By on August 23, 2012

I don’t know why people buy a Mitsubishi. That is a simple question, difficult answer that I have to think about for the next three or four months. What is the benefit?

The above quote is attributed to Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, head of Mitsubishi Australia. While hearing any company head speak so disparagingly about their product would be shocking, Mitsubishi used to be a serious player down under, with local manufacturing facilities and best-selling cars.

Oshikiri’s comments, in the Sydney Morning Herald, aren’t exactly unheard of in the enthusiast world; there is nothing, save for the Evo, in Mitsubishi’s lineup that is compelling enough for consumers to exchange money for. The car market is so hypercompetitive that just being “good” or “good enough” is an instant ticket to the backwater where your customers are there because you are willing to give them credit…which was already tried by Mitsubishi with disastrous results.

Can anyone even think of a reason to buy a Mitsubishi that isn’t the Evo? I sure can’t.

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90 Comments on “QOTD: Why Buy A Mitsubishi?...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    I can’t think of a reason to buy ANY Mitsu, including an EVO simply out of the fact that there is minimal to no dealer network to support sales and service. Plus, they’re low-common-denominator products that have SUBPRIME written all over them. Around here, I can assume 7/10 people driving around with a new Mitsu with a Hernando Mitsubishi or Mitsubishi of Port Richey decal probably has a beacon of 520 or under.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      problem is their current small car leader is the 2007 age Lancer… which sells on price and ‘metal for the money’ and that’s it

      2007 is obviously an age away… almost a different decade as it were

      the Evo is also another car for another age… just not *this* age

      this is what i do… i load up a manufacturer’s webpage and then see how their current attracts me and potential customers

      Mitsubishi’s fails this badly

      to be fair, so does Toyota except for the 86

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      “Why Buy A Mitsubishi?”

      This is the question I ask whenever I see ANY Mitsubishi on the road EVER.

      Such sub-par products, interior, powertrains, etc.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Does Mitsu in oz come with a 10 year warranty?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Rockford-Fosgate sound system is loud and the steering wheel paddles are well done.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The Rockford-Fosgate sound system is loud and the steering wheel paddles are well done.

    You can get that in a Sentra SER. Another TTAC why buy? here.

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    Because it’s one of the few brands whose dealers will finance someone with exceptionally bad credit?

  • avatar
    dolorean

    In a word? Price.

  • avatar
    iantm

    Mitsubishi dealers sell new cars? If the local Mitsubishi dealers are any indicator – it’d be easy to assume that Mitsubishi was some kind of used car dealership brand with franchises set up to look like new car dealers… Most of them put more effort in selling used cars with some Mitsubishis shoved in the back lot for the few people that actually come in looking for a Mitsubishi. Sure, there’s the odd Mitsubishi i, which has sat on the lot for months that nobody wants. The bad credit people here don’t even bother with Mitsubishi – there is a better selection at the local Suzuki superstore. Yes, I live in a weird place where Suzuki Kizashis and SX4′s are a far more common sight than any post 2008 Mitsubishi. That weird place is Western Pennsylvania. I’m kind of surprised that Jim Shorkey doesn’t have a Mitsubishi franchise. I remember him having loads of Isuzus to sell before they left the U.S.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I think where that question is asked makes a difference. In Indonesia, for example, Mitsubishi still enjoys a strong dealer network, mainly because of the strength of its commercial vehicles. So their vehicles, like the recently launched Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, enjoys healthy sales. Add a competitive price and features not even its much more expensive competitors lacked, such as a panoramic sunroof, makes them a compelling choice.

    Still, their other products such as the Lancer and the Maven MPV are barely moving. I guess a strong dealer network in itself won’t sell cars, the car itself has to be compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      Agreed. Mitsubishi is indeed fairly strong in Southeast Asia. And their luxo-SUV, the Pajero, is the favorite of third world elites.

