By on May 14, 2015

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT front

Allow me to set the stage. A friend of mine is looking for compact crossovers, so I recommend to her all the good ones. Mazda CX-5. Ford Escape. New Nissan Rogue. Even the CR-V and the RAV4, if she really can’t find anything she likes. So she goes, and she searches, and she looks, and she comes back days later with a new car. Do you know what she bought?

A Mitsubishi Outlander.

A Mitsubishi. Freakin’. Outlander.

Part of me wanted to scream at her. The other part of me wanted to get in the car, drive it back to the local Mitsubishi dealer, and offer them five grand cash to take it back, knowing that’s probably half of the depreciation it had already endured, simply as a result of the three diamonds on the grille.

But I didn’t do either of those things.

You know what I did? I told her she made an excellent choice, and the Outlander is a wonderful car, and I’m sure she will be very happy with it.

And this brings me to the point of today’s column, which is: once someone has already purchased a car, you can’t really do anything besides be nice about it.

To help explain what I mean, let’s take a step back from my situation and analyze it a little further. At first, this person came to me, a self-described automotive expert in the sense that I have jumper cables in my trunk, asking for an automotive recommendation. “What car should I buy?” she said. And I recommended several options; a few good choices that I think we all could agree are the stars of the compact crossover segment.

Then she went out searching for a new car, armed with my suggestions. And she test drove, and shopped, and looked, and drove, and shopped more, and haggled, and looked more, and drove more. And then she decided to ignore my suggestions and get the Outlander.

This can only mean one thing: she must REALLY like the Outlander.

The fact that she’s driving the Outlander also means that the money’s already spent. She’s already made her choice, she’s signed the papers, the car has been delivered, and there’s no give-backsies. This game of “what car should I get?” is over, and once again the shoppers listened to the salesman over the enthusiast.

And since that the money is spent, and the deal is done, and she’s driving the car, you might as well be nice. Because otherwise you’re just going to piss off your friend. Now that the purchase has happened, you just have to be nice, be courteous, and step back and watch the ownership experience of someone with a brand-new Mitsubishi. You should also limit yourself to one monthly I told you so.

It’s not the same situation if the car shopper is a car enthusiast, of course. In that case, you should make fun of his or her choice, mercilessly, regardless of what he purchased, for the rest of time. He could come home with a Miura, and you’d still want to say something like: What? Couldn’t afford a Lusso?

But for the average person, we as car enthusiasts have a duty to make sure our friends and loved ones purchase the right vehicle. And if they don’t, we as car enthusiasts have a duty to understand when someone’s mind is made up, and to bow out and be polite. Because there’s nothing worse than someone spoiling the purchase of your brand-new Mitsubishi Outlander by bringing up pesky things like J.D. Power scores. And NADA surveys. And reliability rankings. And resale value charts. And customer satisfaction scores. And Consumer Reports reviews.

No, no. You want your friends to feel satisfied, and happy, and enjoy every moment with their new car, until they step into a different new car and say: “Wait, you have a touchscreen infotainment system? Why do I only have pixels?”

Maybe next time they’ll listen to the car expert.

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138 Comments on “Once Someone Buys a Car, You Have to Be Nice About It...”


  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Are you sure that this didn’t just happen to be the very first vehicle she test drove? Maybe it’s closest to her house? And once inside, they wouldn’t let her leave ’till she signed the papers? Cause, they do that, ya know?

  • avatar
    John R

    “You know what I did? I told her she made an excellent choice, and the Outlander is a wonderful car, and I’m sure she will be very happy with it.”

    Whoa. I agree about being tactful after the horse has left the barn, but let’s not get too crazy.

    I think a “Wow! Not my first choice but a decent car nonetheless!” might have sufficed. Honor would have been preserved all around.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      No. Quite opposite. You should tell, “Oh, my bad. How could I forget the Outlander? I’m glad you checked it out!” This way, you will not only complement her purchase, you also make her think, how smart she is. She may get in the good mood and that means you may be get lucky. And if you like getting lucky, you may end up marring her. Then watch out – you gonna end up with Outlander.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Well, if her requirements are low enough (as well as the price), and it has acceptable reliability, she may be “not unhappy” with the purchase?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This. Especially if someone’s coming from some worn out 20 year old car with a bunch of noises, vibrations and smells, the Outlander would certainly be a big upgrade!

      • 0 avatar
        Pig_Iron

        That. I know a teacher on her second Outlander. They’ve been reliable, and get her to school before all the roads are plowed. “It does what it says on the tin”, as the old folks say.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Telling somebody they bought a bad car is like telling them their baby is ugly: it won’t change anything for the better but will generate resentment that may never be forgotten.

      A polite congratulations and compliment is always the best response to a new car purchase, baby, or introduction of a significant other.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      That’s what I thought.

      I went and read the Edmunds review of the Outlander … and if someone is not an enthusiast, it sounds just fine. Especially if they like having a third row, even if it is small.

      It has good fuel economy and crash ratings, and goes fast *enough* for people who don’t drive for driving’s sake.

      (And contra the CX-5 and – to a lesser extent – Escape, note that their looks might be … polarizing, even compared to the Outlander.

      I like the idea of Mazda, but the current crop’s aesthetics do nothing for me.)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    You know, it could be that the Mitsu salesman just gave her a number so low she couldn’t refuse. Which trim did she get? It’s interesting, that outside the US, Mitsubishis and even specifically this model of Outlander are nowhere as scorned and derided.

