Sedans & Coupes

A ‘Poorly Designed Bumper’ Cost a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Owner $1,000 to Fix

Die-hard fans raved about the Mitsubishi Lancer for years — until they didn’t since the last model was a dud — and anĀ highly over-priced dud at that. Mitsubishi is known for its wide range of vehicles and the Lancer was meant to be one of the top vehicles of its kind, and it was — for awhile. But one poorly designed bumper contributed to changing all that. Now, the focus is more on Mitsubishi’s SUVs. Read on to find out why.

Mitsubishi’s quality concerns

red 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer | Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images

Let’s face it. No car brand is going to get everything right. However, Mitsubishi isn’t exactly known for delivering high quality vehicles. The Mitsubishi Mirage is one example. It’s been a contender in the subcompact car division off and on for years. In 2020, it only rankedĀ 4.6 of 10 in reliability, safety, and comfort. This isn’t the only Mitsubishi flop, but it does show the company is dedicated to offering low prices and high fuel economy whenever possible, even if it does cost in quality some.

Another problem has been the massive recall of over 140,000 cars because the front suspension was found to be detachable from the body of the car. However, this recall only applies for those cars in the Salt Belt region and for Lancers, Lancer Sportbacks, Outlanders, and Outlander Sports models. Another issue is faulty seat belts.

Mitsubishi Lancer woes

The bumper was arguably poorly designed for the Mitsubishi Lancer, as one customer found out to the tune of over $1,000, according to Car Complaints.

According to this customer, the A/C system and radiator had to be repaired too after hitting “something small” and demanded that Mitsubishi reinforce the bumper better. This turned out to be costly and added more doom to the Lancer. But, on the positive, this is the only owner to report such a problem to Car Complaints on the 2008 Lancer.

A couple other reviewers on Car Complaints had issues with the 2008 Lancer’s paint peeling, including the paint on the bumper chipping.

Transition to Mitsubishi SUVs

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The Mitsubishi Lancer was found to be a dismal failure in its later models. That bumper fix alone is costly and the fact that it can lead to additional problems to the A/C system and radiator is enough to steer many people away from the car.

Mitsubishi SUVs have earned a reputation for their off-road performance and four-wheel drive systems. While the lacking reputation of Mitsubishi precedes the SUVs, many have found them to be attractive SUVs and with a design that is beneficial for the type of car it is. Especially the Outlander. Mitsubishi SUVs aren’t exactly winning any awards for its interior design, but is being shown as being reliable and understandable.

Like with the other Mitsubishi vehicles, the SUVs are meant to offer consumers with an economical SUV, so the quality isn’t as high as you’d find with other brands. Unlike other Mitsubishi vehicles, the quality of the SUV is higher and, to some extent, Mitsubishi has gotten a bad rap based on poor designs in other vehicles. The SUVs show better standings that are surprising buyers.

Mitsubishi still has a lot of work to do

Mitsubishi has a long history behind its vehicles. In some cases, it’s been good. In others, it’s been bad. However, the best call has been the focus on SUVs because these vehicles are receiving a better reputation than other models. To regain the reputation it once had, Mitsubishi still has a lot of work to do. The focus on the SUV lineup is one step in that direction.

For some people, Mitsubishi is still a great option. For others, not so much. It’s the luck of the draw and the kind of vehicle selected. Your best bet is with the SUVs though. You’re more likely to get a better vehicle for a price you can afford and at least some bells and whistles you want.