Mitsubishi is not the brand you think of first when buying a car, however, it offers good vehicles at good prices. Here we’re remembering the best Mitsubishi models ever made.
Mitsubishis are not the best automobiles in the world, and the brand’s model range is not as large as that of other brands. Nevertheless, a moderate number of recalls, high safety ratings, and relatively low prices speak in favor of Mitsubishi vehicles.
When it comes to options, the cars of the brand are not as good as rivals like Toyota or Honda, but they are reliable enough for most consumers, and Mitsubishi offers one of the best warranties in addition. Since its foundation in 1917, the company has gone from three-wheeled vehicles to modern SUVs.
Mitsubishi is famous for its domination of the Dakar Rally. Its record of 7 consecutive wins has been never beaten. The Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution won the most victories on the Dakar Rally – 12 in total.
The most popular Mitsubishi models are the Lancer, Eclipse, 3000GT, Outlander, Diamante, and L200,
- Production: 1973-2017, still on sale in Taiwan and China
- Names: Mitsubishi Lancer, Mitsubishi Mirage, Colt Lancer, Dodge Colt, Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, and others
- Over 8 million sales worldwide thru 8 generations (between 1973 and 2008)
The long-running Lancer received multiple versions and modifications. Throughout its history, this small car has been marketed under various names in different countries. The current 10th generation was launched in 2017.
The first-generation Lancer available as a 2- or 4-door sedan was a rallying success. In particular, the Lancer 1600 GSR is a legend in the rally world: it won twice at the Safari Rally of Kenya and four times at the Australian Southern Cross Rally.
- Production: 2001 – present
Originally named the Airtrek, the model further got the “Outlander” name to evoke the idea of distant lands waiting for exploration.
This compact crossover is the most famous, award-winning, best-selling model of the brand nowadays, with more than 2 million sales worldwide since its launch.
It has four generations. A plug-in hybrid version was added for the third-gen Outlander, and it is the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market.
Mitsubishi debuted the latest 4th generation as the 2022 model in February 2021. The SUV rides on the Renault–Nissan CMF-CD platform, and it is essentially a 3-row version of the Nissan Rogue/X Trail with the same base engine (2.5.L 4-cyl 181-hp one).
- Production: 1989 – 2011 (906,876 units)
Mitsubishi produced four generations of the sport compact car in 3-door liftback coupe and 2-door convertible body styles, The “Eclipse” name originates from an undefeated English racehorse who won 18 races in the 18h century.
The model came to replace the Starion and quickly gained popularity. The last Eclipse to roll off the production line was auctioned off, and the proceeds were donated o the Japanese Red Cross.
The Eclipse nameplate was returned in 2017 for a new compact crossover – Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
4. 3000GT / GTO
- Production: 1990–2000
- Names: 3000GT (global), GTO (in Japan), Dodge Stealth (in North America)
Mitsubishi produced and marketed 3 different generations of this 2-door grand touring/sports car in liftback coupe and convertible body styles, with either front- or all-wheel-drive layouts. It inherited the architecture of the Mitsubishi Diamante.
Many fans of the brand argue the model is the best Mitsubishi car ever made. Used 3000GTs still cost good money. The model was ahead of its time, as it offered advanced features like 3L V6 engines with twin-turbochargers, an active exhaust system and active aerodynamics, adaptive suspension, or all-wheel steering.
- Production: 1990–2005
- Names: Mitsubishi Magna, Sigma, V3000, Verada
The V6-engined full-size Diamante was available as a 4-door sedan, a 4-door hardtop sedan, and a 5-door station wagon thru 2 generations. When the model first arrived, it had a luxury look and was a surprise hit. The car even won the Car of the Year award in Japan.
The Diamante was introduced as Mitsubishi’s response to the arrival of the Honda/Acura Legend. Premium cars were becoming increasingly popular at that time: Lexus and Infiniti divisions appeared.
In the period when private car owners were looking for executive cars, and there were very few of them on the market, Mitsubishi hit the mark with its new Diamante model.
- Production: 1978 – present
- Names: L2300, Triton (since 2006), Forte, Strada, Warrior, Hunter, Colt, Sportero, Dodge D50, Dodge Ram 50, Plymouth Arrow, and others
- 5 generations, 140 markets
The 4×4 compact pickup truck comes in Single Cab, Double Cab, Club Cab 2- or 4-door layouts, with seats for two, four, and five. Under the hood, it has 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter gasoline engines or 2.4-, 2,5-, and 3,2-liter diesel ones, with horsepower from 128 to 178.
Well-received upon its first introduction, the truck was and continues to be a best-seller in many markets – Latin America, Asia, and Africa. It has been a top-selling pickup in Europe too, in various periods, for example, in the UK.
Upper photo: fouth-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse GS coupe
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