Imagine you’re a car company on the brink. There was a time that you produced some great cars, but that was decades ago, so no one really remembers that. So you decide that you need to be bold, and rather than build another “me too” hatchback you design a bold mainstream crossover will put your name back on the map. Hell, you’re desperate for success, so you even decide to resurrect the nameplate from the most-loved sports car from your past. And since you’re already started copying to ensure the new model’s success, you figure “ah, what the hell, I should crib parts of the car’s styling from a car renowned for its looks”. You do some quick research into the most frequently Googled car name and you come up with the perfect inspiration!
The Pontiac Aztek!… Wait, what? Clearly Mitsubishi did not realize that Pontiac Aztec is frequently Googled because it’s considered one of the ugliest cars of all time, because its new Eclipse Cross bares more than a passing resemblance to the famous GM disaster-on-wheels. Okay, so the Cross is not nearly as willfully ugly as the Aztek, but you got to wonder who at Mitsubishi thought that splitting up the rear tailgate with a fake spoiler, Aztek-style, was a good way to give their car a look that customer would hunker for? Sure, the controversially-styled Nissan Juke was a huge success when it first came out, but ever since then it’s been well-and-truly outmaneuvered and outsold in the US and Europe by more conventionally-styled cars. Mitsubishi may turn heads with its, ahem, bold new rear, but I don’t think it’ll open nearly as many wallets as the carmaker needs it to.