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Old 12-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Mitsubishi Mirage Confirmed for U.S. in Fall 2013

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You should like three-cylinder engines. They’re cool. They’re different. They make thrummy little sounds. And come September, Mitsubishi will become the third automaker currently offering one in the U.S. After picking up some forms from the California Air Resources Board, we spoke to a Mitsubishi staffer, who confirmed that a 1.2-liter three will power the new “Global Small Car”—that’s the generic name for the Mirage—when it goes on sale this fall. Although Mitsu is being coy about the car’s name until its debut at the New York auto show in April, the CARB document also lists the name as Mirage. We don’t expect a change there.
If the engine isn’t changed from its naturally aspirated European setup, it’ll give the U.S. Mirage just 79 horsepower. And so the company that once shocked the world by squeezing as much as 400 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine will have the second-least-powerful car on the American market. The only car the Mirage will outgun is one of its three-cylinder brethren, the 70-hp Smart. With turbocharging, Ford’s new three-cylinder Fiesta packs 123 raging ponies.
Unfortunately, this news doesn’t much relieve our urge to grab Mitsubishi and shake, while yelling “What the heck do you mean, no more Evo?” Nor is the Mirage likely to buoy Mitsubishi’s sinking ship in the States. Success for cars like the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Fit shows that the line of small-car acceptance has shifted, but there’s still a line. The Mazda 2 and the Chevy Spark are straddling it, and can look across to the Smart Fortwo and Scion iQ. The Mirage probably is too small and underpowered to score big sales here—but hey, we can always lobby Mitsu for a Ralliart version. Turbocharging really just makes inline-threes that much cooler
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Really? A 79hp Mirage? This is all you come up with? This is suppose to keep Mitsu afloat? Sell off the rights/tech for the EVO to Mazda and just go under already...
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #3
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People still buy their cars?
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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People still buy their cars?
...+1

Most of the Mitsu dealerships are basically used car dealerships now, if they haven't closed altogether.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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Mitsubishis biggest problem boils down to pricing. Why buy a Mitsu when you can get a competitor for a significant amount less? The design of the cars is not offensive (granted, the Eclipse and Galant are very old designs) it's just price and in some cases lack of choice (Lancer Ralliart sportback is automatic only) Again though, why buy a Ralliart Sportback when you can get a WRX hatch for less? Why buy an Evo when an STI is available for a good bit less? Why buy an Outlander when a Forester / Rav4 etc... are less? Why buy a mIev at all? ooops, I actually like that one (seriously, huge amount of space inside, I was shocked! (pun almost intended))
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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Yesssss
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Mitsubishis biggest problem boils down to pricing. Why buy a Mitsu when you can get a competitor for a significant amount less? The design of the cars is not offensive (granted, the Eclipse and Galant are very old designs) it's just price and in some cases lack of choice (Lancer Ralliart sportback is automatic only) Again though, why buy a Ralliart Sportback when you can get a WRX hatch for less? Why buy an Evo when an STI is available for a good bit less? Why buy an Outlander when a Forester / Rav4 etc... are less? Why buy a mIev at all? ooops, I actually like that one (seriously, huge amount of space inside, I was shocked! (pun almost intended))

I gotta say the Outlander Sport SE is a very nice package. For something in the low 20s MSRP, you get a CVT + AWD with lots of standard features (HID headlights, fog lights, heated front seats, LED tails, full trip computer). Even comes standard with 10 year powertrain warranty but who knows if the company will be around that long.

With the discounts they are offering on brand new 2012 units, you can pick up one of these up for less than $20k easily. Hard to argue the overall package for the money.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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i agree. the outlander sport as well as the regular lancer are nice decent cars for now, but soon outdated. they need to rid of the rest of the lineup and update the galant.

the outlander sport and lancer are avaliable with the evo's dumb'd down version of its awd so i think they are pretty decent. i think they have 3 diffs.

Last edited by naimouasta; 12-27-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Why buy an Evo when an STI is available for a good bit less?
Well, the price isn't really that different (unless you are comparing fully optioned, top-of-the-line models, which isn't exactly a fair comparison), but anyone who has driven both can tell the differences between them. So it's not as if you're getting the exact same car (or even the same performance) for less money.

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I gotta say the Outlander Sport SE is a very nice package. For something in the low 20s MSRP, you get a CVT + AWD with lots of standard features (HID headlights, fog lights, heated front seats, LED tails, full trip computer). Even comes standard with 10 year powertrain warranty but who knows if the company will be around that long.

