Subaru vs. Mitsubishi: Exploring the Differences and Similarities

When it comes to Japanese automakers, two brands that often get compared to each other are Subaru and Mitsubishi. Both companies have a rich history in the automotive industry and offer a range of vehicles from sedans to SUVs. If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be wondering: are Subaru and Mitsubishi the same? In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between these two popular brands.

The History of Subaru and Mitsubishi

Subaru and Mitsubishi have different origins, but share a common ground in their success in the automotive industry. Subaru, which originally started as an aircraft manufacturing company, released its first car in 1954. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, was founded as a shipping company in 1870, but didn’t produce its first car until 1917. Both companies have a strong history of producing durable and reliable vehicles.

Product Lines

Subaru’s product line-up primarily consists of all-wheel-drive vehicles, with models ranging from the sporty BRZ to the versatile Outback and Forester SUVs. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, offers both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles, with models like the Mirage hatchback, Outlander SUV, and Eclipse Cross crossover.

Performance Features

When it comes to performance, both Subaru and Mitsubishi are known for their rally-inspired vehicles. Subaru’s legendary WRX and WRX STI models have garnered a cult-like following thanks to their impressive performance capabilities and all-wheel-drive grip. Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution, affectionately known as the Evo, has also been a performance icon for decades with its impressive handling and turbocharged engine.

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Design and Engineering

While Subaru and Mitsubishi share similar rally racing roots, they are known for different areas of vehicle engineering. Subaru has a strong emphasis on safety, with features like EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi has focused on electric and hybrid technology, with models like the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric SUV.

Position in the Automotive Industry

In terms of sales, Subaru currently outsells Mitsubishi in the US, but the two brands are still considered niche players in the automotive industry. Subaru has been steadily growing its market share in recent years, thanks to its reputation for producing dependable and all-wheel-drive vehicles. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, has struggled to gain momentum in the US market since the company’s near-bankruptcy in 2004.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Subaru and Mitsubishi have collaborated in the past on various projects, including the "mini-car wars" in Japan during the 80s and 90s. In 2017, both companies were part of a 10-member consortium established to develop autonomous driving technologies. However, both companies have also had partnerships with other automakers, such as Subaru’s partnership with Toyota and Mitsubishi’s partnership with Nissan.


So, are Subaru and Mitsubishi the same? While both brands have a shared history in rally racing and producing durable vehicles, each brand has its own unique strengths and offerings. Subaru is known for its all-wheel-drive lineup and emphasis on safety features, while Mitsubishi is focusing on electric and hybrid technology. Ultimately, the choice between these two brands comes down to personal preference and specific needs.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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