Subaru and Mazda are offering more power in some models as options for the first time, while Mitsubishi will lean on global partner Nissan for new powertrain technology, including perhaps a future battery-electric vehicle.
For Subaru, the biggest updates coming to the lineup are tied to performance. A freshened subcompact Crosstrek crossover has a larger engine option and is arriving at retailers now. Subaru's BRZ coupe, jointly developed with Toyota, and its 86, will be redesigned next year and a redesigned WRX sedan should follow not long after.
But significant changes are coming farther down the road. Earlier this year, Subaru said it wants at least 40 percent of its global sales to be from full electrics or hybrid vehicles by 2030.
Mazda is also offering more engine options for 2021, including a less powerful 155-hp engine for a lower-priced Mazda3 sedan. There's also a newly available turbocharged engine with 250 hp for the sedan and hatchback, in addition to the nonturbo four-cylinder engine with 186 hp that carries over from the 2020 model.
The big news at Mitsubishi is a badly needed next-generation Outlander crossover to inject some life into its aging lineup. The crossover shares a new platform with the coming redesigned Nissan Rogue. Mitsubishi also is freshening the Mirage subcompact hatch and sedan. And the Eclipse Cross CUV also gets freshened exterior styling.