Are Mitsubishis Expensive to Maintain?

Are Mitsubishi Expensive to Maintain

Mitsubishi is a well-known manufacturer of vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, and has an above-average reliability rating. But even with these stellar rankings, are Mitsubishis expensive to maintain?

Our expert editors have found that according to RepairPal, Mitsubishis have an annual repair cost of around $535.

But the price of a new Mitsubishi car is just the beginning of its expenses over its lifetime and what goes into maintenance expenses. Let’s take a look at if Mitsubishis are expensive to maintain, how they compare to other brands, and what goes into those expenses.

How Mitsubishi Compares to Other Brands

Make
Average Annual Maintenance Cost
JD Power Reliability Rating
Mitsubishi
Around $535
167
Honda
$400 to $500
205
Toyota
$400 to $600
168
Ford
Approximately $775
249
Chevy
Around $650
162
Lexus
$700 to $800
133
Genesis
$900 to $1,000
144
Kia
$450 to $550
152

Are Mitsubishis Expensive to Maintain?

The average cost of repairs for a Mitsubishi vehicle is $535 yearly, which is higher than the average cost of ownership.

Factors contributing to the brand's long-term reliability include the number of visits to a repair shop and the likelihood of a repair being severe.

The average cost of repairs for a Mitsubishi vehicle is $7,787 during its first 10 years of ownership. This is higher than the average cost of ownership for other brands.

It also has an 18.18% chance that it will need major repairs within that period. This is better by about 2% compared to other cars in the same category.

Are Mitsubishis Reliable?

Compared to European and domestic competitors, Mitsubishi cars are less expensive to maintain. They also have higher ownership costs than their Japanese rivals.

Back in the day, Mitsubishi cars were known for being reliable. They were no different from Japanese brands, known for their long-term dependability.

In 2012, the Mitsubishi Lancer was named the most dependable vehicle in the UK by Warranty Direct.

However, over the past couple of years, Mitsubishi cars have started falling down the list. In 2016, they were named one of the most unreliable brands by Consumer Reports.

They only scored 51 out of 100 points, and the organization refused to recommend a model.

In 2017, Mitsubishi was ranked seventh out of the 10 brands in the JD Power Dependability Survey. They had 182 problems per every hundred vehicles, above the industry average of 156.

If we look at specific models, the reliability index of Warranty Direct ranks Mitsubishi as poor.

Engine trouble was the most common issue, affecting 43.55% of all vehicles, while the braking system was responsible for 20.97%.

The Mitsubishi Shogun was also rated as poor by the organization. It has a Reliability Index of 140, higher than the other models.

Most of the vehicle encounters issues are related to the suspension and the axle.

According to the organization, this makes up 34.29% of all problems, while the engine comes in second with 22.86%. Despite this, the company still scored an average reliability index of 117.

Warranty Direct named the Mitsubishi Lancer the most dependable vehicle in the UK. It had a reliability index of 4. This is considered to be the best score in the organization's history.

How Frequently Does a Mitsubishi Require Maintenance?

We analyzed the frequency of major vehicle maintenance over three years. One of the most common major repairs that a Mitsubishi needs is system breakage, which can be expensive.

Although the data collected for this study is based on a make-model basis, factors such as the vehicle's condition, mileage, and driving habits can also affect the results.

For instance, older models may require more frequent services, while newer models can go longer without experiencing issues.

The frequency score of a vehicle can be used to determine how long it can go without major repairs. It shows how often a specific model requires major maintenance per three years.

The score is presented in terms of the number of years; if a vehicle has a frequency score of 3, it requires major repairs every year. The closer the score is to 0, the longer the car can go without major repairs.

The frequency score of a Mitsubishi vehicle is 0.78. This means that it's significantly better than the average vehicle in the market.

There are plenty of reliable cars out there that also require less frequent maintenance.

For instance, some domestic brands typically require higher visits to the shop but at a lower overall cost.

This doesn't mean that the vehicle breaks less often, but it shows that it's effortless to fix if there are issues.

Certain repairs, such as those involving major components of an engine, can be outliers and cost significantly more than the average repair.

To identify these types of repairs, RepairPal uses a severity score to evaluate their reliability.

The severity score is used to determine if a specific vehicle make or model will most likely have a major issue. It can estimate the likelihood that the car will need major repairs.

The NHTSA uses the severity score to enforce the safety standards of vehicles. It's important to note that having a car that needs major repairs can lead to accidents.

For instance, the model with the highest severity score is Mitsubishi. This vehicle has a score of 11%, which is significantly better than the average for all vehicle models.

A vehicle's severity score can also determine if you should consider getting an extended warranty.

Although these types of insurance typically don't make economic sense, they can help avoid costly repairs.

What Are the Common Mitsubishi Problems?

When buying a new car, one must be aware of the problems that may come up later on.

This applies to both new and used vehicles. Here are a few common issues you may encounter with a used Mitsubishi.

Some owners of used Mitsubishi cars have reported that their clear coat has white patches on them.

There are also reports of failing automatic transmissions in the Mitsubishi.

The clutch may also fail prematurely, leading to owners replacing theirs with a higher-market model.

Repair Type
Average Cost Estimate
Oil Change and Oil Filter Replacement
$75 to $125
Brake Pad Replacement
$150 to $300 per axle
Tire Replacement
$100 to $300 per tire
Battery Replacement
$120 to $250
Air Filter Replacement
$40 to $70
Transmission Fluid Change
$150 to $250
Spark Plug Replacement
$100 to $300
Coolant Flush
$100 to $200
Timing Belt Replacement
$500 to $1,000
Alternator Replacement
$500 to $1,000

Why You Should Maintain Your Mitsubishi

Maintaining a regular maintenance schedule is also essential for your Mitsubishi, as it can help keep it running at its best and prevent costly issues from happening.

