Buy/Drive/Burn: Forgotten Japanese Compacts From 1988

They’ve got two doors, sporty intentions, and names people forgot long ago. Today we cover three oddball offerings from the latter part of the 1980s.

Will you take home the Nissan, the Mitsubishi, or the Subaru?

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Buy/Drive/Burn: The Japanese Family Wagons of 1995

On the last installment of Buy/Drive/Burn, we chose from three family-friendly luxury wagons from the Malaise year of 1975. Several members of the B&B peanut gallery quickly retorted that all three options were awful, and that only wagons from the 1990s were worth pondering.

Bam. We’re back on wagons, 20 years later. It’s now 1995.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: American Malaise Sports Cars of 1982

The year is 1982. You’re a lover of domestic sports cars, but also suffer from a distinct lack of funding in this era of American Malaise. Three updated, base model, fuel sipping rides are in your purview — all of them with four-cylinder engines.

Which one do you take home?

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Eternal Underdog: Mitsubishi May Not Sell Enough Cars in the U.S. to Worry About Tariffs

While still an industrial giant on the global scene, Mitsubishi is a shadow of its former self in the United States. After leaning a bit too hard on its status as a value brand, annual deliveries went from about 346,000 units to just 58,000 between 2002 and 2012. Meaningful progress has been made since then, but the road to redemption has been a hard one.

The looming threat of tariffs isn’t making things any easier for Mitsubishi. The automaker doesn’t have a single production facility in the U.S., meaning it will receive the full force of whatever percentage is tacked onto the import fee. There is hope, however. Bizarrely, the brand’s biggest weakness (U.S. sales) is also its greatest strength when it comes to enduring import tariffs.

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QOTD: What's Your Favorite Automotive Outcast?

Yesterday, we featured an edition of Buy/Drive/Burn pitting three excellent Japanese sports cars against one another. All three were prime time, heavy hitters in their segment, and all three are remembered fondly for various reasons by the Internet Car People.

But some people thought there was a fly in the ointment — a big one. Hence today’s question.

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Cure for the Common Mitsubishi? Brand Hires Former Audi and Alfa Designer

There’s no denying that every last TTACer looked at the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross with a raised eyebrow. Not the intrigued kind, either. While the compact crossover’s design can certainly be called polarizing, an easy consensus existed in this chat room. Try again, basically.

As the resurgent Mitsubishi brand awaits new models build with help from its Renault-Nissan Alliance partners, a new addition to the team is ready to help sculpt those future vehicles.

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Mitsubishi Mirage May Become Brand's Next Crossover Vehicle

Having already bastardized the Eclipse name by affixing it to a new crossover vehicle, there’s palpable fear within the automotive media that Mitsubishi might try the same with another iconic property. While FTO and 3000GT don’t have the right ring to them, we can imagine trendy performance SUV wearing an Evolution badge — to our chagrin.

In our fantasies, we imagine Mitsubishi bringing back a new, harder-hitting Lancer compact and a menacing mid-sized Galant. Maybe the Starion could even make an appearance. However, those models probably wouldn’t sell outside the Land of Make Believe even if they were stellar models. Sport utility vehicles and crossovers are where the money’s at right now, and cash is exactly what Mitsubishi is after.

Keeping that in mind, a new rumor claims the brand is working with Nissan to get its Alliance partner’s modular platform inside the Mirage, or whatever replaces it. The end result will be a small crossover with sporting pretensions, which doesn’t sound bad in the least.

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It'll Take More Than a Dealership Makeover to Propel Mitsubishi Upmarket

At the end of the day, brand perception comes down to product, but no one likes visiting a dingy dealership. As the once-endangered Mitsubishi awaits a slew of lucrative new products (crafted with Nissan’s help), it figures it may as well begin sprucing up its dealer presence — not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

While the automaker’s U.S. division sits back and basks in the glow of June’s 46.2 percent year-over-year sale increase, head office is busy planning 5,000 renovations.

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Ghosn Desperately Wants All This Renault-Nissan Merger Talk to Stop

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn is busy trying to convince shareholders of Nissan and Mitsubishi stock that Renault isn’t aiming to take over its Japanese partners. It’s proving to be no easy task.