    Now, my personal experience with a rental Outlander with 30k miles on it was less than thrilling, but like the rental Lancer before it, it was at least reasonably competent in the transportation sense, and actually got surprising real world mpg. I don’t like the interiors and I think they tend to ride way too harsh, nor do I think they are built to the standard of upper tier Japanese makes. But I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss your friend’s choice offhand, much like I wouldn’t make fun of someone for buying a “Rogue Select” brand new for $17k. It could have also been some particular feature of the Outlander that she really liked, like the previous model’s split tailgate that you could sit on.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    The Outlander is not that bad of an suv. lt has a great warranty and is a bit larger then the ones recommend. Almost Outback size. Lower end models even come with standard duel climate control.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Hmm, specs don’t really show it as being a real standout:

      behind 2nd row: 34.2 cu ft (rav4 has 38, rogue has 32, crv has 35)
      with seats folded: 63.2 cu ft (rav4 has 73, rogue has 70 cu ft, crv has 71)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Will Mitsu be around to honor that warranty though?

      Let me stop. There are no bad cars in the mainstream market…. Mitsubishis included. IMO the brand that delivers the worst value is JLR. Unreliable, above average depreciation, weak dealer network compared to the competition. Troublesome.

      • 0 avatar

        I can’t disagree with you more on the “no bad cars” comment. The Mirage, for all intents and purposes, is a car seemingly engineered in 1992, put into storage, and brought out 20 odd years later. It’s a pitiful excuse for modern motoring.

        That said, the Outlander feels similarly old, just not to the same degree. Add that the GT model is motivated by the second least powerful V6 on the market and … AND … it takes PREMIUM FUEL, you’re better off getting an ox cart and feeding said ox crank.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Chalk this up as another ‘guilty pleasure’ per yesterday’s discussion, but the Mirage to me is a very unique offering in the US market. A honest, no frills non-hybrid econobox that gets 40+ mpg in real world, mixed driving. I don’t think the Spark can match it in economy or price, and the more efficient Prius C is about %50 more expensive. That it reminds you of a car engineered in 1992 is exactly what I like about it. It is the Geo Metro, Ford Festiva, Subaru Justy reincarnate.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “The Mirage, for all intents and purposes, is a car seemingly engineered in 1992”

          You have to consider the intents and purposes of the Mirage. It’s intent and purpose is to be the cheapest new car you can buy, and it can be had for less than the Spark or Micra and comes with more warranty.

          Yes, you could get a used Yaris or early-00s Civic for less, but people who want new and/or can make only very low payments and aren’t going to get decent bank financing don’t have a lot of options.

          Mitsu is doing what VW does in developing markets (and did quite baldly with the “City” models in Canada) which is sell older designs as new for a steep discount. I think, as you see middle-class buyers gutted of financial resources and/or if there’s another credit crunch, you’ll see more cars like the Mirage.

          You can’t really fault them for exploiting a niche no one else has.

          Side note: I’ve driven the Mirage. I ended up getting a used Echo as a commuting appliance, but I can see the point to the little Mitsu: unlike a lot of used cars in that price range, it’s packaged like a modern car, which means no ass-on-the-pavement seating and decent people+stuff space, and it does not use much fuel. It looks pretty easy to maintain, too.

          • 0 avatar

            In Canada (I’m not sure where you’re from), the Micra feels like a cheap, modern car. Sure, the plastics feel like seconds picked up from a Hasbro Playskool factory and you don’t get air, power windows, or really anything else in the base model. But, I’d say it drives more like the “exciting but slow” cars of the 90s than the Mirage.

            The unfortunate Mitsubishi feels old and cheap through-and-through. Plus, it’s $12,498 here without cash on the hood. The Micra is $9,998 every. single. day.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hmm well we have a similar rival to the Mirage in the Versa sedan, which is something like $11k with a manual, and I agree it is a much more useful, more substantial vehicle for most people. But it probably gets mid 30s mpg wise. You could probably find a new Versa for $10k after haggling, not sure what the Mitsu might go for after discounts. Now the difference between mid 30s and mid 40s mpg is actually pretty small money wise (and that’s why a L/100km system makes more sense IMO).

            So I don’t disagree with you technically, but I just have a soft spot for this throwback econobox. If only it came with black unpainted bumpers!

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I was all “what the hell is a Micra”?

            So… yeah, no wonder. Not sold in the US.

            I’ll have to see if I can spot one in a week and change when I’m in Vancouver…

        • 0 avatar
          facepunch

          “Plus, it’s $12,498 here without cash on the hood. The Micra is $9,998 every. single. day.”

          That argument doesn’t hold water, because whether it’s cash on the hood or not, the Canadian Mirage has had a de facto $9998 starting price pretty much since the day after the Micra launched. It’s in all their ads, and Mitsubishi surely knows what will happen if they decide to try competing at a higher price than the little Nissan.

          • 0 avatar

            Considering Mitsu only dropped the price after the Micra came out, it certainly holds water.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Considering Mitsu only dropped the price after the Micra came out, it certainly holds water.”

            I am from Canada, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mirage publicly priced over $10K. Yes, you can opt them up, and yes, they did drop it, but Mitsu isn’t completely stupid and they know where, when and why they have to “Quebec Special” price it.

            “The unfortunate Mitsubishi feels old and cheap through-and-through.”

