By on May 15, 2013

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Pop quiz:

  1. What segment sells in strong volumes in America?
  2. What segment is considered poison by American consumers?
  3. Why is Mitsubishi neglecting a popular segment while focusing on an unpopular one?

The answers are, in order: Compact cars, subcompact cars and “we have no idea whatsoever”. Despite letting their Lancer ripen so long its turned into vinegar, Mitsubishi is apparently intent on introducing a subcompact sedan to the American market.

While subcompact hatches have gotten some traction here, nobody likes subcompact sedans. Not only do they scream poverty, but they look like rubber erasers that have been melted in the microwave. And yet Mitsubishi looks set to bring over a product based on the G4 sedan, according to Automotive News.

Why not a replacement for the Lancer? Why not a decent mid-size sedan? If there’s one thing we don’t need, its a competitor for the Nissan Versa S “Credit Criminal special”.

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53 Comments on “Mitsubishi Introduces Their New Sedan That’s Not A Lancer...”


  • avatar
    motormouth

    The 1980s called. They want their car back.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The belt line is a foot too high for it to be from the 80s. Also far too curvaceous, and not in a good way. Yup, this screams “I’m poor/cheap”!

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        I see your point, but I was caught by the tiny wheels/big body combo apparent in such models as the Eagle Summit – another Mitsu product, you may recall.

        • 0 avatar
          mr_muttonchops

          At least that car’s big body was trying to be like a literal minivan. This is just a case of the typical fat proportions you see nowadays.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Actually, you CAN sell an old design, IF it is cute, or stylish, or has “personality”- for example: the original VW Beetle, or the Citroen 2CV. Both sold forever, because they were seen as “ahead of their time”- and their unique looks (imagine! a modern car with running boards!) and frugal natures made such vehicles appealing to both young and old, rich and poor.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    The sub-prime market needs new product. No job, no credit, bankrupt, no sales potential, NO PROBLEM!

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Mitsubishi seems to be trying awfully hard to be Japan’s Chrysler, i.e., the automotive poster child for self-inflicted wounds.

    Probably not a good long-term (or even short-term) survival strategy.

  • avatar

    Looks a little better than the Versa. Nissan has a bigger dealership network tho, so…Versa will probably still sell better.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Everyone knows that profit margins on melted-eraser micro sedans are huge in this country. HUGE, I tell you. Once Mitsubishi sells 300,000 of these a year–and by god they will–they can afford to finally bankroll a niche product like a decent midsize sedan.

  • avatar
    V owner

    On these smaller cars a hatchback/wagon version is much more practical. A sedan is a price-leader. However I can’t understand why a wagon style body (not just a streamlined “hatchback” like the Focus) is ignored by some makers.

    • 0 avatar

      I love wagons and accept hatches as acceptable. I believe the reason hatches are more popular with manufacturers is because they don’t require any change
      in platform. You’d need a longer wheel base and several other parts would not carry over (fuel/brake lines, wire harness, etc). Those things add up on a “risk”.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Yeah, it would sell really well if it were a hatchback or wagon. Preferably with a diesel engine and a manual transmission. And RWD. :)

  • avatar
    thelaine

    If anyone would take a few seconds to actually research this car before blindly lashing out in hatred, they would realize that it has a powerful .3 litre 1.5 cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine putting out 45 bph and getting almost 55 mpg when traveling at reasonable speeds (below 45 mph). All this while carrying two people in comfort and two other people. Available for 150 a month for 150 months. No man needs more car than this unless he has a small penis, is afraid to admit he is gay, or insists on shoving his wealth in everyone else’s face because he is an insecure poseur jerk.

    Just when I thought they could never top the Mirage, another triumph. Mitsubishi Miracle Comeback.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Whoever designed this must obviously have a thing for the first generation Prius. Ugh…

  • avatar
    Hank

    1) Dumb move, Mitsubishi.

    2) You may need to readjust your understanding of poverty. Those who truly experience poverty don’t buy near $20,000 subcompacts new. Sub-prime and poverty aren’t the same thing.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Mitsubishi; Coming to a housing project near you!

    • 0 avatar

      Even the PJs want bigger cars than this. Speaks to why the Diamante, Galant and Montero Sports were popular sights. No one wants to be seen as poor unless they a)don’t care about self-image or b)are so wealthy, how they’re seen simply doesn’t matter.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The Sonic and latest iterations of the Rio and Accent have tried hard to make their sedan versions attractive (I’d say the Rio is the best effort), but they’re still oddly-proportioned.

    Ford’s Fiesta is a stubby jellybean of a car on tiny wheels, sticking its a$$ high in the air as if it were presenting to the car behind it. IMO it’s the worst hatchback-to-sedan conversion available in the US; the Swift DZire is far worse, but we can’t buy that.

    The Versa doesn’t pretend to be stylish, or even subcompact anymore, while Toyota’s simply given up, offering the Yaris in hatchback form only. From the looks of that concept, a Mirage sedan will not pretty up the joint.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    This is the aspirational halo car designed to get buyers into the showroom so they can drive off in the Mirage.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Add some blue underbody lights and they may have something.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Obviously people buy more sedans even in subcompact, and compact form. Go look through autotrader and you quickly learn that.

