QOTD: Why Buy A Mitsubishi?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.