            It’s an Indian-market transplant; it’s certainly not going to feel like a million bucks, but it’s not really that much worse than the Micra—personally, I think it drives a little better for the lower weight—and you get a longer warranty, better mileage and generally can arm-twist Mitsu dealers a little more than you can their Nissan counterparts.

            The mileage, I think, is what puts the Mitsu over the top: it gets in-city what the Micra gets on the highway. In this market, people really do care about that sort of thing, and can forgive it for being slow and cheap-feeling.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            How the mighty have fallen. In the US, the cheapest advertised price I’ve found for the Mirage is $11,745. The basic Versa is a $250 more. What happened to us paying less for cars? Our Mirage has standard automatic climate control, which seems extravagant for a car that’s missing 25% of its engine.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t think the Mirage even has fender linings.

            And look at this from an auto show. The rear felt carpeting on the seats is literally falling off after they flipped them back up.

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1083240_2014-mitsubishi-mirage-subcompact-ny-auto-show-details

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      How does duel climate control work? Is this where I control the other side’s settings and vice versa until one of us submits?

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Strangely enough, this is exactly how dual climate control seems to work. I tend to use it as designed, I set 70 and forget it. When my wife decides that she’s cold and set her side at 75 (so she can “warm up faster”), my side compensates by blowing cold air.

        It is my observation that women simply can’t accept how a thermostat works. No amount of explaining that the thermostat is an on/off switch will convince my wife that turning it up higher than the desired target doesn’t warm the room or the car any faster.

    • 0 avatar
      john66ny

      “Lower end models even come with standard duel climate control.”

      Duel climate control, that’s when the driver and passenger can’t agree on the temperature setting and duke it out the old fashioned way?

  • avatar
    Ooshley

    Mother-in-law bought a Daewoo Lacetti despite my protestations and it was a lemon. I tried to be polite…

  • avatar
    Brumus

    Why do people ask others for advice on which car to buy?

    My experience is that such advice — no matter how sage — is never heeded unless you suggest a vehicle the person has already decided to buy (i.e., people ask for “advice” simply for validation of the decision they’ve already made).

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Confirmation bias. This describes 100% how my father shops for cars. whatever makes him feel good about his purchase, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      Three out of three friends I have recommended a Forester to went on to buy one. All tried the best competition (CX-5 and CR-V, with one of them almost dead-set on a RAV4 until I explained why the Forester might be the better choice). Over one year in for each and all are happy with their purchase, as we are with ours.

      I agree, though – in times past, folks have called while sitting in F&I. “Hey, should I get this base Jetta with the 2.Slow?” Well, probably not, but it’s kind of too late now, isn’t it?

    • 0 avatar

      Years ago, I remember overhearing a conversation between my former manager and a fellow coworker who is also a car guy that made me wince.

      manager: I’m looking at buying a Ford Escape
      coworker: You should also look at the Mazda Tribute. It’s the same car, and you might be able to get a better deal.
      manager: No. I’d never buy a Mazda!

      OTOH, a friend of mine was a big fan of the Toyota Matrix. I pointed out that the Vibe was the same thing, and he eventually ended up buying one.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Brumus – agree 100%. I’ve had people ask my advice and I point out reliability data, who has the best deals, and assorted other details and they ask me, “which one would you buy?”. They get pissed off if you don’t pick the one they want. Guys tends to be worse about this than women.
      When ever I get asked now I just say I’ll do some research and send you the data. Then you pick the one you want.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. In fact giving advice has it’s downside when the buyers honeymoon period with the car is over.

  • avatar
    formula m

    The girl I live with just came home with a new outlander last week! She mentioned some interest around Xmas to get a new suv but she told me she owed a bit on her Mitsubishi Endevor. It had so much engine knock from its V6. She took it in to get the summer tires put on and decided to trade it after an estimate for some other repairs. She received a loyalty discount lol. She is happy with her new Outlander but it’s not like the previous Mitsubishi treated her well. Funny I told her about the CRV my parents just got but she didn’t shop anywhere. She travels to Japan and China for work fairly regularly. Maybe she sees Mitsubishi as a great car company?

  • avatar
    jmo

    Looks like a loaded Outlander is $26k invoice is $24 – 2500 in incentives and 0% for 72 months + a 10/10 warranty. It may very well offer better value for money (in her mind) than a CRV.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    My brother and sister in law went out and did this very thing with an Outlander. I ripped him a new one like I usually do on his car choices (Saturn Sky automatic cause “it was all the salesman could find, and he gave me a *not* great deal!”)

    He just shrugged, and explained the cash on the hood, and warranty. Once you take those things into account, it’s not that bad of a car. Definitely a car you want to make sure you own till it’s dead though, because you won’t get a dime back on a resale.

    Fortunately, she totaled the Outlandish not even 3 months later. Somehow, they made money off it with the rebate. They didn’t like it enough to get another one however. They got something more sensible, a Volt!

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “Saturn Sky automatic cause “it was all the salesman could find . . .””

      Ugh. I hate it when people believe that line. Obviously the salesman isn’t going to tell you where the good ones are, or that you can just order and wait. He wants you to buy what’s on the lot today.