      However, it’s not a good sign when the head of Mitsubishi Motors Australia expresses doubt and uncertainty. Didn’t MMA used to be a pretty dominant player in Oz? Their bread and butter sedan, the Magma, used to be a market leader for many years. Now I think they’ve pretty much stopped local production in Down Under (like Nissan Australia did several years ago) and just import cars from other lands. Perhaps the strength of the A$ was a factor, as other Aussie manufacturers such as Ford and GM Holden are also hurting.

      • 0 avatar
        Ben

        Yes, Mitsubishi stopped manufacturing in Australia a few years back – the picture used in this article is of a 380, the Magna replacement which was the last car they built in Australia.

        All local manufacturers are suffering due to the strong $A and the market’s shift to small-medium size cars.

    • 0 avatar
      marcosbarauskas

      Agreed. Mitsubishi does quite well here in Brazil. L200 Triton is 3rd best selling pickup truck, below Chevy S10 (Colorado) and Toyota Hilux. The ASX (Outlander Sport)sells at similar pace as ix35 (Tucson), Sportage and the like. Even the Lancer has been doing well, selling at numbers similar to Kia Cerato (Forte) and Peugeot 408.

  • avatar
    mcg

    I love my 2011 Outlander XLS. 10 year warranty is nice too :)

  • avatar
    Feds

    I bought my Delica because I needed 3 rows of seats, I wanted 4×4, and I liked the idea of a little diesel.

    I also like the fact that it was either half or 1/3rd the price of a similar-mileage Suburban.

    Plus, it’s got touch screen navigation, dual zone climate control, all kinds of power options, iPod integration, sunroof, heated seats, power curtains, dual airbags and ABS. Plus, it gets tonnes of attention.

    Wait? What’s that? You weren’t asking about 15-year-old Mitsubishis? Oh. Never mind.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    As a current owner of a Mitsubishi (’06 Evolution IX GSR), I can tell you there’s no way I’d buy current – and the local Mitsu shops are trying hard to get me out of my Evo and into a new car. I must get a piece of mail (actual, physical mail) a week with a new offer on it.

    None of the current lineup is appealing to me. The Evolution is a great car, though.

  • avatar
    Botswana

    Honestly, I get a little tired of the Mitsubishi bashing. They actually make pretty good vehicles. I will throw this one disclaimer, just make sure you’re buying Japanese and you’ll get a good car. Their US based products seem to suffer on quality, which doesn’t reflect very well on US Auto Workers.

    I love my 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer. For a small car it has everything I need and is a pretty zippy little thing. The reviews for it are horrible and seem to expect it to look and perform like a $30,000 car instead of the entry level compact it is. I’ve driven Corolla’s and Focuses from around the same model year and the Lancer was by far the best. Not to mention it was cheaper than either. The only areas it suffers is gas consumption is not as good as the competition and the interior materials are not as nice. I think it makes up for it in numerous ways though.

    My experience with it was so good we traded in my wife’s 2007 Sorento for a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander. The Outlander has been a great car and my wife loves it. It looks somewhat hilarious parked next to the Lancer but now we have matching vehicles. The only grip with the Outlander is the nose is too long and I miss having the glass on the book door being able to open. Pretty minor gripes. We took her new Outlander on our road trip/vacation and liked it better than the Sorento.

    Honestly, I think Mistubishi gets a raw deal and an unnecessary black eye. A lot of it is self inflicted though. Marketing is poor and their product line needs a refresh badly. They allowed themselves to get complacent when they weren’t anywhere near the top.

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      I don’t think the quality issues with US-built Mitsubishis is indicative of American auto workers in general, but may have something to do with the management and culture of the Mitsubishi Motors Manufacturing of America (formerly Diamond Star Motors)plant in Illinois in particular. If anyone remembers, that plant had a really horrific work environment with a lot of sexual harassment going on in the past. There were a bunch of lawsuits and settlements to that effect back in the 1990′s. I’d think that would have an effect on the assembly quality of the vehicles then.

      Now to be fair, that was in the past; their quality and productivity rankings have improved a lot. As others have mentioned, MMA’s aggressive use of easy financing for their cars have come to hurt them when many buyers defaulted on their loans.

  • avatar
    markholli

    I have been asking myself the same question for years. Mitsubishi has never established any semblance of a brand identity in this country. In marketing speak, they have no unique selling proposition (USP).

