Are Mitsubishi Cars a Worthy Investment?

When searching for the perfect vehicle, it’s important to consider factors such as performance, reliability, and value for money. Mitsubishi, a well-known Japanese automaker, has been in the industry for over a century and has produced a wide range of vehicles to cater to different preferences. The question many potential buyers ask is, “Are Mitsubishi cars a good investment?”

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of Mitsubishi and explore its reputation, models, and overall performance to help you make an informed decision.

The History of Mitsubishi Cars

Mitsubishi’s journey in the automotive industry dates back to the early 20th century. Established in 1870 as a shipping firm by Yataro Iwasaki, the company later diversified into various industries, including automobile manufacturing.

Early Beginnings

In 1917, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, introduced Model A – Japan’s first series-production automobile. This hand-built sedan was an expensive and limited production model, eventually leading to its discontinuation in 1921.

Expansion and Growth

In 1934, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Mitsubishi Aircraft Co. merged to form Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). MHI focused on producing aircraft, ships, and machinery while also developing various prototype vehicles. During the 1960s, the company began producing passenger cars, starting with the Mitsubishi 500, a compact car designed for the growing Japanese market.

Global Expansion

Mitsubishi motors shop facade view.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) was established in 1970 as a separate entity from MHI. The 1970s and 1980s marked a period of rapid growth and expansion for MMC, with the introduction of popular models like the Galant, Lancer, and Pajero.

Mitsubishi vehicles gained a strong reputation for their durability, performance, and innovation, and the company started exporting its vehicles to markets worldwide.

Partnership with Chrysler

In the early 1970s, Mitsubishi entered a partnership with Chrysler, which allowed their vehicles to be sold under the Dodge and Plymouth brands in the US. This partnership helped Mitsubishi gain a foothold in the American market and increased its global presence.

Financial Challenges and Alliances

The 1990s and early 2000s saw Mitsubishi facing financial difficulties due to various factors, including economic downturns and a series of recalls.

To mitigate these challenges, the company entered into strategic alliances with other automakers, such as Volvo, PSA Peugeot Citroën, and Nissan. In 2016, Nissan acquired a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, making it a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Throughout its history, Mitsubishi has remained committed to innovation and technological advancements. From introducing turbocharged engines in the 1980s to pioneering electric vehicles with the i-MiEV in 2009, Mitsubishi has always been at the forefront of automotive technology.

Today, the company continues to produce a range of vehicles, including sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, and electric vehicles, catering to diverse customer preferences and maintaining its reputation as a reliable automaker.

Are Mitsubishi Good Cars?

To determine if Mitsubishi cars are a good choice, let’s examine some of the key factors that contribute to the overall quality and desirability of a vehicle.

Mitsubishi Outlander Offroad vehicle.

1.     Performance

Mitsubishi cars have a reputation for solid performance across their lineup. Many of their models, like the Lancer Evolution, gained a cult following due to their exceptional handling, acceleration, and off-road capabilities.

Mitsubishi’s SUVs, such as the Outlander and Eclipse Cross, are praised for their driving dynamics and comfortable ride. The company has also invested in electric and hybrid vehicles, like the Outlander PHEV, providing environmentally-conscious options with competitive performance.

2.     Reliability

Mitsubishi cars are generally known for their reliability, with many owners reporting long-lasting vehicles that require minimal maintenance. While not always at the top of reliability rankings, Mitsubishi vehicles have consistently performed well in terms of dependability.

Additionally, the company offers a competitive warranty package, with a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, providing added peace of mind for buyers.

3.     Affordability

One of the primary appeals of Mitsubishi cars is their affordability. Mitsubishi vehicles are generally priced lower than their competitors, offering great value for money. The company’s focus on producing budget-friendly options makes it an attractive choice for those looking for a dependable vehicle without breaking the bank.

Moreover, Mitsubishi cars often have low running costs, making them economical to maintain in the long run.

4.     Safety

Mitsubishi has made significant strides in vehicle safety over the years. Their modern lineup includes advanced safety features such as Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

While not all models may receive top safety ratings, Mitsubishi vehicles generally offer a safe and secure driving experience.

5.     Innovation and Technology

Mitsubishi has a history of innovation, from introducing the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle (i-MiEV) to their advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. The company continues to invest in research and development, incorporating cutting-edge technology in its vehicles.

Mitsubishi’s infotainment systems, connectivity features, and driver-assist technologies are up-to-date and user-friendly, enhancing the overall driving experience.

