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Automotive Section


Mitsubishi's small SUV tries to Eclipse its many competitors

Mitsubishi's new Eclipse Cross SUV is the Japanese automaker's entry into the entry level compact SUV market, a niche currently occupied by such other Japanese models as the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai. How does it stack up compared to that competition?

Well, I haven't driven a Qashqai, but I have driven the Honda, Mazda and Toyota and the Mitsubishi compares with them fairly well. And to sweeten the deal, owners get Mitsubishi's extensive warranty policy: a 10-year, 160,000-kilometre limited warranty on the power train, a five-year 100,000-kilometre new vehicle limited warranty with five-year unlimited kilometre roadside assistance.

That's good news. But while there's nothing really wrong with the Eclipse Cross, and it drives as well as such a vehicle is likely to ("Zoom-Zoom" from some of the competition notwithstanding), it still manages to come off like a bit of a dog's breakfast, at least as far as its design is concerned.

If you have a starving dog, then, you're in luck!

Mitsubishi Canada describes the vehicle's styling as "dynamic shield," which "conveys striking confidence with distinct, edgy body lines that flow to the raked rear hatch." And the vehicle's standard 18-inch alloy wheels "intensify the SUV's sporty, commanding stance." more...

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV puts in a plug for green driving

Mitsubishi has unleashed its plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander and I have to admit it's the nicest Mitsubishi SUV I've driven to date.

Not that a plug-in hybrid is near the top of my list of things to look for in a new vehicle, but judging by the number of plug-in hybrids available these days it seems clear that a) people either want such a vehicle or b) car makers are being pressured to add such vehicles to their offerings whether they sell or not (otherwise, why would we need government incentives that force your neighbours to help you pay for your purchase through their taxes?).  

Mitsubishi's "green" version of the Outlander has apparently been available elsewhere in the world for years, but this was the first model year the product has been offered to Canadian consumers. And according to the company, it appears Canadians are embracing the vehicle. "With 598 units delivered in the month of July (2018), Outlander PHEV leads the plug-in hybrid segment with more plug-in hybrids sold year-to-date than any other nameplate", the company said in a release, "helping Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada to achieve its (sixth) consecutive best month sales record."

That just shy of 600 units means the Outlander PHEV accounted for nearly a quarter of Mitsubishi's total sales for the month.  more...

Mitsubishi winter driving event helps teach control on snow

Winter may be on its way out soon, but there's still enough of the "old person" around to ensure that snowy Canadian roads will be challenging for at least a few more weeks. That means there's still ample opportunity for more skid-related fender benders before spring springs and the grass starts rizzing.

And to that end, Mitsubishi Canada has been on the road as well, bringing some professional drivers and some of their Outlander SUV/Crossovers to Alberta to not only showcase the "crummy weather capabilities" of their vehicles but to give some handy tips to attendees who find themselves oot and aboot when the white stuff sticks.

I love these events; they're not only fun but they can help you "navigate the neige" with more confidence and skill. I did a similar type of thing a couple of years back when Ford came through and will always show up for such events because you can never have too much practice - and it's a real hoot sliding around a snowy open area in someone else's vehicle (and they treat you really nicely, too). more...

Mitsubishi Outlander GT 4WD - control yourself!

Mitsubishi's 2016 Outlander faces an uphill battle to be seen in the crowded midsize SUV/Crossover niche, despite many good things about the vehicle itself.

It's too bad; at heart, the Outlander is a decent vehicle, but as executed on Mitsubishi Canada's sample GT 4WD version, there are some things that leave a bit to be desired - and that could help contribute to the Outlander's perhaps getting lost in the competitive shuffle. The driver's seat, for example. It's comfortable enough, but when I dumped my prodigious posterior into the sample's it rocked back as if it were mounted too loosely. This phenomenon would repeat itself when I tromped the gas pedal, which was quite disconcerting - though it did indicate that, if there are things lacking in this vehicle, power isn't one of them!

Mitsubishi has freshened the Outlander this year, giving it sharper rear styling as well as a number of other design and engineering improvements such as increased structural rigidity for the body and suspension, a redesigned suspension, electric power steering, noise-isolating windshield and rear door glass, added sound insulation throughout the vehicle, improved weather stripping and engine compartment trim. It all contributes to a vehicle that's improved plenty from previous years. more...

Mitsubishi upgrades its RVR for 2015

Mitsubishi's entry into the crowded entry level SUV/Crossover market is a decent vehicle made even more so for the 2015 model year. The RVR (called the Outlander Sport in the U.S. market) now sports a mid-year added 2.4 litre four banger for the GT and SE Limited versions, adding a bit more oomph compared to the base two litre version that's still available on the ES, SE 2WD and 4WD models.