    Word association: When I think of Mitsubishi I think _____________? Nothing positive comes to mind.

    I’m always surprised to see somebody in a brand new Galant. I try to imagine them making an educated decision, driving the Camry, Accord, Altima, Sonata, Fusion, and Malibu and saying, “The Galant is the car for me…” I just don’t see it happening.

    • 0 avatar
      Botswana

      The Galant is a great example of where Mitsubishi has gone wrong. I drove a brand new 1998 Gallant as a rental car and loved it. I wanted to get one for years.

      At the point I had the means to buy new and afford that kind of car, I went with the Lancer instead. The contemporary Galant is lost in the shuffle and honestly I’d rather have an Altima. Maybe even a Sonata.

      I’m surprised at how shockingly generic Mitsubishi has managed to make the Galant. Even appliance cars, especially when going up against the Camry, need a way to stand out from the crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        Mitsubishi went from this handsome brute (my boss’s wife had a brand-new 2000 GTZ, in black) to the bloated mishmash of styling cues they have now. I have no idea if the car is good or bad – I just know it looks ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      Driving a Galant means you have a pretty low credit score and couldn’t get financing for a Camry, Accord or an Altima………

    • 0 avatar
      AvgGuy45

      “When I think of Mitsubishi I think” of a reasonably priced Japanese brand that has let it’s North American division wither on the vine. I waited for years for a competitive update for the Endeavor because I really loved the drive, interior room and price. All they needed was some minor refresh to the Endeavor and they did almost nothing for years. I finally gave up and bought a Ford. I agree with other posts that Lancer is pretty good, better than most small cars to drive and well built. Same goes for Outlander. Outlander Sport is another half-baked effort though. Why would they think a version of the Outlander with a smaller engine, even more road and wind noise and half the trunk/storage area would sell? I was very unimpressed. I also agree that a Chrysler-Mitsu relationship actually makes a lot of sense to me and would be a decent way of saving their NA operations. As it is, I’m thinking property values in “Normal”, Ill, where they have their factory will probably not be going up anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Word association: When I think of Mitsubishi I think of Japanese Zeros hurling torpedos at Pearl Harbor. Very good motors, very light and vunerable air frames.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Used Mitsubishi’s are a bargain as its an unloved brand. As for new? No reason at all. There is a Mitsubishi dealer on my way to town and I never see anyone there except bored sales staff.

    • 0 avatar
      AvgGuy45

      I’m looking for a used Galant now for my teenage daughter. The basic design is sound, reasonably well built and very undervalued from a pricing standpoint. I’ve rented them for years and enjoyed driving them much more than the usual rental fleets (Fusion, Malibu, Sonatas, Altimas, etc.) As for new…the only reason would be the long warranty, low financing and a lot of cash on the hood. Pretty much the same reasons for many dated designs.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        The only car you listed that you liked less than the ugly, dated, uncompetitive Gallant that makes sense is the Altima. The Altima’s interior is as cheap and ugly as the Gallant’s entire vehicle.

        At least the Altima looks decent on the outside, though.

        But come, now. The Fusion, Malibu and Sonata? You must either be blind, or have a huge thing for ugly, bland vehicles.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Maybe someone looking for a 90s asian semi-exotic who doesn’t have the coin for a mid nineties Supra ? Seriously even twin turbo 3000GTs are going for a song compared to Supras of the same vintage . But of course it’s a Mitsubishi and that ain’t good ! The head-gasket ,transmission , carburetor , problems I had with my late 80s Mitsubishi STX pick up were enough to steer me away from that brand forever !

  • avatar
    Viquitor

    The Pajero/Montero/Shogun is one of the best offroaders out there. The Lancer looks better and is better finished than any Corolla or Civic. The ASX is pretty decent as well.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I owned a ’02 Montero for a couple of years and it was an awesome vehicle. Comfortable, well put together, and great looks. If I hadn’t switched jobs to a new location with a much longer commute just as gas prices were really shooting up I may have kept it, but as it was I dumped it for a Protege5, although that also turned out to be a great car.