      I don’t have much experience with Mitsubishi. I did ride in the back seat of a new RVR to and from a drunken game of disc golf last summer. The interior materials seemed cheap but it was a pleasant place to be. The huge sunroof made it feel very open. It was a heck of a lot better than the ’08 Sportage with about 60k miles that I rode in not too long after. That was a sad interior, and I was quite surprised that it could make a 250k Sunfire on the original dampers feel like it must be the pinnacle of automotive suspension technology in comparison.

      I tend to criticize details of vehicles, not the overall purchase. Every vehicle has qualities that appeal to someone. It all depends on how you weight them.

      • 0 avatar
        Crabspirits

        “Ugh. I hate it when people believe that line. Obviously the salesman isn’t going to tell you where the good ones are, or that you can just order and wait. He wants you to buy what’s on the lot today.”

        I know, right? You would think somebody who works in sales would be keen on this.

  • avatar
    settsu

    The lesson is to decline offering advice to this “friend” in the future as they clearly demonstrated how much they value your guidance.

    That they came back and showed off a decision that you were unaware of until after the fact, expecting validation, is even more telling.

    I owned a used 2007 Outlander for 3 years and it was a fun vehicle with a great AWD system but I’d never own another Mitsubishi (outside of a warranty) simply because parts were more expensive and harder to find.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Meh, she might have got it for a lot less money than the other options, improving the value equation.

    People buy what they want, as long as I didn’t put in any sweat equity working a deal on one thing only for them to buy something else, I don’t care.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Awkward story time… recently a coworker asked me what I thought about the Jeep Patriot, possibly because I had just bought a Wrangler a few months before. I blurted out that the Patriot is an awful car, it’s just a jumped-up Caliber, etc. Then he told me he had just bought a new one for his son, who is going off to college soon. At that point I had to make all the, “It’s a decent enough car…” “It’ll be fine for what he needs..” “It’ll be plenty reliable” noises. Since dealers are unloading the last of the new ones at this point, he got a good deal on it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I like the Patriot, sort of. I don’t like the fat pillars that impede visibility or the tiny trunk, but they have a certain appeal as boxy, no-nonsense runabouts with good ground clearance. The “Latitude” models with the one inch lift and larger alloy wheels actually look handsome IMO. But yes they are based on the Caliber and all the baggage that comes along with that (fast wearing ball joints, poor body sealing leading to water leaks).

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      The Patriot isn’t so bad, if you look at it in the proper light. For instance, a friend of mine purchased a new Patriot 6 years ago, and I thought it was an excellent choice. Why? The other car she was considering was a Chevy Aveo. Her requirements were an American brand, not a sedan, as cheap as possible. She ended up with the stripper special Patriot as advertised in the paper, $13,995, manual transmission, windows and door locks. Because it was a Jeep, she ended up getting a fairly decent trade-in value for it 5 years later, at least compared to an Aveo or Caliber.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Her requirements were an American brand, not a sedan, as cheap as possible”

        And that’s what we have to know before evaluating a purchase decision.

        Value is – as said above – based on cost vs. satisfaction of desires.

        Sounds like your friend made a *great* decision, based on her criteria.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        As a former Cherokee Sport owner, to me the only proper light under which to look at a Patriot is under a burned out streetlight at midnight on a New Moon night.

        Ugly, formerly overpriced, poorly proportioned, with an apparent penchant for more than the usual number of Jeep problems, based on my limited interaction with mostly dissatisfied Patriot owners.

        The only exception was a woman with her first AWD vehicle who had to drive to work in all kinds of weather. And that was mostly because of her limited basis for comparison.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s like when my other friend messaged me about a certain 2015 Mustang EcoBoost Premium that was online and asked me about it. I told him it was overpriced for what it was. Then he told me he’d already bought the thing. To his credit, he did receive a several-thousand-dollar loyalty discount on it since he and his partner have cumulatively bought eight or nine new Fords and Lincolns from this particular dealer. And, having sampled it many times, I think it’s quite a bargain, as it delivers the same driving experience as the 428i or A5, for a lot less money.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I’ve done the same thing when people tell me they spent $1000 on Bose Lifestyle speakers. However, I can’t bring myself to validate their purchase no matter how hard I try.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Just because she asked for your advice doesn’t mean she’s contractually bound to obey you. It’s just one data point.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    well the vast majority of the people out there are not car enthusiasts so they buy whatever they think is a good deal and whatever they think has neighbourhood appeal

    i dont say whether its a good buy or not, like who cares? if they like their crapbox, then GOOD FOR THEM…

    instead, I load up the conservsation so they have all the opportunity to hang themselves… you ask them how they like their car and you go out of your way to complement the mouse fur carpet and scratchy 3rd world outgassing plastics or that wonderfully clunky PowerShit slash DSG trannie

    people love to talk about their new toy so let them

  • avatar
    Tomas De Torquematic

    Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse. Remaining diplomatic when they’ve made a decision before they ask you anyway or having to listen to the same person tell you how much they hate the car thereafter.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Yes, you have to be nice, especially if all they did was ignore advice. It’s not like you are out anything or taken advantage of. Enthusiasts of all stripes tend to forget how little their pet knowledge entitles them to in the real world. Knowing horsepower figures, sales performance, JD Power ratings, and being able to render an informed opinion about Piech v. Winterkorn doesn’t make our advice more valuable than someone else’s wants and needs.

