Mitsubishi outlander 2012 review

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC: Review notes: Strong drivetrain can’t make up for other shortcomings

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: You know the GT moniker has jumped the shark when it shows up on the back of a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander. The sole concession to Grand Touring sportiness offered by this three-row crossover is the absence of roof-rack crossbars. That makes the Outlander GT look sleeker, but in reality it probably does more to hinder its touring ability than it does to help.

And, in all fairness, the Outlander is not a bad-looking truck, in that frumpy Mitsubishi something’s-not-quite-right-but-I-can’t-figure-out-what styling idiom. It wears the aggressive Lancer/Evolution front fascia well and comes across as fairly compact, considering its theoretical seven-passenger capability. In fact, with the rear seat folded, the cargo well is extraordinarily large with deep, usable space.

At least on paper, the Outlander GT seems to add up. But the devil is in the details, and a quick drive is all one needs to learn that Mitsubishi is peddling a 2012 crossover that feels as if it was designed in 1996. Refinement is utterly absent from the moment one opens the door: A high-friction detent makes the hinge feel stiff, yet the door itself has all the substance of that on a 1987 Suzuki Samurai.

There’s a giant four-by-six warning label affixed to the passenger-side seatback–right on the upholstery itself, staring back at the rear-seat passenger. Graphics and fonts on the extra-cost navigation system appear to be from an early Linux GUI. The steering wheel tilts but doesn’t telescope, so it nearly rested on my knees.

A perfect example of the “oooh, almost” nature of Mitsubishi’s half-baked luxury attempts is the departure message in the information center. It’s not the standard “good-bye” but rather “See you.” See me? See me what? See me later? It’s nothing that directly affects the drive or utility, but like the obnoxious warning sticker, it shows that Mitsubishi simply didn’t think things through all the way.

About the drive: it’s adequate, though also dated. The 3.0-liter Mitsubishi-built engine has enough power to move things around just fine plus solid low-end torque. The six-speed Sportronic automatic transmission is smooth and seems to decouple from the engine at lights not unlike a DCT; score one for the decent powertrain.

But over expansion joints and speed bumps, the chassis again feels as if it’s a decade old. Body damping is poor, and the occupants can actually sense where the subframe connects to the unit body.

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: This Outlander is decent. No more, no less. For $33,000, one would expect better than decent, right?

I think the exterior looks nice and aggressive and the interior is comfortable with decent (sorry) materials–a little too shiny and hard for my taste. The seats are good, and I found a comfortable driving position.

The last Outlander that I drove had a four-cylinder and a CVT. Not a good combo. This V6 engine is a definite improvement over the four, with the power to haul the Outlander around smartly, and it’s a smooth engine-trans combination. The car feels alert and fairly light on its feet and potholes are well absorbed. I liked the precise-feeling steering. But I did think that there was an overall feeling of looseness: things squeak and rattle around inside, the chassis didn’t feel as stiff as those on some small utes I’ve experienced. There was just an overall tinny feel to the car.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: Here’s a car that would fit the description of a camel–you know, a horse designed by a committee. This thing is all over the place. The Evolution nose is a nice touch, but, sadly, the car just doesn’t drive as well as it looks from the outside. I guess that’s a compliment, in that this little crossover has an aggressive look. And to be fair, this six-cylinder under the hood is adequate, mated with the six-speed auto with paddle shifters. The AWD was handy this morning on the icy roads, and I can attest that the ABS works quite well in this car.

But ergonomically and design-wise, inside the car is where things really go awry. A tilt wheel with no telescoping feature is odd, and while the seats are electronically adjustable, I could not get a position that I would call comfortable. Long legs and a tight footbox make it difficult to be comfortable–not to mention safe–without a telescoping wheel.

Andy’s comment about the graphics on the touch-screen radio is right on. They seem as if they’re from a different decade, dropped into the middle of the dash without blending in with the rest of the design. The heating controls are three simple, straightforward dials. The seat-heater switch and seat controls are also best adjusted when you are not sitting in the seat or maybe with the door open. The heater switch is down below the seat on the right side, while the seat-control switches on the left side cannot be operated with the door closed, unless your hands are as thin as pancakes.

