Mitsubishi vs Toyota: Which Is More Reliable?

Mitsubishi vs Toyota Reliability

The name Mitsubishi resounds with “reliability” and “strength.” Yes, the brand built a solid reputation in the 90s, and that still speaks for it. On the other hand, Toyota is a world-famous carmaker headquartered in Japan. Mitsubishi and Toyota remarkably make durable cars that last for many years - decades, even.

However, many people have compared Mitsubishi vs. Toyota's reliability when buying a new car from either of these brands. Well, currently, Toyota is considered a more reliable brand than Mitsubishi.

Both are Japanese car brands and produce a wide variety of automobiles. This article explains the minority difference between Mitsubishi cars’ reliability and that of Toyota cars.

Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, simply Mitsubishi, is a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As of 2011, the company was the sixth-largest Japanese automaker and the 19th-largest globally when ranked in terms of production.

The Mitsubishi brand has experienced several ownership cycles and is currently owned 34% by Nissan as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in 2016. However, the company, Mitsubishi, was originally founded in 1970 as part of the automotive division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Well, Mitsubishi cars aren’t as popular as they used to be, but the brand still makes some of the toughest cars out there - mostly SUVs and buses. Mitsubishi had slacked in the 2000s but has managed to fix up its flaws and now ranks among the top reliable Japanese brands - to the point of ranking above Toyota in JD Power’s 2023 Vehicle Dependability surveys.

Toyota Motors

Toyota has grown to become a household name globally - everyone knows about Toyota cars, and a majority of people buy Toyota models as their first car. Yes, Toyotas are reliable, sturdy, built with new technologies, and sold pretty cheap. The Japanese company is remarkable for its FJ Cruiser and 4Runner models but has many other notable models.

Founded by Kiichiro Toyoda on August 28, 1937, Toyota Motor Corporation, simply Toyota, is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. Currently, Toyota produces about 10 million vehicles in a calendar year, making it one of the largest automobile manufacturers globally.

The company runs on its own and is not co-owned by any other parent organization. Toyota also has a luxury division, Lexus, which ranks #1 globally regarding reliability. A number of Toyota cars are ranked among the all-time best-selling cars in history.

Mitsubishi vs. Toyota Reliability

With the two companies coming from the same country, one would expect some sort of similarities between them. The similarities are that Mitsubishi and Toyota make a wide range of cars, and both brands have earned high-reliability scores from top websites and platforms.

Practically, Mitsubishi has a competing model for every Toyota car. For example, the Mitsubishi Outlander challenges Toyota’s Highlander and RAV4 series, and the Mitsubishi Lancer competes with Toyota’s Camry and Corolla series. Individually, both Mitsubishi and Toyota have had cars that ranked low, average, above average, and high in reliability scores.

As car brands, Mitsubishi and Toyota rank among the top ten most reliable automakers in the world, according to JD Power, RepairPal, and USA Today analysis. But then, Toyota cars are more expensive than Mitsubishi cars, yet both brands are almost even in terms of reliability and building sturdy high-performance cars.

Mitsubishi Reliability

2023 RepairPal Analysis scores Mitsubishi an overall 4.0 out of 5.0 in terms of reliability and places it in the sixth position out of thirty-two car brands analyzed in the study. On the other hand, JD Power’s 2023 VDS places Mitsubishi one point ahead of Toyota with 167 points against Toyota’s 168 points; the points represent the frequency of repairs - the lower, the better.

Although Mitsubishi cars had poor ratings between 2002 and 2012, recent models from the brand have managed to score very high, making the brand bounce back into the top positions in reliability rankings. Mitsubishi cars are incredibly reliable; they do not break down easily. RepairPal notes that the frequency of repairs for Mitsubishi cars is very low.

Toyota Reliability

A lot of people believe and see Toyota cars as super reliable options. While not disputing that Toyotas can be really tough and strong, it is important to note that not all Toyota models are as reliable as you may have thought. Nevertheless, RepairlPal also gives Toyota an overall reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

Toyota has had several models ranked up in the list of most reliable rides – talking of the Rav4, Corolla, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, and Camry. Yes, Toyota has more popular rides than Mitsubishi, but it remains even in terms of reliability. Many people feel so comfortable buying a Toyota over another competitive model from a different brand.

Toyota or Mitsubishi: Which One is Best?

The idea of picking the “best” option out of two closely similar or comparable options is a tough one. Many people make their preferred choices out of bias, and if we’re being unbiased here, both Mitsubishi and Toyota are “Best.”

In the 1970s, Mitsubishi didn’t only produce some of the toughest cars. They also made powerful “Gem” cars with incredible engines and made other types of automobiles too. Toyota became popular much later after Mitsubishi made its fame, and while Toyota is currently a hard nut to crack in the industry, Mitsubishi still makes some serious cars.

Whether you’re looking for a compact sedan, full-size car, crossover, SUV, hatchback, or pickup truck, both Mitsubishi and Toyota offer these vehicle types, and there are a plethora of model options to choose from. Making a final choice between a Mitsubishi and Toyota vehicle will be dependent on the make and model year you choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mitsubishi vs. Toyota: Which is cheaper?

Mitsubishi models are usually cheaper than Toyotas. For example, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is about $9,000 cheaper than the 2022 Toyota Highlander across all available trim levels. However, Toyotas seem to retain their value more than Mitsubishi models. Hence, the used car markets are usually full of Toyota cars.

Is Mitsubishi really that bad?

No, Mitsubishi cars are not a bad choice. The brand may have suffered a huge decline in producing reliable rides sometime in the early 2000s, but they have since bounced back and now has some of the sturdiest models out there - just like the Mitsubishi you’ve always known.

Which Mitsubishi and Toyota models are comparable?

There are actually a lot of comparable models from these two brands. The Mitsubishi Outlander is a direct competitor to Toyota’s RAV4 and Highlander SUV series, while the Mitsubishi Lancer challenges Toyota’s Camry and Corolla series. Toyota has more models than Mitsubishi, yet Mitsubishi has a direct rival model for any Toyota make.