    • 0 avatar
      InterstateNomad

      Exactly. If your value systems or goals are different, there really isn’t a need to even give advice (why bother suggesting a car to someone who is going off what looks “cute”). Also, people tend to resist advice from know-it-alls anyways.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    This scenario gets really interesting when the person is your wife. She needed a CUV, but she HATES all aspects of the process. We went to the local car show last year which she reluctantly agreed to do and then proceeded to ignore most of the cars in the CUV segment along with any and all of my recommendations. She ended up with a Kia Sportage and she managed, because of me, to get a pretty good price. And everything was fine until I got my new car.

    Which was a 3-year old Audi. Now I tried to tell her she could go for a premium used car, but she insisted that she wanted brand new…..until I came home with a premium used car. The Kia has far more bells and whistles than my Audi, but there is a quality feel to the Audi that the Kia simply lacks. For example, the seats in the Kia look more worn at 6 months than my car at over 3 years. The Kia is fine and functional for what we need it to do. But it is an appliance to which neither of us attach any emotional attachment. My car has emotional appeal for me and she knows it.

    She stayed angry with me for about a year.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      You’ll be driving the Kia soon. I have same problem but wife has a new Sonata and I have a used BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

      “She stayed angry with me for about a year.”

      Should read “She stayed angry with me after we got married.” There, fixed it for you. :)

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      My wife thought Corollas were the best value for the money in the used car market. Having been married previously, I limited my involvement to helping her find the best deal on the best Corolla we could find. She ended up paying almost $2K under Blue book for one with mild suspension mods (lowered front end) plus aftermarket headlights, from a retiring used car lot owner who was down to less than thirty days and less then twenty cars on a hundred car lot. She used half the savings to buy a three year full powertrain warranty, which she never needed to use, and has put over 150K more miles on it with only routine maintenance and three (so far) out of four coils.

      In return, when I wanted a used Jeep, she and I both agreed Wranglers were nice but overpriced, and we zeroed in on a nice used Cherokee Sport that served me well for several years. When it died, she did con me into replacing it with another Corolla, one being retired by a family member of hers, but after a couple of years, in what I consider an act of God, it was totalled when sideswiped by another car that suddenly aborted a left turn and pulled back into my lane.

      The very same week I was offered a tremendous deal on a Panther, a 97 Grand Marquis. Prior to then, even as a former Thunderbird owner, I was somewhat indifferent to Panthers.

      But since acquiring it, my only regret is that I didn’t buy one sooner.

      But letting your SO (within reason) get what she wants, and just helping her avoid turkeys, is probably the safest advice.

      Otherwise, for example, if I had talked her into a Jeep, I would have heard about everything that was wrong about it, everything she thought might become wrong about it, and everything she didn’t like about it, for the life of the car, and more.

      Oh, snap, I forgot to use a gender neutral pronoun. Pch101 will call me a member of the nutty fringe minority again. Damn. Just can’t seem to make that boy happy about anything! Must not be me. Neither can anyone else. Send in the clown.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    I love articles like this. Keeps people grounded. Good stuff.

    I sincerely hope she loves it forever. And maybe she even will, who knows. :)

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The trick is to know the person well enough that you can say to their face: “It’s not really all that great of a car,” and there will be no bad blood between the two of you.

    And if you don’t know them well enough to do that, you keep your trap shut. That should actually be our state motto, seeing as it’s worked so well for this long. “Minnesota: Keeping our traps shut since 1858.”

  • avatar
    deanst

    You have to realize that for the 80%+ of the population who don’t know much cars, as long as the vehicle is reliable and has no glaring errors (like most cars now) they will likely be quite happy with anything.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    this kind of topic is mostly embarrassing for the person who has an opinion on how others spend their money.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Though he may speak poorly of them from time to time, never insult a man’s wife, dog, or gun. At one time he loved them all.
    Col J Cooper
    I guess the same is true of their choice of vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Well, never insult a man’s wife or dog.

      Sometimes it’s okay to trash talk his gun, as long as you also own or have owned one of the same, and he started it.

      “Yeah, these things kinda suck. I know, right?”

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Geekcarlover – good advice since he can get the dog to bite you or shoot you with the gun. He can’t really sick the wife on you unless she is a Russian PowerLifter (there is still the dog and gun).

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    @geekcarlover:
    “Though he may speak poorly of them from time to time, never insult a man’s wife, dog, or gun. At one time he loved them all.”
    Col J Cooper

    Great line that I am going to steal!

    I actually liked the first generation of Outlander sold in Canada. In reality a raised station wagon that had decent visibility and was ‘right sized’. Those who bought them probably also heard the rumours about Mitus not being around to honour the warranty. But Mitsu did stay and I still see a lot of those first generation Outlanders around and overall they do not seem to have aged badly.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Mitsubishi USA is an old man who has no plan but to sit back and watch the sun rise one more day.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      For car companies, not a very good strategy.

      For an old man, however, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

      Written as the sun rises one more day. With my old geezer Panther sitting in the driveway.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    Back in the late 80s, I had a girlfriend who come to me for car advice. I even said I would go out and help her look. She wound up going with her dad one weekend and paying way to much for an old (78 or 79) Chevette. With an automatic. Ugh! I had a hard time not telling her every day how bad this decision was. I did tell her once, when I first heard of the decision. I had an ’83 Civic at the time, and I think I paid the same as she did, and I pointed this out, how much newer, how many fewer miles, how much nicer the Civic was. And I let it sink in, and told her it was okay, first cars are a tough thing. Mine was an ’83 Chevette. At least it had a 5 speed, but that was a cruel start to car ownership. We parted not much later, as I had to move away. I still wonder what kind of cars she drives today.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I won’t offer my thoughts on someone’s vehicle unprompted, but if they don’t care what I think about their purchase then they shouldn’t be asking my opinion.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The funny part for me is that people that recommend Ford Escapes think they know anything about cars.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    From all the lies you told this woman, she must be on some special list for you. Just remember not to steal her center caps.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Is a shame your friend has bad credit.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Would have made a more interesting story had you asked why she purchased it, or what it was she liked about it. Instead we have 46 comments speculating on the reasons…

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I have a friend who is a car enthusiast and a skilled mechanic.

