In the automotive world, sometimes what starts with a humble beginning becomes the inspiration for innovation and fresh design. Such is the case with the Mitsubishi Outlander, the best selling, most popular vehicle in the Mitsubishi lineup. The Outlander is celebrating having recently hit 1.5 million in sales. These are sales that occurred over three generations of the Outlander, making this crossover the most successful Mitsubishi model.

The Mitsubishi Outlander was first introduced in 2000, and launched in the U.S. in 2001. Mitsubishi marketed it as an “Active Sports Crossover.” This was the first time that the term “crossover” was used to categorize a special type of in-between vehicle. Now that crossovers are on the rise as the fastest-growing type of vehicle in America, it’s clear that the Outlander paved the way for a new era in design and utility.

That was then, with the first generation Mitsubishi Outlander. The third and current generation has become the face of Mitsubishi and continues to lead car design into new territory. The Outlander is known well for its PHEV version, the best selling plug-in hybrid in the world. As Nissan and Mitsubishi move forward in their recent partnership, it’s likely that they will be introducing more in the way of green energy, which is something to look forward to. Though even as Mitsubishi Outlander sales hits 1.5 million and the car evolves into newer generations, it yet keeps the fun, sporty and fresh style that gave the crossovers their inspiration.