With the discounts they are offering on brand new 2012 units, you can pick up one of these up for less than $20k easily. Hard to argue the overall package for the money.
It's a pretty decent package like you said, as long as you're not too demanding with acceleration, since I've read that it's a weak point of the vehicle. It's a pretty good looking little SUV, for what it is. My boss's girlfriend (who has had BMW convertibles her whole life since she was 16) saw one parked at the entrance of our local Costco and couldn't stop talking about how cute she thought it was. I compared it to the RAV4 (just to explain to a different co-worker what the car was like), and she interrupted and said, "No, it's waaay better looking than a RAV4" (even though I know the RAV4 is probably a lot more reliable). But then again, it does have that 10 year-warranty, which is nice. But I think even if companies go under, their warranties are still honored, and I believe that they contract repairs through different automakers who may have been affiliated with them at some point (like how Isuzu used to do stuff through Mitsubishi).

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i agree. the outlander sport as well as the regular lancer are nice decent cars for now, but soon outdated. they need to rid of the rest of the lineup and update the galant.

the outlander sport and lancer are avaliable with the evo's dumb'd down version of its awd so i think they are pretty decent. i think they have 3 diffs.
It just sucks since from 2000 onward, it seems impossible for Mitsubishi to have at least half of its lineup be decent cars. But the Lancer lineup (with the exception of the odd-looking Sportback) and the Outlander Sport aren't too bad, but they're just not class-leading and will definitely fall behind the pack soon enough.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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It would be my luck to buy a mitsu, who would go out of business but would say "you can get all your warranty work done through Suzuki"

Thanks for nothing...
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #11
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If Kia/Hyundai can be profitable so can Mitsu. Amazing what some head roiling and getting good ideas and talent can so. Subaru discovered this also.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
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I actually think a Colt Ralliart at the right price could move a fair bit of units to those that want sporty that is really frugal. I personally don't consider compacts like the ST, WRX, MS3 to be economical cars as they all get average to poor overall fuel economy.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #13
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Why buy an Evo when an STI is available for a good bit less?
I had an STi and then went to an Evo X. The X was cheaper, but it felt like I was driving (I said driving, not sitting stationary staring at a dash board) a car that was $20K more than the STi I had. I also just got an Outlander Sport and have been very happy. I have to say I've had zero build issues and haven't had one rattle in either car. I agree their line up is stale (with the exception of the Outlander Sport), but they do make a reliable well-built car.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Optimus Prime

I had an STi and then went to an Evo X. The X was cheaper, but it felt like I was driving (I said driving, not sitting stationary staring at a dash board) a car that was $20K more than the STi I had. I also just got an Outlander Sport and have been very happy. I have to say I've had zero build issues and haven't had one rattle in either car. I agree their line up is stale (with the exception of the Outlander Sport), but they do make a reliable well-built car.
Going on 100k on my Outlander and zero issues. Its AWD has gotten me out of a few sticky situations, or should I say slippery...
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:51 AM   #15
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My wife is close to hitting 90k on her 2007 Outlander and I feel the 5/10 year warranty has been a waste as we haven't had a single issue. The interior has a few rattles but mechanically the car is a rock. My 2008 EVO felt much more solid and better put together than my 2013 STI. It's a shame Mitsubishi can't put out some more exciting cars as I feel they make a pretty solid car.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DeeezNuuuts83 View Post
Well, the price isn't really that different (unless you are comparing fully optioned, top-of-the-line models, which isn't exactly a fair comparison), but anyone who has driven both can tell the differences between them. So it's not as if you're getting the exact same car (or even the same performance) for less money.
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Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
I had an STi and then went to an Evo X. The X was cheaper, but it felt like I was driving (I said driving, not sitting stationary staring at a dash board) a car that was $20K more than the STi I had.
This is where Mitsu failed - they created a blazing-fast follow-up to the IX with all sorts of new tech, fancy Recaros, etc. and then put it into sedan form only with a price higher than the STI. Subaru went with the low-cost solution - old tech, old engine, utilitarian hatchback, and a few nicer amenities in the interior. Recession hits and Mitsu can't figure out why they're going out of business. They responded as quick as they could with a Fastback version of their Lancer, but it was too little/too late.

No doubt that the Evo is the better performing car - but the number of people racing these cars on the weekend does not make for a big enough market at this price range.