    As a GM fanboy over the years he has owned a diesel Olds, a Saturn Ion and a cladded Grand Am. And raved about each of them.

    As they said in other posts, often it is the driver, not the vehicle that makes all the difference.

    • 0 avatar

      Years ago, my dad worked with a guy who was a huge fan of… Peugeots. Swore by them He had a couple 505’s and a 405. He did all the work on them himself. Although he eventually ended up getting rid of the last one after he accidentally cut through some essential underbody part with a welding torch.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      @Arthur Dailey My guess is your friend was a car enthusiast and GM fanboy first, and became a mechanic out of necessity, due to his daring choices in GM iron.

      I never understood how anyone could think you could build a 20 to 1 more or less compression ratio diesel top end on top of a lower end designed for less than ten to 1 compression, and not expect trouble early and often. From what I understand, they didn’t even try to beef up the lower end on those things. It seems that anyone who understands the concept of weakest link would immediately recognize the problem with that.

      But I suspect his raving was due more to defending his decision-making, than it was about truly believing in those vehicles, unless he purchased all of them second hand from disillusioned new owners.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        > From what I understand, they didn’t even try to beef up the lower end on those things.

        Your understanding is incorrect.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          @BigOldChryslers Then apparently they didn’t beef them up enough. All I heard about concerning them for a period of a few years was how often the GM diesels would grenade the bottom end.

          I don’t know the actual failure rate, but I know they acquired a reputation for being short life motors, which is the opposite of what a diesel motor usually is, due to its inherent simplicity.

  • avatar
    r129

    Some people had a similar reaction when I bought a brand new 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sport. Not only was it incredibly, insanely cheap, but I actually liked driving it better than any of the other small cars on the market at the time. A fun little car with the manual, very roomy for the class, and it was loaded with features. During the time that I owned it, it was extremely reliable. When I decided that I wanted to get rid of it last year, I sold it within one day to a nice couple from Turkey who brought a big envelope of cash with them. They wanted to know why Suzuki wasn’t popular in the U.S., because they thought they were great cars.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      There was a Suzuki SUV in the Philadelphia area that sported the license plate TIP OVER.

      Almost as good as the widely known Virginia based Corvair with the license plate F NADER.

  • avatar
    ixim

    Older lady friend wanted to downsize from her Odyssey, but needed to keep the high seating. Told her my Equinox would fit the bill. Called me from the GM dealer to say that she couldn’t see past the ‘Nox’ A pillar and what did I think of the Buick Encore with it’s abundant glass? Told her it was too small for me but otherwise a great car. She had already signed the papers and now loves the little CUV, especially the remote start. I’d have asked the Outlander woman why she liked it enough to buy it; might have learned something.

  • avatar
    Ryan Cawdor

    Yes, you have to be nice about it because they are your friend…but you don’t have to lie about it. You can let them know nicely that historically, Mitsubishi cars are problem-prone, so they should be sure to strictly adhere to the maintenance schedule, advise them to get an extended warranty, and suggest they research their car on the internet for other user experiences and problems. This way they get to have some idea of what they may be in for with their vehicle in the future, and they can’t come back to you saying “you said I made a good purchase, why didn’t you tell me I bought a piece of junk?” and make you look like you didn’t have their best interest at heart.

    There’s ‘nice’ ways to do all of this without ruffling feathers; I’d rather be honest with my friend and lose them, than lie to them just to keep them. If they can’t take my honest opinion about their purchase, you shouldn’t’ve told me what you did or brought it to me to see what you bought. As a friend, I feel obligated to let you know if you bought something that has a record of unreliability, rather than patting you on the head like a puppy and sending you on your way…just my $0.02…

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Outlander is freaking OK! They are close to $7K off of MSRP in my area. That equates to just over $17K starting and under $23K for well equipped three row SUV SE AWD with sunroof, Rockford Fosgate stereo, etc. Mitsubishi is in top half of field for reliability & it has 60month/60K b2b warranty and 10 year powertrain warranty. Does anyone have a longer warranty? Whiles it is a loser at MSRP it is decent vehicle when the Price is Right.
    Did I mention Outlander is IHS Top Safety Pick + rated?

  • avatar

    Honestly, the Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t a *bad* car. If you consider its sole competition to be the Dodge Journey, it’s a competent choice. It’s just not something most people would be *proud* of…

    Meanwhile, a friend of mine messaged me to say that she was so excited about her 2006 Chevy Cobalt that she’d just bought.

    I didn’t know what to say…

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It’s not terrible. It’s at least reliable as nothing has really changed in a decade tech wise. If given a REALLY low price, it wouldn’t be a terrible choice.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Looks like your friend doesn’t have internet – I hope she doesn’t know about your participation in this blog anyway.