    It completely wrong to say no one buys them when the majority sold are sedans.

    Like the Sonic, and Fiesta. I have seen them both in sedan form on the street but, not in hatch form. Same with the focus mostly sedan form again.

    Americans buy sedans even if car enthusiasts don’t.

    I honestly prefer sedans the trunk holds more than a hatch where a few feet get chopped off. My only issue is headroom. I can’t stand the stupid styling that kills function. I’ll take a 90′s sedan any day of the week. But, for now I’ll choose the hatch so i can have real people in my car.

  • avatar
    Byron Hurd

    You’re dead-on about the Lancer being over-ripe, which is a shame. Underneath the suck there’s a surprisingly solid platform. Even the CVT isn’t completely horrendous.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Mitsubishi won’t last much longer in the US with this strategy.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    “Mitsubishi won’t last much longer in the US…”

    Agree with this part.

  • avatar

    Mitsu is doing what they can do, not what they need to do. Not having money for a new car development, they found one model they were selling internationally and reskinned it for NA. I am sure they realize that they need to update Lancer, but they can’t. Gone are the days when Chryslers of the world could get platforms from Mitsubishi, at this stage they need to get a platform from Fiatsler.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Even the car rental companies are going to turn this turd down.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    We have a two year old minivan for the family truckster. All I need is a cheap durable pod on wheels to commute 18 miles one way downtown to the office. I’m currently driving a 13 year old Corolla with 175,000 miles.

    Either this or the Mirage would be perfectly fine, and an improvement over what I’m currently driving, seeing how all I have is an AM/FM radio, power windows, and locks. If they can price it right, I’d be interested.

    I’d rather save the money so my wife can stay home with the kids, and be able to pay for private school. I get to sit in rush hour traffic the same regardless of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    afflo

    A Panther screams poverty. A well used upscale car screams poverty. A B-class sedan screams “Dirt cheap.”

    The further down the socioeconomic rung, the more people will spend to look like they aren’t poor.

    A brand new subcompact sedan just screams frugality. Nothing more, nothing less. A

    My fiance has tens of thousands in savings, no debt, and drives a paid off Nissan Versa that she picked up used. She’d rather put her grand-a-month in savings, go out with the girls whenever she feels like it, and take vacations abroad than blow her cash on a new car that will drive to work, home, downtown, and the airport just like her old car will.

    /She’s quite posibly the antithesis of a car enthusiast, and ya know what? For her, a Versa is the perfect car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      @afflo

      A big thumbs up to your fiance and good luck with the wedding.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I hope this link works:

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/as-you-can-see-from-my-namebrand-clothing-i-am-not,10836/

      One of my favorite Onion commentaries EVER. Reading your paragraph made it come to mind immediately.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I recognize that running a small carmaker is a tough job, but it is really getting difficult to have much faith in Mitsubishi’s leadership team, at least from the perspective of the US market.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Derek- I laughed out loud when I heard your comment, Nissan Versa S “Credit Criminal special”.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “Which segment is poison?”

    I’d say ‘large car’, ie.e full sized. Everyone under 60 y/o will proudly say they bought a new ‘mid size’, but ‘large’ still means “my grand/parent’s Grand Marquis/Avalon/Impala”.

    B class is doing its job for entry level buyers. But, the A class is another segment that is ‘poison’, though. Chevy Sparks are cheap rental cars, don’t see too many 25 y/o ‘hipsters’ driving them.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    This announcement really bodes ill for Mitsubishi’s continued existence in the US. I guess the management realizes that they really need a new product to survive, as in the auto business, new product is what keep you in the market. But this is all they can come up with. Thus, theyre either:

    A. in such a terrible shape back home, just can’t come up with anything other than a sedan version of their newest product (Mirage), which was in a market segment totally unpopular in the US… or

    B. The management really believes it will succeed, which makes them more delusional than the worst patient in a mental ward, totally out of touch with the market.

    Either of them bodes ill for the company. Reminds me of Studebakers’ last struggle, really.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I feel very sorry for anyone whose livelihood depends on this dead man walking. Who are they fooling? Kia wipes their ass with them, for fks sake.

  • avatar

    This will make an awesome replacement for my ’96 Chevy Metro (4 cyl, 5 spd, 4 door). Yea, the bar is low. Yea it’s a shitty ass ride. But sorry everyone, my metro has averaged less than 20 cents a mile (Figuring depreciation and other ownership costs). This is better than ANY hybrid or whatever.

  • avatar
    Mitsu_fan

    The next gen Lancer comes Q2 2014 (global roll out date) as a 2015 model. The 2014 Lancer will be a very short run, as a carryover 2013 model in the US. The next lancer will be a little smaller than it is now in length and significantly lighter to aid with fuel mileage. It will likely show up this auto show season starting in the fall and is currently in development.


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