A subcompact vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors, the Eagle Summit was in production from 1989 to 1996. It was one of the passenger lines that helped expand the service network and marketing mix of Jeep dealers in North America. The Summit’s predecessors were the Plymouth and Dodge Colt (sedan), and it was introduced together with the release of the third-generation Mitsubishi Mirage. Two generations of production resulted into several variants: a sedan, coupe, and wagon. The last Summit rolled off the assembly plant in 1996.
1989-1992: 1st generation
Introduced as a sedan in two trims (DL and LX), the first-gen Summit was powered by a 1.5 L, eight-valve, four-cylinder engine that produced 81 hp. As for the LX trim, another engine option was available: a 1.6 L, 16-valve DOHC that produced 123 hp. It featured 100.7 cubic feet of interior volume, making it a compact car with spacious rear legroom.
In 1990, low-cost and high-end models were added in the product line-up. The high-end ES version was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, a 1.6 L engine, a sport suspension, and 14-inch alloy wheels. All 1990 models were modified with an all-caps lettering at the rear.
Upgrades during the following year included four additional valves built into the 1.5 L engine, resulting into higher hp output. The ES version’s wheels were now smaller, and disc brakes are found only on the front wheels. A two-door hatchback was also released in 1991, and was available in base and ES versions. The hatchback was equipped with a new front grille, a four-speed transmission for manual base hatchbacks, a five-speed transmission on other manual cars, a four-speed type on automatic sedans, and a three-speed transmission on automatic hatchbacks.
In 1992, the Summit Wagon was added to the line-up. It was a completely different car because of its sliding rear side door and high roofline. It was not related to Summits based on the Mirage because it was actually a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi RVR.
1993-1996: 2nd generation
Now based on the fourth-gen Mitsubishi Mirage CC platform, the second-gen Summit featured a more spacious interior and a lighter weight. It also has a rounder exterior and a multi-link rear suspension. The line-up for this generation included a two-door coupe and a four-door sedan.
In 1994, standard equipment included an airbag on the driver’s side. The ES sedan was upgraded with larger wheels, while the DL sedan was renamed as LX. In the following year, a passenger side airbag replaced the motorized seat belt. Because the Dodge and Plymouth Colts were dropped, the Summit remained as the only Mirage-based vehicle. In 1996, the last model was launched, which featured new colors and fabrics. Despite its discontinuation, the Eagle Summit continues to be a favorite among Eagle fans and enthusiasts who love its reliable performance, spacious interiors, and practical design.