      If Mitsubishi had vehicles like the Montero, 3000GT, or DSM-era Esclipses available today, I think they’d be doing a lot better. I also really liked the look of Diamantes back when they were available new, though I’ve never actually driven one.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        I owned a 2002 Diamante LS for around 3 years and absolutely loved it. It’s a very long story, but after that car’s engine got toasted, my boss at the time was kind enough to let me borrow her ’99 Avalon XLS for about 3 months, as she had a company car. I was SHOCKED at the difference in quality. Toyota people will tell you that the Avalon was decontented in ’98, but just so we’re clear, the second-gen Diamante was decontented nearly every year it was on the US market after the ’97 debut. I honestly never understood why, growing up, car rags raved about the interior quality of an Avalon, ES300 or Camry but dinged Mitsubishi’s. The Diamante was, hands-down, finished 40% better than any Toyota product I’d ever been in, short of the Lexus LS, GS and SC (which in the ’90s were truly flawless). Before I owned the Diamante, I had a 1996 Galant. It was quietly stylish, had a high quality interior, and a quirky (but entirely decent) mid-level radio with graphic equalizer, 6-cd changer and a freaking AUX-in port on the factory radio – 1996! I owned this around ’06-08, so that was perfect for my iPod, which Mitsu didn’t know would exist in ’96. That Galant is my namesake. It also had the perfect mix of options for me (manual cloth seats, alloy wheels, foglamps, power moonroof, cruise, power windows, manual A/C, good stereo). I loved it. It was a great size, got decent MPG, had decent power… The only thing was that the mid-level ES I had was automatic only. It would literally have been my ideal car with a manual.

        Anywho, now that I own a 1995 Avalon, with 208k on it, I can see that Toyota spent their money in the ’90s on mechanical quality while Mitsubishi spent their money on interior quality, neat (but largely unnecessary) features, and styling. The Avalon is ugly, brutish, floaty, cheap feeling (keep in mind this is the first year, without the later decontenting), and mechanically superb. Shame, but TINSTAAFL.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        Addendum: the JDM Diamante had a trim with a 3.5L DOHC GDI VVT V6 (the US and AUS cars had a mix of 3.0 and 3.5 SOHC MPFI V6s) with 270 hp linked with AWD in 1999.

        Mitsubishi was ahead of the curve so many times, but almost every single time it is simply a one-off, dead-end, footnote in their history, as the 2013 Galant is more or less the least sophisticated car available new on the US market, now that the Panthers are gone.

  • avatar
    MattMan

    I own an Evo X, and owned an Evo VIII before that.

    Is there a “reason to buy a Mitsubishi that isn’t an Evo”? Honestly, nothing else in their lineup remotely interests me.

    But I could say the same thing about Toyota. And General Motors. And Chrysler. And, God help me, my formerly-beloved Honda.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Interesting timing for this question. My wife drives an ’08 Pathfinder and has grown to loathe the sheer bulk of the thing, not to mention the wallet-murdering gas mileage. She’s now looking for something of the CR-V/RAV4 ilk, and we stumbled on the Outlander while doing our research. I had never considered one before (and based on their rarity on New England roads, no one else has either), but looking at its specs, pricing and features, its actually a very compelling vehicle. I have no idea if we’ll end up buying one, but it was an eye-opener.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I ran across the same thing and during my research I ended up looking at the Outlander Sport and found it to be fairly compelling, at least on the webpage. But by the time you option it up to a level we’d like, the pricing was similar to a Dodge Journey (with which I think it shares some DNA). Right now, our finances are really not allowing any new SUV, so it’s become a moot point.

      For me, I rather like the generic Galant, I think in the higher trim levels with the alloy wheels & etc., it’s a rather sharp car in an architectural-rendering, non-descript way. If I were to rob a bank, that would be my getaway car. No one would know what it was.

      All kidding aside, I really do like the looks of the Galant. I have no idea how it drives or how good of a car it would be. Here’s hoping it does well.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        The Journey is based on the Avenger/200/Sebring, which shares DNA with the Galant and Endeavor.

