DriveApart Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander

RideApart Overview
For 2014, Mitsubishi introduces the third generation Outlander to its lineup. With a brand new design, engineering and features — including an all new lightweight frame and aerodynamic body — this Outlander is the best one yet.

What We Like
The Outlander has an entire new design for 2013, the lightweight frame was been made from high tensile steel which drops 220 pounds from the vehicle. The aerodynamics have been increased by 7% which happens to increases the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. New safety features have been included and there's a whole slew of features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Frontal Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning including a spiffy 7-inch touchscreen. Mitsubishi has definitely raised the bar with the luxuries and features that are available in this $30,000 crossover class.

What's Not To Like
There's not much to like on this Outlander, its pretty much perfect.

The Outlander has plenty of cargo space.

Tow and Haul
The 2014 Outlander has a 1500 pound towing capacity on the SE model and 3500 pounds with the GT model. With that kind of towing capacity you have more than enough towing capacity to tow whatever your needs are — whether its a trailer with some motorcycles, ATVs or even a boat. There's over a 100 cubic feet of storage with the seats down, that's more than enough to carry all your kids, a dog and any groceries you picked up on the way home.

The Drive
For a such a small vehicle — a crossover to boot — I was impressed with the ride with how the suspension handled the roads. We had an opportunity to take the car across all sorts roads and terrain — from bumpy straights to rolling hills and hard winding turns. The suspension performed well and was smooth. Even on hard off road terrain intended for jeeps, the AWD system was incredible, even with two wheels diagonally off the ground there was no problem in putting power into the wheels.

The V6 MIVEC Engine.

Engine and Drivetrain
The Outlander is equipped with two different engines — a 2.4 liter inline four with a CVT transmission on the SE model and the premium GT model has a 3.0 liter V6 engine with a 6 speed transmission that has available paddle shifting. The inline four produces 166 horsepower and 162 foot pounds of torque with a CVT that has been reconstructed to allow for better shifting, acceleration and it reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The V6 produces 224 horsepower and 215 foot pounds of torque which also improves shifting feel and fuel economy.

Interesting Vehicle Features
The center console had a 7-inch HD touch screen which was very responsive in comparison to other touch screens I've used. I didn't have to hit buttons multiple times to get things working or had to wait for the touchscreen to process my command. The entire vehicle could be controlled through that center console, buttons on the steering wheel or voice activation.

The coolest three toys on the Outlander are the lane departure warning system, the adaptive cruise control, and the frontal mitigation system. The Lane Departure Warning gives you an annoying little beep every time you cross the lane lanes which annoying the crap of my driving partner but kept me in my lane quite well.

The Adaptive Cruise Control is one of the coolest things I've seen — set your cruising speed and the Outlander will automatically brake for you if you get too close to the car in front of you and then speed back up to programed following distance. This all happens without much notice, the braking and acceleration is quite subtle.

The Frontal Collision Mitigation system is interesting, we were only allowed to test at a speed of 20 kph (thats around 5.5 miles an hour) and it would automatically break for the driver if the car sensed it was going to hit an object in front of the vehicle. I biffed on my first attempt and succeeded on the second, the car amazingly stopped all itself about a foot away from the obstacle which was pretty awesome.

Gas Mileage
The base SE models have a 25 city and 31 city mpg. The SE with AWC has 24 city and 29 highway and the GT model has 20 city 28 highway. Now it's not gas mileage that can compare with a Prius but its definitely leading gas mileage in its class.

The leather interior.

Interior and Exterior
The exterior was completely re-created for in 2014 with aerodynamics and fuel economy in mind. The exterior has been made 7% more aerodynamic than the outgoing model. With the use of high-tensile steel, the frame has dropped up to 220 pounds depending on its trim. The exterior looks like a high-end based crossover with an aggressive stance that says quietly "I have performance."

The interior was very comfy and spacious and welcoming to sit in— more than big enough for my 5'8" and my driving buddy's 6'2" frame. The 7 seating position makes the car convenient for a lot of passengers not to mention the extra boon for storage capacity. The interior is clad in leather and wood accents with a driver centralized console and steering wheel that allows the driver to control the entire vehicle.

Pricing
The fully equipped GT with the S-AWC Touring Package costs $33,895 which is a fantastic deal for the value of the vehicle. Considering that this vehicle has features that are usually reserved for vehicles in priced above this price level, its a fantastic deal. The basic ES model starts at $22,995 and climbs in price as more and more packages are added to the vehicle. Its pricing is on par with its competitors — such as the Nissan Pathfinder, the Audi Q5 and the Chevrolet Tahoe which MSRP at $28,650, $35,900 and $39,830.

The Outlander driving across Oregon.

The Verdict
Mitsubishi has put a lot of value into a vehicle that's intended to be a entry-level crossover — if you buy the GT version you'll get one kick-ass crossover that's a lot of fun. The GT model with all the goodies on has been given an official MSRP of $33,895 which is a steal for what you are getting. In that price range, you could get a Volkswagen Tiguan and a Volvo XC60 or an Audi Q5 for around the same price — but they don't have all the cool toys that the Outlander has. Mitsubishi has some of the best AWD systems in the world — but I doubt many owners will be taking their Outlanders off road even though that little car handles surprisingly well for its looks. The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander should be available sometime later this year — keep an eye out for it if you are looking to buy a crossover, you won't be disappointed.

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