Buckle Up - a New Mitsubishi Experience Is on the Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
buckle up a new mitsubishi experience is on the way

No, there’s no new Mitsubishi model on the way — just “richer” versions of what we already have. That’s a term the automaker applied to the refreshed 2021 Mirage, by the way.

In announcing across-the-board changes to its North American lineup Wednesday, Mitsubishi seemed to suggest that a brand pull-out in this region won’t occur overnight, if ever. Or maybe this is just the brand’s last consumer salvo.

You’ll recall that Mitsu wasn’t all that impressed with the brand’s recent growth in North America. Volume grew steadily over the past several years, sure, but the automaker’s new pandemic-inspired plan stands to see the company gradually reduce the attention paid to what it calls “megamarkets.” It’s assumed that a model cull will follow, or perhaps even a full exit.

Whether or not the company takes such an action remains to be seen; for 2021, customers can expect refreshed Mitsubishis galore.

Starting at the bottom rung, the subcompact Mirage gains (mercifully) updated styling that the brand revealed in Thailand earlier this year. “Mirage has never looked richer or been better equipped,” the company claims, though you can expect the 1.2-liter three-cylinder to carry over for ’21. Hey, it gets great mileage!

The Outlander Sport (aka RVR, aka ASX) soldiers on with the refresh applied earlier this year, so no changes in store for a model many might not realize belongs to the subcompact CUV class.

The big news concerns the brand’s aging Outlander, which sees a new generation appear next spring as a 2022 model. Promising a “redesigned and reimagined” SUV, the automaker suggests the model will grow in size. Hopefully the old 3.0-liter V6 (which requires premium unleaded) is kicked to the curb. But before that happens, however, the 2021 Outlander PHEV stands to gain a new powertrain.

Up here in Canadiaville, the plug-in midsize is a popular choice for governments looking to green their fleets; buyers can find government incentives north and south of the border. While details remain slim, Mitsubishi says the existing 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder will give way to a powerplant with additional displacement, while the twin electric motors gain added power. As a bonus, buyers can expect “more all-electric range and speed of operation.”

Currently, the Outlander PHEV is rated for 22 miles of gas-free driving.

Lastly, the most recent addition to the Mitsu lineup sees a styling refresh for ’21. The Eclipse Cross, controversial both for its name and current styling, gains updated front and rear fascias, an updated infotainment system, and a reworked interior. Will it impress reviewers more than it already has? The jury’s out.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

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