There was also an annoying rattle coming from the rear, caused by either the rear seatbacks or something beneath the cargo floor. I couldn’t isolate it, but it would have driven me (more) crazy on a lengthy drive.

The only thing missing from the “see you” message when you shut the car off would be to add, “See you, dude.” It would somehow seem an appropriate message.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: This Outlander seems long in the tooth and has an odd mismatch of exterior styling because of the various redos over its life cycle. The interior is equally unusual, with attention to detail in the nice stitched-leather appointments and column-mounted (vs. wheel-mounted) shift paddles, while at the same time having acres of black plastic and a navigation screen that appears to have been lifted from some late-1980s handheld electronic game.

Other examples: Mitsubishi smartly recognized the need for a third row of seats and wisely surmised that the seats only need to be usable for small children for short periods of time. But these two third-row seats are strictly tie-down points for seats for small children–anyone else might as well just climb into the cargo hold and sit on a cooler or something. And while I love that Mitsu engineered a tailgate/hatch setup instead of a liftgate, the execution is weak in that there’s a plastic panel that folds down with the tailgate to create the tailgate surface. But when it is closed, that panel is what I’m sure Hart is hearing rattling.

Then there’s the mechanical conundrum: Power is exceptional from this V6 and six-speed, all hooked up with Mitsu’s excellent all-wheel-drive system. This is a variant of the same rally-bred AWD in the Evo, so we know from experience that it’s strong. Steering is a strong point as well. But then there’s that harsh suspension, which is so ratcheted up on the sporty side that it feels as if there’s almost zero give over bumps and rough pavement. It feels like completely undamped, unsprung suspension parts hammering the roadway. If you want stiff in your CUV, this is it.

Bring on the new model, and soon.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I’ll start with the good. The engine and trans are impressive. As Bob said, it has a good amount of torque off the line. I would have guessed 250 or more for both power and twist. The steering, the view from the front seat, the paddle shifters on the column–it all reminds me of our long-term Lancer Evolution MR.

I still haven’t decided whether I like the column paddles or the wheel-mounted paddle shifters better. There are pros and cons for both. If the paddles are on the wheel, your hands would always be close to them. But if you’re unwinding the wheel, they might get lost. The column paddle shifters stay put, meaning up and down are always in the same place. But if your hands are at noon and six, like during a turn, you have to take a hand off the wheel. Mitsubishi’s paddles are pretty long, making them easier to hit. But I suppose during track days, the wheel shouldn’t be cranked too much, so steering-wheel-mounted paddles wouldn’t be that far out of reach.

The interior is nothing spectacular, the dual stitching on the seats is nice, as is the double glovebox with soft-touch material on top. The seats are comfortable, but the seat-heater button is in the dumbest spot imaginable–in between the seat and the center console, behind the seatbelt.

The touch-screen radio bothered me less than the heater controls. The three knobs were straightforward, just no elegance or smoothness.

From the outside, the Outlander isn’t a bad-looking car. I like the Evo nose, even if the shape throws it off a bit. The new model has a drastically reworked front clip. It’s much more rounded.

SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: My colleagues have hit on every point I intended to make, though in some cases I might even think they’ve been too kind. The engine and transmission are “impressive?” The engine produces just enough power and torque to propel you adequately, but it certainly does not put a smile on your face. The transmission is better and indeed quite smooth, but are we really debating the location of its shift paddles? Does it really matter in this application?

For the record, I detest steering-column-mounted paddles, but in this case I tired of playing with them quickly. Despite its Evo-like snout and GT badging, this Outlander is a far cry from a performance car or a sports car. Unfortunately, the car at times has the ride quality of such a car, without many of the returns that you expect to come with it. This just becomes an annoyance, and I started to ask aloud, “What is this supposed to be? Why would I want one?”

