Last month, Mitsubishi unveiled their Concept G4 at Auto Shanghai 2013. Shown alongside many impressive concepts from other Japanese car manufacturers, our coverage of the G4 was limited to a brief snippet laced with general frustration with Mitsubishi. But, just like the car wreck that you can’t look away from, I couldn’t resist following up on the G4 when Mitsubishi unveiled the concept’s production version yesterday. To be released in Thailand later this year, the new Mirage-based sedan will be called the Mitsubishi Attrage.
Perhaps it’s my unbelievably low expectations for Mitsubishi, but to me this car doesn’t seem that bad. It looks very generic, but generic is markedly better than ugly. It looks like the Concept G4 didn’t lose very much on the way to production, which is good. The car looks modernish, but not too flashy, which is exactly what Mitsubishi was aiming for. That said, I know that others like the design a lot less than I do.
As far as practicality, there are some benefits that could potentially make the Attrage stand out. According to Mitsubishi, the Attrage has excellent visibility and maneuverability, making it well-suited for city driving. In addition, Mitsubishi claims that the Attrage is the roomiest car in its class, which is certainly a noteworthy perk if it’s true.
Specs-wise, the Attrage is identical to the Mirage. It’s fitted with a 1.2L MIVEC engine and either a 5-speed manual transmission or an automatic CVT. Mitsubishi claims that the exterior styling gives the Attrage a very impressive 0.29 drag coefficient, which allows the car an incredible 62mpg. This stat in particular makes me a bit more lenient with the exterior design, since this car really isn’t targeted towards people who care about looks; it’s for people who care about saving money.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Mitsubishi Attrage will launch in Thailand later this year… July, to be specific. We don’t know when Mitsubishi’s new “next-generation global sedan” will make its way to international markets, nor do we know if “Attrage” is the name it’ll keep worldwide.
Even though my stance towards Mitsubishi has been relatively forgiving in this article, I’m still pessimistic about the Japanese brand’s future. Being $9 billion in debt, they still have a long ways to go. But, if they can make it through the next 10 years, then their focus on developing markets in Southeast Asia will hopefully begin to pay off. Whether the Attrage contributes to that investment or takes away from it, only time will tell.