        The Outlander Sport and Outlander share DNA with the Lancer, Caliber, Patriot, and Compass.

        They all have GEMA four cylinders co-developed by Hyundai (Theta), Chrysler, and Mitsubishi (4Bxx).

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    One advantage of a Used Mitsubishi is not having to recover from the wallet-raping you receive from purchasing a grossly overpriced pre-owned Toyota or Honda. I’d still take a Lancer over anything offered by GM or Fiatsler.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    in related news…
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/even-ceo-cant-figure-out-how-radioshack-still-in-b,2190/

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    One thing that really hurt Mitsubishi in North America was the end of their partnership with Chrysler. This decision was made by one of Chrysler’s former owners, I don’t recall of it was Daimler or Cerberus.

    For 30 years or so Mitsubishi made a lot of vehicles for Chrysler which were sold under various Chrysler brands. When they lost Chrysler’s business Mitsubishi was left to sustain its North American presence based solely on the sale of Mitsubishi branded vehicles. It does not help that they are regarded as third-tier Japanese brand. Now that Isuzu has stopped selling passenger vehicles here, Mitsubishi is pretty much alone at the bottom of the barrel.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      Actually Suzuki is well below Mitsubishi, but not dropping quite as fast.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Excellent point. Mitsubishi had the feedback from Chrysler engineers and depended on its advertising too. They never learned the American market, or how to sell on their own. The Chrysler/Mitsu breakup left Mitsubishi without the breadth of dealerships, the knowledge of what the American wants, or the selling know-how needed to design and market their cars here. The atrophy in the Aussie market shows the Chrysler tie-in was driving the company in other places too.

  • avatar
    C170guy

    This is a good sign.

    Face saving and not admitting to their problems, or dealing with them, will ruin the Japanese. Period. They are in the danger zone already.

    Toyota has been bitten by it, as has their power industry (the diet of Japan put out a report on the power problems that recognized it that way also. – Not politically correct, but they have to stop the madness eventually if they want to survive.)

    To me, Mitsubishi is a 90′s product, and the buy-here pay-here customers aren’t helping their cause any. I have nothing against their survival or eventual success, but they need big changes, and no more low end junk.

    I think Japan is now slowly getting the message and what you see with the Mitsubishi guy saying something crazy like this is a good indication of the change in course. I wish them well.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    If the discounts were large enough and I needed an appliance to drive into the ground I’d consider a Lancer vs paying sticker for a Civic or Focus.

    I had a rental Galant a few months ago and it was shockingly bad but the Lancers seem to at least be in the hunt with the competition.

    • 0 avatar
      ShoogyBee

      Just curious, what was so bad about the Galant? I know it’s an old design, but what was awful about it? Ride, steering, handling, noise levels, etc. Never driven one but I’ve been curious about them since used ones are so darn inexpensive.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Cheap. Easy terms from the dealers.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Outlander offers a decent vehicle at a reasonable size, and the Sport is actually got an Audi style vibe to it. Both are pretty good looking.

    But then you get in them and are faced with dull, Playskool plastics with rough movement and no finesse. The engines are very 1999 as well regarding NVH.

    At a strong discount….yes. But I would never pay RAV4 or CR-V prices for them…..

    • 0 avatar
      Botswana

      These are exactly the comments I don’t get. Almost all vehicles have plastic interiors now, especially if you’re not paying a price premium. Yet somehow Mitsubishi is a worst offender? As an Outlander owner, I can attest the interior is no Audi, but it’s not any worse then the CR-V my mother just purchased and I think the ergonomics of the Outlander is better. The new CR-V is just…odd.

  • avatar
    jtk

    I know of one person that owns a Mitsubishi, and he only bought it because he had a friend who was a salesman and gave him a good deal.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    One of my coworkers had one, and after seeing what a steaming pile it was, I can’t imagine why anyone would buy one. She certainly didn’t ever again.

    John

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    The 380 (pictured) wasn’t a bad car as it happens. Everyone thought so, but not so much that they’d actually go out and buy one.

