Mitsubishi brings back the Eclipse as a crossover

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Geneva Motor Show,Mitsubishi,Crossover,Budget

It’s not the Eclipse we were hoping for.

Continue reading Mitsubishi brings back the Eclipse as a crossover

Mitsubishi brings back the Eclipse as a crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Premium design and diesels: Mazda may be the next VW

At the Chicago Auto Show, we had a chance to sit down with Jacob Brown, a Mazda PR representative, and Jacques Flynn, a lead exterior designer at the company, to talk about design and where the company is going. One of the themes of our discussion was the company’s desire to move its lineup toward a more premium, upscale feel and image – both in terms of vehicle design and powertrains. We realized the company may be looking to take a page from Volkswagen’s American playbook, positioning itself as a prime purveyor of affordable, upscale – and most importantly, fun to drive – automobiles.

In the case of design, Flynn talked about how Mazda’s KODO design language is going to evolve; that the goal is to simplify and refine the look. We discussed the CX-5 as an example of this evolution. Flynn pointed out that the goal was to add more refinement and simplicity, and showed how Mazda achieved this on the CX-5 by straightening the curves from the previous model to give it more visual length and a more taut shape. The grille also was given more depth and detailing, which isn’t simplified per se, but does provide a more premium look.

Mazda’s upcoming diesel engines are another piece to Mazda’s premium puzzle. The company will finally offer a diesel on the CX-5. While Mazda planned not to use urea-injection, it finally resorted to the system so the engine could both meet performance benchmarks and emissions standards. In addition to the efficiency of the engine, Brown said that diesel engines have a premium nature for buyers. This is due in part to the luxury automakers that mainly offer them in the US, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and to the fact that the technology will add some cost to the product.

If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because you know these characteristics used to describe Volkswagen: a company known for upscale, affordable cars, providing great driving dynamics – and formerly, for efficient and fun-to-drive TDI diesel engines. While we didn’t touch on the driving experience of modern Mazdas in our interview, you can simply look at any of our reviews to see that we generally like what the company builds.

The only downside is that we may have to wait a while for some models, and others may never show up here. Brown and Flynn both said that the Mazda2 is unlikely to be offered in the US as anything other than the Toyota Yaris iA, since it’s hard to convince people that a subcompact is premium. No surprise there.

Also, performance models, such as a future Mazdaspeed3, are a ways off, something that reinforces what we’ve heard before. Brown and Flynn said the company is focused on making the core line-up cohesive, and that every model supports the brand’s image. They said Mazda, a tiny company compared to its rivals and with no broad partnership with a major automaker, can’t afford to have a misstep or to do a car “half-assed” as Flynn put it. So the company probably won’t be working on specific performance models until the line-up is up-to-date once again.

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The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition debuts in Chicago

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has been on sale with only a mild refresh since 2010. For 2017, Mitsubishi is injecting some much needed life into the crossover. A Limited Edition trim, or simply LE, will be fully revealed this week at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Like most of the automaker’s products, the Outlander Sport LE packs lots of features into a compact and relatively affordable package.

The LE trim sits directly above the base Outlander Sport ES and will set you back $21,995, though it’s unclear if that includes destination. An alloy fuel door, black painted door mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, HID headlamps, a rearview camera and a Limited Edition badge are all included. The trim is available in any exterior color, but the interior of the Outlander Sport LE gets a special treatment. Red stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob, and brake lever compliment heated seats, aluminum pedals, and an infotainment system packed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport may be getting up there in age, but it does pack a lot of features, decent packaging, and an excellent warranty into a reasonably affordable package. No word on how limited this Limited Edition may actually be.

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