Mitsubishi’s chief competitors are other mid-line manufacturers that are neither inexpensive or a premium brand. Such as Subaru, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Skoda, and from a price perspective, Citroen and Renault. Though certainly not in terms of design panache.
Mitsubishi’s entry-level model, the Colt supermini, worryingly scored much lower in car reviews in comparison to its key rivals. Established and reputable car magazine Autocar gave the Colt and overall rating of 2-and-a-half stars, comprehensively beaten in all areas by the class-leading Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Up, Honda Jazz, Kia Rio and even the Chevrolet Aveo. (1)
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric supermini is praised by Autocar’s sister consumer title What Car? for being purely electric and having zero ‘tailpipe emissions. But is far too heavily priced, has poor cabin ambience and won’t go as far between charges compared to its key rivals the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. (2)
Again, Mitsubishi’s infamous Shogun falls short compared to its rivals, a crying shame given the household name it had become. What Car? praised the Shogun’s off-road capabilities and is incredibly robust – a Mitsubishi signature trait. However, its competitors offer a much more civilised feel with equal, if not better off-road capabilities for similar money – such as the Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Landcruiser. A laughable one-star rating. (3)
The Mitsubishi Outlander SUV scored favourably with Autocar, the publication awarding it a respectable three-and-a-half star rating. Praise was given for its efficient engine and practical interior, however once again it fell down on cabin materials, imitative styling and driving dynamics compared to the Range Rover Evoque, Mazda CX-5, Volvo XC60 and Volkswagen Tiguan. (4)
It’s a similar case with the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up. Hugely popular with tradesmen, the Japanese offering was rated four stars by Parker’s Guide, praising its rugged feel and its appeal as a commercial vehicle, the L200 out-gunned the Isuzu Rodeo but is bettered overall by the Toyota Hilux and the class-leading Nissan Navara for its interior quality and more refined engines. (5)
From an owner satisfaction perspective, Mitsubishi was beaten by all of its closest competitors in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey, finishing 25th out of 27 manufacturers. Only Alfa Romeo and Chevrolet finished lower, and they’re not perceived as Mitsubishi’s key rivals. (6)
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Mitsubishi had the lowest EU new passenger car registration figure as of March 2013, with a 0.6 per cent market share. It’s closest rival in second-last place, was Suzuki with 1.2 per cent. (7)