  • avatar
    danup

    The Outlander Sport is a handsome-enough compact crossover, with solid MPG numbers (24/30) and a low base price; it undercuts the (kind of ridiculous-looking, in my opinion) Sportage, which is good. Of course, then the Mazda CX-5 came out, so now Mitsubishi’s even losing the Surprisingly Solid Compact Crossover From A Weird Japanese Make market. Aside from that—here’s hoping the next-gen Lancer is a killer.

    What surprises me most about Mitsubishi is that they don’t have a subcompact available in the states—it seems like a weird Japanese make should at least be able to turn out weird Japanese economy cars without a problem. It looks like the Mirage won’t be coming here, either, which is no great loss. (I actually thought the last-gen Japanese Colt was a strangely handsome dustbuster of a car, but the Mirage is astoundingly boring.)

    I’d love to see them do something really bizarre, like release the slightly-larger US i with a gas or hybrid engine.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. I like the Outlander Sport. I also like the styling of the Lancer Sportback wagon. Too bad the drivetrain is not as fuel efficient as the latest crop of 40mpg compact cars.

      I think Mitsubishi still has far more compelling products here in the US than Suzuki. Now there really is no reason to shop for a Suzuki in the US.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Umm… It’s better than a (non-300C) Chrysler? That’s about all I got.

    Wait, come to think of it I have a Mitsubishi Electric Projector in my home cinema.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “These are exactly the comments I don’t get.”

    I respect your stance. And everybody has plastic interiors, yes….they wear well and are easy to clean…I have no problems with plastic.

    But are they quality? Is there fluidity in their movement? The others I mentioned have plastic, but it feels higher quality.

    The local Mitsu dealer also sells Hyundais….that’s got to be the only reason he doesn’t go out of business.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen a standalone Mitsubishi dealership. I’ve also seen a trend for Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi and Porsche to all end up paired together, though I don’t seek those out and I have a pretty small sample size to draw that conclusion from.

      • 0 avatar
        Opus

        The local standalone Mitsu dealer went under about 3 years ago. I couldn’t tell you where to buy one now, haven’t seen their signage anywhere.

      • 0 avatar

        I was in a Mitsu dealership in Modesto in late 2005 when I tested Endeavor. They tried to sell me on an off-lease Montero, which I sort of wish I considered closer now. There used to be one in Tracy too, but it closed at about the same time. So, they existed, but gradually died down a few years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        The dealer where my brother got his 2003 Lancer moved into a small former Honda dealership after the Honda relocated to a brand new massive dealership. They closed down a few years later.

        The only stand alone Mitsu dealership I know of now is even smaller than that other one. And pretty shady in their service department according to my brother.

  • avatar
    Jethrow

    In Australia I think the Pajero does fairly well. It’s a lot of 4×4 for the money, much better value than the very expensive Toyota Landcruiser.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Just this morning I was stopped behind two cars at a red light. When the light changed and the first car moved off, it emitted a nice cloud of blue smoke. The car between it and me then turned right, revealing what I already knew — the oil burner was a Mitsubishi. And not a particularly old or beat looking one either. I have yet to see a Mitsubishi that does not eventuially become an oil burner. This is a problem I thought we licked sometime in the 1960′s.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      The oil burning is probably the result of rarely or never changing the engine oil. Many people not focused on maintaining a good credit score are not focused on maintaining their vehicle, or for that matter anything else that they own.

      Neglect and abuse is a lifestyle for some people.

      • 0 avatar
        MadHungarian

        Yes but that doesn’t explain why Mitsubishis make up the overwhelming majority of the oil burning cars I see on the road that are less than 20 years old.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      I don’t see many Mitsubishis on the road that burn oil (even though I owned one for 2.5 years), but I do see countless late-’80s-late-’90s Chryslers, Toyotas and Hondas that burn oil. Some of these Chryslers may be powered by Mitsubishi engines, though at least with the Gen 1 minivans, the Mitsubishi engines are notorious for far outlasting the craptastic Chrysler 2.2/2.4 engines.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Mitsubishi’s are famous for those awesome valve stem seals.