While Ghosn has been clear of late that a merger isn’t in the works, he’s simultaneously adamant that the relationship between the companies must become “irreversible” before he retires from the industry in 2022.

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Junkyard Find: 1995 Dodge Stealth R/T

Chrysler started selling Dodge-badged Mitsubishis all the way back in 1970, then built plenty of Mitsubishi products in North America under the Diamond-Star Motors flag later on. The Mitsubishi GTO (sold as the Mitsubishi 3000GT and Dodge Stealth on this side of the Pacific) was built in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, and was one of the more interesting sports cars of the 1990s.

Here’s a 1995 Stealth R/T, photographed in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

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QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VI: SUVs)

In our creatively organized Crapwagon Garage, we’ve seen varied body styles like wagons and trucks. Today we’re going to pick out some truckwagons, which you may know as SUVs.

Let’s pick out four or five four-by-fours for cheap.

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Seismic Activity Hampering Japanese Auto Production

A strong earthquake shook western Japan on Monday morning. The 6.1-magnitude quake destroyed property, left tens of thousands without power, stranded commuters, and disrupted Osaka’s industrial sector. Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Toyota’s Daihatsu unit all have production facilities in the area and were forced to shut down temporarily.

While Daihatsu remained confident its facilities could be reopened later in the day, Honda’s Suzuka factory in the Mie prefecture is one of the oldest plants on its roster. Despite being modernized over the years, it might not have been able to withstand the vibrations as well as newer facilities. The company said it would remain shuttered as employees perform safety and spot checks.

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QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part V: Coupes)

We’re strolling through the various sections of our Crapwagon Garage, and are just over halfway finished with this series (unless I can add extra vehicle segments without any hair-splitting). Each week we’ve scaled somewhat upward in either size or utility — hatchbacks came first, then sedans, trucks, and wagons. But in this fifth entry we pare things back down to cover the Crapwagon coupes of your dreams.

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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC Review - Not Bad*

Car enthusiasts love to argue about cars, and will debate generally anything related to the topic ad nauseum. My wife knows not to talk cars with me unless she’s prepared to engage in an multi-hour discussion with outlines, Powerpoints, and 8×10 glossy photos. Discussions like these have birthed countless internet forums and blogs, including the usually brilliant comment section here at TTAC.

A common topic: are there any truly BAD cars anymore? We may all hate various brands or models because of poor prior experiences, but it can generally be assumed that all cars sold new in the U.S. can at least perform the basic function of a car satisfactorily for roughly the length of the factory warranty.

*Does it move sentient bags of meat from one place to another without parts falling off? Then it qualifies as NOT BAD.

Through that lens, then, we can look at the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander. It’s not a bad looking vehicle, and it certainly does what it’s supposed to. Broaden the view a bit, however, and it’s clear that there are few compelling reasons to buy Mitsubishi’s biggest crossover.

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Junkyard Find: 1998 Eagle Talon

While assembling my website pages with links to every Eagle and Mitsubishi car I have ever photographed in wrecking yards, I learned something troubling: I had never shot an Eagle Talon. Sure, there was this Plymouth Laser Turbo and this much never Mitsubishi Eclipse, but no examples of the Eagle Division’s most beloved — well, only— sports coupe.

I resolved that I’d shoot the next Talon I spotted in a wrecking yard; that car turned out to be this one in Denver, from the final model year of Eagle.

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  • Jwee You can avoid American cities, and both you and the Americans would be happier.
  • Bryan I used Costco a while back, and didn't care for it - you still wind up going to the dealership.The last time I bought a new car I used an actual car broker and I'll use one again the next time. Whatever they charged me was the best money I spent that year.
  • SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
  • SCE to AUX Just add a split rear window, and the hybrid sins will be forgiven.
  • SCE to AUX Maybe those union dues will help soften the landing. Employment there used to be 4000 people, and the plant has been at risk for 15 years. Stellantis did recently say that it would be trimming dead wood so it could rebuild the company. The Cherokee is finished, but I bet the plant reopens with a smaller workforce once Stellantis figures out what to do with it.