Zachary Berry
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The Meaning Behind the Names of Mitsubishi’s Vehicles

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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross teaser
Each Mitsubishi model’s moniker carries a unique meaning behind it
Photo: Mitsubishi

The Mitsubishi lineup of vehicles may not be the largest in the industry. However, the few models that it does possess have an established legacy, even if the vehicles themselves have changed significantly over the years.

This long-standing legacy can best be observed through the nameplates that these Mitsubishi models bear. As is the case for any automaker, Mitsubishi chose the name of each vehicle with care, settling on the final monikers based upon their meanings. Those meanings are explored below. 


What’s in A Name?: Mitsubishi model names across countries


Mitsubishi Outlander

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Photo: Mitsubishi

Originally, the Mitsubishi Outlander was named the Mitsubishi Airtrek when it was first released in Japan. This name was meant to describe the vehicle’s ability to transport numerous passengers while remaining “as free as a bird.”

However, Mitsubishi eventually moved away from the Airtrek name, instead opting for the Outlander moniker. The Outlander name evoked an adventurous feeling of exploring distant lands.

Today, the Outlander is easily Mitsubishi’s most popular model in the U.S. Plenty of drivers have embarked on thrilling adventures in their Outlanders, so the name remains appropriate for the model.


Mitsubishi Mirage

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4
Photo: Mitsubishi

The word “mirage” is derived from the Latin work “mirai,” which means “to wonder at or look at.” When Mitsubishi introduced the Mirage range of cars back in the 1970s, it wanted all eyes on the vehicle.

The fact that the Mitsubishi Mirage remains a part of the brand’s lineup today shows that the subcompact car has continued to garner attention from drivers. Even when the Mirage was discontinued between 2003 and 2012, it remained one of Mitsubishi’s most popular and talked-about models.


Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Photo: Mitsubishi

The Mitsubishi Eclipse of today is far different from the Eclipse of days long gone. When a Mitsubishi model bearing the “Eclipse” nameplate first joined the brand’s lineup, it was a sporty compact car, designed to “eclipse” other entries in its segment.

With the rising demand for crossovers all across the country, the original Mitsubishi Eclipse faded into obscurity, replaced with a new crossover model bearing the name: the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. While Eclipse purists were quite upset about the use of the nameplate, the Eclipse Cross has proven to be a hit for the Japanese automaker.


With a recent wave of sales increases, the Mitsubishi brand is likely to add more models to its lineup in upcoming years to keep the momentum going. When it does, those vehicles will likely bear names with apparent and sometimes subtle meanings behind them.


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