I won’t beat a dead horse regarding the interior appointments and ergonomics; the point has been made well. But with nothing especially enticing to offset the at-times irritating ride and ho-hum drivetrain, it’s an odd offering whose time has definitely passed. (In fairness to the engine, it’s not its fault that Mitsubishi ordered it to power a crossover weighing more than 3,800 pounds with a driver aboard, let alone any passengers and gear.)

See you.

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC

Base Price: $28,705

As-Tested Price: $33,605

Drivetrain: 3.0-liter V6; AWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 230 hp @ 6,250 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,780 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 21/20.0 mpg

Options: Touring package including leather seating surfaces, 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with nine speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, power glass sunroof, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror and rear camera system ($2,900); navigation with rearview camera including 40GB HDD navigation system, rearview-camera monitor and auxiliary video-input jack ($2,000)

For more information: Check out the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC at

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

An aging crossover built in Japan, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is a crossover that was one of the company’s better efforts when it was launched, and hangs in there now, likely in its final model year. Distantly related to the Dodge Journey, the five- or seven-seat Outlander was last touched up in the 2010 model year with a new interior and fresh front-end styling, and saw a new GT model and new tech features added to its lineup, too.

The updated design plays out well on the Outlander’s rakish body. It has a shark-like snout that bears a passing resemblance to the front end on the Mitsu Evo. The Outlander’s cabin compares fairly well with other, newer crossovers, too, thanks to new soft-touch materials like leatherette padding on the dash and armrests. A little high-tech feel is layered on top courtesy an LCD screen at the center of the dash.

Mitsubishi still offers Outlander buyers a choice of drivetrains, but there’s only one we recommend. A four-cylinder is standard equipment on the Outlander ES and SE; it’s bare-bones power, not really adequate to motivate the crossover briskly. It’s also saddled with the sluggish responses of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and that makes it not only dull, but also noisy. Outlander XLS and GT versions come with a much nicer 3.0-liter V-6 with 230 horsepower, shuffled through a responsive, easy-shifting six-speed automatic coupled with shift paddles mounted near the steering wheel. Without too big a gas-mileage penalty, the V-6 brings ample power.

Review continues below

The more basic SE can be fitted with four-wheel drive; the optional system comes complete with a locking center differential. The Outlander GT gets a version of the all-wheel-drive system of the Lancer Evolution and Ralliart models, complete with a user-selectable traction program with choices between Tarmac, Snow, and Lock traction modes. It’s a sophisticated system, what with its Active Front Differential and electronically controlled center diff–and that means the Outlander GT has almost seamless distribution of torque between the wheels. The Outlander also has good, communicative steering, and its ride and braking are nicely, firm, as they are in the smaller Lancer.

Adults will fit easily in the front buckets and on the second-row bench seat, but the Outlander’s third-row seat is very small–even for young children. The second-row seat slides on rails to boost either leg room or cargo space, depending on the needs of the moment, and the seatback reclines for road-trip comfort. With both the rear rows of seats folded, the Outlander has 73 cubic feet of hauling room–and its unique drop-down tailgate will support more than 400 pounds while it’s being loaded.

Neither the NHTSA or IIHS have crash-tested the Outlander under the new scoring systems they introduced in the 2011 model year. All Outlanders come with curtain airbags, active front headrests, stability control, and anti-lock brakes.

Base Outlanders have standard air conditioning, keyless entry, and a 140-watt, six-speaker sound system. At the top of the lineup, the luxurious XLS picks up fog lamps, steering-wheel audio controls, remote start, cruise control, and automatic climate control, plus the new FUSE hands-free link system, controlling audio and calling functions with voice commands. The GT includes, along with other appearance extras, rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors, leather seats, bi-xenon HID headlamps, and a more powerful 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with nine speakers and a huge 10-inch subwoofer.

For an in-depth look at this crossover, read our most recent full review of the Mitsubishi Outlander.

