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Earlier this year, Kia indicated that its Rio subcompact sedan would be discontinued. With the Rio’s discontinuation, only a few vehicles remain in the U.S. marketplace that start under the $20,000 price point. Two of those remaining vehicles, the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Nissan Versa, are no strangers to the market. These two vehicles have been heavyweights in the ultra-cheap American market for years now.

When it comes to pitting these two vehicles against each other, you’d have to be crazy to choose the Mitsubishi Mirage over the Nissan Versa. Ask anyone who has reviewed the Mirage; the car is the automotive laughingstock of the modern automotive industry. Here is everything you need to know about how the Mitsibsuhi Mirage stacks up against the Nissan Versa and why the Versa is the better car in almost every way.

2024 Mitsubishi Mirage – Economical but irritating

The 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the cheapest vehicles in America, with a starting price of just $16,695 MSRP, according to Edmunds. The Mirage is only available with one powertrain: a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine paired with a CVT automatic transmission. This drivetrain only produces around 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. While this power is abysmal, especially in modern traffic, this tiny engine means that the Mirage gets exceptional fuel economy numbers at 36 city mpg and 43 highway mpg.

When it comes to features, the Mirage hardly has anything to offer, with a very bare bones and cheap interior to cut down on price. A 7-inch touch screen is standard equipment with Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto. The Mirage only has one USB port, but it does have Bluetooth Audio, cruise control, and automatic climate control. Regarding safety, the Mirage offers forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera as standard equipment.

2023 Nissan Versa – Affordable yet comfortable

The 2023 Nissan Versa is, at the time of this writing, the cheapest mainstream vehicle you can buy in America. At $15,980 MSRP, according to Nissan, it offers a good amount of value for the basement price. The base model Versa is the S model, which comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine capable of producing around 122 horsepower. This engine is also paired with a manual transmission as standard equipment, although an automatic is available for an extra $1,670. Fuel economy numbers are solid as well, with the Versa getting around 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

Regarding features, the Versa S comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen, voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth audio, three USB ports, forward and rear collision warning and emergency braking, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera. The Versa offers a ton of value and punches well above its class despite its incredibly low price.

The few areas where the Mirage has an edge

Related The Mitsubishi Mirage Might Save You Money, but It Could Be a Deadly Tradeoff

The Mitsubishi Mirage Might Save You Money, but It Could Be a Deadly Tradeoff

From price to power to comfort to build quality, the Nissan Versa is better than the Mitsubishi Mirage in nearly every way. However, the Mirage is better than the Versa in a few categories. The most prominent example of the Mirage doing better than the competition is in fuel economy, where the Mirage’s fuel economy numbers are notably better than the Versa. The Mirage also, surprisingly, offers more cargo space at 47 cubic feet available. The Versa, on the other hand, only provides around 14.7 cubic feet. This is because the Mirage is a hatchback, but still, the Mirage holds quite a bit more cargo than the Versa.

The Mirage also comes standard with an automatic transmission. Now, personally, as a manual transmission-only driver, I think this is a horrible disgrace, but for the average American, it is a good thing. Many people don’t want to rack through gears, which is OK. The Mirage may be better for these consumers who would rather just stick to a familiar transmission.

The Mirage also offers a better warranty than the Nissan Versa. If you buy a Mirage, you get a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a two-year maintenance warranty, and five years of roadside assistance. On the other hand, Nissan only offers a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you are looking for an ultra-cheap vehicle, the Nissan Versa is the clear winner, but don’t count out the Mirage without looking into its extensive warranty, fuel economy, and cargo space; you just might find yourself a deal if you can find a Mirage below sticker price!