Reminds me of my experience walking around the auto show last year - Mitsu salesguy calls me over to check out the Evo X.
I say: "Yeah, they're awesome cars but I already bought a new car last year".
He asks: "What did you buy?"
I say: " I got an STI"
He rolls his eyes and says: "Why did you waste your money on that, the Evo X is faster!"
I say: "Yeah, but it won't hold me and my wife and our luggage. Real life, man..."
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #17
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This is where Mitsu failed - they created a blazing-fast follow-up to the IX with all sorts of new tech, fancy Recaros, etc. and then put it into sedan form only with a price higher than the STI.
I don't see how that is "failing" to you, when all of the previous Evos were sedan only (aside from the IX, but the wagon wasn't offered in the US anyway) and were fairly successful. Yes, the 2008+ STI was offered in a wagon format which obviously broadened its appeal to those who truly needed the extra cargo space, but at the same time, there are people who simply do not want hatchbacks either and possibly went with an Evo instead, though obviously Subaru addressed that with the re-introduction of an STI sedan.

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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
Subaru went with the low-cost solution - old tech, old engine, utilitarian hatchback, and a few nicer amenities in the interior.
You mean the "low-cost solution" that still results in both cars starting at around the same price with pretty similar amenities? The interiors in the current models aren't even really all that different in terms of quality (unlike the pre-2008 models, but even in those, the Evo interior had far better seats and a better steering wheel).

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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
Recession hits and Mitsu can't figure out why they're going out of business. They responded as quick as they could with a Fastback version of their Lancer, but it was too little/too late.
The recession has less to do with their lackluster sales as much as it has to do with half of their lineup being far from competitive (i.e. Galant and Outlander). Introducing a fastback version of the Lancer alongside the sedan when it launched wouldn't have changed much, and it certainly wasn't the cause of their problems.

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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
No doubt that the Evo is the better performing car - but the number of people racing these cars on the weekend does not make for a big enough market at this price range.
True, but you don't have to be a track demon to utilize the car's capabilities. Some people do enjoy carving through the canyons, which can still help you appreciate what the car has beneath the surface. And that has made a strong enough argument for people to go one way instead of the other. Same thing with the issue of cargo space.

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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
Reminds me of my experience walking around the auto show last year - Mitsu salesguy calls me over to check out the Evo X.
I say: "Yeah, they're awesome cars but I already bought a new car last year".
He asks: "What did you buy?"
I say: " I got an STI"
He rolls his eyes and says: "Why did you waste your money on that, the Evo X is faster!"
I say: "Yeah, but it won't hold me and my wife and our luggage. Real life, man..."
And that's the car that fit your wants and needs. I didn't say that the Evo was the perfect car for anyone and everyone contemplating purchasing either an Evo or an STI. But at the same time, not everyone has the same wants and needs as you do for cargo space. Perhaps you do a lot of long-distance traveling with a wife and kids. Not everyone has those obligations (or at least maybe not with little ones and all of their stuff), or perhaps they do but the wifey has a car better suited for those duties.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #18
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I think if mitsu pulled together their interior and made it more pleasing their cars would sell better as well. I find it ironic that the lancer and evo have identical interiors. Granted your buying the evo for performance, but it shouldnt share the same interior.

I think mitsu needs to take a look back to the 90's and revive some of their cars. The galant from te 90's-early 2000's look good. I think they should also offer the eclipse in a fwd and awd turbo option (gst,gsx), and give it 250hp. You could also entertain the idea of a 3000gt (with vr4 option). Make the 3000gt compete with a 370z and you could probably move a decent amount of car.

People like seeing new models and complete make overs of existing cars. Mitsu basically needs a good overhaul of its model line ups.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
This is where Mitsu failed - they created a blazing-fast follow-up to the IX with all sorts of new tech, fancy Recaros, etc. and then put it into sedan form only with a price higher than the STI. Subaru went with the low-cost solution - old tech, old engine, utilitarian hatchback, and a few nicer amenities in the interior. Recession hits and Mitsu can't figure out why they're going out of business. They responded as quick as they could with a Fastback version of their Lancer, but it was too little/too late.

No doubt that the Evo is the better performing car - but the number of people racing these cars on the weekend does not make for a big enough market at this price range.

Reminds me of my experience walking around the auto show last year - Mitsu salesguy calls me over to check out the Evo X.
I say: "Yeah, they're awesome cars but I already bought a new car last year".
He asks: "What did you buy?"
I say: " I got an STI"
He rolls his eyes and says: "Why did you waste your money on that, the Evo X is faster!"
I say: "Yeah, but it won't hold me and my wife and our luggage. Real life, man..."

You know the funny thing about your statement is that I bought my Evo to have a practical car...after first buying a wrx and being unsatisified with the performance. If I did not have kids, I would be in a Porsche or something similar.

