Late last year, the automotive market intelligence division of a powerful credit reporting agency*, said that consumers who finance the purchase of a Mitsubishi have, as a group, the lowest average credit scores of any brand sold in the United States.
Ouch. That hurts. But it makes sense.
The once promising Japanese automaker that built compelling alternatives to the Hondas and Nissans and Toyotas that everyone else bought, the car company that capitalized on the passion of car enthusiasts in love with turbocharged, all-wheel-drive fun-mobiles, lost its way after deciding to go big or go home. The resulting “Project America” plan bloated the Eclipse sport coupe, made the Galant sedan a me-too midsizer, and produced the truly strange Endeavor crossover suv. Americans were none too impressed.
This product strategy misfire, followed by too much investment in and focus on the i-MiEV electric golf cart…I mean, car…has left Mitsubishi heavily reliant on the glow produced by the Lancer Evolution, a truly awesome machine even in its currently advanced stage of age.
The car depicted on this page is not the legendary Evo. It is the Lancer Sedan in SE trim. This is the car Mitsubishi dealers try to sell to people who want an Evo but who can’t swing the payment, either for the car, or for the insurance, or because their credit rating won’t let them qualify for a loan on a $35,000 road rocket.
Having now spent a week with Mitsubishi’s only mainstream car, I can tell you that the SE, which is equipped with standard All-Wheel Control (AWC), is a smart idea. Unfortunately, the packaging is merely mediocre.
* Experian Automotive