Mitsubishi says its decision to offer the two power plants was born from the engineering team's desire to "strike a balance of fuel efficiency and power - as well as offering a broader choice to consumers." So it is that the larger engine puts out 168/167 horsepower/torque compared to its little brother's 148/145, and who can argue with added get up and go, especially considering it still gets decent fuel mileage of 8.9 litres per 100 km in its all-wheel drive (or, in Mitsubishi lingo "all wheel control") livery. The two litre, by the way, is rated at 7.3 l/100 km. more...

Outlander premieres in Sea to Sky jaunt

Vancouver, B.C. – It sports a brand new set of clothes, a slimmer footprint and new technology. And it's one of the few small utes you can still get with seating for seven and V6 power.

"It" is the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, which Mitsubishi Canada introduced in Vancouver to three waves of media folk, who got to experience the vehicle's on and off road performance on a trip up the Sea to Sky highway to a mountain top near Squamish. more...

Mitsubishi Lancer a reasonable ride

Take a basic four door sedan, add all wheel control and a touch of élan and you have the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer, a compelling choice for those looking for a reasonably priced, reasonably fun family car.

Well, the Lancer SE AWC, anyway. It's a new model for 2012 and the car Mitsubishi Canada provided as a sample. And you know what? It's a pretty nice ride.

The Lancer is Mitsubishi's "bread and butter" car, offered in versions from econcar to hotter'n'heck. The SE AWC is kind of in the upper middle of the line, and treads a nice, er, line between economy and fun. In fact, it's a lot more fun that I had expected, especially since the version I tried was fitted with a continuously variable transmission, the type of shiftless tranny that often sucks all the joy out of driving. more...

Mitsubishi i-MiEV – coal, natural gas or nuclear-powered eco-saver?

Count Mitsubishi as being on board for saving the world through battery power.

The Japanese automaker is one of the first companies to offer an honest-to-goodness all-electric car for the Canadian market, and I got to spend three days with one recently. It was the first all-electric car in which I've had a chance to spend some seat time, and of course I was very interested.

But when you tally all of what this car really is and what it does, you end up with a vehicle that could pass muster on its electrical abilities, albeit with a number of caveats, but which fails in a more basic goal: being a compelling car. more...

Mitsubishi and Nissan - A Tale of Two CVT Crossovers

One has a schnoz like Darth Vader's mask, the other looks like a legless frog on a skateboard, and the makers of both vehicles think they represent compelling solutions to customers' need for a small and capable crossover/wagon.

Mitsubishi's RVR (or "Outlander Sport" in the U.S.) is the tall wagon whose proboscis causes a great disturbance in the force. It's more like a conventional wagon than the Juke – the second vehicle under dissection, er, discussion here. Between them, Mitsubishi and Nissan have a lot of bases covered for people seeking a reasonably small utilitarian vehicle. more...

Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution a Fast Friend

It's raw! It's visceral! It's "Basic transportation on steroids"!

It's the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a superly-souped up version of the Japanese carmaker's mainstream sedan, a car designed for the rallyer or the wannabe racer. The Lancer Evolution is all about performance.  more...

Mitsubishi Lancer

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Mitsubishi must really love Audi, Acura and Lexus.

Mitsubishi's new, 2008 Lancer compact sports sedan has apparent homages to all three marques in its attractive exterior: the grille looks inspired by the proboscis on recent Audis, the sides look as if they were cloned from the current Acura TL and the rear end looks clearly, er, borrowed from the current Lexus IS – all of which are fine (and fine looking) cars.  more...

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

Here's evidence that one shouldn't be afraid of spiders, especially if they're spelled with a "y" instead of the arachnophobic's usual bane, "i".

It's the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, a car that is definitely not creepy crawly (like The Who's famous Boris), but is instead a real blast to take out on an open road on a warm day. It's a drop top sports coupe that offers just about as much enjoyment as you can expect from a reasonably priced front drive car.  more...

Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Want an affordable family hauler with a little more fun-to-drive quotient than many such vehicles? The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback could be just what the doctor ordered.

Station wagons went out of favor for a while, perhaps because the minivan took over the family hauler duties for many. But while minivans make terrific carriers of people and paraphernalia, most of them fall on the "practical" side of the automotive ledger rather than the "fun" side.  more...

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Acura Audi BMW Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Dodge Ford GMC Honda Hummer
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Nissan Pontiac Porsche Saab Saturn Scion Subaru Suzuki Toyota Volkswagen Volvo

Jim Bray is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. His columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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