It’s no secret that Mitsubishi is having trouble in today’s increasingly competitive automotive industry. No matter how you look at the company’s line of offerings, you have to admit that it has fallen behind other automakers. Sure, the company’s vehicles don’t look too bad, and most of them come with available All Wheel Control, but beyond that, they’re not too interesting. Mitsubishi’s vehicles don’t offer much that sets them apart, other than low MSRPs. Also, many automakers meet or beat Mitsubishi’s prices.

If you take a look back at Mitsubishi in the 1990s, you’d never expect it would have sunk so low by 2016. Even ten years ago, the automaker was still doing some things right. Now, with the Evo gone and a crop of ever increasing bland choices in the lineup, it’s not surprising the company is floundering in America. As much as we would love to go on about every bad move, hindsight is 20/20. It’s better to look at what the company is doing wrong right now and hope the good folks working there can turn it around. Here are some things we’ve noticed.

Too Much Cheap-Looking Interior Materials

Lancer Interior

The first and probably biggest complaint we have with all of Mitsubishi's models we’ve either reviewed or seen up close is that the interior materials are subpar. How does a lowly Ford Fiesta feel and look so much better than a Mitsubishi Mirage? The materials look plain bad. The buttons, knobs and switches feel cheaper, the interior paneling feels chintzier, there’s lots of hard plastics everywhere and upgrade packages (when offered) hardly do much to spruce things up.

The cheap-looking interior materials make the car feel dated. A 2017 Lancer shouldn’t feel like it could time travel back to 2006 and fit right in. That’s the way it feels. Maybe not on the road when you’re in the middle of a turn, but anytime you’re not focused on driving, you’re reminded that the Mitsubishi you’re sitting in is put together with materials that feel like they belong on a Mattel product

Poor Infotainment System

Mitsubishi infotainment

In today’s world, infotainment is one of the biggest selling points for a vehicle. People have to be connected to apps, navigation, music and more. While Mitsubishi is definitely trying to make its vehicles contend with the competition, the systems the company uses aren’t the best in terms of the number of features they offer or user experience.

The models we’ve driven have come equipped with subpar touchscreens, difficult to use interfaces and poorly laid out buttons and controls. It’s clear that Mitsubishi knows what technology needs to go into its cars, crossovers and SUVs, but its implementation of that technology is far from the best. The company’s infotainment systems rank near the bottom as far as we’re concerned.

None of The Vehicles Do Anything Different Than The Competition

Outlander Sport

The final issue we have with Mitsubishi’s vehicles is that none of the company’s models stand out. They all play the budget-shopper card, and they don’t do it very well. There are plenty of other great vehicles out there at or near the same price. Mitsubishi used to be good at making cars that were different. The 3000GT, the Starion, Lancer Evo - heck, even the Eclipse was pretty darn different and cool. It was, and often still is, the tuner gateway car.

We’re not saying that Mitsubishi’s triumphant return to prominence has to be paved with several successful, kickass sports cars (although that would be awesome). All we’re saying is the company has to find a way to set itself apart. Currently, the only thing that does that is the brand’s implementation of its useful All Wheel Control 4WD system and its unique styling. Unfortunately, those two things aren’t enough to make up for all of the other shortcomings. Hopefully, Nissan’s ownership of the controlling stake of the company will help turn things around.

Still have a thing for Mitsubishi's offerings? Check out these models we've recently driven.

Mitsubishi Lancer


Find Local Discounts on the Mitsubishi Lancer

Mitsubishi Outlander


Find Local Discounts on the Mitsubishi Outlander