Now that the redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander has become a Top Safety Pick+ of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Mitsu has become the only automaker in the country to have earned that designation for its entire crossover lineup. True, that entire crossover lineup includes just two members, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, but the achievement is still worth noting. Consider: Although the 2014 Subaru Forester also has received a “TPS+” trophy, the Ford Escape hasn’t. Neither has the Honda CR-V. Or the Buick Encore, BMW X1 or VW Tiguan.
And after Toyota specifically requested a delay to the testing of its brand-new Toyota RAV4, so the company could fine-tune it to pass the IIHS’ small front-overlap test, it didn’t.
Now, the RAV4, as well as all those other entries, did receive the traditional Top Safety Pick designation. That means they scored the highest possible grades in testing for occupant protection in moderate front-overlap, side and rear crash scenarios, as well as in a test of roof strength (for rollover incidents). But what they didn’t do was pass the small front-overlap test, which was designed to assess protection when a frontal collision occurs at the corner of a vehicle, outside the main area of the typical vehicle’s “safety cage.”
On the other hand, it’s not just crossovers that are being challenged by the new test procedure. The only compact car in the industry to have earned “Good” grades in the evaluation is the Honda Civic (in both coupe and sedan formats).
Clearly, it’s going to take a while for the industry as a whole to catch up with the new IIHS standards, and until it does, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will continue to showcase an important advantage in two of the country’s key vehicle segments—and continue to help the brand move up on the monthly sales lists.
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Inspires 101 Percent Sales Jump
July marked what could have been a turning point in Mitsubishi’s fortunes in this country. The automaker’s sales had been running in the red throughout the first six months of 2013, but a lot of that had to with its shrunken lineup, as Mitsu had axed a number of older models earlier in the selling season. Since then, however, the company has followed up the success of its Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by refreshing that five-seat entry for 2013, and launching the brand-new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander last month.
And that was when the growing sales of the brand’s current lineup finally surpassed the volume lost through now-extinct models, helping Mitsubishi to a 24.7 percent overall jump in deliveries in July that was backed by 5,230 sales. The best mark achieved by a mainstream car brand was Honda’s 21.2 percent improvement.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander delivered 1,268 units last month, for a 101 percent growth rate in its first full month on the market, while the Sport model led the brand in volume, with 2,075 sales that reflected a 41.9 percent advance. Even the Mitsubishi Lancer lineup was firmly in the black last month, with the Sedan, Sportback and Evolution combining to enjoy a 26 percent improvement on the strength of 1,719 deliveries.
Yet with all that momentum and the hyper-efficient Mitsubishi Mirage slated to arrive later this year, there’s still one more way to help boost demand even further.
"The early sales of the all-new Outlander and the ongoing popularity of the Outlander Sport provide the basis for what is shaping up as a very good summer for Mitsubishi sales," said Yoichi Yokozawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America. "Mitsubishi's Summer Sales Event will take place in August, so consumers visiting Mitsubishi dealerships will see great values, and have every opportunity to shop and buy our full product line."
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