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC Review & Test Drive


Oct 10, 2011 Ξ3 comments posted by Harvey Schwartz
Filed under Automotive, Featured, Mitsubishi, SUV, Test Drives


The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC is in the crossover sport utility segment but one look at the exterior styling and after one test drive behind the wheel you’ll think that you are piloting a performance sport sedan with three rows of seats. That is what I felt after my seven-day test drive and photo shoot of the new 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC. It is long, sleek, and low with all of the exterior sporty cues found on the best performance sedans.

Inside is a sport cockpit configuration that makes you feel that you are behind the wheel of a sport sedan, not a crossover sport utility. It’s only when you turn your head back and see the two rows of seats that you sense you are in a crossover sport utility. The main reason is that it drives and handles like a true performance sport sedan is the excellent power and a precise fully independent sport-tuned suspension. The added plus of owning the new Outlander GT S-AWC is that it also has the versatility and functionality of a real crossover utility vehicle with seating for up to eight and a large, versatile cargo area.

Looking at the front fascia you see the same giant ‘shark nose’ grille and chrome surround found at the front of the Mitsubishi EVO III high-performance sedan. HID headlamp clusters are cut into the sides and down below are round foglamps. At the corner of the front fender are aerodynamic straits cut into the lower fender to help with front stability. Under the grille is a skid plate to see you safely on your way when you venture to take the GT off-road.

From the side are steeply raked windshield A-pillars, large, uniquely formed front and rear fenders, heated sideview mirrors, a flat roof fabricated from aluminum, color-keyed pull-out door handles, lower side extensions with a full-perimeter chrome strip and a ‘hockey puck’ styled chrome insert surrounding the greenhouse that finishes off the ‘in motion’ sideview of the GT.

The rear fascia features a flat hatchback with ‘flat-folding’ tailgate to make loading and unloading cargo easier, large LED lamp cluster that wrap around from the rear to the side, a spoiler mounted on top of the hatchback, a rear diffuser to help manage rearward airflow and dual, polished exhaust tips gathered together.

The total look is one of motion when parked, unlike all of the other crossover sport utility vehicles in the segment, even though this is a true crossover sport utility. It is just Mitsubishi’s take on a somewhat boring segment in the industry, and it works just fine.

Powering the new GT is Mitsubishi’s innovative 3.0 liter SOHC, all-aluminum, MIVEC (VVT), V6 engine with 24-valves. It generates a healthy 230hp at 6,250rpm and 215lb.ft. of torque at 3,750rpm. This potent V6 engine pulls quickly up to its 6,500rpm redline and remains smooth and quiet. It is mated to Mitsubishi’s six-speed Sportronic electronically controlled manual interactive adaptive automatic transmission. You can keep the stick in automatic and just enjoy the ride or you can pull the stick over to the right or use the ‘sport car cued’ paddle shifters located on the steering column to quickly change gears up or down to make the drive more exciting, just like in a sports sedan. Unlike most sport sedans, this GT is all-wheel-drive and you can switch from Tarmac/Snow/Lock. Mitsubishi calls it Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) with an active front differential and front limited slip differential channeling torque to the wheels that need it most. To help keep emissions and stretch your fuel mileage, the GT comes with ‘idle neutral logic’ which shuts down the engine when you are stopped in traffic or at a red light, then turns the engine on when you put your foot on the throttle; an ECO indicator light comes on when you are just coasting or cruising letting you know that you are achieving the best mpg available. Even though you are driving a performance oriented crossover utility vehicle, Mitsubishi is helping with the environment and stretching your gas dollars.

Precise and quick response to your steering inputs is made possible by the GT’s electric power-assist rack & pinion steering system. Driver feedback through the steering is enhanced by optimized components within the electric power steering system including a ball slider-type intermediate shaft that offers both better steering feel and high-assist torque, along with the use of a brushless motor that helps improve steering feel and assist control. Additionally, information collected from sensors measuring numerous driving dynamics including vehicle speed, conditions detected by the stability control system, steering wheel position and rate of rotation, along with input from the steering torque sensor mounted on the steering shaft itself, is fed into the power steering control module to determine precisely how much power steering assist is required.

