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Are Mitsubishi Engines Reliable?

Manufacturers  ·  August 11, 2022

Are Mitsubishi Engines Reliable?

Like most Japanese auto brands, Mitsubishi has enjoyed a strong reputation for quality and reliability over the past few decades. But are Mitsubishi engines as reliable as they used to be?

In the past decade or so, Mitsubishi’s reliability rating has significantly dropped and complaints worldwide increased. Australia has also seen several Mitsubishi recalls, at least one directly related to engine problems.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the topic of Mitsubishi engines and how they fare in today’s car market.

How Reliable Are Mitsubishi Engines? 

Generally, Mitsubishi enjoys a strong reputation for producing reliable vehicles overall.

That reputation results from the high quality of Mitsubishi parts and engines used in their vehicles, not to mention that Mitsubishi is Japanese.

Even today, most car buyers automatically assume that Japanese brands like Mitsubishi are generally reliable.

In most cases, the assumption of Japanese reliability is still valid. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi’s reputation for reliability has come under fire in recent years.

Here’s an example.

In 2012, the Mitsubishi Lancer was regarded as one of the most reliable cars around. However, five years later, in 2017, Mitsubishi plunged as one of the ten lowest-ranking brands on the JD Power Dependability Survey.

According to that study, 43.55% of the problems faced by Mitsubishi models were related to the engine. Another way to look at it is that almost half of the issues faced by Mitsubishi car owners were engine problems.

Some Mitsubishi owners in Australia might also remember a massive recall in Australia in 2017. That recall involved more than 50,000 cars and was triggered by a defect that caused the engine to cut out entirely.

To be fair, engine problems aren’t the most significant issues that Mitsubishi cars have. According to, the top 3 worst reported Mitsubishi problems weren’t engine issues but were instead:

Still, it's not entirely fair to give Mitsubishi engines a sweeping label of either reliable or unreliable. 

Does Mitsubishi Make Their Own Engines? 

Yes, Mitsubishi makes most of its engines, which come mainly from their powertrain factory in Shiga, Japan.

However, a lot has changed since the early days. For one thing, Mitsubishi has followed a similar trend by other leading manufacturers by moving some of its manufacturing capacity to China. 

There, Mitsubishi entered a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) in 2018. The venture was to build a factory in Changsha, southern China, where both companies would build a plant to produce Mitsubishi engines.

On top of that, Mitsubishi leverages other companies' technologies to benefit their engines.

For example, Hyundai also supplies the technology used in 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Theta engines used in some Mitsubishi models.

So, while Mitsubishi started producing its own engines, the lines have been blurred in recent times. Some automakers use Mitsubishi engines, while Mitsubishi also leverages the technologies of other car makers.

What Engines Does Mitsubishi Use? 

The complete Mitsubishi engine list is extensive, generally consisting of engines with 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 cylinders. On top of that, Mitsubishi has also produced an engine for GEMA (Global Engine Manufacturers Alliance).

Here’s a closer look at the engines that Mitsubishi uses:

Mitsubishi Two-Cylinder Engines

These were the smallest engines that Mitsubishi ever produced. They were primarily seen in the company’s earliest vehicle models back in the 1960s.

Mitsubishi Three-Cylinder Engines

Next were Mitsubishi’s three-cylinder engines. These small engines were used in recent times, like the early 2000s, mainly in Japanese Kei car (or K-car) models.

“K-Car” was a Japanese classification for small vehicles, including passenger cars.

Mitsubishi Four-Cylinder Engines

The most comprehensive range of engines that Mitsubishi uses consists of its four-cylinder engines. The company produced 12 families of these straight-4 engines over many decades, some of which are still in use in recent models today.

Mitsubishi Six-Cylinder Engines

Midsized, coupe and compact Mitsubishi models often use their six-cylinder engines. In total, Mitsubishi has three families of V6 engines in this category.

Mitsubishi Eight-Cylinder Engines

Mitsubishi’s Japan-only models like Proudia and Dignity use the eight-cylinder 8A engine. Unfortunately, those vehicles failed, though Mitsubishi has worked with Hyundai to develop the engine for use in the Hyundai Equus.

Mitsubishi GEMA Engine

Mitsubishi also developed a four-cylinder engine as part of the defunct GEMA, where Mitsubishi was one of its original members. Its original purpose was to develop engines for members to share and use.

Mitsubishi engines are generally more reliable when you use only genuine Mitsubishi parts and high-quality aftermarket Mitsubishi parts

We’re happy to tell you that we can help you find Mitsubishi parts with our Part Finder. It’s easy, fast, and free—try it today! 


By Ray Hasbollah

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