    The Outlander is extremely popular in Norway and i haven’t heard much bad about it. That’s true for gas, diesel and phiev version.

    But…nobody wants to own a Mitsubishi past the ten year/150k km mark.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I don’t have anything to say about the Mirage, but the Outlander can be a surprising value buy.

    It doesn’t miss a beat in feature count.

    It’s the most upscale-looking Mitsubishi available (meaning, it looks at least class-competitive).

    Its size and interior room are on the large end. The actual interior trimmings probably don’t measure up to some of the posher offerings.

    The stigma lies mostly with Mitsubishi’s US presence: seedy dealers, a lineup that belongs in SE Asian markets and US rental lots.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I feel your pain. I *really* like the Outlander Sport. The price is right, and it’s one of very few CUV available with a stick. But I would never buy it, because Mitsubishi.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I have over 50 years of experience in the business, as I swept and cleaned when only 8 at our family dealership. Yet even with this resume, I saw a cherry, low mileage Catera at an estate sale and convinced myself “how bad could it be”?

    • 0 avatar
      InterstateNomad

      So it sounds like you bought it. How was it? :)

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Probably “as bad as it could be.” He hasn’t written back to say he was pleasantly surprised.

        Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

        But it could have been worse…it could have been a Cimarron. Last one I saw was being driven by a close to 300 lb. computer consultant from Texas, who had driven it across several states. All I could think was that he was a lifelong Texas Caddy driver who had run up on hard times, and couldn’t afford a DeVille but wouldn’t drive anything but a Cadillac.

        It was uncomfortable just riding shotgun while going out to dinner. And I was shoehorning myself into a diesel 82 Rabbit at the time, which seemed large in comparison.

  • avatar
    EAF

    Doug, over the years I’ve found myself in this same exact predicament, I think all “car” enthusiasts can relate to some extent. There are two specific situations where I reacted with overwhelming negativity and ’till this day I do believe I was justified.

    1. A co-worker spent a small fortune (hard earned) on a CC despite my advice and against the recommendation of several others. It was for his wife and she had fallen madly in love with it, we all know how that goes! I flipped out & called him some names + a guilt trip enduced episode of buyer’s remorse. He will ask me for help with his Nissan but never with her CC, I will not oblige.

    2. My friend traded in her ultra reliable, J-series powered, Accord that she owned since new. Ughhh, for a used A4 that was sitting at a used car lot and whose history was not known. I was adamantly against the trade-in, she ignored me and made the transaction. Proceeded to hide it from me for weeks. I found out when I was working at my buddy’s shop and guess who rolls in with her clogged heater core, gauge cluster lit like a Christmas tree, POS A4!?!?!

    Personally, I would choose this Outlander over the Rogue and over an oil burner Forester. The CRV & Rav4 would have been my recommendations, to your friend, as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      “over the Rogue and over an oil burner Forester”

      Sounds like someone needs to update their car Rolodex from 2010…

      • 0 avatar
        EAF

        You can read about the RECENT oil burning issues on the infamous Nasioc forum; Subaruforester.org is also a good forum and loads up much quicker than the aforementioned (for me).

        While you’re there, you may want to read up on the widespread CVT issues as well.

        Class action lawsuits up the ass because, as we all know, Subaru hates to honor their warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I have a neighbor who bought a then-new GTI DSG in 2008. After three years, he had fought through his second lawsuit with VW and was able to sell it. It had been off the road for more than a year by then while he drove a friend’s RAV4. The VW, which had replaced an E38, wrecked his finances, so he bought a Ford Taurus against my adamant recommendation. I told him not to call me when it broke for at least a year. He made it about three weeks without calling for help starting it. After one more E90-shaped mistake, he now drives a new Infiniti. I don’t hear from him as much anymore.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I would have pointed her at Fiat/Jeep first as they make some of the better crossovers in my opinion. That said, Mitsi is struggling in the US and needs to redevelop its customer base and the new Outlander may have the best combination of price v capability for her desires. I owned a Mitsubishi Sport pickup a long time ago (long, LONG time ago) and couldn’t really fault its capabilities, as well as a first-gen Montero that was much more a CJ/Wrangler competitor than the newer models and found them at least reasonably capable for the price. I wouldn’t know about the newest models though. Still, the Lancer EVO kind of proves that Mitsi hasn’t lost all their abilities when it comes to producing cars.

  • avatar
    319583076

    So it’s good to lie to stupid people about doing stupid things because otherwise they might not like you and may think you’re a bad person.

    Stupid cowards make excellent marks…

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    But then there’s prompting someone to buy a Lexus RX350 to replace her Avalon, and both her and I discovering that the RX350 was awful compared to the Avalon. On her own, she replaced the RX with an RDX, and she’s happy with it.

  • avatar
    tlccar

    My take on this is that you can offer advice, if they want to listen that’s fine, if not, oh, well? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given car advice that is ignored.

    Referring back to a previous post, many people forget what it’s like to have a troublesome car. They now own an Accord or Camry and want something “different”, so that 3 year old BMW or VW is looking great. I did this exact thing many moons ago. I traded in my beloved 1994 Accord EX with 150k miles for a 1998 Passat turbo. This was in 2001. OMG. I never realized how reliable my Accord was until owning that POS. It only had 30k miles on it but it was in the shop more than I had it. Never again. I learned my lesson on that one!