That said, I think the new WRX interior is more comfortable in that there is more sound deadening and the plastics feel better. The seats themselves in the Evo are awesome but I had to have the leather package installed after purchase because I knew the cloth would not last long...the cloth on the WRX was better. I do like the steering wheel better on the Evo...the Navi is much better in the Evo. Really, if you add some sound deadening to help with cabin noise and maybe cover the plastics with suede like material, the quality would be pretty much addressed.

Performance? Very good from stock. When you add good coilovers and and rear sway it is pretty much awesome. Big gains with limited engine mods....although the new ones have crap cams (so don't buy 2012 or newer).

Had there been an STI 4 door I could have been tempted to buy that but been very happy with the Evo as I was with the DSMs I had previously and my Eclipse I currently have (300+whp with stock internals). I sometimes wonder if I had bought a 06-07 STi if I would not be equally happy but there are a lot of nice cars out there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
I think if mitsu pulled together their interior and made it more pleasing their cars would sell better as well. I find it ironic that the lancer and evo have identical interiors. Granted your buying the evo for performance, but it shouldnt share the same interior.

I think mitsu needs to take a look back to the 90's and revive some of their cars. The galant from te 90's-early 2000's look good. I think they should also offer the eclipse in a fwd and awd turbo option (gst,gsx), and give it 250hp. You could also entertain the idea of a 3000gt (with vr4 option). Make the 3000gt compete with a 370z and you could probably move a decent amount of car.

People like seeing new models and complete make overs of existing cars. Mitsu basically needs a good overhaul of its model line ups.
I used to love Mitsubishi (Starion, GST/GSX, 3000gt, galant vr4) and if they can come out with something dynamic they would have my money. I believe that Mitsubishi knows how to make a turbo charged car, and like you said they need to consider what they used to make and revive them.

Last edited by cannedtuna; 01-02-2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:11 AM   #21
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ugly as hell and I don´t think that it will sell
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
I think if mitsu pulled together their interior and made it more pleasing their cars would sell better as well. I find it ironic that the lancer and evo have identical interiors. Granted your buying the evo for performance, but it shouldnt share the same interior.
To be fair, they have the same interiors... if you ignore the different steering wheel and Recaro seats, both things that you are touching on a non-stop basis, contrasting to everything else that you might touch once when inside the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
I think mitsu needs to take a look back to the 90's and revive some of their cars. The galant from te 90's-early 2000's look good. I think they should also offer the eclipse in a fwd and awd turbo option (gst,gsx), and give it 250hp. You could also entertain the idea of a 3000gt (with vr4 option). Make the 3000gt compete with a 370z and you could probably move a decent amount of car.
It would be interesting but I don't think that they'd want too many cars within their lineup to compete with one another. Companies like BMW can do that, with some of the same engines being in almost every car, but their clients certainly want a BMW and might just be figuring out which one works better for them for whatever reason (affordability, bodystyle, size, etc.). If Mitsubishi made different cars with similar performance, I think that that particular demographic is more willing to make compromises and rule out certain cars if one does what the other does, which was one of the big appeals of the Evo (and even STI) -- exceptional performance for not a lot of money but still with four doors and AWD driveability. Unless they just really want a coupe AND insisted on a Mitsubishi product (which isn't the case anyway), it would be hard for someone to pick anything else that they have.

They'd really have to make something else in their lineup that is VERY good while being quite different from the Evo. They tried that with the 2000+ Eclipses (putting a V-6 in it and no longer offering AWD), but that didn't really work out so well, even though it was likely less expensive to produce than the previous model's GS-T and GSX variants. But unfortunately, when it comes to performance, their turbocharged fours are the best things that they have going for them, but again, two different Mitsubishis having them would eat away from the other car's sales a bit, unless the coupe were to be just RWD (or primarily offered with it) and look really good too.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by manticus View Post
This is where Mitsu failed - they created a blazing-fast follow-up to the IX with all sorts of new tech, fancy Recaros, etc. and then put it into sedan form only with a price higher than the STI. Subaru went with the low-cost solution - old tech, old engine, utilitarian hatchback, and a few nicer amenities in the interior. Recession hits and Mitsu can't figure out why they're going out of business. They responded as quick as they could with a Fastback version of their Lancer, but it was too little/too late.

No doubt that the Evo is the better performing car - but the number of people racing these cars on the weekend does not make for a big enough market at this price range.