You feel further precision to your steering inputs with the unique fully independent suspension system that is sport-tuned. Up front are MacPherson struts, high-rate coil springs, monotube shocks, and a 22mm stabilizer bar. The rear setup features multi-links, high-rate coil springs, monotube shocks and a 20mm stabilizer bar. Even though the GT rides with an 8.5 inch ground clearance, the center of gravity is lowered with the aluminum panel roof and deep side extensions enabling the GT to handle and performance almost like an expensive sport sedan. This really isn’t a sport sedan with three rows of seating but it comes as close as possible. Helping the GT remain in control during spirited driving times is the standard ‘Active Stability Control’ (ASC), Hill Start Control, and Traction Control Logic system.

Quickly and safely slowing the new Outlander GT down from speed are large, power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 11.7 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 11.9 inch solid discs in the rear clamped with large, single-piston calipers. Keeping you in control during severe braking times are standard ABS and EBD. The new Outlander GT rides on large 18X7.5 inch alloy wheels wrapped with 225/55R18 inch all-season radial tires that give a smooth quiet ride and excellent grip.

The interior is all sports minded with a sport-styled cockpit featuring 8-way, power-adjustable, bucket seats that are very comfortable and supportive. The leather-wrapped steering wheel tilts for the perfect height, feels great in your hands and contains buttons for the cruise-control and audio system. You also notice that the pedals are aluminum faced, just like in a high-end sports sedan. The metallic trimmed center console contains the leather-wrapped stick shifter and rotary dial for the all-wheel-drive system. The instrument cluster is easy to see and understand with all switches, dials and buttons within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving. The air-vents are also covered in metallic trim for an added luxury touch. You will find these sporty and luxury cues in high-end sport utility and crossover sport utility vehicles.

Standard features not mentioned above includes automatic climate control with micron filter, AM-FM-6-CD in-dash audio head unit with six-speakers, auto on/off headlamps, pre-wired for Bluetooth, rear privacy glass, compact stowable 3rd. row seat, power door and tailgate locks, power windows and heated side mirrors, dual glove box with lower illumination and lock, variable intermittent wipers, 60/40 split/folding rear seats, rear seat sliding/recline function, rear center armrest with dual cupholders, 3-12-volt accessory outlets, dual map lamps, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, rain-sensing wipers, floor mats, grab handles above each door, dual vanity mirrors, and thick-cut pile carpeting.

My loaded Outlander GT came with three option packages-Touring Package with leather seating surfaces, 710-watt Rockford/Fosgate Punch Premium sound system with 9-speakers including a 10 inch subwoofer, SIRIUS satellite radio, power glass sunroof, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirrors and a rear camera system. The navigation system with rearview camera features a 40GB HDD navigation system with real-time traffic info, the reaview camera and an auxiliary video input jack. The entertainment package came with a rear seat DVD player, remote control and two-infrared wireless headphones.

The new 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander GT gives you much more than just a people moving crossover utility vehicle. It adds a large dose of sporting fun-to-drive pleasure with all of the functionality and versatility of a CUV.

Standard safety features include advanced dual front airbags, front-seat mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor, LATCH system for child seats, daytime running lights, anti-theft alarm system and an engine immobilizer.

The base price for the GT is $27,895.00 and $34,490.00 fully loaded.



2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Overview

With its standard four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT), reviewers said the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander has tepid acceleration, though models with an available V6 and six-speed automatic transmission provide plenty of passing power. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The four-cylinder 2012 Outlander earns up to an EPA-estimated 23/28 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. V6 models earn a good rating of 19/26 mpg. Test drivers said that the Outlander rides firmly, but most said it’s still comfortable and absorbs most bumps. Many reviewers praised the Outlander’s poised handling and its steering, saying it provides lots of feedback and is well-weighted.

