A few years ago, the Outlander stepped into one of the most hotly contested of product segments, the small SUV market. Long dominated by the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, the Outlander remains, despite Mitsubishis attempts to improve upon it, in the back of the pack. It offers the same All Wheel Drive, commanding view of the road, and cargo space that consumer look for, while setting itself apart somewhat due to its unique style. To its credit, the current Outlander solves some of the knocks against it by offering more power and sportier handling though the tradeoff for that sporty handling is ride stiff enough to leave many unhappy. Interior space remains an issue, with cramped second seat and nearly unusable third seat dimensions.
There are two engines available for the Outlander. A 2.4 liter four cylinder developing 168 HP and a 3.0 liter V-6 good for 230HP. Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT is standard with the four cylinder engine. The models equipped with the V-6 get a more traditional 6 speed automatic to shift gears for them.
Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.0L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: ES FWD, ES AWC, SE FWD, SE AWC, XLS FWD, XLS AWC, GT S-AWC
For 2010 the Outlander receives Mitsubishi's familial face, replete with the Lancer Evo's trapezoidal grille. Model designations have been juggled and now include ES and SE four-cylinder models and XLS and GT V-6 models. Sitting atop the range is a new GT, which comes standard with a 230-horsepower V-6, Mitsubishi's Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system, 18-inch alloys, and synthetic leather on the dash.
For a lowered center of gravity, the Outlander features an aluminum roof, a la the Lancer Evolution. Up front, an Evo-inspired nose and available Xenon headlamps grab attention, while LED taillamps and a split tailgate finish off the Outlander's rear.
The Outlander sports a 60/40-split second row and maximum cargo capacity of 72.6 cubic-feet. A split tailgate supports up to 440 pounds when lowered. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, and keyless entry.
Performance & Handling
ES and SE models, available with front-drive or "AWC" all-wheel drive, tout a 2.4-liter 168 horsepower, 167 pound-feet four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The SE gets magnesium paddle shifters. XLS and GT models -- the former available with 2WD or AWC; the latter exclusively with S-AWC -- utilize a 230 horsepower, 215 pound-feet 3.0-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Outlander's safety features include dual front, front side, and side curtain bags, the last partnered with rollover sensors. All models boast standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), as well as a tire pressure monitor system.
EPA Fuel Economy
ES FWD, SE (FWD): 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
ES AWC, SE (AWC): 21 mpg city/25 mpg highway
XLS (FWD): 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway
XLS AWC, GT S-AWC: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway
- Split tailgate
- Magnesium paddle shifters
- 40GB music hard drive
- Smooth V-6
You Won't Like
- Underpowered four-cylinder
- Tight third row
- Knob-free audio interface
Solid performer with great warranty
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