Meh Car Monday: Soar Into Forgettability Like an Eagle Summit

If there was some global contest where an eccentric trillionaire would give you any car you asked for, as long as no one else asked for that car, a pretty safe bet would be to ask for an Eagle Summit sedan, because absolutely nobody will remember or care enough about that car to speak its name. So, you’d probably win the car, but the car you’d win would be an Eagle Summit sedan, so is that really winning? I’m going to argue that no, it isn’t.

It’s unlikely, but possible that you remember Eagle, the strange brand Chrysler made up to sell cars from four brands and three countries. While Eagle didn’t exactly have a spectacular lineup, they did sell one car that was head and shoulders below all the others in terms of a human being able to give a shit about it: the Eagle Summit sedan.

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Mitsubishi RVR/Space Runner: Not Meh

I want to specify sedan because the Eagle Summit Wagon was a completely different car, and not meh at all. The Summit sedan was an American-built (they made them in Normal, Illinois, which may be the perfect name for a place that makes deeply meh cars) version of the Mitsubishi Mirage, while the wagon was a re-badged Mitsubishi RVR (Space Runner in Europe) that was a decidedly un-meh little MPV with a sliding door on one side and a lot of character.

The Summit sedan, though, that couldn’t be any more different than its tall sibling. The sedan—somehow even more so in the second-gen version from 1993, which took about as many styling risks as a 9-year old on a scooter with a helmet, knee, shin, and elbow pads takes scraped-skin risks.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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The Summit sedan was almost violently bland; it wasn’t just nothing, it was a brutal assault of nothing, like a hole punched into a landscape painting, a violent absence of interest.

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Mechanically, the Summit was as forgettable as it looks. It’s got the expected transverse inline-four driving the front wheels, which you could get in two anonymous types: a 1.5-liter making 92 horsepower, and a 1.8-liter version making 21 more horses that hardly seem even worth it.

Every other aspect of the Summit’s design and construction are so generic that they could pretty much be from any other similar car of the era. Nobody gives a shit.

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The Summit sedan doesn’t appear to have been too heavily advertised, because, really, what would a commercial have said? Here’s a car, it’s capable of moving you and your stuff in a weather-sheltered enclosure. Also, it’s fine.

I did find this one not-really commercial for the first-gen Summit sedan, and it’s sort of a perfect commercial for the car:

See what I mean? It’s just the car, driving on a featureless road, accompanied by road noise and stony silence, because, really, there’s nothing to say.

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I did find this dealer training video for the Summit, so if you’re about to go into dental surgery and were too cheap to spring for the nitrous, this should do the trick:

The Eagle Summit sedan is the long, shallow sigh you give just before saying “Yeah, that’s fine” when someone tells you what they brought you for dinner because they couldn’t get ahold of you to ask for your order so they just guessed and it’s not what you really wanted but it’ll do and you’re too much of an adult to make a big deal about it, but deep down you’re mildly pissed.

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There you go. That’s what this car is.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)