Test drivers wrote that the 2012 Outlander has a bland cabin design and an interior that is built with lots of hard, low-quality plastics. Reviewers found the front and middle seats agreeable, but most wrote that the available third-row seat is laughably small, even for kids. The 2012 Outlander comes standard with a six-speaker stereo and an auxiliary input. Available features include a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo system, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, navigation and a rearview camera. The Outlander offers a maximum of 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than what most three-row midsize SUVs offer, but also more space than you’ll find in many two-row midsize SUVs.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the three-row 2012 Toyota Highlander has one of the most comfortable rides in the class. With its four-cylinder engine, the Highlander also returns good fuel economy, and it offers more overall cargo space than the Outlander.

An available EcoBoost engine gives the two-row 2012 Ford Edge great fuel economy for the class, and reviewers said it has ample power. Test drivers also appreciated the Edge’s compliant ride and attractive interior.

Compare the Outlander, Highlander and Edge “

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV is often overlooked in the midsize crossover segment. With such stiff competition, it’s easy to see how the Outlander could go unrecognized for its stand-out looks, reasonable performance, and low base price. But the savvy crossover shopper will know to look twice and consider Mitsubishi’s value player.

The 2012 Outlander can be equipped with either a 168-hp 2.4-liter I-4, or 230-hp 3.0-liter V-6. Two transmissions are offered, including a CVT and six-speed automatic, and the Outlander can be had in both two- and all-wheel drive layouts. Base ES models seat five, but all other trim levels get standard three-row seating, bumping passenger capacity up to seven. All Outlander models receive some form of cloth upholstery as standard, though leather is available as an option. The split-folding tailgate makes loading luggage into the Outlander’s 72.6-cubic-feet-max cargo area a breeze, while an available tonneau cargo cover keeps your possessions out of sight.

Other options for the 2012 Outlander include a hard drive-based navigation system with 40-GB Music Server, 710-watt, nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, rear seat entertainment system with nine-inch display, and FUSE Bluetooth hands-free phone system.

The Mitsubishi Outlander carries over into 2012 with few changes. In 2010, the model received Mitsubishi’s familial face, borrowing the Lancer’s wide trapezoidal grille and slender headlights. This year, package contents get shuffled around and trim level names are changed. The XLS 2WD gets renamed to the GT 2WD, while all other trims retain their names from last year. An auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in backup camera display is added to the Premium package for SE models, and the Touring package for GT models. Base ES models receive a new 16-inch wheel cover design.

The Outlander got a face-lift for the 2010 model year, gaining a front end inspired by the Lancer Evolution. That look carries over into 2012, with the Outlander still sporting a large, blacked-out trapezoidal front grille and slim, slanted-in headlights. In back, a pair of LED taillamps and a split tailgate finish off the Outlander’s rear. Lower-trim models get auto-off halogen headlights, while GT 2WD and S-AWC models get standard auto-on/off HID headlamps and daytime running lights.

Inside the Outlander, Mitsubishi put a bit more thought into designing the dash than it had with a few of its other current models. That dash features some modern curves, with a cleanly laid-out center stack and instrument cluster. Two grades of cloth upholstery come standard, with the ES trim getting base fabric seats, and all other models getting a sport fabric upholstery. Leather is available as an option on GT models, however. All models except the base ES get standard third-row seats, allowing for seven passengers. Lower-trim models get manual climate control, while GT 2WD and S-AWC models receive automatic climate control. GT models also get heated power front seats as an option. Other options include a hard drive-based navigation system with 40-GB Music Server, rear seat entertainment system, and FUSE Bluetooth hands-free phone system.

The Mitsubishi Outlander has proven to be a decent performer in our tests. Equipped with the base 168-hp, 167 lb-ft 2.4-liter I-4 and continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Outlander has enough power to scoot around town. Step up to the 3.0-liter V-6 in the GT 2WD and GT S-AWC, which produces 230 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque, and things get a bit more inspiring. That engine is mated to a six-speed Sportronic automatic transmission with standard paddle shifters. SE AWC and GT S-AWC models come with standard all-wheel drive. When we last sampled an all-wheel-drive V-6 Outlander, we were able to hit 60 mph in a respectable 7.4 seconds.