Reminds me of my experience walking around the auto show last year - Mitsu salesguy calls me over to check out the Evo X.
I say: "Yeah, they're awesome cars but I already bought a new car last year".
He asks: "What did you buy?"
I say: " I got an STI"
He rolls his eyes and says: "Why did you waste your money on that, the Evo X is faster!"
I say: "Yeah, but it won't hold me and my wife and our luggage. Real life, man..."
I paid less for my Evo than the STi. And I disagree about buying it for the speed (though it is way more mod friendly). The Evo drives nicer. I went with my STi (2005) over the Evo 8 because it drove nicer (less bumpy, better turning radius, etc.). I bought the Evo X because it drove nicer than the STI. It drives like a Honda when in traffic and is much more comfortable on long drives than my STi was. The only thing I can say that is better in the STI is the trunk room. Oh, and gas mileage in my Evo running mid 12s is 26mpg on the highway and around 20mpg around town which was much better than I got in my STI. I also like that now my Evo is wingless (well, it's got a DL trunk), it attracts a lot less attention than the STI seems too, since it is based on the regular sedan.

I think Mitsu markets their good vehicles poorly (maybe with the exception of the Outlander Sport). But the Evo (I guess you could say the same for STI) is less than a fully loaded Accord V6 Coupe. I think they believe specialty vehicles are for those "in the know" vs being a mainstream vehicle in their line up.

I think Mitsus other problem here is that they do well in other countries with their line up and try to apply it here. It seems the Lancer is the official car of Canada, and their small car line up does well in many other countries. Seems like they would need to focus on something that is big and fast to do well here.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #24
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DeezNuutz,


I definitely understand what your saying, but disagree to some extent. If I was in charge of mitsu i'd release the following line up:

-Eclipse gst and gsx both with 245hp. The gsx would be on par with the wrx in terms of performance but leaving weak ends so it doesn't compete with the evo (brakes, tranny, etc)

-3000gt vr4. With the old 3000gt being more of a sport touring car, I would do the same again. Give it 350-400hp, make it more of a "premium" car that older men want to cruise the freeways the mountain passes. It wouldnt handle like the evo or compete in the same category. It would hopefully capture a older demographic. It would also have a higher price tag.

-Evo. This could be left as it, as its a self sustaining car. It has its followers and those that bounce between subaru and mitsu.

Galant- Just make this car your nicer eco car. Use this model to capture the accord and camry crowd

Mirage- this is your bottom of the barrel car. It would compete with carolla and similar.

Mitsubishi would need to hire a new marketing team and refresh the company in my opinion. I would highly structure my commercials after the extremely successful Dominos commercials. If they can come on tv and say we realized our companies quality sucked, and we fixed the problems, come in and test drive the new mitsu.... I think you would put mitsu back on track. Something like "mitsubishi... reborn".

The problem with doing this, is of course R&D for new cars takes a lot f money. Money that mitsubishi probably doesnt have. But if they did, I really think they could emerge as a really powerful player in the car industry.

Last edited by godfather2112; 01-02-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
I paid less for my Evo than the STi. And I disagree about buying it for the speed (though it is way more mod friendly). The Evo drives nicer. I went with my STi (2005) over the Evo 8 because it drove nicer (less bumpy, better turning radius, etc.). I bought the Evo X because it drove nicer than the STI. It drives like a Honda when in traffic and is much more comfortable on long drives than my STi was. The only thing I can say that is better in the STI is the trunk room. Oh, and gas mileage in my Evo running mid 12s is 26mpg on the highway and around 20mpg around town which was much better than I got in my STI. I also like that now my Evo is wingless (well, it's got a DL trunk), it attracts a lot less attention than the STI seems too, since it is based on the regular sedan.

I think Mitsu markets their good vehicles poorly (maybe with the exception of the Outlander Sport). But the Evo (I guess you could say the same for STI) is less than a fully loaded Accord V6 Coupe. I think they believe specialty vehicles are for those "in the know" vs being a mainstream vehicle in their line up.

I think Mitsus other problem here is that they do well in other countries with their line up and try to apply it here. It seems the Lancer is the official car of Canada, and their small car line up does well in many other countries. Seems like they would need to focus on something that is big and fast to do well here.
Excellent write-up. About that part in bold, that's a really good point. Part of their flawed marketing strategy is the fact that it seems like they almost always send the MR models to publications for their reviews. On one hand, it showcases the TC-SST transmission and the nicer interior (assuming it has the Touring Package, which is usually the case), but on the other hand, people who don't know too much about the entire lineup automatically assume that all modern Evos are $40,000+ cars, even though the base GSR starts at $35,000. Either way, they automatically get dismissed as being overpriced at BMW admission rates, and that turns away a few people who would rather spend that kind of money on a 335i or something, as they may be unaware of the row-it-yourself model saving quite a bit and being closer to what Evos used to cost.
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