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Mitsubishi's Russian Lineup Outshines America's Even After Sanctions, Here's How

Recently, we watched all the zany shenanigans one Russian YouTuber got himself into as he went for a day of car shopping. Chuckling the whole time out of both hilarity and shock while he looked at their astronomical post-sanction prices.
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But one thing that struck us as memorable more than anything else weren't the huge prices. That was a given, knowing current events. What struck us the most looking through the lineups of some of the global car market's Russian offerings was this. Mitsubishi's lineup in Russia looks pretty sweet! At least, compared to how mediocre it is in America.

As an American watching the Russian YouTuber Dan Sheekoz walk in the front entrance of his local Mitsubishi dealership, you're immediately taken aback by how different many of the vehicles on the showroom floor are from what you'll find here in the states. Of course, there are some global stalwarts of the brand, like the Outlander SUV on hand. Another given, considering how well it sells in the U.S.

But sitting like the elephant in the room nearby was a brand new Mitsubishi L200, the cheap, small pickup that Americans can only dream of. It's a basic work truck with added goodies like a Super Select 4WD-II system and choice of a new Aisin six-speed automatic gearbox or an old school manual on offer.

These options come alongside choices of two different gasoline or two different diesel turbo four-cylinder engines depending on the host market and cab configuration. It's a small truck in a segment that was underserved for years in North America. Serviced only by the Chevy Colorado and later the Ford Ranger, Maverick, and Hyundai Santa Cruz on the short list of super low end affordable pickups in America.

With a base price of $24,660 adjusted from rubles to USD, it's upwards of $4,000 cheaper than a USDM-spec Nissan Frontier. Or around $2,500 less than a Toyota Tacoma before dealer markup, and without sanctions. Of course, apples to apples comparisons between American and Russian car dealers aren't always possible.

But, it's not hard to see how a super cheap truck like the L200 could appeal to us Yanks. In a nation that claims to be the home of the world's best bang for your buck deals on new pickups, this is an oversight that requires more than a little bit of explaining on Mitsubishi's part. Moving elsewhere, Dan proceeds to take a look at yet another Mitsubishi made of the purest American unobtanium.

It's the Pajero Sport, and while it may look like a North American Outlander with a body kit, it's actually altogether different. Sure, they're both seven-seater SUVs, but you can't help but find the more aggressive styling of the Pajero endearing, especially the less squinty headlamps and larger rear cargo area.

With two turbodiesel engine choices and even an optional three-liter V6 in select markets, it sure sounds more enticing than the 2.5-liter four-pot in the non-PHEV Outlander. Indeed, the Pajero Sport clearly has a more robust range of engines in Russia than its equal in the states. As its to why Mitsubishi opted to leave it out of U.S. Domestic Market out of reach of North American consumers is a real headscratcher 

Despite this, it may be even more surprising that the Outlander, the Eclipse Cross, and the Outlander Sport (under the ASX name) are prominently displayed at Russian Mitsubishi dealers alongside their overseas cousins. Only in Russia and perhaps a few other places in Europe and Asia does Mitsubishi have a selection so extensive.

Maybe even a selection on par with Toyota, as laughable as that may sound to some Americans. Sure, Mitsubishi North America still gets the Mirage, a perfect choice for gas prices these days, but is that little pipsqueak ever really worth boasting about?

Of course, you're not going to get the same quality pound for pound out of a Mitsubishi as a Toyota, but if one considers some of the insane bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties on offer with Mitsubishis here in North America and elsewhere, at least you at least won't be breaking down any time soon. 

Look, Mitsubishi's Russian lineup is far from perfect, they don't even have a single non SUV. Nor is it the case that it lights up the world the way Mitsubishi did in the 90s in Japan, or the U.S. in the mid-2000s. Still, even by lowered expectations, they blow their North American brethren out of the water, and that's just flat-out unacceptable.

We know Mitsubishi is capable of better. It just saddens us that they choose not to.

 
 
 
 
 

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