All Outlander models get dual-stage front airbags, front seat side thorax airbags, and front and rear curtain airbags. Other safety features like Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic, Brake Override Logic, an ABS system, and Tire Pressure Monitoring system are also standard. Hill start assist is standard on GT S-AWC models, while all models can be equipped with the available rearview camera and park assist sensors.

Outlander ES/SE 2WD: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Outlander SE AWC: 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway
Outlander GT 2WD: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Outlander GT S-AWC: 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway

  • Aggressive exterior styling
  • Competitive pricing
  • Smooth V-6
  • Underpowered four-cylinder
  • Interior quality still lags behind competition
  • Tight third-row seats

Not a bad player in a crowded segment.


  • Chevy Equinox
  • Honda CR-V
  • Ford Escape

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2012 Outlander New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2011 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.


The Mitsubishi Outlander is a stylish crossover SUV that seats five. A compact third row is available to allow seven, but the two flip-up seats are as small as they come and suitable only for small children for short periods of time.

The 2011 Outlander models offer improved fuel economy both from the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter V6. The current-generation version was launched as a 2007 model and it was updated with fresh styling for 2010.

The 2011 Outlander ES and SE are equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers an EPA-estimated 23/28 mpg City/Highway on Regular gas, an improvement of 2 miles per gallon over the 2010 Outlander. With four-wheel drive, the 2011 Outlander SE gets 22/27 mpg. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates 168 horsepower and benefits from a fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission, or CVT.

The 2011 Outlander XLS and GT models are equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 that delivers power and smoothness at high speeds. The V6 is mated to a sharp 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The 2011 Outlander XLS 2WD gets an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg, a slight improvement over 2010. The 2011 Outlander GT S-AWC is rated 19/25 mpg. Premium fuel is recommended for the V6.

The Outlander GT comes with Super All-Wheel Control, or S-AWC, developed for the Lancer Evolution, which provides super control and traction, as well as secure handling in corners.

Stylistically, the Outlander has presence. The styling was redesigned for 2010 to look more like the Lancer and Evolution. It’s got that face now, so at least you know what it is. No longer lost in the midsize SUV crowd.

The cabin features a handsome and functional dashboard and instrument panel. The bolstered seats fit just right, the 60/40 second row tumbles forward to create 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With heating and air conditioning vents in the rear, bottle holders in the door pockets, and sliding rear seats, passengers will be comfortable.


The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander comes in four trim levels, ES, SE, XLS, and GT.

Outlander ES 2WD ($21,995) comes with the 2.4-liter DOHC I4 and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, urethane steering wheel with cruise control, 60/40 folding/tumble rear seats, a 140-watt 6-speaker CD/MP3 sound system, LED taillamps, and 16-inch steel wheels.

Outlander SE ($22,995) and SE 4WD ($24,495) upgrade with sport fabric seats with leather bolsters, 6-step paddle shifters for the CVT, leather shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, color gauges, Bluetooth capability, roof rails, foglights, privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille trim and body-colored front fascia, mirrors and door handles.

Outlander XLS 2WD ($25,795) comes with the 3.0-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, automatic climate control, console box between the seats, compact third row, and the FUSE Handsfree Link System, that can call up your songs using voice command, by artist, genre, playlist or album through an iPod or USB device.

Outlander GT ($27,795) comes standard with the Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system. It adds rain-sensing wipers, bi-Xenon HID headlamps, aluminum pedals.

Options include the Navigation Package ($2,150) with 40 GB navigation system with real time traffic; the Rear View Camera Package ($2,000) adds the rearview camera and auxiliary video input jack. The Touring Package ($2,700) includes leather seating surfaces, panoramic roof with LED illumination, 710-watt Fockford Fosgate premium audio with 9 speakers, 10-inch subwoofer, Sirius Satellite Radio with 3 months, power glass sunroof, premium alarm, heated front seats, power driver seat. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)

Safety equipment includes frontal airbags, side impact airbags, and airbag curtains; Active Stability Control, and anti-lock brakes with brake-force distribution, and a tire pressure monitor. S-AWC all-wheel drive enhances stability in slippery conditions.