    However I think reliability isn’t the issue these days.

    It’s product and perception. I dont like Toyotas but heaps of beige people do and you can’t say that the leopard isnt trying to change its spots.

    But… Mitsubishi and Suzuki? Where’s the exciting new products in the pipeline? Where’s the buzz?

    I also dont like Mazda/Honda and am the last person to get a CX5 or CRV but I see where they’re going with it and wish them good luck. They don’t need it.

    What about the Koreans? They have new exciting products all the time. There’s ‘buzz’.

    Something for Mitsubishi to consider.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    How else are you going to get your hands on some sweet sweet MIVEC?

  • avatar
    Hoser

    I had a Galant in the mid 2000s as a rental car in the same date range I had an Altima and a Sonata. I thought it was competitive with those vehicles, and miles ahead of the Malibu (Classic). The Classic was the only car that made me wish for my Chevette.

    I didn’t have a problem with the Galant aside from the starter. The car performed well, but the starter sounded like it would have been more at home on a Briggs & Stratton.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      The 4G69 does have a very, very distinct starter sound. Sounds like it might be able to start a CAT dump truck with some crazy 15 liter diesel. Odd for a fairly underpowered 4 cyl. The engine has a nice building growl to it IMO, not unlike the 6G74 (though less sophisticated sounding) from my old Diamante.

  • avatar
    jimboy

    I have always considered mitsu to be well engineered, but slightly boring vehicles. I loved the 3000, Eclipse and the new Lancer is certainly nicer than any of the other japanese brands, especially in the exterior design. They really need a style and performance injection into the whole product lineup if they are going to survive, though. I applaud the guy for having the stones to stand up and say so. VERY FEW other executives in any industry are that honest, and that means something to me, at least.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Mitsu is so 90′s, stuck in the glory days of “$199 a month!”. When DSM broke up, they went downhill fast. Used to see many beater 1994-98 Galants in working class areas 10 years ago, now, hardly any 2004-09 Galants.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Mitsubishi saved Chrysler Australia in the ’70′s. The play went down like this: Chrysler Australia had built large US designed cars, Valiant and upmarket Chrysler since day dot, in response to GMH and Ford Australia large cars. Then Chysler et al discovered smaller cars, Simca gave Chrysler the Centura, Opel gave Holden the Torana and Ford of Europe gave Cortina. When Simca dissapeared/fell out of favour, Chrysler cast it’s eyes towards Japan, specifically the Mitsubishi Colt and Galant. during the years the Galant caught on and sold well, then started to outstrip Valiant/Chrysler sales. Then Chrysler decided it was all to hard and sold the factory to Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi soldiered on with various colts etc and the widened Magna which was a Sigma with 65 mm spliced down the middle. it to sold very well, but lack of development and poor exports doomed the car. by the turn of the century the Magna nee 380 just never sold and therefore Mitsubishi dropped local production. still around as an importer but just I think.

  • avatar
    Feds

    This article piqued my interest. In Canada, Mitsu sells 3.5 cars: Lancer (in regular, hatchback, and evo), Eclipse (regular and convertible), Outlander (long and short) and the miev.

    If I were Mitsubishi (or suzuki for that mater), I’d throw the entire lineup at the (North American Market) wall and see what stuck. the original XB sold decently enough, bring some boxes on wheels over, relaunch the Montero (as a Pajero), sell your kei truck (even if you have to do it as an ATV/Low speed vehicle). It’s not like there’s anything to lose at this point.

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    Back when they released the current generation Lancer (2007? 2008?) I thought it was a really sharp looking car especially compared to its rivals at the time. A friend who bought one swears up and down that he sees them all over the place up here. I do too, but still not as much as Civic and Corolla. But now, that exact Lancer look has been applied across the range, and according to a lot of people I talk to, they think the Lancer/Evo look is silly on Mitsu’s big SUVs.

    So if styling was ever a factor in people choosing Mitsubishi, that argument has long since faded with today’s competition.