Not maintaining your vehicle can also lead to costly repairs in the future.

Which Mitsubishi Cars Are the Most Reliable?

Let’s take a look at some of the most reliable Mitsubishi vehicles on the road.

  • Mitsubishi Outlander: The Outlander is a compact SUV that has received positive reviews for its reliability. Its spacious interior and fuel efficiency, especially in the PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) version, make it a popular choice among families.
  • Mitsubishi Mirage: Known as one of the most affordable cars in the market, the Mirage excels in reliability for its category. Its simple design and efficient use of space, combined with low running costs, contribute to its appeal.
  • Mitsubishi Lancer: Although production for the Lancer ended in 2017, it remains a highly regarded model for its durability and reliability. The Lancer, especially the earlier versions, has a loyal fan base, particularly among enthusiasts of its rally-inspired performance models like the Lancer Evolution. But a few years aren’t as reliable (see the next section).
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: The Eclipse Cross is a newer addition to Mitsubishi's lineup, offering a compact SUV option that blends style with functionality. Early indicators suggest that it maintains Mitsubishi's tradition of reliability, with a comfortable ride and good fuel economy.
  • Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero: In markets where it's still sold, the Pajero (also known as the Montero in some regions) is famed for its rugged reliability and off-road capability. It has a long history of endurance and durability, making it a favorite among adventure seekers.

Which Mitsubishi Cars Are the Least Reliable?

Now that we’ve looked at the more reliable Mitsubishis, let’s have a look at a few models to look out for.

  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV: The i-MiEV, Mitsubishi's electric vehicle, has faced criticism mainly due to its limited range and performance compared to other EVs in the market. While its reliability as an electric vehicle might not be significantly worse than others, its overall package was less appealing to consumers, impacting perceptions of its value and reliability.
  • Older Mitsubishi Galant: While the Galant was a popular model for Mitsubishi, certain older model years before it was discontinued (last model year in the U.S. was 2012) experienced issues related to the engine, transmission, and electrical systems, which affected its reliability ratings.
  • Mitsubishi Endeavor: The Endeavor was a mid-size SUV that saw its last production year in 2011. Some owners reported issues with the transmission, A/C system, and interior accessories over time, which could impact its standing in terms of reliability.
  • Mitsubishi Lancer (certain model years): While the Lancer, particularly its Evolution models, enjoys a cult following for its performance and handling, certain model years have had reported issues with the transmission (especially in models with the CVT), as well as other minor electrical and accessory problems.

Mitsubishi Maintenance Schedule

Your vehicle's requirements and routine maintenance costs can vary depending on the make and model of your car.

Most car owners' manuals list services that their vehicle requires. A well-defined maintenance schedule can help avoid costly repairs and other unscheduled services.

New vehicles require less maintenance than they did in the past due to the technological advancements that have occurred in the industry.

However, there are still some general expenses that car owners should consider.

Basic maintenance factors include oil changes. Changing the oil on your vehicle's engine every three months or 5,000 to 7,500 miles is recommended.

The vehicle's front two tires are responsible for most weight, so they must be rotated regularly. It's also recommended to rotate the tires on every oil change.

Mitsubishi vs. Honda vs. Peugeot

If we compare the reliability of Honda cars to those of other brands, we can see that they are very reliable.

In the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Survey, Honda came in at ninth place, with a reported 143 problems per vehicle, which is below the industry average. They also came in second place in the Reliability Index, scoring 42.

Peugeot 4007 and the Mitsubishi Outlander share an engine. Unfortunately, this seems to be reflected in their scores.

However, in the Telegraph's Worst Engine survey, the French brand performed better than Mitsubishi.

In the Reliability Index table, they came in 14th place, which is better than Mitsubishi and the average.

Conclusion

As we've explored the varying degrees of Mitsubishi's reliability, it's evident that while certain models shine for their endurance and low maintenance costs, others may require a bit more attention over their lifespan. Whether you're drawn to the rugged charm of the Outlander, the efficiency of the Mirage, or contemplating the pros and cons of older models like the Galant, making an informed decision is crucial.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mitsubishi cars expensive to maintain?

Mitsubishi cars are generally considered to be affordable in terms of maintenance, especially when compared to other brands. The average annual maintenance cost for a Mitsubishi is around $535, which is relatively low. This cost can vary depending on the model and its specific maintenance needs.

What is the most reliable Mitsubishi model?

The Mitsubishi Outlander and Mirage are often cited as some of the most reliable models produced by the brand. They are known for their durability and have received positive reviews for their longevity and minimal maintenance issues over time.

How long do Mitsubishi cars last?

With proper maintenance and care, Mitsubishi vehicles can last well over 200,000 miles. The longevity of a Mitsubishi car depends on regular servicing, driving habits, and general usage, but many owners report their Mitsubishis running reliably for many years.

Are there any Mitsubishi models to avoid?

While Mitsubishi has produced many reliable vehicles, older models of the Galant and Endeavor, as well as certain model years of the Lancer, have reported more issues than others. It's important to research specific model years for any potential common problems.

Can I find parts for my Mitsubishi easily?

Yes, parts for Mitsubishi vehicles are generally easy to find, especially for current models and popular older models. Mitsubishi has a well-established network of dealerships and parts suppliers, making it straightforward to source both OEM and aftermarket parts.

Is Mitsubishi a good car brand?

Mitsubishi is considered a good car brand for those looking for reliability, affordability, and fuel efficiency. The brand has a solid reputation for producing durable vehicles that offer good value for the money, especially in terms of long-term ownership costs.