Despite riding on a platform that is very similar to the last Outlander, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is a new design from head to toe...more
Introduced in late 2013 as a 2014 model, the new 2014 Outlander is the third iteration of Mitsubishi's mid-size crossover. Despite looking and feeling like an all-new product, the 2014 Outlander actually rides upon the same platform and mechanicals as the second-generation Outlander. As such, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V-6 engines are carried over, but a plug-in-hybrid Outlander is also under development. Seven-passenger seating is standard on all trim levels, although passenger space in the third row is limited, to say the least.
What's this; an all-new Mitsubishi product? Indeed, the 2014 Outlander -- along with the new 2014 Mirage hatchback -- is one of the two new global products that Mitsubishi is rolling out around the world. Although its platform isn't all-new, you'd never know from outside the vehicle. The 2014 Outlander looks larger and more substantial than before, even though Mitsubishi's engineers labored to whittle some 200 pounds from the vehicle's curb weight.
Our biggest complaint with the prior Outlander was its interior refinement -- or rather, a lack of it. Thankfully, the 2014 Outlander does away with the cheap-looking, banal plastic materials that plagued its predecessor. A fair amount of soft-touch materials are used throughout, while the driver faces a sweeping instrument panel that's handsome if not revolutionary. Forward-collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control are two technologies we're surprised to find on a Mitsubishi -- and hard-pressed to find on many of the 2014 Outlander's immediate competitors.
Calling the 166-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder found in the Outlander ES and SE models adequate is perhaps generous, although four-cylinder Outlander models do return impressive fuel-economy figures. Front-wheel-drive models are rated at a surprising 25/31 mpg city/highway. Even though its fuel economy slips slightly to 20/28 mpg, we prefer the grunt offered by the 224-hp, 3.0-liter V-6, which is offered only in the 2014 Outlander GT. All-wheel drive remains standard equipment on the Outlander GT but is now offered as an option on the four-cylinder 2014 Outlander SE for the first time.
The 2014 Outlander may not jump out from the already-crowded crossover segment, but at long last, it's a stylish, contemporary, and competent vehicle.
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