Available as a 4-door saloon or a 5-door hatchback, it featured gasoline engines from 1.3L (introduced later in life) to 1.8L, a 1.8L gasoline direct injection engine, and 90hp (67kW) 1.9L turbodiesel powerplants sourced from Renault, later with the 100hp (70kW) 1.9DI-D common rail diesel engine, the same as used in both Volvo and Renault cars.
In spite of its name, the Carisma had a fairly neutral design as a result of being Mitsubishi's first attempt to target the traditionally conservative European company car market. Even when receiving a midlife facelift in 2001 that characteristic was not improved. The car was placed between the Lancer and the Galant, although after production ended, the Lancer took its place in Mitsubishi's European range.
In several markets where the Lancer was not available, the Evolution version was rebadged as a Mitsubishi Carisma GT.
The chassis was also used by Proton to develop the Proton Waja.
(Sources: Fact & Figures 2000, Fact & Figures 2005, Mitsubishi Motors website)