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Mitsubishi Motors has been taking its sweet time releasing a new vehicle, overseas or in North America. Back in 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started getting back to work while the COVID-19 pandemic was still heating up. The new business strategy was to have Mitsubishi Motors release something first in its respective region, not globally, and then Renault and Nissan would follow based on its success. It took several years, but we might have finally seen what all the buzz is about. After making its initial debut at the 2023 Indonesia International Auto Show, Mitsubishi revealed the new xForce compact crossover for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, and quickly announced the demise of the Mitsubishi Mirage thereafter.
Yes, the Mitsubishi Mirage – America’s most fuel-efficient vehicle that runs purely on gasoline is coming to an end. With a starting MSRP of $16,245 (plus destination fee), the Mitsubishi Mirage has a fuel economy of 36 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. The power is where it’s lacking, with a 1.2L MIVEC DOHC engine under the hood, capable of generating 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. This vehicle isn’t made for long travel on the highways. Known mainly as a car for saving money upfront and at the pump, the Mirage is great for driving locally, and an amazing choice for first-time car buyers.
Despite this, the Mirage didn’t fare so well in sales this year (2023). Mitsubishi Motors reported only 1974 units of the Mirage were sold in the second quarter of 2023, with a total of 5316 units sold all year. Mitsubishi has been upgrading most vehicles in its lineup, but aside from a Ralliart-inspired Mirage model, the hatchback hasn’t gotten much love. So, the Japanese automaker is setting it out to pasture while a new plan for the lineup takes form.
“We hope to grow the model from a vehicle for the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] market to a global strategic vehicle, making it a core model,” – Mitsubishi CEO Takao Kato
Enter the new Mitsubishi xForce. Based off of the original XFC Concept, the xForce takes a lot of styling cues from the concept, but toned things down a bit and leaned into a more modern and muscular look with a sculpted front grille and large LEDs on both ends of the front fascia. Featuring a Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium 8-speaker sound system. “mélange” fabric upholstery, an 8-inch digital instrument cluster sharing the dashboard with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, the interior has definitely been upgraded for the times. One might think that this was going to replace the Mirage, but several models have yet to be published on the manufacturer site with 2024 specs. Word is, even though the xForce won’t be coming to America, it will be replacing the Outlander Sport subcompact crossover as it sets itself up as a foundation for future Mitsubishi models as the new core model.
With plans to release nine new all-electric models by the end of the decade, we wonder how Mitsubishi will electrify the xForce and what plans the automaker has for its North American market. Follow along with us on news about Mitsubishi Motors when you follow us on NowCar social media.