Do Mitsubishi Last Long? (and Costs of Maintenance)

Japan is filled with many car brands that pride themselves on the same thing: reliability. For decades now, the Japanese have supplied the world with cars that don’t seem to know the word “die”.

Amongst all these manufacturers is Mitsubishi, one of the smaller ones, and in this article, I’ll show you whether they can be counted on or not.

Do Mitsubishi Last Long?

Mitsubishi last long and they should easily pass the 250.000 miles barrer.

Almost any Mitsubishi from its long history is probably not going to let you down. Whether it’s a big, old Pajero or a small Colt, they’ve provided motorists with dependable forms of travel for years. Even today, with more modern, advanced cars like the Outlander PHEV, they remain sturdy and unproblematic, with only a few hiccups that I’ll explain later on.

This brilliant endurance was well advertised in the 90s, during Mitsubishi’s peak form in the World Rally Championship. Their highly specialized Lancer Evolutions tackled the tarmac, gravel, and snow like it was nothing and would secure four driver’s titles and a manufacturer’s title in 1998.

Perhaps an even more impressive feat of reliability though was when a Lancer 1600 GSR won the Safari Rally on its first try in 1974 and then again in 1976. Back then, the Safari Rally was one of the most brutal rallies on the WRC calendar, with extreme weather and roads full of sharp rocks that made big repairs a constant issue.

While Mitsubishi’s rallying feats were thanks to special modifications, it should be noted that any good rally car needs to be based on something tough and rugged. Cars like the Lancer were thus shown as family cars that had amazing potential, particularly when it came to going on and on without missing a beat.

Read it: 10 Car Brands that Last Almost Forever (Unbreakable)

After How Many Miles do Mitsubishis Tend to Break Down?

So long as it’s not treated with reckless abandon and given the right servicing, it can take a while before a Mitsubishi gives you trouble. A lot of their cars will make it past the 200,000-mile barrier, and in some cases, they’ll crack past 300,000 as well.

Mitsubishi cars from the 90s will particularly keep going without fail as they possessed more modern engineering, not to mention less of the hefty electronics today’s cars have, which can tend to have a few faults.

How Often Should You Replace the Most Important Parts in Mitsubishi?

It’s very dependent on a number of factors, such as the car, the climate of the location they’re in, and what age it is. Broadly speaking, there are answers for some parts, however.

The transmission will need looking over around every 60,000-100,000 miles (an automatic’s transmission fluid will likely need replacing every 30,000 or 60,000 miles).

The brake pads will at least need looking over after 15,000 miles, which is around 12 months of regular driving.

An oil change or oil filter change should be done around every 7,500 miles, so keep that in mind as well. Mitsubishis are tough, but without proper care, even they need some degree of help.

Trending Video: How to Easily Bring Back to Life any Old Car Battery and Save Tons of Money (click to watch)

Do Mitsubishi Cars Rust?

If you look at today’s Mitsubishis, then they’re not likely to rust. For an older one, though, it may prove an irritation. Look at cars that are pre-90s, and you’ll find a few can rust. Old Lancers, Galants, and Space Wagons should be looked at with caution.

Unfortunately, even in today’s world, rust can sneak through the net. In the spring of 2020, Mitsubishi had to recall more than 220,000 Outlanders in Canada and US states that suffer from cold weather due to fears over parts of the suspension rusting.

The bright side is that rust remains one of the less pressing matters on brand new Mitsubishi cars. You’re still going to enjoy few issues as current manufacturing techniques, barring any mistakes that can sneak past the net, as I’ve mentioned, ensure rust doesn’t get itself acquainted with the car.

Read it: 5 Legit Reasons Why Honda Civic is so Popular

What are the Most Reliable Mitsubishi Models?

The most reliable Mitsubishi models are Lancer, Pajero, and L200.

It’s actually hard to determine which model is most dependable as there are so many that are capable of hardly letting you down. Despite the fine margins, there are some cars that rise to the top a bit more than others. The Lancer stands as one of the best, having enjoyed ten generations of rock-solid reliability since the first cars rolled out of the factory in 1973.

Naturally, the more rugged offerings in Mitsubishi’s arsenal cannot be ignored. The Pajero and L200 may be hungrier on fuel than other cars like them, but there’s no denying their long-established reputation of having very long lives.

Which Mitsubishi Models Should You Avoid?

Mitsubishi models to avoid are Lancer Evolution, Evos, 3000GT, FTO, and Galant VR-4.

Obviously, the older the car, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Even a brand like Mitsubishi must be treated with some wariness when looking at cars that are not getting any younger.

A surprising one to look out for is the beloved Lancer Evolution. Its massive cult following means a lot of cars on the used market have a high likelihood of having been put through some intense work. This means they will probably have ensured rev-happy driving, which stresses components and increase the risk of failure.

Speaking of components, Evos are very commonly fitted with after-market parts, which can either improve the car or gift it a less reliable part. This caution should be used for any performance-focused Mitsubishi, such as the 3000GT, the FTO, and the Galant VR-4.

Also read: Sedan vs. SUV Safety. What’s Safer? (+Crash Tests)

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Mitsubishi Car?

Although Mitsubishi can pride themselves on their history of creating some of the most resilient cars out there, the truth is the price of maintaining them can be steeper than first thought.

The average annual repair cost for a Mitsubishi lands around $535, with average annual maintenance costs of around $263.

This is actually a bit more than the average, which is disappointing, but with the right treatment towards the car (frequent, small-time maintenance that helps stop major issues developing), the costs should dip below that.

What to Do to Prolong a Mitsubishi Car’s Lifespan?

For starters, regular servicing and maintenance will help ensure any car has a longer time on the road. Even just maintenance you can do yourself will make a big difference. Keeping an eye on the oil, coolant, and tire pressures on a regular basis are good ways to stop any trouble from happening in the first place.

Other ways of prolonging the car include changing the air filter, which can hinder performance and economy, and gentle driving. Not putting the engine or transmission under much stress will work wonders in keeping the car’s lifespan long without many trips to the garage for repairs.

Mitsubishi vs. Honda vs. Toyota vs. Mazda – Which Brand Lasts Longest?

Such a contest isn’t the easiest, seeing how all four brands have spent decades making near-indestructible cars. However, despite the fine margins, there is an answer. Honda may beat out Mazda for reliability, but Toyota does even better.

As for Mitsubishi, it’s more up and down, with some surveys saying it’s almost up there with Toyota, but others finding it less dependable and below even Honda and Mazda. That’s not to say Mitsubishi is off its game, it’s just that modern manufacturers, regardless of national origin, now make cars that are all very well lasting. Even though Japan continues to rank high on reliability surveys, that massive lead they once had on American and European cars has greatly diminished.

An 80s Peugeot, for example, would pale in comparison to a Mitsubishi of the same era. In today’s world, though, times have changed, and Peugeot produces a well-received range with top-of-the-line reliability.


I hope you found this guide helpful. Although Mitsubishi lacks the sheer size of its fellow Japanese manufacturers, it’s not hindered their ability at making some very durable cars. Although the costs of keeping one aren’t the best in the world, they remain extremely solid cars that, for the most part, live up to their reputation.

Although older cars will have issues, such as rust and not exactly the most incredible fuel economy in the world, mechanically, Mitsubishi made themselves famous for selling vehicles that just kept going. Finding registered old Fords, Peugeots, Fiats, or even Volkswagens on the roads are harder to come by these days, and while Mitsubishis from a similar time aren’t hugely abundant, there remain a good few that won’t be seeing the scrapheap anytime soon.