Mitsubishi cars offer a combination of solid performance, reliability, affordability, safety, and innovative technology, making them a competitive choice in the automotive market. While they may not always be the top choice in every category, their well-rounded offerings cater to a wide range of customer needs and preferences.

Are Mitsubishi reliable?

Mitsubishi cars have a solid reputation for reliability, with many owners reporting minimal maintenance issues and long-lasting vehicles. While they may not always have top reliability rankings, they consistently perform well in terms of dependability. The company focuses on producing robust vehicles with a lower frequency of major mechanical problems compared to some other brands.

Additionally, Mitsubishi offers a competitive warranty package for added peace of mind. The 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty demonstrate the company’s confidence in its products. In short, while not every Mitsubishi model may be a reliability champion, the brand as a whole is known for producing dependable vehicles.

Is Mitsubishi safe?

Safety is an important aspect of any vehicle, and Mitsubishi has made significant progress in this area. The company equips its modern lineup with advanced safety features like Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Mitsubishi cars have also undergone rigorous crash testing by organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

While not every model may receive top safety ratings, the majority of Mitsubishi vehicles offer a secure and safe driving experience. The company continues to invest in research and development, working to incorporate the latest safety technologies to further enhance the protection of its vehicles’ occupants.

Are Mitsubishi expensive to maintain?

Car performing engine diagnostics.

One of the advantages of owning a Mitsubishi is the relatively low cost of maintenance. Compared to some other brands, Mitsubishi vehicles tend to have more affordable parts and servicing, resulting in lower overall maintenance expenses. The brand focuses on producing vehicles with fewer complex systems, which translates to fewer potential issues and more cost-effective repairs.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi’s reputation for reliability means that owners may experience fewer issues requiring costly maintenance. It is worth noting, however, that maintenance costs can vary depending on factors such as location, driving habits, and the specific model owned.

Overall, Mitsubishis are generally considered to be affordable to maintain in comparison to some other brands in the market.

Is Mitsubishi good on gas?

Fuel efficiency is an important consideration for many car buyers, and Mitsubishi vehicles often deliver competitive fuel economy. The company has focused on producing fuel-efficient engines and lightweight designs that contribute to lower fuel consumption.

Several Mitsubishi models, such as the Mirage and the Outlander Sport, offer impressive gas mileage, making them appealing choices for budget-conscious buyers.

Additionally, Mitsubishi has invested in developing electric and hybrid vehicles, like the Outlander PHEV, which provide environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient alternatives. While not every Mitsubishi model may be a class leader in terms of fuel economy, the brand’s overall focus on efficiency makes their vehicles a viable option for those seeking good gas mileage.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV dashboard.

Are Mitsubishi fun to drive?

Mitsubishi vehicles offer a range of driving experiences, with some models gaining a reputation for their enjoyable driving dynamics.

The Lancer Evolution, for example, became a cult favorite among enthusiasts for its powerful turbocharged engine, impressive handling, and off-road capabilities. The Eclipse Cross and Outlander SUVs also deliver comfortable rides and decent handling, making them enjoyable for daily driving.

Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, available in some models, further enhances handling and performance. While not every Mitsubishi model may be considered “fun to drive” in the traditional sense, the brand does offer a selection of vehicles that provide engaging driving experiences for different types of drivers.

What’s the best Mitsubishi?

The “best” Mitsubishi largely depends on individual preferences and requirements, as the company offers a variety of models catering to different needs. For those seeking an affordable and fuel-efficient compact car, the Mitsubishi Mirage is a popular choice. Buyers interested in a stylish, comfortable, and versatile crossover may find the Eclipse Cross to be the ideal fit.

For those in need of a family-friendly SUV with off-road capabilities and an available plug-in hybrid option, the Outlander is a strong contender. The performance-oriented drivers might still be drawn to the now-discontinued Lancer Evolution due to its impressive handling and power.

Ultimately, the best Mitsubishi for any individual will depend on factors such as budget, driving habits, and specific requirements.

What are the Common Mitsubishi Problems?

While Mitsubishi vehicles are generally known for their reliability, they are not immune to certain issues. Some common problems reported by owners include transmission issues, especially in the case of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs), which may exhibit hesitation, jerking, or failure.

Other potential issues include power window malfunctions, accessory drive belt noise, and premature wear of suspension components.

It is worth noting that the frequency and severity of these problems can vary greatly between models and production years. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial in addressing these issues and maintaining the vehicle’s reliability. As with any brand, researching specific models and their common issues is essential when considering a Mitsubishi vehicle.

