Though it may come as a surprise to many, Mitsubishi dealers are still open for business. So far, the company has escaped the fate of similar automakers, such as Suzuki, that were forced to cease operations in the United States due to poor sales. For now, the brand soldiers on with a lineup that consists of the compact 3-cylinder-powered Mirage, Lancer sedan, Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers, and the soon-to-be-discontinued Lancer Evolution. Mitsubishi has not announced future plans for its fully electric i-MiEV car, which continues to be available as a 2014 model.
2015 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi's venture into the electric car segment is represented by the 4-door, 4-passenger, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) i-MiEV. As this article is written, the company has not announced details about the 2015 model.
The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is still available, offered in a single ES trim configuration equipped with a 66-horsepower electric motor, 16-kWh Lithium-ion battery that can be recharged in 6-22 hours, 15-in. alloy wheels, and heated front seats. Mitsubishi claims the i-MiEV can travel up to 98 miles on a full charge.
While it may not enjoy the popularity of competitors such as the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, Mitsubishi's Lancer continues to exist as an alternative to those more mainstream models. For 2015, the Lancer adds standard heated turn signal rearview mirrors to all trim levels, which include the entry-level ES, all-wheel-drive (AWD) SE, sporty GT, and the turbocharged AWD Ralliart. Mitsubishi has also tweaked the Lancer recipe by introducing an ES Value package consisting of redesigned 16-in. alloy wheels, voice-controlled infotainment system, soft-touch interior surfaces, and 4-wheel disc brakes. A new Sun and Sound package debuts this year, too, boasting a power sunroof, HID headlights, and a 710-watt premium audio system. Those last two items are now standard on the top-of-the-line 2015 Lancer Ralliart, along with rain-sensing wipers, unique 18-in. alloy wheels, and automatic headlights.
Weekend auto-crossers and countless driving enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that 2015 marks the end of the road for the rally-inspired, turbocharged, AWD Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sedan. Like the base Lancer, this year's Evo features standard heated turn signal mirrors and a few key content upgrades, including a GSR Premium package that bundles together HID headlights, 710-watt surround-sound system, leather upholstery, power sunroof, heated front seats, and more. Several of those amenities are also now standard on the top-of-the-line Lancer Evolution MR.
Mitsubishi touts its 2015 Mirage as "the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle in America." That claim is backed up by an EPA-estimated 44 mpg highway rating when equipped with an available continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the Mirage's standard 74-horsepower 3-cylinder engine. DE and ES trim levels are offered. Updates for the 5-passenger Mirage include chrome interior accents, new upholstery, and, for the ES, standard turn signal mirrors.
The 7-passenger Mitsubishi Outlander crossover returns for the 2015 model year with a host of upgrades, among which are reduced interior noise, retuned chassis and CVT, standard leather interior accents and infotainment system, and subtle exterior styling enhancements. Buyers have their choice of FWD or AWD, as well as 4-cylinder-powered ES and SE trim levels or the V-6-equipped Outlander GT.
Each 2015 Outlander trim level has been updated to some degree, with the base ES sporting new contrast stitching on the seats, the SE adding leatherette upholstery, and the GT returning with redesigned 18-in. alloy wheels, LED taillights, and optional silver roof rails.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Mitsubishi this year-aside from confirmation of the Evo's imminent demise-is the debut of a more powerful optional engine for the Outlander Sport crossover. New-for-2015 2.4 ES and 2.4 GT trim levels are equipped with a 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a CVT that delivers output to the front or all four wheels. The standard engine continues to be a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder.
In addition to the extra muscle under the hood and expanded lineup, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport returns with available LED taillights, quieter interior, revised interior accents, and improved ergonomics.