2023 Mitsubishi Mirage Vs Kia Rio: A Comparison

Mitsubishi Mirage Vs Kia Rio

Table of Contents

As the automotive market continues to evolve, subcompact cars remain a popular choice for those seeking affordability, efficiency, and style. The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage and Kia Rio are two standout contenders in this competitive segment, each offering a unique blend of features and characteristics that appeal to different buyers. 

In this in-depth comparison, we’ll examine the crucial aspects of both vehicles, helping you decide which subcompact car is the perfect fit for your needs and lifestyle.

Exterior Design

The Mitsubishi Mirage sports a fresh and youthful appearance, with its redesigned front fascia, LED headlights, and a bold grille. Its compact size makes it perfect for maneuvering through tight spaces and parking in crowded urban environments. The Mirage’s playful color options add an extra touch of personality to its overall design.

The Kia Rio showcases a refined, mature look, thanks to its sleek lines and aerodynamic silhouette. The Rio’s design is further enhanced by the distinctive tiger-nose grille, LED headlights, and modern taillights. Although it may not have as many vibrant color choices as the Mirage, the Rio’s design exudes a sense of sophistication.

Interior Design

The Mirage’s interior is designed with functionality and simplicity in mind. While it may not be luxurious, the cabin offers a clean layout, intuitive controls, and a user-friendly infotainment system. Soft-touch materials and tasteful color combinations create a comfortable atmosphere for both driver and passengers.

Stepping into the Rio, you’ll find a more upscale interior compared to the Mirage. The Rio boasts higher-quality materials, with more soft-touch surfaces and premium finishes. The cabin layout is well-organized, and the infotainment system is user-friendly, offering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as standard.

Seating

The Mirage provides seating for up to five passengers, with adequate headroom and legroom for its subcompact size. The seats are covered in durable cloth upholstery, with available upgrades to heated front seats in higher trims. While the rear seat is a bit tight for taller passengers, it is suitable for shorter trips.

Similar to the Mirage, the Rio can accommodate up to five passengers. The seats offer slightly more cushioning and support, making them more comfortable for longer journeys. The Rio’s cabin also provides a bit more headroom and legroom compared to the Mirage, which is particularly noticeable in the rear seats.

Storage

With its hatchback design, the Mirage offers a surprisingly spacious cargo area for its size. The rear seats can be folded down to create even more storage space, making it a versatile option for those who need extra room for luggage or larger items.

The Rio is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. While the sedan offers a decent trunk space, the hatchback variant provides a more generous cargo area. Like the Mirage, the rear seats can be folded down to increase storage capacity when needed.

Performance

Under the hood of the Mirage lies a modest 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, producing 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. Although it may not be the most powerful option in its segment, the Mirage’s lightweight construction helps it feel zippy around town. Buyers can choose between a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The Rio comes equipped with a more potent 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. The extra power gives the Rio a more engaging driving experience, with quicker acceleration and better handling. All Rio models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, offering smooth and responsive gear shifts.

Fuel Efficiency

One of the Mirage’s most significant selling points is its impressive fuel efficiency. The 2023 Mirage is estimated to achieve an EPA-rated 36 mpg city and 43 mpg highway when equipped with the CVT, making it one of the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicles in its class.

While not as fuel-efficient as the Mirage, the Rio still offers respectable fuel economy. The 2023 Rio is estimated to achieve an EPA-rated 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, ensuring that it remains a competitive choice for buyers seeking a fuel-sipping subcompact.

Safety

The Mirage comes equipped with standard safety features like stability control, traction control, and multiple airbags. Higher trims add advanced driver assistance technologies, such as Forward Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning, further enhancing the Mirage’s safety credentials.

The Rio is packed with safety features, including standard stability control, traction control, and multiple airbags. All Rio models come standard with advanced driver assistance technologies like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, providing a higher level of safety even in the base trim.

Trim Levels

The Mirage is available in three trim levels: ES, LE, and SE. The base ES trim includes features like a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera. The LE trim adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alloy wheels, and heated front seats. The top-of-the-line SE trim offers additional features like keyless entry, push-button start, and advanced safety technologies.

The Rio comes in two trim levels: LX and S. The base LX trim includes a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rearview camera, and advanced driver assistance technologies. Upgrading to the S trim adds features like keyless entry, cruise control, and additional USB charging ports.

Pricing

With a starting price around $15,000 for the base ES trim, the Mirage is one of the most affordable vehicles in its class. The mid-level LE trim begins around $17,000, while the top-of-the-line SE trim starts at approximately $18,500.

The Rio is also competitively priced, with the base LX trim starting around $16,000 for the sedan and $17,000 for the hatchback. The S trim starts at approximately $17,500 for the sedan and $18,500 for the hatchback.

Key Differences

Performance:

The Mirage comes with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine producing 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque, while the Rio is equipped with a more powerful 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque.

Fuel Efficiency:

The Mirage stands out with its impressive fuel efficiency, achieving an EPA-rated 36 mpg city and 43 mpg highway (with the CVT), while the Rio offers a respectable 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.

Safety Features:

Both vehicles come with standard safety features, but the Rio offers a higher level of standard advanced driver assistance technologies, such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, even in the base trim.

Pricing:

The Mirage boasts a lower starting price of around $15,000 for the base trim, making it one of the most affordable options in its class. The Rio starts at around $16,000 for the sedan and $17,000 for the hatchback.

Final Thoughts: 

While the Mirage boasts impressive fuel efficiency, a playful design, and a budget-friendly price tag, the Rio counters with a more refined interior, better performance, and an enhanced suite of standard safety features. 

In the end, the decision between these two vehicles comes down to individual preferences and priorities. By carefully considering each car’s strengths and weaknesses, you can make an informed choice that best suits your needs and requirements in a subcompact car.

Features Breakdown

Mitsubishi Mirage:

  • Exterior Design:
    • Youthful and playful design
    • Vibrant color options
  • Interior Design:
    • Functional and simple cabin
    • Intuitive controls
  • Performance:
    • 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine
    • 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    • EPA-rated 36 mpg city and 43 mpg highway (with CVT)
  • Safety Features:
    • Standard stability control, traction control, and multiple airbags
    • Advanced driver assistance technologies in higher trims
  • Trim Levels:
    • ES, LE, and SE
  • Pricing:
    • Starting price around $15,000 for the base ES trim

Kia Rio:

  • Exterior Design:
    • Mature and sophisticated appearance
    • Sleek lines and aerodynamic silhouette
  • Interior Design:
    • Upscale cabin with higher-quality materials
    • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Performance:
    • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
    • 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    • EPA-rated 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway
  • Safety Features:
    • Standard stability control, traction control, and multiple airbags
    • Advanced driver assistance technologies as standard
  • Trim Levels:
    • LX and S
  • Pricing:
    • Starting price around $16,000 for the sedan and $17,000 for the hatchback

About Marcus The Car Guy

I've been in car sales and finance for over 20 years, working at the highest volume dealerships in the nation including Fletcher Jones, DCH and more. Want to pick my brain on finding cars, negotiating cars, and structuring car deals?

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