Most Reliable Mitsubishi Models

Mitsubishi has produced several reliable models throughout its history. Some of the most dependable models include the Mitsubishi Lancer, a compact sedan known for its durability and low maintenance costs. The Outlander, a mid-size SUV, has also garnered praise for its reliability, with the plug-in hybrid variant (Outlander PHEV) receiving particular acclaim for its innovative technology and dependability.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer sedan exterior.

Another notable model is the Mirage, a budget-friendly subcompact car with a reputation for low running costs and minimal mechanical issues. These models have consistently demonstrated strong performance in terms of reliability and owner satisfaction, making them popular choices among Mitsubishi buyers.

Least Reliable Mitsubishi Models

While Mitsubishi is known for its overall reliability, some models have faced more issues than others. The Mitsubishi Galant, a mid-size sedan discontinued in 2012, experienced a range of problems, including engine and transmission issues, as well as electrical and suspension problems.

The Endeavor, a mid-size SUV produced between 2004 and 2011, also faced its share of reliability concerns, such as transmission failures and issues with the air conditioning system. It is important to note that these models are no longer in production, and Mitsubishi has made significant improvements in reliability and quality in its current lineup.

Is Mitsubishi A Good Car To Buy Used?

Purchasing a used Mitsubishi can be a good choice for budget-conscious buyers seeking a reliable and affordable vehicle. With a reputation for longevity and low maintenance costs, many used Mitsubishi models can offer excellent value for money.

When considering a used Mitsubishi, it is crucial to research the specific model, production year, and maintenance history to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision.

Regularly serviced vehicles with a clean history report are likely to provide better reliability and fewer issues in the long run. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Mitsubishi’s competitive warranty is transferable to subsequent owners, which can provide added peace of mind when purchasing a used vehicle.

Is Mitsubishi as reliable as Honda?

Mitsubishi and Honda both have strong reputations for reliability, but there are some differences between the two brands. Honda consistently ranks near the top of various reliability studies and surveys, often outperforming Mitsubishi in these rankings. However, this does not mean that Mitsubishi vehicles are unreliable.

The brand still boasts a solid track record for producing dependable vehicles with low maintenance costs. When comparing the two brands, it is essential to consider individual models and their specific reliability ratings, as performance can vary between different vehicles within each brand.

While Honda may hold an edge in overall reliability, Mitsubishi still offers a competitive range of reliable vehicles at affordable price points.

Ultimately, the decision between the two brands will come down to personal preferences, budget, and specific requirements, with both Mitsubishi and Honda providing reliable options for potential buyers.

How does Mitsubishi’s warranty compare to other automakers?

Mitsubishi offers a competitive warranty package that stands out among other automakers. With a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the company demonstrates confidence in its vehicles’ reliability and durability. While some other brands may provide longer basic warranties, Mitsubishi’s powertrain warranty is one of the most generous in the industry, offering added value and peace of mind for buyers.

Are Mitsubishi vehicles suitable for first-time car buyers?

Mitsubishi vehicles can be an excellent choice for first-time car buyers, thanks to their affordability, reliability, and ease of maintenance. Models like the Mirage and the Outlander Sport offer an attractive combination of low upfront costs, good fuel economy, and user-friendly features, making them ideal for new drivers or those on a tight budget.

Additionally, Mitsubishi’s focus on safety and advanced driver-assist technologies can provide extra reassurance for first-time buyers.

Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback exterior is shown.

How does Mitsubishi’s electric and hybrid vehicle lineup compare to other brands?

Mitsubishi has made significant strides in electric and hybrid vehicle development, with the Outlander PHEV being a notable example. As one of the first plug-in hybrid SUVs in the market, the Outlander PHEV has garnered praise for its innovation and efficiency.

While Mitsubishi’s electric and hybrid lineup may not be as extensive as some other brands, the company continues to invest in research and development, with plans to expand its range of environmentally friendly options in the future.


In summary, Mitsubishi cars offer a compelling mix of reliability, affordability, performance, and innovation, making them a competitive choice for a wide range of buyers. While the brand may not always lead in every category, Mitsubishi’s well-rounded offerings cater to various customer needs and preferences.

Whether you’re seeking a fuel-efficient compact car, a family-friendly SUV, or a performance-oriented model, Mitsubishi’s lineup provides dependable options for consideration. As with any vehicle purchase, thorough research and test drives are crucial to ensure the chosen Mitsubishi model is the perfect fit for your unique requirements.

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!