive through the streets of Midland, Michigan? Come visit our new-car showroom serving Freeland and Bay City, Michigan to see what the Spark offers. Can’t make is by today? You can check our online inventory to see if we have a 2019 Spark in stock that suits your needs.