Why the Mitsubishi Bravo Microvan Is Catching on in the U.S.

Mitsubishi has been making cars in Japan for more than 100 years, but the brand recently made a very popular entry into the North American market with the all-new 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer – which quickly became popular among shoppers who wanted a small car with a big engine. But there’s another reason why the U.S. is getting the Lancer: it’s actually on sale in the country, and it’s pretty cheap, priced at just over $16,000 – not bad at all for a little subcompact that has a lot of style and a lot of substance.

Mitsubishi is a Japanese car manufacturing company, and was the first to introduce a truly compact car, the Diamante. The company is known for its reliability and quiet, smooth ride. It introduced the Bravo in 1974, and was the only car to win the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) Award for the Top Pick until the Nissan March in the 1980’s.

In this country, the greatest period of expansion for microvans was the 1970s, when they were as popular as minivans. But those vehicles are no longer considered practical—they’re too small and don’t have enough space for anyone who actually needs to haul anything. Instead, we’ve seen the most growth in the microvan segment since the 2000s, when the Mitsubishi Lancer went on sale. Why is it catching on now? Consumers seem to be flocking to the smaller vehicles, as gas prices rise and the cost of living rises. Many people are now trading in their SUVs for small cars, and microvans are cheap to operate.

For lovers of minivans, the Mitsubishi Bravo is a dream come true. This Kei car offers four-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, and unique interior features. Kei cars, trucks and vans are becoming increasingly popular in the American market. American buyers love these well-designed little JDMs. The Mitsubishi Bravo is a good example of what this classification has to offer. Mitsubishi Bravo

How the Mitsubishi Bravowas born

The Mitsubishi Bravo came about when Mitsubishi gave the already popular fourth generation Minicab a facelift and replaced it with the Estate. Bravo was the name of a much better equipped van from 1989 to 1990. The Bravo AX was introduced in April 1998 and included improvements for personal entertainment. In 1991, when changes in the tax code allowed the use of more powerful engines and larger kei vehicles, the Bravo underwent another model change. By making the minicab its own stand-alone series, Bravo has responded to the growing demand for kei-cars with taxis. The growing need of consumers, especially young families, for an economical and spacious car stimulated Mitsubishi’s development, and it was around this time that the retro-styled Bravo Route 66 was introduced. Bravo has preserved a recreational lifestyle for each new generation. By equipping the eighth-generation Bravo with a turbocharged engine, performance has been significantly improved. The Bravo’s small size and light weight means that every bit of extra power comes into its own. In the right hands, this van can make a difference.

What makes Bravo so attractive?

word-image-8633 Mitsubishi Motors Logo | Tomohiro Ohsumi via Getty Images When the first Bravo was introduced, it was intended to replace the station wagon as the highest trim level. This was the biggest facelift in seven years, with many changes and improvements. The interior is expanded and offers much more comfort and relaxation with sliding driver’s seat adjustments, folding seats and a tilt steering column, a first in this class. The Bravo range included a model with hydraulic clutch and four-wheel drive, and a model with a super antenna roof. This model was equipped with a sliding glass roof with windows in the front and on the sides of the roof. At the front, there is an oversized bumper and several other aerodynamic parts. Square headlights played an important role in the design of the Bravo. With large windows all around and a retracted windshield, anyone can feel comfortable behind the wheel, and that was Mitsubishi’s goal. Later models were fitted with superchargers and still used a smaller engine without taking full advantage of the rule changes. These engines were used until 1990, when they were taken out of service.

word-image-8634 Mitsubishi Logo | Harold Cunningham via Getty Images Niche interest groups that focus on imports have had a strong presence in the US for years, and Vanning has been around since the 1940s. Add to that the versatility and compactness of the Bravo, and you have the perfect canvas for car enthusiasts to showcase unique things. The Bravo has already made its place in the kei car community, whether it’s full stock modifications or ice cream truck modifications.

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