2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Review
This is just scratching the surface. There is a lot more to the Outlander than just being one of the safest vehicles on the road.
Overall design is handsome, but not without some head scratching. One would forgive its nose with a false grille above the large slot on the bumper. Mitsubishi has this as part of the global model and it stuck for our market. If you study the design carefully, you will find some things to criticize about its overall look. For what it is intended, the Outlander was designed not to offend. It took a good, middle-of-the-road approach to create a very functional vehicle.
What stuck out on the new Outlander are wide rear doors, along with a power-remote operated tailgate. Instead of the split gate from the previous generation, Mitsubishi went back to basics on providing a full lift-gate on the new crossover. With wider rear doors, third row access is significantly improved.
Step inside and you get a very upscale cabin. The GT had a thick and rich leather interior with wood grain accents and an uncluttered dashboard. Between the tachometer and speedometer is an enlarged TFT screen that can be switched to show trip and fuel economy readouts, along with a screen showing where power is going within the S-AWC system. There is a redundant set of switches on the steering wheel for the cruise control and audio screen. HD Radio and Bluetooth connectivity is standard in the GT. Add the Touring Package, and you will get SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate speaker set.
The seats are pretty comfortable up front, with enough bolstering and lumbar support to keep the driver locked in. Second row seat room offers plenty of adjustments for legroom and recline. With the second row pushed back, 4-5 adults could enjoy a nice ride. The third row is primarily made for small children, but, in a pinch, you could have adults up to 5’10” back there. It is probably recommended not to have adults sit in the third row when longer trips are considered. Cargo space is expandable with a flat floor all the way through to the front row.
If you are in the mode of choosing among your Outlanders, the engine to get is the 3.0litre V6. Only having 224 horsepower, you certainly have more, if not just enough, power for the 3,571 pound Outlander GT. You will lose fuel economy, but you will gain an effortless engine that is relaxed even under a load. Another reason to get the V6 over the four is its towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
The V6 is had with a 6-speed automatic standard, making shifts swift and sure. The S-AWC all-wheel control system keeps everything planted, with an option of settings for appropriate conditions.
The biggest improvement in the Outlander is its ride quality. In the GT, the ride is smooth and supple. Handling is fine, but expect some lean and roll in the corners. Steering is weighted right and offers good action from the wheel. You may find that it is pretty sharp on turns and agile on-center. Brakes work well in normal and panic stops. The GT’s Toyo tires are not bad for grip and ride. However, you might be put off by some road and wind noise when doing highway work.
There is a reason the Outlander scored the Top Safety Pick + designation. Not a lot of its competitors can boast having a comprehensive suite of active safety features onboard. Picking the Touring package on the Outlander GT also adds forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. These systems work extremely well to keep your Outlander out of trouble.
For any size crossover/SUV, fuel economy is a concern. The Outlander GT did average 17.0MPG in a mix of street and highway driving.
The price tags for each model driven did not come as a surprise. Outlanders start at $23,845 for an ES model with front-wheel-drive. This fully equipped GT S-AWC with the Touring Package had a sticker of $34,745. These are good prices for a vehicle with one foot in the small crossover/SUV segment with the other in with the mid-sized models.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is safe, lightweight, comfortable and a great value. It is also a great family crossover that is great for any adventure. This is why the Outlander should be considered the next time you are looking for a three-row crossover.
**If you are interested in a Mitsubishi Outlander, log onto CarSoup.com to find out what is available on sale. **
Photos © Mitsubishi Motors North America