    As far as Mitsubishis are concerned, I sold them for over three years in the late 90’s and had many happy customers. The good ones were usually the true Mitsubishi models built in Japan, or with true Mitsubishi drivetrains that were reliable. The Eclipses were a nightmare. The ones with the Chrysler engines/trannies were crap, but they sold on looks alone and were wildly popular. I had a lady drive out of the showroom only to have the car die as she drove off. Yup, bad tranny, 6 miles on the car! Then others that bought Galants, Mirages and Monteros (all with Mitsubishi engines) got well over 100k miles out of their cars and loved them. I feel bad for Mitsubishi now. They don’t deserve such harsh criticism as they are getting, IMHO.

    People can be stubborn. If they listen, great. If they don’t, great too. When all is said and done they are spending their own money, not mine. So I think the final moral of the story is that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink!

  • avatar

    I stopped making suggestions when people ask me what they should buy because in my experience, they don’t listen anyway. They’re looking to see if I agree with the choice they’ve already made in their mind and the fact that I suggest another vehicle is completely irrelevant. I’ll answer questions about cars they’re considering but if they ask, “Which one do you think I should get?” I just reply, “I don’t think you can go wrong with any/either of those.”

    I think the hardest moment of my life was when a neighbor asked me what I thought of her X1. It took every ounce of restraint I possessed not to let loose on that vile car but I managed to hold my tongue, instead politely saying, “It’s a fine car. Just not my style.”

    I’m pretty sure she saw right through it.

  • avatar

    The article is on a shaky foundation, considering how Outlander manages to overcome the Mitsubishi stigma. It’s an excellent car and it’s not going to rust like CX-5 or burn like Escape.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    DeMuro,

    You’ve made an entire CAREER out of asking people what you should buy, then going out and getting something that deliberately pis*es off just about everybody.

    Your friend quite possibly took your cue and trolled you in real life (and smirks inwardly every time you politely endorse her decision which ignored your expert opinion).

    Think about it…

  • avatar
    chamar

    I read countless such threads, reviews and op’eds doing nothing but bashing Mitsubishi Outlander relentlessly. Again and again i searched for objective evidence in these aritcles …. but they had little more to offer than daddy issues.

    Outlander is a great value proposition and I got myself one, after test driving everything in this class, class above and below. No wonder, i am seeing more and more of these here in Eastern Ontario.

    The car isn’t extra-ordinary in any respect, but has a personality and even more so given how much bashing its gets.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “but has a personality and even more so given how much bashing its gets”

      Can you use some words to explain how this makes any sense?

      • 0 avatar
        chamar

        car snobs hate it, so its even more fun to own.

        Samething happened 9 years ago, when I got a 06 Fusion, this site was a haven for bashing Ford,GM etc (same way it is to Cadillac today). The big thing was how the grill was inspired by a Gillette Mach 3. Yet Fusion went onto be a serious mid-size cars in both value and sales.

        I expect the same of the Outlander, its a great value proposition. Except it styling is geared towards sales in the Indias, Pakistans, UKs, Far east etc.

        In fact, watch a review from UK and than watch one from North America and Biases are clear as day.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That does not give a car a personality. The Outlander does not have a personality, and neither does that old Fusion. Being unpopular does not suddenly infuse something with personality.

          I agree the Outlander looks third world. But please stop pluralizing everything “Indias, Pakistans, UKs.”

          • 0 avatar
            chamar

            “My opinion is better than your opinion” … i get it. Enjoy your CR-V or even more grossly overpriced HR-V.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s not what I said, but I think I’ll write this off as a lack of English comprehension.

            :)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Me read good yo.

            “But please stop pluralizing everything”

            How about I put “the” in front of most proper nouns? The India. The Pakistan. The Gambia.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Nigeria prince is pleased with your reprise.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah, but the esteemed President Jammeh is not from Nigeria.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Jammeh

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That man is simply a loon. I’m glad he’s been able to cure the AIDS with herbs though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Oh he’s clearly insane. I like that. Also a proud graduate of the School of the Americas which means he’s got his B.A. in terrorism with a minor in torture.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Value only if she keeps it forever. Mitsubishi resale being what it is. If she’s a serial trader, that’ll be another “How can it only be worth that much?” in the next dealers showroom.

    I liked the 2nd gen Outlander. I pretty much had the first gen Outlander, except it wasn’t tall and AWD and was called the Sportback. But they were nearly identical mechanically. I had good experience with it, so I figured I’d give Mitsubishi another chance.

    We considered a used 07 Outlander Limited with only 7k miles before buying our Mazda 5. It was nice enough, the V6 was OK but the glaring cheapness and my wife’s inability to get comfortable in the seats ended that. We even took it home for a night, but no deal.

    I like the styling of that 2nd gen. The new one is polarizing and bland at the same time. I’m sure it’s an OK vehicle and for folks who don’t care about cars and driving, OK is OK.

    A coworker of mine bought an Avenger. Not even Pentastar powered one, but it was the Blackout version or whatever they called it. He was thrilled, but he was also coming out of a tired 99 Grand Am. I was gracious and complimented him, because he knew I was into cars and he was happy. But I just wanted to say ” WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!”

    A similar line is that my sister bought an 06 Eclipse GT. My brother and I told her to not get the one with 18″ wheels, as 18’s weren’t all that common and expensive. She did and then she needed tires in a year or two, she was shocked at the cost. The car did look better with those 18’s though.


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