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Among Japanese automakers, Mitsubishi isn’t nearly as popular as Toyota and Honda in America. That fact is evident in their sales numbers, which show that most Mitsubishi cars aren’t flying off dealership lots. However, there is one exception. Here’s a look at the Outlander and why it’s the only decent-selling Mitsubishi model.  

The Outlander tops Mitsubishi sales by a landslide

The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV driving on the road
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi

Compared to the most popular carmakers in America, Mitsubishi sales don’t look great. The company sells five models in America, and three wear the Outlander nameplate. The top-selling Mitsubishi model is the original Outlander. 

The Japanese automaker sold 14,368 units of the compact SUV in Q2 2023 — a big jump from the 10,238 the company delivered in the second quarter of last year. The Outlander PHEV, almost identical to the regular Outlander but with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, sold 1,620 units in the second quarter.

After the Outlander, the second best-selling Mitsubishi model is the Outlander Sport. Despite their similar names, the Outlander Sport significantly differs from the original. The Sport is a much smaller SUV, selling only 3,879 units in the second quarter.

Mitsubishi sales data also shows the Eclipse Cross and Mirage are performing poorly. The company sold 2,761 units of the compact crossover and 1,974 units of the compact car.

Is the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander a good SUV?

The main reason the Outlander outsells every other Mitsubishi model combined is that it’s a better car. Overall, it’s a solid SUV that excels in a few areas.

For instance, the Outlander PHEV is fuel-efficient and can go 38 miles in battery-only mode. The traditional Outlander’s powertrain is also admirable, making 181 hp and achieving about 28 mpg combined.

But what really separates this SUV from most rivals is its seating capacity. Despite being compact crossovers, the Outlander and Outlander PHEV have third-row seating. That allows room for seven people, although most adults would feel cramped in the back row.

Furthermore, this compact SUV has excellent cargo space for a small SUV. With all seatbacks folded down, cargo capacity tops out at 79.7 cubic feet. In addition, Its standard features are capable. It comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a decent number of smart safety features. The 2023 Outlander starts at about $28,000, a steal for a three-row SUV. The PHEV starts at about $40,000, on par with other plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

Why are Mitsubishi sales so low?

Although the Outlander hasn’t earned stellar reviews, the rest of the lineup has fared worse. The Outlander Sport hasn’t reviewed well, and the Mirage has received scathing criticism. That flawed reputation is a significant reason the other Mitsubishi models aren’t selling well.

For most shoppers, vehicle quality matters most. They want a well-built car that’s good now and for the next few years. Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, other automakers build better cars. Until the company fixes that problem, the Outlander will remain its only model with decent sales.


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