    As for reliability, I can’t fault them — and I’m not talking about their Warranty. My brother bought an ’03 Lancer back in … ’03. And it wasn’t until a month ago at 280,000 KM (not miles) that it had its first major fault (ignition coil) yet it still feels extremely healthy and the clutch feels like it has no wear at all.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      ’07 was the first year for the current Lancer, the Evolution X didn’t bow until ’08 however.

      Honestly, mine has been as dead nuts reliable as my previous Legacy 5-speed. My girlfriend’s sister has an ’04 with over 200K on it and apparently needs nothing. My ’06 Evo’s only needed a wheel bearing.

      (knocks on wood)

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I rented a 2012 Galant about three weeks ago for a business trip. I probably drove it a 1,000 miles over four days; fuggetaboutit.

    Critics like to grind down GM and Ford for not being on par with their Japanese competition; well the Galant is one they can stand up strongly against. The nearest thing that I could compare it to was a recently rented 2012 Dodge Avenger and there is probably a lineage reason for that; I actually liked the Avenger a wee bit more.

    No idea why Mitsui is still making cars. They should stop.

    • 0 avatar

      Galant does not share platform with Avenger. Avenger is based on enlarged Lancer platform. That is why like Fusion it has awkward proportions and so does not look pretty. I liked Mitsu designs in 90s esp Galant. Did not drive them though. Now they look as ugly or even uglier than other Japanese cars. Unfortunately Japanese companies made ugly designs acceptable among most American consumers. Europeans did not fall into that trap mainly because of their culture they are simply immune to bad taste.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I see Mitsubishis as fundamentally competent, reliable vehicles that I would buy if one appealed to me on a subjective level more than the competition. That hasn’t happened yet, but then again I could say the same about many brands.

    As for their failure to get noticed in the marketplace, this can actually be a bonus for value-seekers or those who simply want to drive something different from the herd. Why anyone would want Mitsubishi (or any other car company) to fail is beyond me. Variety and competition are good for everyone.

  • avatar
    iainthornton

    I owned a 2003 Mitsubishi L200 (Triton in the US?) pickup truck foisted on me as a company vehicle. It had a 98hp 2.5 litre turbodiesel and couldn’t haul itself from 0-60 in less than 20 seconds, with a quoted top speed of 88mph. Despite this, however, it was damn good offroad (even on cheap all terrains) and was impossible to stop, surviving more abuse than I imagined a vehicle ever could including enormous offroad accidents and being almost submerged in the sea. The stereo barely worked though, and didn’t even feature a CD slot! It also managed to average about 20mpg despite being a diesel with a manual gearbox. To drive on the road it was a dog, but if I had to own a vehicle for the rest of my life with the bare minimum of maintenance allowed, I’d choose one.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    My folks owned a Mitsubishi Expo LRV in the mid-’90s. The post-traumatic stress of that vehicle awaiting me in the carpool lane at school everyday is why I would never buy a Mitsubishi. The fact that Mitsubishi makes awful cars and has been dead in the U.S. water for a decade is beside the point.

    I really did like the Eclipses, 3000GTs and Diamante wagons that were sharing the showroom floor with that stupid Expo when we bought it, though.

  • avatar
    threeer

    While I truly love my 2004 Mitsu Lancer Sportback Ralliart (just wish they’d made the danged things with a manual tranny), I don’t see myself buying a new model Mitsu to replace it anytime soon. There are simply too many more compelling vehicles out there that interest me. Sad, as I also owned (my first car) a Plymouth “mitsu” Arrow and absolutely loved that car (my best friend had a ’79 Fire Arrow..mine was the more pedestrian “GT” model). Sad that Mitsu is now more or less a forgotten brand.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    This has been pretty well covered, but it comes down to

    1) irrationally afraid of used/preowned cars and can’t afford anything else new

    2) can’t get financing on any other brand

    3) friend/relative/acquaintance owns or works at a Mitsubishi dealer and you want to help him out

    4) you work for Mitsubishi and get an employee discount

    5) are under the belief that all Japanese cars are exactly like Toyota and Honda

    I think that about covers it. I mean, I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning excited about going to pick up their new, custom ordered Galant.


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