Monday, April 30, 2012
Should Mitsubishi's new Mirage come to the U.S.?
The 1992 Mitsubishi Expo LRV was my first car. I grew up lusting for a 3000GT VR-4. My family owned two Eclipses in the early 1990s. I'd still love to find an '80s Mirage turbo, and my dream project is to put a 4G63T into an Expo LRV. Although I really like Mitsubishis, there isn't a new one that I'd buy.
Apparently, I'm not alone. Fewer and fewer people are stepping into Mitsubishi dealers. In the '80s and '90s, Mitsubishi made some of the most unique, edgy, and fun Japanese vehicles, and sales were good. With the Eclipse and Endeavor, and Galant on their way out, there are surprisingly few cars that apparently appeal to car shoppers. Plus, Mitsubishi, much like Suzuki (and there are plenty of parallels for the two companies in the U.S.), doesn't offer a gas-sipping B-segment vehicle here.
Now, Automotive News is reporting that Mitsubishi will bring the all-new Mirage to Canada, and that there's a 50/50 chance it'll make it Stateside. However, will this car help to usher in the masses to the Mitsubishi dealers?
The new Mirage (the name has been gone in the U.S. since 2002) is a simple, small two-box design that, as I understand it, could compete with Chevrolet's upcoming Spark A-segment mini car. Unfortunately, I think this Mirage already looks dated. From its no-nonsense hubcap-clad wheels, to its bland lines, I don't see the Mirage being a hit here. That is, unless they make it ridiculously cheap, and I doubt that'd happen.
The overwhelming response I've read a is that it's bland, boring, and blah to look at. And with outstanding choices from many other automakers, this Mirage may have its work cut out for it, assuming it lands on U.S. soil.
My family has owned seven Mitsubishi products over the years. From a late '70s Dodge Champ (build by Mitsubishi) to a 1997 Montero Sport—they've all been good, trouble-free cars. I'd love to see Mitsubishi regain some of its former fun self. I'm not sure the Mirage will do it, but maybe it's part of a bigger plan. Maybe not. I say, skip the Mirage and bring us a revamped version of the JDM Mitsubishi Colt.
SOURCE: Automotive News