2011 Mitsubishi ASX/Outlander Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery
What's popular in the Japanese home market isn't always an indicator of worldwide success; check out their obsession with dogs, for instance. On the other hand, the reason Mitsubishi's ASX has pulled down three-and-a-half times the automaker's hoped-for monthly sales in its first four weeks on the market is probably not related to quirkiness.
Tax breaks, plus the ASX's manageable size and just-right equipment level are universal ways to connect with buyers anywhere, and that's what's likely fueled the initial success. North American buyers will get the ASX badged as the Outlander Sport, and it will debut at the New York Auto Show. Interestingly, JDM buyers are nutso for the high-level "G" trim; 75 percent of orders are for the zootiest version. It's not yet clear what the trim levels are going to be for the U.S. market, other than the understanding that Mitsubishi's 2.0 liter MIVEC engine will be standard equipment. With skittish buyers and a still-lagging economy in the States, it could be a perfect time for a Goldilocks-grade mini-ute, especially for Mitsubishi, a company that has lost a lot of ground in the sales race over the last few years.